17 08, 2016

Eating Out Healthfully

August 17th, 2016|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on Eating Out Healthfully

With Labor Day and school starting up, we start to ponder, what do I bring to the neighborhood cookout?  What do I pack for the tailgating party?  What do I pack the kids school lunch?  Suddenly, eating out seems like the most plausible option. Unfortunately, restaurant dishes are often loaded with calories, saturated fat, sodium, and sugar that make these meals taste SO GOOD.  We waste time, money, and calories on these large, expensive meals.  Here are some strategies to consider using when eating out and further tips on how to recreate these dishes at home.

Eating out healthfully recommendations


  1. Ask if a dish can be halved or check to see if a lunch portion is available.
  2. In general, stick to grilled, baked, or steamed dishes over fried. Request no added oil, butter, salt, or sugar.
  3. Choose leaner portions such as chicken, fish, or sirloin steak.
  4. Load up on veggies!
  5. Split dessert and have 1 or 2 bites, or substitute the dessert for seasonal fruit.

Top choices based on the cuisine


  • Appetizer: Choose most often vegetables without added fats, oils, or salts or a filling salad to start the meal. Choose only sometimes chicken wings, dips, and high fat onion rings.  Ask for no croutons, cheese, or nuts on the salad. Choose a few lemon slices or balsamic vinegar as an alternative to cream-based salad dressing.
  • Soup: Choose broth based vegetable soup without added cream or cheese. Most will be high in sodium!
  • Entrée: Fresh fish, seafood, or skinless white meat chicken (broiled, steamed, broiled, or poached without added butter, oil, or salt). Plain pasta with meat red sauce is a good lower fat option.  An omelet without added cheese or salt can be a great choice at breakfast, lunch, or dinner!
  • Dessert: Fresh fruit most often.


  • Appetizer: Steamed corn tortillas (rather than fried chips) with the salsa.
  • Soup: Black bean or gazpacho soup are healthful and tasty. Sodium will be high!
  • Entrée: Chicken fajitas, sautéed with no oil, with steamed corn tortillas; soft, steamed tostada with beans, salsa, lettuce, onion, and shredded vegetables; chicken enchilada or soft chicken or fish taco (with no breading or dressing); chicken or seafood taco salad (without the taco shells), arroz con pollo


  • Appetizer: Steamed mussels or clams, grilled vegetables with minimal or no oil, or steamed artichokes
  • Salad: Salad with no meat, cheese, or olives. Use vinegar or lemon juice as a dressing.  Arugula with balsamic vinegar is a great choice too!
  • Soup: Minestrone (although high in sodium!)
  • Pasta: Ask for whole-wheat pasta or zoodles. Choose less often stuffed pastas like ravioli and tortellini.  Ask for pasta cooked in unsalted water.
  • Sauce: Meatless tomato sauce (marinara, pomodoro); use sauce with oil and salt sparingly; request fresh, chopped tomatoes, basil, garlic, and a splash of balsamic vinegar as a good alternative to sauce; order side of grilled or steamed vegetables to mix in with pasta
  • Entrée: Grilled fish or chicken or pasta primavera (avoid hidden fat like oil and butter)
  • Vegetable: Order vegetables without butter or sauce
  • Dessert: Fruit Salad or fresh strawberries in Marsala wine



  • Appetizer: Cucumber salad
  • Rice: Plain steamed brown rice
  • Vegetables: Request vegetables stir-fried in defatted chicken broth, wine, or water; ask for no soy sauce or salt
  • Entrée: Moo Goo Gai Pan (fresh mushrooms with sliced chicken), Buddha’s Delight (savory vegetarian stew), vegetable lo mein, vegetarian or chicken chop suey, bean or rice threads or noodle dishes with chicken or tofu, broccoli with scallops or chicken, whole steamed fish (no skin) with ginger and garlic
  • Dessert: Fresh fruit (almond and fortune cookies less often)



  • Appetizer: Satay (marinated grilled beef or chicken)- use sparingly the peanut dipping sauce; steamed mussels, Thai garden salad, steamed rice, and seafood kebob
  • Soup: Crystal noodle soup or Talay Thong (seafood, beans, vegetables)
  • Entrée: Thai chicken (caution portion of cashews), sweet an sour chicken, Poy Siam (sautéed seafood), scallops/bamboo/vegetable boat, Pad Thai (vegetables, noodles, spices)
  • Dessert: Fresh fruit


  • Appetizer: Vegetable vinaigrette, grilled vegetables, fresh asparagus, or steamed artichokes. For a tangy, delicious dipping sauce, mix some balsamic vinegar with Dijon mustard.
  • Soup: Onion soup (without cheese) or lentil soup; however, all soups will be high in sodium and probably contain a little oil.
  • Salad: Salads with steamed or marinated fresh vegetables.
  • Entrée: Roasted chicken, grilled chicken or fish, poached salmon, fish stew (bouillabaisse), or filet mignon.


