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Taste Sensations

We all know our basic taste sensations: sweet, salty, sour, and bitter.  What about Umami?

Umami is a pleasant savory taste imparted by glutamate, a type of amino acid, which naturally occurs in many foods including meat, fish, vegetables and dairy products. The taste of umami is subtle and blends well with other tastes to expand and round out other flavors.

Umami Rich Foods


    • Tuna
    • seaweed
    • mackerel
    • Cod
    • Prawns
    • Squid
    • Oysters
    • Shellfish


  • Tomatoes
  • Shiitake mushrooms
  • Truffles
  • Soy beans
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Chinese cabbage
  • Carrots


  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Chicken


  • Parmesan cheese
  • Green tea
  • Soy sauce
  • Egg

Umami pairings that enhance Flavors!

Salmon & Cardamom

How to pair it: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 2 tablespoons honey, 1 tablespoon orange juice, and 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom in a small saucepan over medium-low until honey is melted, about 1 minute. Place 4 center-cut salmon fillets skin side-down on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and brush with half the cardamom mixture. Bake 5 minutes, brush on remaining glaze, and cook for another 5 minutes or until center of the fish is just cooked through. (Serves 4)


Avocado & cocoa  The creamy avocado and bitter cocoa pair well in puddings or ice cream. The key is to use fruit that are not too hard or too soft to avoid an overly strong avocado-y flavor.

How to pair it: Combine flesh of 2 avocados, 1 can (14 ounces) coconut milk, 1 large banana, 1/3 cup each honey and cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon each vanilla extract and cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne or chili powder in a blender until smooth. Chill mixture at least 4 hours, then process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions. (Serves 6)

Beef & blueberries  Berries in burgers impart a sweetness that compliments the richness of the beef.

How to pair it: In a large bowl, mix 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries (large berries halved), 2 chopped garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon each cumin powder and Worcestershire sauce, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and black pepper. Add 1 pound ground sirloin and gently mix until just combined. Form into 4 patties and grill over medium-high heat for 5 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Serve on buns topped with favorite condiments and vegetables. (Serves 4)

Brie & peanut butter  Brie cheese and peanut butter turns an ordinary grilled cheese into a gooey, creamy masterpiece.

How to pair it: Spread 1 tablespoon each natural peanut butter and strawberry jam on a slice of crusty bread. Top with 1 ounce brie cheese, 1 handful arugula, and another slice bread. Heat olive or canola oil in a skillet over low heat. Add sandwich and heat until cheese is melted and bread is golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. (Serves 1)

Beets & Tahini   Beets lend traditional hummus more flavor as well as a vibrant color. Serve with crunchy sliced veggies, tortilla chips, or chunks of toasted pita.

How to pair it: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap 3 beats tightly in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and bake for 1 hour or until very tender. When cool enough to handle, scrub off skins with a paper towel. Purée in a food processor with 1 can (14 ounces) rinsed and drained chickpeas, 3 tablespoons tahini; 1 teaspoon each cumin, lemon zest, and lemon juice; 2 chopped garlic cloves; and 1/4 teaspoon salt until smooth. Transfer hummus to a serving bowl and garnish with crumbled goat cheese and chopped chives. (Serves 8)

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Carrot and Raisin Pancake

Ingredients ½ cup shredded carrots                                                                                                 1 teaspoon water                                                                                                                                     2 tablespoons raisins                                                                                                                               1 teaspoon brown sugar                                                                                                                          1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted and cooled                                                                             1 cup milk (unsweetened, non-dairy milks are fine, too)                                                                1 large egg                                                                                                                                                 1 cup white whole-wheat flour                                                                                                               1½ teaspoons baking powder                                                                                                               1 teaspoon cinnamon                                                                                                                            ¼ teaspoon salt                                                                                                                              Maple syrup and/or fresh berries (optional accompaniments)


  1. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and put it into a small bowl. Place with a brush near the stove or griddle.
  2. Heat an 8-inch frying pan (or use a pancake griddle) on low heat while you prepare other ingredients.
  3. In a small microwaveable bowl, combine carrots and water. Microwave for 30 seconds, or until carrots are slightly soft and pliable. Mix in the raisins and brown sugar. Set aside.
  4. In another small bowl, mix together the butter, milk and egg until incorporated.
  5. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.
  6. Incorporate the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, using the whisk to fold in the ingredients. Fold in the carrot-raisin mixture with the whisk. (It’s OK if there are some small lumps in the batter.)
  7. Increase heat under frying pan to medium-low and brush some melted butter onto the pan; the butter should start to gently bubble.
  8. Pour 1⁄4 cup pancake mixture onto the pan and cook for about 3-4 minutes. When the middle of the pancake bubbles, use a thin metal spatula to flip the pancake. Continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until light brown.

Tip: You can freeze these and reheat in the microwave (about a minute each) for a quick and easy breakfast.

Nutritional Information Serving size: 6-inch pancake Calories 102; Total fat 3g; Sat. fat 2g; Chol. 30mg; Sodium 193mg; Carb. 16g; Fiber 2g; Sugars 4g; Protein 4g; Potassium 150mg; Phosphorus 119mg


Food & Nutrition Magazine, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

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Tex-Mex Tomato & Bean Soup

Makes 6 servings


2 carrots, chopped (or 1c shredded)

1c celery, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped (about 3/4c)

1T olive oil

1 med onion, chopped (1c)

¼ t salt

1 large can (28oz) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2c cilantro leaves, chopped

2 T sriracha

1/4c lime juice

3 corn tortillas (6”), sliced into ¼- inch strips

6T non fat Greek yogurt (optional)

1 sliced avocado (optional)



  1. Place carrots, celery and bell pepper in small microwave bowl. Add ¼ c water, cover top of bowl and microwave on high for 5 minutes or until vegetables are just tender.
  2. Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add steamed vegetables and season with salt. Sauté and additional 5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly caramelized.
  3. Add tomatoes with juice and water. Add beans, cilantro, and sriracha. Stir to blend, bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low, and cook 25-30 minutes. Add lime juice.
  4. Top each serving with tortilla strips and a tablespoon of plain non fat Greek yogurt and 2-3 slices of avocado.

