dietitian, entertaining, gluten free, how to

Building A Charcuterie & Cheese Board + Giveaway!

Our most recent cheese board creation.

My boyfriend and I love charcuterie nights. On our first date¬†we split a charcuterie and cheese board- talk about a great way to get to know someone. We bonded over beautiful board of olives and prosciutto and manchego and since then we’ve maintained our hot and heavy relationship with cured meats and delicious cheese. Our dating relationship is going okay too ūüôā

One thing that every twenty something should know is how to put together a good charcuterie and cheese board. Here are my tips:

  1. It starts with a good cutting board. I like dark wood that looks aged and unique, drawing attention to your spread.

    My go-to charcuterie board
  2. Charcuterie and cheese. My favorite charcuterie is an aged peppered salami. I try to choose one that is locally produced, with no nitrites, and ethically sourced (if possible). My cheese choices run the spectrum- a creamy, melty brie or a sharp grass fed cheddar.  I also will pick a cheese if the name is interesting, a very scientific approach.
  3. Accoutrements. My go to is whole grain mustard, artisanal jam (I have an amazing blackberry lavender jam that I bought when I lived in New Hampshire), along with olives, mini pickles, local dates, or truffle honey.
  4. The crackers. As a dietitian, I feel it is my duty to get people to eat more fiber so I choose a whole grain cracker with at least 2 g of fiber per serving.

To celebrate my love of charcuterie and cheese boards, I am teaming up with Crunchmaster crackers to offer one follower a 6 variety pack of Crunchmaster Gluten Free Crackers. These crackers go great with charcuterie and cheese but are also a great gluten free option for snacking. I like to bring whole grain crackers and hummus or cottage cheese to work as a mid-day pick me up.

Crunchmaster Multi-Grain cracker with aged local goat cheese and dates

These crunchy crackers are full of whole grain goodness. In my sample pack I received:

  • Multiseed Crackers
  • Multigrain Crackers
  • 7 Ancient Grain Crackers

My favorite were the Mulitgrain Crackers. The serving size was 16 crackers which provided 3 g of fiber and 23 g of carbohydrate. I would recommend them to my diabetic patients for snacks or meals because it would allow them to feel satisfied with a lower impact on their blood sugars. I also liked their light, crisp bite that paired well with my go to dip (cottage cheese with olive oil, black pepper and Hawaiian Red Sea salt).

Here’s how to enter the GIVEAWAY-¬†

1) Follow me on Instagram (@kari_on_nutrition)
2) Tag a friend and post your favorite cracker combination in the comments. If you post a photo on Instagram of your cracker combination, you will receive 2 entries! Be sure to use the hashtag #KariOnNutritionGiveaway and tag me in the photo (@kari_on_nutrition).
3) Winner will receive a 6 variety pack of Crunchmaster gluten free crackers.

Giveaway will end July 3rd.

Here are some helpful links if you want to try Crunchmaster for yourself!

http://www.facebook.com/crunchmaster
https://twitter.com/luvcrunchmaster
http://pinterest.com/crunchmaster/

Here is a link to a coupon so you can try Crunchmaster!

http://crunchmaster.com/coupon.aspx

Disclosure: Crunchmaster sent me crackers to sample. All opinions expressed are my own. I was not compensated financially for my opinions, featuring Crunchmaster on my blog, or offering the giveaway. 

baking, blogging, breakfast, brunch, dietitian, healthy

Best Ever Banana Bread 

Its been awhile…but I’ve been waiting for a very special occasion to share a new recipe with y’all! I’m a blogger for Food and Nutrition Magazine’s blog,¬†Stone Soup¬†and had one of my all time favorite eats posted today! Be sure to check out my¬†post¬†on the Stone Soup Blog and read below!¬†

Looking for a recipe for Mother’s Day brunch?¬†You need a crowd-pleaser ‚ÄĒ but instead of overloading the table with more egg dishes, appetizers and salads, how about baked goods?

My mom has been making variations of her banana bread for years. Sometimes she will add walnuts or pecans ‚ÄĒ or, if she‚Äôs feeling indulgent, chocolate chips (my personal favorite). Regardless of the additions, it is hands-down the best banana bread I have ever eaten!