  • Appetizer: Papadum (baked lentil wafers typically made with oil)
  • Soup: Samber (vegetarian), Mulligatawny (lentil and vegetables), or Dahl Rasam (lentil and peppers)
  • Salad: Chopped salad with onion, tomatoes, and lettuce
  • Bread: Chapati (whole wheat), Nan (poppy seed), or Kuicha (leavened baked bread). Request bread directly from the oven before they are “oiled”
  • Entrée: Chicken Tandoori, chicken Tikki (roasted with mild spices), chicken Saag (spinach, hold the cream), chicken Vindaloo (spicy dish with potato), shrimp Bhuna (cooked with vegetables), Aloo-Gobi (cauliflower and potato), Pullao (basmati rice), Chana (anything with garbanzo beans)



  • Appetizer: Cucumber salad in vinaigrette, grilled vegetables, or steamed soybeans (edamame- without the salt on top)
  • Soup: Miso soup (high in sodium!)
  • Rice: Steamed brown rice
  • Entrée: Seafood sunomono (with vegetables and vinegar), sushi, sashimi, sukiyaki, mizutaki (chicken and vegetables simmered in water), or steamed, grilled, or roasted fish
  • Dessert: Fresh fruit
20 04, 2016

beet, cherry, berry smoothie

April 20th, 2016|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on beet, cherry, berry smoothie

1.5 cups almond milk or apple juice

1-2 small beets

3/4 cup frozen cherries

3/4 cup frozen strawberries

2 cups kale, stems removed and leaves chopped

Peel beets, cut into quarters, add to blender. Add remaining ingredients and blend in a high power blender until smooth.

why BEETS? – rich in natural nitrates, which your body can convert into nitric oxide – nitric oxide tells your blood vessels to relax, opening them up for more blood flow – nitrates from beets not only dilate arteries, but allow your body to extract more energy from oxygen in the blood for HEALTH: – researchers have seen a 10-point systolic blood pressure drop in volunteers within hours of consuming beet juice — an effect that lasted throughout the day

for ATHLETES: -greater endurance while using less oxygen…energy production is more efficient! -men and women eating 1.5 cups beets 75 minutes before racing improved their running performance with less perceived exertion (faster time with less effort!) -maximize athletic performance with 1/2 cup beet juice 2-3 hours before competition

what’s the optimal AMOUNT? – 1/2 cup juice, which is the equivalent of a 15 oz can of beets or 1.5 cups baked beets

Susan Caciano, MS, RD, LD Registered Dietitian + Wellness Coach

NutriFormance/Athletic Republic


for meal planning, cooking classes, or coaching in eating for optimal health, longevity,

and performance

feel free to say hello or schedule an appointment:

20 04, 2016

Homemade "Ice Cream"

April 20th, 2016|News, Recipe|Comments Off on Homemade "Ice Cream"

Snacks are a part of a healthy, balanced intake. Snacks = blood sugar stability.

Indulgences are also part of healthy eating!  If you have a sweet tooth, allow yourself to have the foods you enjoy without judgment.  So here is your treat (not cheat!!!)


2 frozen bananas

1T unsweetened cocoa powder

2T chocolate chips

1/4c milk (almond, soy, coconut), if using a blender

Instructions: put in blender or food processor.  Serve into ramekins. Enjoy now or freeze up to 3-7 days and let sit for 15-20 before eating.

Recipe variations, pretzels, walnuts/cinnamon, nut butter, take out 1 banana and add frozen, chocolate covered pretzels, strawberries)

For further questions or to schedule an appointment, contact Susan at

You can find the recipes, tips, and meal plans as well as

Team RD’s “How to” Video Series on blog.

20 04, 2016

Body Image

April 20th, 2016|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on Body Image

Calories are Energy

  • There is more to food than calories: Taste, texture, color, family time, & enjoyment.
  • There are no “good foods” or “bad foods”
  • Everything is healthy in moderation
  • Indulgences are part of healthy eating.
  • Eating a variety of different foods will provide a balance of all nutrients
  • Be mindful of what you eat but also be open to enjoy the foods you love
  • You are more than just a number!

Weight is just a number

  • Weight is only one part of a variety of different health assessments
  • A better picture of your health status would include measures of strength, body composition, cholesterol, blood glucose & blood pressure
  • Weight is a number that cannot define how healthy you are nor define your worth
  • You are more than a number!

