New decade, new goals. Who’s with me? I’ll be discussing my primary focus right now and I hope this helps you get motivated! Especially those of you that are mamas!
Lots of changes occurred since my last post. My mother passed away August 2019 after a brave battle with an aggressive rare case of Mantle Cell Lymphoma (MCL). She is forever with me and especially in my son. The best part is that he has reddish hair and my mother had red hair… His smile lights my heart on fire.
From the moment I knew he was going to make an entrance into this world my dietitian brain was sending me signals. I knew that breastfeeding would be the best gift I could give my son. Not every mother can breastfeed and there is nothing wrong with that or formula but luckily I found success with breastfeeding. I exclusively breastfed which was a real challenge when at work full-time. So many colleagues asked how I did it and frankly the credit must go to my diet. I went back to work when Dominic was 6-weeks old and that is when I began to really pay attention to the types of foods I ate since I wanted to ensure that my milk production did not decrease.
Foods that promote lactation may not always work for some women but its a good idea to ensure that your diet includes them for the overall nutritional benefits. These foods are called galactagogue foods which need to be consumed in variety and daily in the diet. These foods include: flaxseeds, sweet potatoes, fennel seeds, oatmeal, almonds, garlic, dark leafy greens, and brown rice.
So to sum it up… my focus was being as healthy as possible with some indulgences to ensure that my nutrition was ideal to promote lactation.
These cookies are loaded with galactagogue foods. More importantly, these cookies taste amazing so they are NOT just for you but for the whole family!
3 cups old fashioned oats
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/2 cup ground flaxseed meal
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
1 cup light or dark brown sugar
1-1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup coconut oil (or butter)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup macadamia nuts (or whatever nut strikes your fancy)
OPTIONAL: To change up the sugar content you can decrease the amount of brown sugar and sub with 2-3 finely chopped medjool dates (tastes amazing)
In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients (including the chocolate chips and nuts) and mix.
Add in the liquid ingredients and mix.
Using a tablespoon or ice cream scooper – create little balls and place evenly spaced on parchment paper.
Bake for 15 minutes or 20 minutes depending on how large your cookies are. If they do not flatten then use a fork to gently press them down.
Enjoy with hot tea, milk, or even wine… I choose wine.
Summertime and the livin’ is easy… food dishes should be easy to make too! No one has a hour or more to whip up food dishes to please the hungry. Whether you’re adding this dish to your fridge as a staple for snacks, addition to a BBQ, or as a dessert, it is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
This dish contains watermelon and cucumbers which are filled with water. Hot weather calls for dishes high in water content to contribute to overall hydration. When I would be poolside in Texas, a good friend from Mexico City used to always slice cucumbers and season them with chili, which I loved but still wanted something a little sweeter…
Rule of thumb (at least my thumb) – aim to drink at minimum half your body weight in ounces. For example, if you weigh 120 pounds, try to aim for 60 ounces or more. Personally I like to drink my body weight in ounces or at least come close – this means near 130 ounces of water daily (slightly more than a gallon).
1 large cucumber; peel off some of the skin and then slice thinly
16 ounce container strawberries; halved with the stems removed
Half of 1 large watermelon; cubed
1/4 cup cilantro; minced
1/4 lime; juice (fresh is preferred but lime juice is a good option as well)
Eyeball amount of chili powder (I love Tajin – the low sodium version is my go-to)
Optional/to taste: sea salt
Using a disposable tin or large tupperware container combine cucumbers, strawberries, watermelon, lime juice, and cilantro. Cover container of choice and shake thoroughly.
Season with chili powder and sea salt if desired. I like to thoroughly cover each piece of fruit and cucumber.
Cover and chill until ready to be served.
Pair with your favorite sparkling beverage whether non-alcoholic or alcoholic… bottoms up y’all!
If you’re anything like me – airports can be stressful when trying to stick to your meal plans or stay within a budget. Let’s face it, $5.50-7.00+ for a 16-24 ounce water bottle is legit nuts. Since air pressure can lead to migraines – I try to limit my sugar intake which would only aid and abet. As a frequent flier fanatic, I’ve perfected my travel routine, and compiled some travel secrets that will help you to eat and drink like a champion.
Reusable tumbler or water bottle (24 ounces+):Most airports have begun to go green and offer water re-fill stations thus locate em and start walking! This is a great way to save on expensive water purchases.