In honor of Mother’s Day, I decided to pay homage and put a dietitian‚Äôs take on the best banana bread ever.

The “3 R’s”: of Baking: “Reduce, Replace or Remove”

I substituted in whole-wheat flour and cut back on the sugar and fat. Applesauce keeps the bread moist and bananas provide enough sweetness that no one will be able to tell I reduced the amount of sugar.

If you feel like getting fancy for your next brunch, you can also turn this delicious banana bread into an even more delicious banana bread¬†French toast! This recipe also makes great muffins ‚ÄĒ but be sure to reduce the cooking time to 35 minutes.

Mother's Day Banana Bread | Food and Nutrition Magazine | Stone Soup Blog

Mother’s Day Banana Bread

Recipe by Kari Ikemoto, RD

Ingredients

  • 2 mashed, ripe bananas
  • ‚Öď cup buttermilk (I make this from scratch: add 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk)
  • ¬ľ cup oil (I prefer coconut or canola oil)
  • ¬Ĺ cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs whites
  • 1¬ĺ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Scant ¬ĺ cup sugar (a little less than ¬ĺ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
  • Optional: ¬Ĺ cup chopped nuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325¬įF.
  2. Spray pan loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. Combine banana, buttermilk, eggs, applesauce and oil in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the flour, sugar and baking soda.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir in nuts or other additions (like blueberries or chocolate chips).
  6. Pour into loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
dietitian, exercise, food blogger, Hermosa Beach, recipe, registered dietitian, South Bay, sports nutrition, workout fuel

Poise Fitness

image1

Well! It’s been awhile! A lot has been going on in the Kari On Nutrition camp. Here’s what’s happened since I last posted:

  • I accepted a position at UCLA as a radiation oncology RD (!!!)
  • Spent a week in Kauai for my birthday (check out my Instagram @kari_on_nutrition for photos!)
  • Collaborated with #RD2Be Tawnie Kroll of Kroll’s Korner on a Q&A post for students (check the post out here!)
  • Had my roomie from my dietetic internship visit from Boston
  • Repeal the Seal and the Kids Eat Right Kraft debacle

Two weeks packed into 5 bullet points…impressive I know!

Sprinkled in between all this was a visit to Poise Fitness in Hermosa Beach. A few of my friends had been telling me about a class they had been taking at Poise, so I decided to take the plunge and e-mail Justin (the owner). After exchanging some e-mails with him, I decided to take the plunge and sign up for a¬†5:30 AM class (!!!).¬†My friends were right! I loved the class! Each week, Poise focuses on a different goal or movement. The week I came in, the focus was abs. The gym is split into three sections –¬†functional movement (body weight exercises, flexibility, core), cardio (in the form of treadmills), and strength (weights, kettle bells). There are 10 rounds in each section, for a total of 30 rounds, 1 minute each. What I loved the most about this set up was:

  1. There were tablets that showed each movement. Along with the coach explaining the movement, we had a demonstration of how to do the movement correctly, ensuring proper form and optimizing our work out
  2. The movement changed every rotation. Talk about zero workout boredom. By constantly changing what movement we did, I knew that I was getting a total body workout
  3. You could control the intensity on the cardio. I remember during one of our last sets on the treadmill, the instructor was pushing us to increase our speed. I was feeding off his positive energy and upped the speed to 9.0, which I would not typically do in the gym on my own

This class was the ultimate HIIT workout. I wore my Polar heart rate monitor to track my fitness. I like using a heart rate monitor because it allows me to push myself more to get within my training goals to optimize fat burning and maximize my cardio effort. Tracking systems help me to monitor my progress and give me a way to gauge how I can improve. I highly recommend getting a heart rate monitor if you are looking to up the ante on your fitness goals. It’s a great motivator and can help you to challenge yourself to do more.

