breakfast, recipe, snack, workout fuel

Smoothie Bowl 101


I have a certified obsession with smoothie bowls. Take a smoothie and top it with delicious, antioxidant rich toppings, add a dose of protein and your post workout smoothie is ten times better! However, store-bought smoothie bowls are expensive, higher in sugar, and will often charge extra to add protein or greens.

Along with the high price, many store-bought smoothie bowl can have more calories than an ice cream cone or a hamburger at a fast food restaurant. To ensure that I am creating a nutrient dense instead of a calorie dense smoothie bowl, I follow 3 main rules:

  1. Veggies
  2. Protein
  3. Non-juice base

I accomplish this by starting with a water base, 2 heaping handfuls of greens, and addition of a protein source (protein powder, almonds, Greek yogurt). This ensures that my smoothie is nutrient dense, slowing digestion and stabilizing my blood sugars to keep me satisfied until my next meal.

Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients

  • 1 packet frozen acai (I purchased mine at Whole Foods)
  • 2 heaping handfuls spinach/kale or greens of your choice
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1/4 c frozen pineapple
  • 1/4 c frozen peaches
  • 1/4 c frozen berries
  • 1/4 piece frozen banana
  • 1/2 c water
  • 1/4 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 TBS chia seeds + more for topping
  • 1/4 gluten free granola (I’m obsessed with Boulder Granola and Purely Elizabeth granola)
  • Fruit of your choice (since it’s summer, I’m obsessing over peaches and nectarines with berries! YUM)
  • Goji berries, hemp seeds,

Directions

  1. Run acai packet under cool, running water for 20 seconds. Break acai into pieces and add to blender bottle, along with frozen fruit, water, and chia seeds.
  2. Add almond milk by the tablespoon.
  3. Blend smoothie. It should be thicker than a drinkable smoothie. If smoothie mixture is too thick, add more almond milk.
  4. Once blended to desired consistency, pour into a bowl.
  5. Top with granola, and add sliced fresh fruit on top. Sprinkle with goji berries, hemp seeds, and chia seeds.

If you make your own smoothie bowl, experiment with different fruits and toppings. The different combinations are endless and each bowl will be delicious!

Let me know if you make your own smoothie bowl. Tag your smoothie bowl with #karionnutrition on Instagram, I would love to see your creations!

#karionnutrition

dietitian, exercise, food blogger, Hermosa Beach, recipe, registered dietitian, South Bay, sports nutrition, workout fuel

Poise Fitness

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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 😉

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!

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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, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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
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Tiffany’s Finishers Necklace
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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…

Uncategorized

Maple Paleo Pumpkin Muffins

Since I’ve passed my RD exam I’ve had every intention of blogging regularly and posting really awesome pictures of all the cool stuff I’ve been up to. However, that did not happen. As much as I would love to be the dietitian that blogs on a regular basis, I decided, or rather realized that I’m better suited to post when I am feeling most inspired. And maybe if I have a really amazing recipe to share!

After I tackled the hurdle of passing my RD exam, I joined the league of Americans searching for a job. It was definitely a long and arduous process. I obsessively searched Indeed every day, upgraded my LinkedIn to premium and utilized my networking skills to see what I could find. During the internship I couldn’t wait to not have work to do but once I was jobless, I quickly realized I missed the work. I guess it’s true when they say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.

Thankfully, my hard work and obsessive job searching led to two great opportunities! I am working in a hospital one day a week and will work full-time as an outpatient RD for a medical group in LA (my same job from before my internship)!

I couldn’t think of any better way to celebrate fall and new jobs than pumpkin muffins! These paleo pumpkin muffins were created 2 years ago when I was doing CrossFit and first heard about paleo. While I’m not a die-hard paleo-eater, I do love the way many paleo bloggers create some amazing grain free recipes! While the recipe is not completely paleo (oat topping) you can certainly change some ingredients around to make it paleo!

Ingredients

1 cup almond meal (ground up almonds)
1 cup pumpkin puree (I used Trader Joe’s Organic pumpkin puree)
¼ cup real maple syrup (Vermont Trader Joe’s Maple syrup, you can also substitute honey)
2 eggs
¼ cup crunchy almond butter
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon apple pie spice
½ teaspoon almond extract
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup roasted pecans
¾ cup roasted walnuts

Topping

¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
¼ cup pumpkin puree
1 tablespoon maple syrup
¼ cup oats
1 TBS coconut oil, non-hydrogenated margarine (Smart Balance), or butter

Directions
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2) Combine all muffin ingredients and mix in a stand mixer.  Be careful not to overmix!

3) Toast walnuts and pecans in a frying pan over medium heat for 3-5 minutes.  Remove from heat and coarsely chop.

4) Add ¾ of chopped nuts to muffin batter.

5) Drop by batter by large spoonfuls into lined muffin cups. Recipe will make approximately 12 muffins.

6) To make topping, combine apple sauce, pumpkin, oats, and remaining nuts.  If using non-hydrogenated margarine or butter melt in microwave and then add to topping mixture.  Spoon a dollop of topping mixture on top of each muffin.

7) Bake in oven on middle rack for 30-35 minutes.  Muffins are done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

8) While muffins are cooling, drizzle real maple syrup over each muffin.

baking, breakfast, dietetic intern, gluten free, nutrition, RD2Be, recipe, snack

Cranberry Quinoa Power Bars

This recipe makes a delicious heart healthy snack or breakfast option for when you’re on the go. Chock full of omega 3’s, fiber, whole grains, and healthy fats, it’s filled with hearty guilt-free goodness.

Ingredients

  • 2 c cooked quinoa
  • 2 c raw oats
  • ½ c dried cranberries
  • ½ c pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • ½ c smooth almond butter
  • ½ c unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 c brown rice syrup
  • 1/3 c unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ c ground flaxseed
  • ¼ c chia seeds
  • ¼ c unsalted sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Directions

1)     Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2)    Toss all ingredients into a bowl and stir to combine

3)    Lightly coat pan with cooking spray. Press into a 8×8 baking dish and put into the oven.

4)   Cook for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

5)    Slice into bars and enjoy. Store in an airtight container.

For a special heart health treat, drizzle with melted dark chocolate! Dark chocolate has antioxidant properties that may have some benefit to reducing blood pressure.