Why diets don’t workdiet cycle

  • Diets don’t teach you how to make healthy food choices a part of your permanent lifestyle
  • Diets are temporary so even if you lose weight initially you are very likely to regain the weight… and then some
  • Diets are very restrictive & you shouldn’t have to miss out on the things you love
  • Fad diets can be harmful to your body and lead to obsessive behaviors in regards to food and fitness

Every BODY is different

  • Your body shape & size are impacted by a variety of factors including genetics, cultural influences, and the environment
  • Your ideal weight is the one that allows you to feel strong, energetic, and view food as fuel
  • Resist the pressure to judge yourself or anyone else based on weight or size

exercise cuz love your body

24 02, 2016

21 Day Plant Based Challenge Recipes

February 24th, 2016|News, Recipe|Comments Off on 21 Day Plant Based Challenge Recipes

1. Southwestern Loaded Sweet Potato

1 medium sweet potato

3/4 cup black beans

1/2 avocado

1/3 cup salsa or pico de gallo


Bake sweet potato at 350F for 1 hour. Top with black beans, salsa, and avocado.

Nutrition: Calories 470  Protein 17g   Carb 80g  Fat 11g

2. Whole Grain Toast with Almond Butter and Banana


1 slice whole grain bread, toasted

2 TBSP almond butter

1 banana

Directions: Spread almond butter on to toast and top with sliced banana.

Nutrition: Calories 385    Protein 7g    Carb 41g   Fat 10g


3. Greens, Beans, and Grains Bowl

1/2 cup black beans, no salt added

2 cups kale or spinach

2 tsp olive oil

1 cup cooked brown rice

Directions: Drain Beans from can and rinse. Heat oil in skillet and tear kale/spinach. Layer brown rice, beans, and greens in medium bowl. Top with soy sauce or hot sauce.

Nutrition Calories: 470  Protein 16g  Carb 77g  Fat 12g

4. Simple Tacos

3 corn tortillas

3/4 cup vegetarian refried beans

1 cup shredded romaine lettuce

1 roma tomato

1/4 avocado

Heat beans on the stove or in the microwave. Spoon onto corn tortillas, top with avocado, tomato and romaine.

Nutrition: 515 calories, 16g protein, 70g carbohydrate, 20g fat, 16g fiber

5. PLT Sandwich

1 portobello mushroom cap

1 slice tomato

lettuce leaf

2 slices whole grain bread

1/4 cup hummus

Slice portobello and heat in pan until soft and juice release. Toast 2 slices bread, spread with hummus, top with mushroom, tomato, lettuce, and ketchup, mustard, or any condiment if desired.

Nutrition: 375 calories, 16g protein, 53g carbohydrate, 14 g fat, 14g fiber

6. Brown Rice Salad with Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Pesto


2 1 sweetpotato, 5″ long Sweet potato, raw, unprepared

1 1 dash Salt, table

1 1 dash Spices, pepper, black

10 tablespoon Olive Oil, Extra Virgin

1 1 cup Quinoa, cooked

2 1 cup SWANSON BROTH, Vegetable Broth

2 1 cup, chopped Kale, raw

0.5 1 cup Seeds, sunflower seed kernels from shell, dry roasted, with salt added

2 0.25 cup leaves, whole Basil, fresh

0.25 1 cup Parsley, fresh

4 tablespoon Lemon juice

1 1 clove Garlic, raw

1 1 teaspoon Sweetener, syrup, agave


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

2. To make the salad, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, then spread them evenly on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, until tender and browning. Let cool to room temperature.

3. Meanwhile, put the quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve and rinse until the water runs clear. Put the quinoa and broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to meaintain a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, until the quinoa has absorbed all the liquid. Fluff the quinoa with a fork and let cool to room temperature.

4. Meanwhile, make the vinaigrett. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and process until mostly smooth but with small pieces of herbs still visable.

5. In a large bowl, gently stir together the sweet potatoes, quinoa, kale, sunflower seeds, and basil. Drizzle with about 1/3 cup of the dressing and gently stire until all of the ingredients are evenly coated. Taste and mix in more dressing if desired.

6. Serve cold or at room temperature. Stored in a covered contrainer in the fridge, any leftovers will keep for 2 days.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 534 Protein: 8g Carbs: 33g Fat: 44g

Makes 4 servings.

7. Butternut Squash Bisque


1.5 tablespoon Olive Oil, Extra Virgin

4 1 fl oz Alcoholic beverage, wine, dessert, dry

4 1 cup, cubes Squash, winter, butternut, cooked, baked, with salt

3.5 1 cup (8 fl oz) Soup, stockpot, canned, condensed

2 1 tablespoon Syrups, maple

3 tea spoon Salt – iodized, Morton

1 1 oz Seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, dried


To prepare the bisque, bring a soup pot to medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the shallots and saute until golden and translucent, then deglaze with the sherry. Allow the wine to evaporate, then add remaining ingredients, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes.

Using a stick blender or counter top blender, combine all remaining ingredients until smooth. Season to taste and serve.  As an option, garnish with a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 413 Protein: 13g Carbs: 53g Fat: 16g

Makes 4 servings.