According to my Polar:

  • Max heart rate: 173 bpm
  • Average heart rate: 128 bpm
  • Calories: 606
  • 61% fitness (cardio)
  • 39% fat burning

To re-fuel my muscles after this workout, I like to combine protein, carbs/fiber, and healthy fats. This will replenish my muscles and keep me satisfied until lunch. A favorite post workout breakfast is my power breakfast sandwich. It’s a perfect mix of complex carbs to replenish muscle glycogen and healthy fat to provide satiety and a dose of fiber. The addition of 1 egg provides 6 grams of protein, to help with muscle rebuilding, and increase the meal’s staying power. I choose sprouted bread because it is higher in fiber and I feel is more nutritious than other whole wheat varieties. There are no fillers/additives and the ingredients are all items I can pronounce ūüėČ

Power Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 slices sprouted bread (like Ezekiel), provides 30 g carbs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 egg
  • handful of spinach

Directions

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray (I prefer coconut oil spray). Crack egg into pan and cook until desired level of doneness.
  3. Mash avocado on the toast with a fork. Sprinkle fresh cracked pepper and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Add salt if desired.
  4. Top toast with avocado and handful of spinach.
  5. Eat & enjoy!

image2

What is your favorite post-workout breakfast? How do you re-fuel your muscles?

A special thank you to Poise Fitness for having me! It was a great workout and I can’t wait to come in again (aka tomorrow!).

Note: Poise Fitness provided me with a free class. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

dietitian, dinner, main dish, nutrition, recipe

Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos

Currently I am battling a nasty cold/bronchitis/the flu that has made my senses a little stuffed up and my mind a little boggled. When your sense of taste/smell has been compromised, I say go with extremes. I have found that when seriously congested, I can only taste foods that are either very spicy or very sweet- no in betweens. Similar to taste changes that occur when a patient is going through chemotherapy (ex.due to side effects of treatment) or natural taste changes as we age, we need to make slight changes in the preparation of our foods so that food will be palatable and nourishing.

My chipotle lime marinade is a great recipe that plays up spice and citrus to battle through my congested sinuses. It is spicy, smoky, zesty, and easy! It can also be used with chicken or other proteins. I’ll use it to top salads, tacos, burritos, or make enchiladas with.


Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 cod fillets (you can also substitute chicken breast or tilapia)
  • 1 can chipotle in adobo
  • 2 limes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2-3 TBS olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Remove chipotle peppers from can and dice.
  2. Place fish or chicken in a large zippered bag or covered container. Add chipotle, juice of 2 limes, bell pepper, onion, garlic, spices, herbs, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Shake bag or stir to combine. Ensure that the marinade is evenly distributed on the fish.
  3. Marinate over night!
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour in fish with marinade. Cook until the fish is opaque and browned on both sides, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  5. Serve with fresh cilantro, shredded cabbage, and salsa. Top with sautéed marinated peppers.

#karionnutrition

baking, breakfast, dietitian, gluten free, nutrition, recipe, snack, training

No Bake Protein Oat Bars

Three day weekends are the best! Especially when they fall on a holiday! This past weekend was filled with beach volleyball, friends, love, and absolutely gorgeous So Cal weather. I won’t go into too much detail (especially as I know the East Coast has been decimated by blizzard after blizzard..sorry New England friends!) BUT I thoroughly enjoyed summer weather and beach cruises this weekend.

Matt works a busy schedule so I try to keep granola bars (<10 g sugar, ‚̧ g fat, and 3 g fiber/serving- a lofty goal!)¬†and other healthy snack options on hand. Today as he was packing his lunch, said healthy items were no where to be found. So to remedy that situation, I made use of some extra sunflower seed butter and decided to make my own granola bars!

Homemade granola bars are SUPER easy and you can control what ingredients you add. Want more protein? Add nuts or protein powder. Fiber? Chia seeds and oats can provide a soluble solution. They are so customizable that it makes you question why you spent $3.99 on that box of granola bars from TJ’s (which I did once I was done making these!) Plus, have you read the label on a protein bar from health food stores? Most have ingredients you can’t pronounce and aren’t the “clean eats” that most active individuals want to put into their body. Instead of spending the money on store bought granola/protein bars, control the ingredients and make your own! It’s healthier and YOU’RE in charge of the additives!

