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, 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 🙂

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. 

main dish, recipe, side dish

Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

I’ve been majorly MIA but when I’m not blogging you can most definitely find me ‘grammin on @kari_on_nutrition. However, I am trying to post more deliciousness on my blog.

What’s eaten up all my time? I recently started a new second job! Every Friday I head to Westwood and work in the radiation oncology department at UCLA. I’ve always been interested in oncology and the opportunity to work at the 5th ranked health system in THE COUNTRY was something that I couldn’t pass up. Never have I felt more challenged or learned so much in such a short amount of time. I often question if I’m the right fit for the job, however if it scares me that much than maybe it’s a right fit!

How does my job at UCLA relate to my Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa salad? I stopped at Whole Foods for lunch last week and bought a delicious albeit expensive bowl of kale, nectarine, and quinoa salad. As I was eating it, I realized I could spend WAY less money if I made said quinoa salad myself. So last night after soccer, I brought this baby to life.

It’s protein packed and full of veggie goodness. Plus as a bonus, it includes homegrown tomatoes from my parents garden, local kale, and California avocados. Sustainable eating= happy Kari. I ate it over a bed of more kale and added some sliced chicken. It is great as a main dish or a side dish and would go great at a 4th of July BBQ (just sayin….)

Southwest Kale and Black Bean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa (I used tri-color quinoa)
  • 3-4 leaves of lacinto kale, Julienned into strips
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1/4 c chopped cilantro
  • juice from 2 limes
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 tsp each onion and garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 oz feta cheese (optional)

Directions

  1. Add first 9 ingredients to a bowl and combine.
  2. Drizzle with ~ 1-2 TBS olive oil. Add spices little by little, tasting to see if it needs more. I don’t typically measure my spices- I just add and taste until it’s perfection 🙂

Enjoy!!

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! 🙂 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, 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…

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.

baking, dietitian, gluten free, instagram, nutrition, paleo, RD2Be, recipe, vegan

Blueberry Banana Muffins

We made these muffins late one night while craving a sweet snack, that wasn’t packaged or filled with cups of sugar (though the thought of a homemade muffin from Primo Passo Coffee in Santa Monica, CA sounds delicious and very needed as we work on our grant proposals!)  The recipe for these muffins were adapted from the blog The Minimalist Baker.  They use minimally processed ingredients and have recipes that meet a variety of dietary needs and preferences.  These muffins were first made on a snowy, day before Valentine’s Day baked good for boyfriend who was flying in the next morning (It was during one of the worst 2014 polar vortex storms- the California intern just about died!).  The simplicity and ease of the recipe makes these muffins great for anyone who is new to the kitchen!

They can be made gluten free, vegan or paleo by switching a few ingredients.  This batch were vegan and were delicious!  We’re still modifying the recipe but thought we would share our modifications and tips with you!

Blueberry Banana Bran Chia Seed Muffins

Ingredients

  • 2 flax eggs (2 TBS flax, 5 TBS water)
  • 3 TBS agave nectar
  • 1/4 c unsweetened apple sauce
  • 2 med ripe bananas
  • 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 3 TBS almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c almond meal
  • 1/2 c plus 2 TBS wheat bran
  • 1/4 c chia seeds

Directions

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a muffin tin with liners (recipe makes about 10 muffins)

2) Prepare flax egg.  Add flax and water and let sit for a couple minutes.

3) Add banana and mash.  Add blueberries agave, baking powder, vanilla, applesauce, and almond milk.  During this step we began eyeballing the ingredients.  The muffins aren’t super sweet so you can be flexible in how much agave you add.  Since there are no raw eggs, you can taste the batter for sweetness!

4) Add almond meal and wheat bran and stir.  Be careful not to over mix batter as this can lead to tunneled muffins! (Thank you food science class!)  Depending on how dry or wet your batter is, add more liquid (applesauce/almond milk) or bran.  You can also adjust sweetness here.  We added a little honey at this point.  Add the chia seeds and give one final mix!

5) Fill muffin cups to the top and bake for 30-35 minutes.  Check for doneness by pressing the tops of the muffins.  We found that they were still fairly liquid at this point (still experimenting with the baking temps and ratios of the recipe…will keep you updated!) and turned up the temperature to 450 and baked for an additional 10 minutes.  This did the trick!

6) Enjoy with all natural almond or peanut butter!  Delicious and nutritious!  Great way to Get Your Nutrition On!

 

We will continue to experiment with this recipe to perfect it!  To make the recipe gluten free, omit wheat bran and use Gluten Free flour (The Minimalist Baker used ground GF oats!) of your choice.  To make paleo, use almond meal flour.

 

Check out our Instagram feed for photos of the the muffin!  @getyournutritionon