8.  Cauliflower and Oyster Mushroom Tacos


1 1 head medium (5-6″ dia.) Cauliflower, raw

4 tablespoon Olive Oil, Extra Virgin

1 1 tablespoon Spices, chili powder

1 1 tablespoon Spices, paprika

1 1 teaspoon Spices, coriander seed

1 1 teaspoon Spices, cumin seed

0.25 1 teaspoon Spices, pepper, red or cayenne

1 1 dash Salt, table

1 1 dash Spices, pepper, black

1 1 cup, chopped Onions, raw

1 2 tablespoon PACE, Diced Green Chilies

1 1 clove Garlic, raw

0.5 cup Pepper – sweet bell, all colors, chopped,

0.75 1 cup sliced Mushrooms, oyster, raw

1 1 wedge yields Lime juice, raw

2 0.25 cup Coriander (cilantro) leaves, raw

4 each Tortilla, 99% Fat Free Whole Wheat


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

2. In a large bowl, toss the cauliflower florets with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil until evenly coated.

Sprinkle with the chili powder, paprika, oriander, cumin, red pepper flakes, and a generous pinch of salt. Toss again until the cauliflower is evenly coated. Spread the cauliflower on a rimmed baking sheet.

3. Bake for 20 minutes, until crispy.

4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, chiles, and red bell pepper and saute until the onion is tender and a bit golden, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Stir in the mushrooms, then season with salt and pepper.  Cook until the mushrooms are tender and crispy (5 to 8 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.

5. For each taco, put 1/4 cup of the mushroom mixture in a wheat or corn tortilla. Top with some of the roasted cauliflower and a tablespoonful of cilantro.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 261 Protein: 7g Carbs: 29g Fat: 15g

9. Chickpea Veggie Scramble Wrap

3/4 cup chickpeas

1 zucchini

1/2 avocado

1 whole grain tortilla

Heat pan on medium high, spray with cooking spray and place sliced zucchini into pan. Once browned, add 1/2 cup chickpeas and stir to warm. Fill tortilla with veggie mixture and top with hot sauce and sliced avocado.

Nutrition Information: Calories 475 Protein: 18g Carbs 60g Fat 16g

10. Five-Minute No Bake Granola Bars


2.5 1 cup Cereals, oats, regular and quick, not fortified, dry

1 1 cup Seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, dried

0.5 1 cup (not packed) Raisins, seedless

0.66 1 cup Nuts, almond butter, plain, with salt added

2 0.25 cup Sweetener, syrup, agave

0.25 1 cup Salt, table


1. Line an 8 by 8-inch (20 by 20cm) pan with aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

2. In a large bowl, stire together the oats, pumpkin seeds, and raisins.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together the peanut butter, agave nectar, and if using unsalted peanut butter, the salt; alternatively, combine these ingredients in a food processor and process until well combined. Add to the oat mixture and stir until everything is sticky and well combined. If the mixture is too dry to hold together, add a bit more agave nectar.

4. Spread the mixture in the lined pan, then cover with the foil or plastic wrap and press firmly to form an even layer. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

5. Cut into bars and wrap them individually. Stored in the fridge, they’ll keep up for 2 weeks.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 306 Protein: 10g Carbs: 32g Fat: 17g

Makes 10 servings.

11.  Garlicky Kale Salad with Crispy Chickpeas


1 1 can drained Chickpeas (garbanzo beans, bengal gram), mature seeds, canned, drained solids

2 tablespoon Garlic powder

3 3 cloves Garlic, raw

6 1 cup, chopped Kale, raw

2 1 NLEA Serving Lemons, raw, without peel

4 tablespoon Olive Oil, Extra Virgin

1 1 dash Salt, table

2 1 oz Seeds, sesame butter, tahini, from raw and stone ground kernels

2 1 tablespoon, ground Spices, cardamom

1 1 teaspoon Spices, coriander seed

3 1 tablespoon Spices, cumin seed

1 1 tablespoon Spices, ginger, ground

2 1 tablespoon Spices, paprika

1 1 dash Spices, pepper, black

1 1 tablespoon Syrups, maple


1. Peel apart garlic cloves but leave the skin on. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Add drained chickpeas to a mixing bowl and toss with oil and seasonings.

3. Add garlic cloves and seasoned chickpeas to a baking sheet. Drizzle garlic with a bit of olive or grape seed oil. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the chickpeas are slightly crispy and golden brown and the garlic is fragrant and slightly browned. Remove from the oven and set aside.

4. Squeeze garlic out of skins/ peel away skins and add to a mixing bowl. Add all remaining dressing ingredients and whisk vigorously to combine, smashing the garlic with the whisk. Taste and adjust seasonings as desired, adding more lemon for brightness and maple syrup for sweetness. Set aside.