Everything I used in the bars today, I had on hand- that’s how easy they are! Add your favorite mix ins and experiment with what works for you! It literally took me 10 minutes start to finish to make these!

granola bars

No Bake Protein Oat Bars

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 c sunflower seed butter (or any nut butter)
  • 1/2 c pepitas
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder (any type, I used whey)
  • 2 TBS chia seeds
  • 2 TBS hemp seeds
  • 1 TBS cinnamon
  • drizzle of maple syrup
  • almond milk

Directions

  1. Add oats, sunflower seed butter, pepitas, protein powder, chia and hemp seeds, and cinnamon, stirring to combine. Mixture with be very thick.
  2. Add drizzle of maple syrup and a pour of almond milk. Combine mixture. It should begin to form together. If it is too thick to stir, add more almond milk.
  3. Combine until the mixture resembles cookie dough.
  4. Line a 9×9 baking dish with wax paper. Press granola bar mixture into dish. Fold over wax papper and remove from dish
  5. Place in the freezer to hardern for 15-20 minutes. Remove and cut into bars. Store in the freezer/refrigerator or airtight container.
blogging, dietitian, dinner, gluten free, running, training

Superfood Wild Rice

image1

Happy New Year and happy new domain! I took the plunge and went all in! I have made it my goal for 2015 to blog more and dedicate some time to learning about WordPress, developing my blog, and web design! I want to develop Kari On Nutrition into a forum for all things nutrition, dietetics, cooking, working out, with some of my life sprinkled in between. So, with that being said, let me know what you are looking to see!

Another goal for 2015…..drumroll…..

About to cross the finish line at the 2013 LA Marathon!
About to cross the finish line at the 2013 LA Marathon!

I want to run another marathon! If I keep it to myself, there is no one holding me accountable. However, if I share it on the internet there’s the world wide web holding me accountable, which if I do the math has the potential to be a lot of people! The last marathon I ran was the LA Marathon in 2013. I decided to run 26.2 miles for my 26th birthday and I had one of the best experiences! The course ran through my favorite city and the weather was the most perfect running day ever recorded. I also exceeded my expectations and kept on pace, running it in ~4:24 (chip time). After my lackluster Nike Women’s Half performance in October, I knew I wanted to run another race. What better way to ring in 2015 than with a marathon. I’m still deciding what race to run but am leaning towards staying in California. However, I¬†can always be convinced to travel somewhere fun! ūüôā Any recommendations?

The second part of this goal is that I want to PR! More on that to come in another post though…

My very first marathon! Buzz Johnson Trail Run!
My very first marathon! Bizz Johnson Trail Run!

In thinking about marathons and blogging and New Years resolutions and goals comes a pretty amazing and versatile recipe that’s can make any goal seem just a little be easier to accomplish! I was inspired by a recipe I found on Chow and modified to include some superfoods for extra nutrition power!¬†Full¬†of Vitamin E¬†rich pumpkin seeds, cruciferous power house brussels sprouts, and dried tart cherries rich in anthocyanins (anti-inflammatory properties that can help with muscle recovery¬†and¬†improved sleep,¬†among others) this versatile¬†whole grain/fiber friendly¬†dish¬†goes great stuffed in acorn squash, topped on a salad, or eaten¬†as a¬†post workout recovery snack! Plus, you can custimize it with whatever tickles your fancy!

Superfood Wild Rice

Ingredients

  • 8 oz wild rice, cooked
  • 1 1/2¬†cup¬†roasted cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and brussels sprouts (Toss in olive oil and roast at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes-great second meal use for leftover roasted veggies!)
  • 1/4 cup¬†dried tart cherries
  • 2¬†TBS roasted (unsalted) pumpkin seeds
  • 2 medium zuchinni, diced
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 TBS coconut oil
  • 1 TBS Herbs de provence (I’m obsessed)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Cook wild rice according to directions on the package. Meanwhile, heat coconut oil in saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add onions and cook until golden brown and translucent. Add garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Throw in zuchinni and herbs de provence and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Add cooked wild rice, roasted vegetables, pumpkin seeds, and dried cherries. Stir to combine, season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Eat and enjoy!
Acorn squash roasted and stuffed with superfood wild rice! Topped with goat cheese of course!
Acorn squash roasted and stuffed with superfood wild rice! Topped with goat cheese of course!