Nutrition: 20 5 calories, 8g protein, 34g carb, 7.5g fiber, 3.7g fat, 236mg sodium

Adapted from Prevention Magazine


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October Fitness’n Fuel

This month we challenge you to re-think cardio! Using high intensity intervals in shorts bursts is more effective than a steady state workout and will burn more calories during, and after. The circuits below are designed to be 24 to 32 minutes and a great alternative for those of us that dread “cardio”. Try it with or without the equipment but be ready to sweat!

The format is 30 secs work/30 secs rest of exercises 1-4. Take a 1 minute rest between rounds and complete a total of 6-8. Don’t forget to start with a dynamic warm up.
1. alternating rope waves
2. BOSU burpee press
3. slam ball squats
4. jump rope
No equipment:
1. Jumping jacks
2. Burpees
3. Tuck jumps
4. Lateral hops
Big thanks to FNF cameraman and Director of Personal Training at NutriFormance, Randy Leopando, for helping us demo the moves this month! Enjoy!
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GO! BIG Endurance Training Program

2014 GO BIG Endurance Training Program – Big Shark Bicycle Company – St. Louis, MO

Overview: This program is geared toward all levels of athletes looking to maintain fitness and improve their base conditioning. The goal of the program is to maintain general fitness while building strength and flexibility in order to have an edge in 2015. A team of seasoned triathletes and professionals will work alongside participants throughout the course of the training program. The cost of the program is $300 and includes some BIG values!

Click here to learn more!

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October Nutrition Product of the Month

Trader Joe’s Country Pumpkin Spice Granola

a great option to enjoy fall favorite treats, prevent blood sugar crashes and peanut free. country pumpkin spice granola

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Roasted Butternut Squash


2 squash, peeled, seeded and cubed (Hint, some stores have butternut squash already peeled and cubed. Makes a good time saver.)

1 TBSP maple syrup

2 TBSP olive oil

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 TBSP of rosemary

Pepper and salt to taste.



Toss, cubed butternut squash in maple syrup, olive oil, garlic, rosemary, pepper, and salt.

Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until softened. You will be able to pierce with a fork.

Another option other than a side dish….. If you are looking for a yummy soup, you can now add the baked squash with 1 quart of vegetable broth and 1 can of no salt added white kidney beans to a food processor.

Nutrition info: 1 cup calories 177, 7g fat, 33g carb, 5g fiber, 3g protein

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Pumpkin Granola Bars

This is a great recipe for fall! It’s low in calories and is a great snack or addition to a meal. It’s also quick and easy to bring with you when you’re on the go!


¾ cup canned pumpkin                                                                                           ¼ cup egg whites ¼ cup margarine at room temperature or sub  unsweetened applesauce ¼ cup honey 2 tbsp molasses 2 cup rolled oats ½ cup sunflower seeds ½ cup chopped walnuts 2 tbsp shredded, unsweetened coconut ¼ cup wheat germ ½ tsp ground cinnamon


-Blend the pumpkin, egg, butter, honey, and molasses in a mixing bowl or food processor.

-Add the oats, sunflower seeds, nuts, coconut, wheat germ, and cinnamon, mix well.

-Spread this mixture into a lightly greased 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-inch jelly-roll pan.

-Bake in a 350*F oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown. While still warm, cut into 3-by-1 1/2-inch bars.

-For very crisp bars, remove from pan to wire rack and cool completely.

Number of Servings: 30

Nutrition Information: 88 calories, 4.9g fat, 1.1g sat fat, 1.5g polyunsaturated fat, 1g monounsaturated fat, 0g cholesterol, 9.7g carbohydrates, 2.3g protein

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Candy Craze







Snickers – fun size  




Twizzlers –

4 pieces

133 1
            Butterfinger –                                        

                   fun size

100 4
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup – 1 80 4.5
Milky Way – fun size 77 3
Tootsie Roll    

                   – 1 piece

50 1
Pixy Stix – 7 straws 60 0
York Peppermint Patty – 1


140 2.5

Kisses –

3 pieces

75 1.5
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Sugar BOOs

Prevent Blood Sugar Crashes.

1. Eat consistently

  • Consume a meal or snack every 3-4 hours
  • Decrease portions at meals to add snacks between

2 .Include a lean source of protein at each meal & snack

  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Fish
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Dairy products

3. Include some fiber at each meal & snack

  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Beans/legumes

4. Include a heart healthy fat at most meals and snacks

  • Seeds
  • Avocado
  • Heart healthy oils (canola/olive)
  • Nuts


5. Keep an emergency food stash for when you forgot to pack a snack.

  • Car
  • Briefcase
  • Purse
  • gym bag
  • back pack
  • office drawer

6. Avoid consuming carbohydrates alone ****exception is right before and/or during a workout****   


Healthy planning can only take us so far. If you become OVER-HUNGRY (H-angry) from low blood sugar……    The unavoidable crash!

Never fear, your NutriFormance RDs are here! It will take 15 minutes and 15 gram of carb (1 serving of grain, starch, or fruit) to recover your blood sugar crash.

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