4. Add kale to a large mixing bowl. Before adding dressing, add 1 Tbsp each lemon juice and olive oil to the kale and massage with hands to soften the texture and lessen bitterness. Then add as much dressing as desired (some may be leftover) and mix with a spoon.

6. Top with chickpeas and serve. Best when fresh, though leftovers keep in the fridge for up to a few days.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 566 Protein: 19g Carbs: 60g Fat: 34g Sodium: 80mg

Makes 3 servings.

12.  Greek Salad with Tofu Feta


1 1 cucumber (8-1/4″) Cucumber, with peel, raw

2 1 cup, chopped or sliced Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average

12 1 tablespoon Olives, ripe, canned (small-extra large)

8 tablespoon Onion – chopped

0.33 1 cup Parsley, fresh

4 tablespoon Olive Oil, Extra Virgin

2 1 tablespoon Vinegar, red wine

1 tablespoon Lemon juice

1 tea spoon Oregano – ground

0.25 tea spoon Salt – iodized, Morton

1 1 dash Spices, pepper, black

2 1 pita, large (6-1/2″ dia) Bread, pita, whole-wheat

5 0.2 block Tofu, extra firm, prepared with nigari

2.5 1 tablespoon Miso

2 1 tablespoon Vinegar, cider

1 1 teaspoon, ground Spices, oregano, dried


1. To make the salad, put all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss to combine.

2. To make the vinaigrette. put the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, oregano, and salt in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk until well blended. Season with pepper.

3. Drizzel the dressing over the salad and stir gently until all the ingredients are evenly coated. Add the tofu feta and toss gently to combine. Serve with the pita wedges alongside.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 401 Protein: 18g Carbs: 34g Fat: 25g

Makes 4 servings.

13. Green Smoothi with Avocado


1 each Banana – med 8″

0.5 1 cup pieces Mangos, raw

0.5 1 fruit, without skin and seed Avocados, raw, California

1 1 cup Spinach, raw

1 cup Silk Plain Soy Milk

0.5 tea spoon Vanilla extract


1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and process until very smooth and creamy.

2. Add a little more nondairy milk if needed to achieve teh desired consistency or a few ice cutes if you want it to be frostier.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 380 Protein: 11g Carbs: 54g Fat: 16g

14. Muesli


2 1 cup Cereals, oats, regular and quick and instant, unenriched, cooked with water

3 1 date, pitted Dates, medjool

2 1 oz Nuts, cashew nuts, raw

2 1 oz Seeds, pumpkin and squash seed kernels, dried

0.5 tea spoon Cinnamon

0.25 1 teaspoon Spices, nutmeg, ground

3.5 1 cup SILK Plain, soymilk

2 1 tablespoon Syrups, maple


1. In a large bowl, preferably one with a lid, stir together all the ingredients. Let sit for about 20 minutes, then give it another stir. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. In the morning, stir again and add more nondairy milk if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Taste for sweetness and add more maple syrup if you wish.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 407 Protein: 16g Carbs: 48 Fat: 19g

Makes 4 servings.

15. Tofu Scramble


1 tablespoon Olive Oil, Extra Virgin

1 1 cup, chopped Onions, raw

1 1 clove Garlic, raw

10 medium Zucchini – baby, raw

1 1 cup, chopped Peppers, sweet, red, raw

1 1 tablespoon Seeds, sesame butter, tahini, from raw and stone ground kernels

1 1 tablespoon Soy sauce made from soy (tamari)

3 tea spoon Mustard, Maille Multigrain

0.5 1 teaspoon Spices, turmeric, ground

5 0.2 block Tofu, extra firm, prepared with nigari

3 1 cup Spinach, raw

0.25 1 cup Parsley, fresh

1 1 dash Spices, pepper, black


1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 2 minutes. Add the vegetabels and saute until tender.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, tamari, mustar, and turmeric. Add to the skillet and stir to combine, then stir in the tofu. Cook, stirring frequently, until the tofu is heated through, about 4 minutes.

**Optional: Sprinkle 1/4 nutritional yeast over the top and stir it in. Add the spinach and cook, stirring frequestly, just until wilted.

3. Serve topped with the parsley and a few grinds of pepper.

Nutrition Information: Calories: 207 Protein: 15g Carbs: 13g Fat: 12g

Makes 4 servings.

16. Breakfast Bars


6 table spoon Honey

0.5 1 cup, shredded Nuts, coconut meat, raw

0.25 1 cup pieces or chips Nuts, walnuts, english

2 1 cup Oats

12 table spoon Peanut Butter – all natural smooth style

1 1 cup (not packed) Raisins, seedless

1 1 oz Seeds, chia seeds, dried

0.5 1 cup Wheat germ, crude


Makes 16 servings.