#karionnutrition

dietitian, recipe, salad, vegan, vegetable, vegetarian

Easy 5 Ingredient Pickled Japanese Cucumbers

Over the weekend, I went to one of the best burger places in the South Bay, The Standing Room. Instead of getting a delicious burger I got Korean marinated pickles.¬†¬†I’m weird, but the pickles were delicious and instead of feeling full from a big burger, my gut microbiome was happily singing its way to digestion.

So when I was making my lunch last night, TSR’s Korean pickles were still on my mind. Fermented and pickled vegetables pack a hefty probiotic punch and I thought I’d amp up my gut health another notch with a homemade version.

The salty/sweet/crisp/tart combinations of pickled vegetables are mainstays in cuisines from around the world. Some of my personal favorites are tsukemono¬†(a Japanese variety that I’ve eaten since I was a kid), curtido (Hispanic cultures), and kim chi (Korean)

Pickled and fermented vegetables have a history that dates back to the 7000 BC. Cultures from around the world have used this preservation technique and it has lasted the test of time.  Fermentation works by transforming organic substances into simpler compounds via enzymes. These enzymes release bubbly super powers that turn the flavor train up ten notches while building healthy probiotics along with it. Sounds like a winning combination to me.

This pickled Japanese style cucumbers are a tribute to my Japanese ancestry. My mom makes her own variation and my grandma makes a mean takuan (pickled daikon radish). I also like to add Furikake to my cucumbers. Furikake is a blend of sesame seeds, seaweed, salt and sugar. It is typically used as a topping on rice, but I love to add it to musubi, salads, marinades, salad dressings, etc! You can typically find it on the Asian aisle of most major grocery store chains.

Pickled Japanese Cucumbers

Ingredients

  • 3-4 Persian cucumbers (any variety of cucumbers will do), cut into spears and then diced
  • Rice vinegar
  • Sesame oil
  • Furikake
  • Sea salt, to taste

Directions

  1. This recipe is one that I typically don’t measure anything. I¬†add¬†vinegar (~1/4 c)¬†than oil (a TBS or so)¬†and then will add furikake and salt to taste.
  2. To add some spice, I will add a Japanese chili pepper blend called Nanami¬†Togarashi. If you can’t find it in stores you can add red pepper flakes.
  3. Let marinate in the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Great as a snack, topping for salads, or a side dish.¬†My favorite way to eat it is with my fingers¬†straight from the tupperware!¬†ūüėČ ¬†

#karionnutrition

 

dietetic intern, dietetic internship, dietitian, grad school, rd exam, RD2Be, studying

Studying for the RD Exam

Studying for the RD exam = the most stressful, annoying, terrifying, semi-fun (barely!) thing you get to do AFTER you have just spent 10 months as a dietetic intern/slave/student/professional handout creator. Especially when all you want to do is go outside and play beach volleyball!

I’ve never been one to love to study. I’m a procrastinator by trade and typically put things off to the last minute. However, based on everything I’ve read and advice from friends and preceptors, this was one of those circumstances where that mentality wasn’t¬†going to work for me. So I buckled in for a long summer hanging out with Jean Inman.

I was fortunate that one of my preceptors gave me her copy of Jean Inman. It’s expensive BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT. I briefly looked online and found one on Craigslist, so older versions or used copies are available if you are looking to save some money. Girls in my internship split the cost and made copies of the materials. No matter which way you do it, I would recommend utilizing her guide.

However, I couldn’t listen to the CDs. They put me to sleep and I knew there was no way I could sit and pay attention. Instead, I focused on reading the material and creating notes and flashcards of the material I didn’t know. I think this helped me to streamline the material and organize what I knew vs. what I didn’t know.