Snack sandwich bags: Great for portioning your food. I always say – eat half on the departure trip and save the other half for the return trip. These are some great items to toss/mix into sandwich bags:
Beef or turkey jerky: Great way to consume lean protein when on the road. I opt for either the Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s brand of basic jerky. I love the teriyaki versions but then that means more additives – so no. Pick and choose your poison.
Nuts: I love pistachios that are shelled since they keep my fingers busy during the long flights. Raw nuts are also a great option (almonds, cashews, pistachios, macadamia, etc.) if you’re doing work or want an easy munch.
Plantain chips: Great alternative to regular potato chips and are usually just seasoned with S&P – for these, I usually go to the bulk section of Whole Foods or buy the packaged version(s) from Trader Joe’s then re portion into a sandwich bag.
Protein powder: Pre-portion one full scoop for mixing later during the trip to help meet your protein needs if you are not a meat eater nor wanting to open up a can of stinky beans or fish.
Protein bars: I love nut/fruit bars especially those gluten and dairy-free. When choosing bars opt for those above 5-7 grams of protein and less than 10 grams of sugar. There are SO many out there but my favorites include: Kind and RXBAR.
Sealed bag of cucumbers, basil, mint, or berries: This is an easy way to make your plain water more ‘artisanal’ when on the road and not wanting to opt for powders such as Crystal Lite.
If you’re anything like me, the New Year sometimes means parties, outings, or a simple gathering with friends/family. One sure thing is that there will either be tons of alcohol, food, or BOTH. Simplify your ‘next day guilt blues’ with these tricks!
Drink your body weight (pounds) in ounces or get super close – for example, if you weigh 100#, try to drink 100 ounces
Drink a full glass of water (8 ounces) before meals/snacks to help fill up and prevent hydration pangs from being misled as ‘hunger’
Avoid highly carbonated beverages early in the day to prevent bloating, fatigues, and headaches
Chase alcoholic beverages with water – for example, for each glass of alcohol, try to drink a glass of water
Fuel up properly:
Eat your meals as routinely as possible to help prevent excessive grazes or binges at the food table
Protein and healthy fat sources aid in satiety, warmth, and recovery thus pick wisely
Lean proteins: beef, lamb, eggs, chicken, and turkey
TIP – If you are easily tired, lay off the turkey since it’s a tryptophan carrier
Dinner is definitely my favorite meal during the week – basically I can be social or anti-social but either way time is more bountiful and some of the daily craze subsides. I have come to love having salads in the evening due to the ease of being prepared and the fact that there are absolutely endless possibilities. I have been playing around with a couple of different fixings and this is a new favorite – loaded with a variety of water-based vegetables and lean protein. The variety of raw vegetables allow for various nutrients to be consumed, antioxidant benefits to be reaped, and assist with rehydrating the body. After all, we are primarily made up of water so replenish well!
Crab is an excellent source of protein, and here’s why, 4 ounces of crab contains 90-100 calories/20-22 grams protein/0 grams of carbohydrate/0 grams of fat. So now is the time to stop being crabby and load up on the good stuff which is also dense in vitamins A & C, folate, magnesium, and zinc.
Fresh lump crab meat (4-ounces)
Bell peppers, diced (1 cup)
Pico de gallo, minced (1/2 cup) – recipe will be posted shortly
Cherry tomatoes, slivers (1 handful)
Cucumbers and celery, sliced and minced (1/2 cup)
Avocado, sliced (1/4 whole)
Arugula (1/2 cup)
Baby greens (1/2 cup)
Cashews, chopped (1-ounce)
Lemon, wedge slices (2-3 each)
OPTIONAL: 2-3 tbsp or drizzle of Balsamic vinaigrette
Create a base for the salad with the greens – arugula and baby greens.
Add the cashews and avocado in the middle or throughout as the next layer.
Top in sections with the peppers, pico de gallo, tomatoes, and cucumbers/celery.
Add the crab meat to another section of the bowl.
Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over the vegetables.
Garnish with a lemon wedge(s) that can later be used to squeeze over the crab to bring out the flavor.
Time to get munchin’ or chill and enjoy later!
** Side note – this recipe can be made with crackers or tortilla and utilized as an appetizer… Just don’t tell anyone that it’s healthy!