Nutrition Information per Serving: Calories: 248.36 Fat: 10.34g Carb: 32.08g Protein: 8.10g

17. Oatmeal made with almond, soy, or coconut milk with chopped apples and walnuts.

Prep oatmeal per directions on container sub water for milk.  Add apples and walnuts before serving.

Nutrition Information: Calories 270  Protein 8g  Carbs  47g  Fat 8g

18. Fruit Smoothie

1 frozen banana

1 cup frozen fruit

1 T nut butter

1 T chia seeds

1.5 cup soy, almond, or coconut milk

Nutrition Information: Calories 407  Protein 16g  Carbs 56  Fat 14

19. Quinoa Bowl

1 cup quinoa or brown rice cooked (prepared per package directions)

1/4 cup shredded carrots

1 cup spinach

2 TBSP chopped almonds

1T lemon juice

1 tsp olive oil

Directions: Toss all in a bowl serve warm or cold.

Nutrition Information: Calories 368  Protein 12.4g  Carbs 47g  Fat 16g

20. Creamy Pasta


1 medium avocado, pitted and peeled

1/2 lemon, juiced (save some lemon zest for garnish)

2-3 cloves of garlic, to taste

1/2 tsp kosher salt, or to taste

1/4 cup fresh basil

2 Tbsp olive oil

6oz your pasta preference

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Bring several cups of water to a boil in a medium sized pot.

2. Meanwhile, make the sauce by placing the garlic cloves, lemon juice and olive oil into a food processor. Process until smooth. Now add in the pitted avocado, basil, salt. Process until smooth and creamy.

3. Add in your pasta, reduce heat to medium and cook until Al Dente, about 8-10 minutes.

4. When pasta is done cooking, drain and rinse in strainer and place pasta into a large bowl.

5. Pour on sauce and toss until combined.

6. Garnish with lemon zest and black pepper. Serve immediately.

Dish doesn’t reheat well due to the avocado in the sauce.

Nutrition: Calories 362, Protein 5.25 grams, Carbohydrate 24.5 grams and Fat 28.8 grams

21. Sicilian Tofu


4oz crumbled tofu

1 cup marinara sauce

1/2c sliced mushrooms

1 cup torn spinach leaves

1 TBSP nutritional yeast

Amount per preference: sundried tomatoes and black olives


1. Crumble tofu in pan to heat through.

2. Add marinara sauce, mushrooms, torn spinach leaves, nutritional yeast.

Top with sun-dried tomatoes and black olives.

Nutrition Information: Calories 266 Protein 19.6g  Carb 28g Fat 10g

30 11, 2015

Are You Wearing the Correct Fitness Shoe?

November 30th, 2015|Endurance, Group Fitness, Hybrid, News, Personal Training, Sports Performance|Comments Off on Are You Wearing the Correct Fitness Shoe?

By Randy Leopando, CSCS, FMS, Director of Personal Training

Are you wearing the correct type of shoe when you exercise?  The right shoe can make or break your workout. After all, an ill-fitting shoe can cause faulty mechanics, pain, and even injury. If you participate in a specific sport or activity more than two times per week, the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recommends wearing a sport-specific shoe. This means you might need different shoes for different activities. Here are some recommendations on shoes for popular fitness modes.


The repetitive nature of running requires extra attention to footwear in order to prevent injury and maximize comfort. Running shoes reduce the impact of each step you take. They are designed for forward motion with specific cushion in the heel and forefoot.  I highly recommend you get fitted at a specialty store.  Your foot type will dictate what type of shoe to get.  Locally I recommend the Running Center and Big River Running – they can analyze your gait and make the appropriate recommendation.


Walking involves a heavier heel strike, so walking shoes are created to have a round and stiff heel to support the heel-toe action of the gait. When shopping for a new walking shoe, check the flexibility of the sole. The toe box should be able to bend and twist easily for best results. Search for shoes with breathable mesh to keep feet cool on long jaunts.


To lift weights effectively, a stable foot is required. Look for a shoe that provides a flat and sturdy base like a low-profile cross-trainer. Most cross-trainers work well for the average gym goer because they can be used for weight lifting, plyometric and cardiovascular endurance activities. Cross-trainers, however, are not especially great for any one activity. If you are focusing specifically on Olympic lifting, for example, Olympic lifting shoes provide a rigid structure and small heel lift, which enhances the stability of the foot for explosive power transfer.

Group Fitness Classes

Our Group Fitness and Hybrid Training classes are diverse and demand lateral movement, agility and stability. Look for a pair of lightweight cross-trainers with ankle and arch support. You will likely want a shoe with a wide toe box and a soft, flexible sole to grip the floor and maneuver in a variety of formats. If you attend cycling class on a regular basis, consider a pair of cycling shoes, which provide a solid base to alleviate foot fatigue and clips to allow you to connect with the bike for a more efficient and comfortable pedal stroke.