The best way to prepare yourself is via practice tests. The practice tests were invaluable when it came to preparing me for the actual exam. I used a combination of the Inman tests and the StEp practice tests from the Academy. Fortunately, our internship paid for us to have access to the SteP guide. I liked the StEp guide because it provided feedback and cited sources for the questions. As a researched based profession, I found this especially helpful.

The final step to studying for the exam was mental toughness. This past summer, I was fortunate to watch a lot of professional beach volleyball. Watching these tournaments and athletes up close, you can tell which players have the mental edge. It’s what separates the Kobe Bryants and Kerri Walshs of the world. Those players with mental toughness, close out games and make their serve when it counts. The extreme focus and dedication are what have led them to greatness. This is the mentality I used¬†to approach the exam.

I focused on my strengths and didn’t spend too much time studying information I already knew. I kept my cool, trying to think about what would an¬†entry-level RD¬†be expected to know? Most entry-level clinical RDs would not be thrown into an advanced field of dietetics practice without any resources to refer to. I used this thinking throughout most of my RD exam preparation. I did not spend my time memorizing specific lab values or medications but instead focused on understanding nutrition concepts and how to apply them in situations to problem solve.

On the day of the exam, I was nervous (who wouldn’t be????) but I knew that there was no amount of morning cramming that’s going to help you pass. I remained calm and knew that if I got to 125 questions and the screen went blank I passed. There weren’t very many surprise questions. I did get asked a few questions about steroid medications that I wasn’t as prepared for, but I think they may have been test questions. I passed and was grateful that I did not over study. After taking the exam, I realized that for me and my test taking skills, I studied the ideal amount of time.

The time frame for my studying wasn’t too long. I felt that with the amount of schooling, work experience, and the internship, I was either prepared or not. I intensely studied the exam for 1 week. The month prior, I spent a couple of hours a week reading over Inman and taking the StEp practice exams. I’m the most frustrated about how intensely I studied the first domain (my weakest area) only to discover that I got asked zero memorable/hard questions.

The best advice I can give is to know your study habits and what works best for you. Focus on the areas that you are weakest in and be open to different study material options. Don’t stress out about memorizing the material! To me, the exam was very conceptual. Focus on problem solving skills and read every question thoroughly!

Lastly, here is a round-up of blog posts from other RDs that I found helpful when studying. These helped me to formulate my study plan and also what resources are out there!

All Access Internships

Ancestralize Me

The Lean Green Bean

Hope that helps! Best of luck to any future RDs ūüôā

#karionnutrition

dietitian, running, training

Nike Women’s Half Marathon #WeRunSF

In honor of the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series, I thought this post was very fitting! I was rooting for the Royals because my boyfriend’s brother-in-law is a scout for them. They made a great run but unfortunately the Royals couldn’t outlast Bumgarner. In the end I was glad the Giants won, especially for my CRM family.

#WERUNSF! Conquered. The. HILLS.

It’s been awhile since I have done a long distance race. Between my internship, studying, job hunting, and life in general, running took a back seat,¬†something that should have never happened. I’m not very fast or a very efficient runner but I can get out and log some serious miles (when I feel like it). As a runner, I had already tackled a Tough Mudder, 2 full marathons, 2 half marathons, and one extremely brutal, uphill 22 mile trail race. The Nike Women’s Marathon has been on my running bucket list for as long as I can remember. I’ve had friends run it over the years and read various blog posts about others who had run it and knew that at some point I would run it.

image6
The runners lining up to start

WELL…that chance came this year! Since I was back in school completing my internship I was able to use the student entry and was on my way to San Francisco. After receiving word that I was accepted to run the race, I convinced my boyfriend to join in on the fun! We spent the summer training and going for runs, though were definitely not¬†running as much we should have been.

image3-1
My name on the Nike store wall

Come the weekend of the race, I knew I wasn’t prepared but I set my goal to less than 2.5 hours (my half PR¬†is 1:55 and that was when I was running and training A LOT). Arrival at the expo was unreal! There were tons of people in Union Square and some amazing sponsor samples. I especially loved the Suja Juice and Vega Protein powder combo for a post race re-fuel.

image9
My gear all laid out the night before the race!

The race day weather was absolutely perfect! Foggy and cool, perfect for PRs (or in my case no PRs!). The course was well planned with only one major hurdle – a half mile steep hill climb at mile 10. Once you made it up that hill it was easy peasy! I finished under my goal of 2.5 hours but ran the slowest half marathon I’ve ever run. It’s perfect motivation for my next half marathon and what I need to do to improve!

Matt and I at the starting line
Matt and I at the starting line
image7
Tiffany’s Finishers Necklace
image5
A foggy SF morning with my Tiffany’s blue box!

Have you run in the Nike Women’s Running series? Let me know in the comments, I’d love your thoughts! I’m looking forward to my next Nike Women’s Race! I’m also deciding in the next couple days whether to run the LA marathon again…

dietitian, dinner, instagram, main dish, nutrition, RD2Be, recipe, vegetable

Stuffed Bell Peppers, Greek Yogurt Dressings, and Other Musings

image (2)

Since moving back to LA and with more time on my hands (thank the lord!), I’ve been able to work out more and COOK more! Both the cooking and working out are helping me build back the good habits and back to my previous not-constantly-stressed-out-about-the-internship-life (post about the internship coming soon!). In between studying for the RD exam and job hunting, I have been able to focus on myself and my passions- running, working out and cooking.

With a little less than 3 months until the¬†Nike Women’s Half Marathon¬†in San Francisco, I have been trying to run, tone up, and eat healthy to lose a couple extra pounds that I gained¬†during my dietetic internship (oh, the impact of stress!). While I like to focus on progress not perfection, I know that over the last month of my internship and the road trip back to LA, I did not make any sort of progress. So with that here I am, half marathon training and making stuffed peppers and Greek yogurt salad dressings!

Stuffed peppers are an easy go-to meal, incorporating all the food groups. I first made them while working at Camp Ronald McDonald at Eagle Lake as a food service intern. Then while living in New Hampshire, fellow my fellow intern (and roommate!) would make them for our house! Since being back  in LA my boyfriend has been the gracious recipient of my recipe experimentation and on the menu was stuffed bell peppers and salad with creamy green chile dressing! This recipe was also a use-up-all-the-leftovers-in-the-fridge kinda meal too!

I love using Greek yogurt as a dressing. Its creamy and tart texture imitate sour cream and the added dose of protein ain’t too bad either. I will add it to everything- tacos, tuna, watermelon (see my previous post!) and will make salad dressing out of it too! I’ll typically add an acid (think lemon juice/apple cider vinegar) and then spices and seasonings depending on the theme I am going with (cumin and cayenne pepper for Mexican, basil and garlic for Italian, etc). I love experimenting to create something new that will tantalize the taste buds and you typically can’t go wrong with doing it yourself! Much cheaper and healthier than buying a bottle of salad dressing!

Without further ado (thank you for reading this far!) here is the Stuffed Peppers recipe

Ingredients

  • 4 green bell peppers, tops sliced and seeds taken out (dice the tops to use with the meat)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (this was leftover quinoa pilaf that had carrots, celery, and mushrooms in it)
  • 1/2 pound grass fed ground beef (8o % lean)*
  • 1/2 c green enchilada sauce
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 c shredded cheese
  • olive oil

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Hit a pan over medium heat. Add a swirl of olive and bring to temp.
  3. Add onions and let them saute until fragrant then add the garlic.
  4. Add the cumin, pepper tops, and tomatoes and  cook down, allowing some of the juices to release and the vegetables to release some of their water and cook down (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add the ground beef and cook until browned. Throw in the quinoa and enchilada sauce and heat through.
  6. Remove from heat. Spray a baking dish and the outside of the peppers with nonstick spray. Fill the hollowed peppers with the meat mixture and top with shredded cheese.
  7. Cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes until the cheese is melted and browned.
  8. Serve with a side salad and avocado! Yum!

* You can also substitute ground turkey, chicken, or crumbled tofu for the stuffed peppers. This truly is a super versatile dish!