If the shoe fits…

Once you have the proper shoe for the workout, it’s important to replace them periodically. Shoes may lose their support or cushion long before they actually look worn. In fact, your body may signal shoe break down with aches or pains in your feet, shins, knees or back. A trained professional at a specialty store can recognize wear in your current shoes, watch your gait and provide recommendations. Most experts suggest replacing running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. For those who do not log miles, replace shoes every six months if you work out most days, or every year if you exercise a couple of times per week. You can extend the life of your fitness shoes by using them only when you exercise. If you like the comfort of your fitness shoes for running around town doing errands, consider buying a second pair to act as your “casual” shoe.  Hope this info gets you off on the right foot!

15 11, 2015

Energy Boosting Sample Meal Plan

November 15th, 2015|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on Energy Boosting Sample Meal Plan

All meals that you find on the sample meal plan are rich in whole-grains, fruit, vegetables, and lean proteins. These meals are full of vitamins , and minerals and will keep  you satisfied, and fueled throughout the day to keep your energy boosted!


Steal Cut Oats w/ pears & Raisins


½ Cup Steal Cut Oats

¾  cup 2% milk

1 cup diced pear

1 oz. Raisins                                            *Cook steal cut oats on stove top, add milk.


Whole– grain toast w/peanut butter & honey

2 Tbsp. Peanut Butter

1 piece Whole-grain bread   

1 tsp. Honey


Shrimp wrap:

1 ½” Tortilla

½ Avocado , diced

3 ounces Shrimp

¼ Cup black beans (Rinsed & drained)

¼ cup spinach

2 tbsp. salsa

2oz feta cheese

½ cup cucumber , diced

½ cup tomatoes , diced

2 tbsp. Balsamic

Fill 1 1/2” tortilla with 3 ounces of cooked peeled shrimp, 1/2 avocado, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/4 cup spinach, 2 tbsp. Salsa, 1 oz. Feta cheese.

For cucumber and tomato salad: Add cucumber, cherry tomatoes, balsamic and mix.


1/2 cup carrots

1/2 apple

1/2 cup Hummus (for dipping carrots)


6oz. Lean Pork Tenderloin

1/2 medium sweet potato baked

1 cup  steamed broccoli w/ 1 tsp. Butter and fresh squeezed lemon juice

1/2 cup unsweetened apple sauce


1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

1/4 cup cashews, chopped

1– 6oz container of Greek yogurt

Mix and Enjoy!




15 11, 2015

Energy Boosting!

November 15th, 2015|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on Energy Boosting!

As we approach the month of December we are faced with many challenges that keep us from staying in compliant with our normal schedules and routines.  From holiday parties to family gatherings it is quite easy to fall off track. For this month’s nutrition spotlight the focus is on Energy Boosting Foods that can help you maximize your workout, keep you feeling great, and keep you on track!  Keep reading to learn more about foods from natural sources that can give you that extra boots before and after workout.  Furthermore, supplementing the body with the nutrients it needs after a workout is important  as well, read more to learn about foods that can  aid in recovery.

Pre Workout

Before performing it is important to consume carbohydrate-rich foods to top off muscle stores. It is also important to include small amounts of protein in your pre-performance meals. Protein helps build muscle tissue and adequate protein before performance may help reduce post exercise muscle soreness. Avoid high-fat, and high-fiber foods to ensure optimal digestion. Choosing fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains are ideal before any workout. The following foods are great  foods by themselves to give you a boost in energy before performing:

Handful  of Almonds: Almonds are a top source of  antioxidants , like flavonoids, phenolic acid and vitamin E which protect the body from free radicals.

Bananas : Not only are bananas a good source of carbohydrates that are needed before any workout,  but it is also an important source of Potassium. Potassium  plays an essential function in muscle functions. During exercise your body looses  potassium through sweat, thus  eating a banana before performing can boost your potassium levels .

Avocado: This unique fruit primarily consists of carbohydrate and healthy fats. Also high in Vitamin K, C, and Folate!  Great snack before a workout! Half of an avocado with 10 almonds pair great together!

Eggs are an excellent source of high quality protein and are  very inexpensive. Eggs are considered a complete protein , meaning they contain all 9 essential amino acids! So Skip the protein power before performance and enjoy this delicious whole food.


Last month we talked about the importance of consuming adequate amounts of fiber in the diet in order to promote a healthy gut. However, before performance it is  recommended to minimize these foods.  High fiber foods before performance can be upsetting to the stomach. If consuming high fiber foods before performance remember to  drink  plenty of water and eat these foods at least  3-4 hours before exercise .

Post Workout

Post workout it is important to replenish the body  immediately with the nutrients the body needs to recover and perform again. After working out  a nutritious post workout meal will help replenish glycogen stores, promote  protein synthesis, and hydrate the body adequately. What you eat post workouts is usually more of a meal rather than a snack. After completing a workout you want to choose meals that consist of lean proteins, fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. Here are some  healthy energy boosting items that can help in the body’s recovering process:

Salmon  is an excellent source of protein, vitamins and minerals (including selenium, potassium , and vitamin B12)  but it is the content of Omega 3’s that receive more attention.. Most beneficial Omega 3’s  are naturally found in fish such as Salmon.  Omega 3’s are especially important in supporting brain function and a healthy heart.

Quinoa is an excellent source of protein . Eating this super food can provide you with the protein and carbs that the body needs for tissue repair and recovery after a workout.

Hummus :  Hummus is made from chic peas or garbanzo beans which are an excellent source of  protein  and also provides the body with  carbs. Add a side of hummus to any of your meals.

2 10, 2015

So You Want to Spot Reduce?

October 2nd, 2015|Group Fitness, News, Personal Training|1 Comment

So You Want to Spot Reduce

By Randy Leopando, CSCS, FMS
Director of Personal Training

Besides launching millions of sit-ups, leg lifts and torso twists, the desire for a toned and taut physique has sold a long line of exercise devices. Countless inventions, such as vibrating belts and ”gut-busting” contraptions, have claimed to miraculously tighten and tone our trouble spots.  But the miracles we were expecting never materialized, and our ”spots” remained ”unreduced.”

What’s wrong with spot reduction?

Where did we go wrong? In our efforts to tone our bodies we neglected the most important factor: fat. Exercises such as crunches or leg lifts improve the tone and endurance of the muscles, but they don’t burn fat. When we do exercises that elevate the heart rate, such as bicycling, walking or aerobic dance, the body will draw upon its fat stores for energy.

Alternative solutions

An exercise program that combines aerobic activity and strength training is the key to changing the shape of your body.  In addition to burning calories through aerobic activity, strength training will increase the amount of muscle, which burns even more calories, even at rest. But many people shun the idea of intensive exercise, scared off by the idea of five-mile runs, barbells or aerobic classes.  Thankfully, any aerobic activity that elevates your heart rate can help you burn fat and take off unwanted pounds. Many experts recommend doing at least three sessions of 20 minutes of aerobic activity per week. Ideally, for long-term weight control, you should engage in at least four sessions per week, for 45 minutes each time.

For instance, these enjoyable alternatives to traditional aerobic exercise are effective fat burners:

  • Mountain Biking
  • Road cycling
  • In-line Skating
  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Boxing
  • Cross-country Skiing
  • Swimming

Remember to choose an activity because it interests you, not because it is touted as a great workout.  A few things to keep in mind when starting any new activity:

  • Don’t start out too hard or too fast or you may injure yourself or quit before enjoying any benefit.
  • Always concentrate on enjoying yourself, rather than on what a particular exercise might do for you.
  • Keep your exercise comfortable and only increase intensity after your body becomes accustomed to new activity levels.

Always check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program, especially if you’re over 40, or have cardiovascular risk factors, such as smoking, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes or a family history of heart disease. To determine what your target heart rate should be, ask a NutriFormance trainer to calculate the numbers – all we need is your age and resting heart rate.

A final word about toning exercises

Just because exercises like leg lifts and crunches won’t budge the fat does not mean they are not beneficial. Unlike some aerobic activities, these exercises can strengthen and tone specific muscles of the body.  The best way to shape up is to incorporate strength and toning exercises with aerobic exercises. Before you know it, you’ll be on your way to looking and feeling better.

3 09, 2015

The Functional Movement Screen

September 3rd, 2015|Endurance, Group Fitness, News, Personal Training, Sports Performance|Comments Off on The Functional Movement Screen

The Functional Movement Screen

By Randy Leopando, BS, CSCS, FMS
Director of Personal Training and Performance Enhancement

In October of this year (2015), I will be spending my 18th year at NutriFormance.  From a fitness industry perspective, a lot has changed and/or evolved over the years as a trainer.  One thing continues to remain important at NutriFormance – functional training and the importance of proper movement patterns.  Functional training involves a lot of movement-based strength exercises and core engagement.  Proper movement patterns involve a good balance of core stability and joint mobility.  One way we look at one’s movement quality is through the Functional Movement Screen (FMS).

The FMS looks at fundamental movements, motor control within movements, and a competence of basic movement patterns. Its job is to determine movement deficiency and uncover asymmetry. The evaluation is done by a simple grading system, and should be conducted by a certified professional.

The system was developed by Physical Therapist Gray Cook in 1998. The goal was to use the screen to add insight to movement problems that would ultimately lead to the best exercise choices and program design for individuals that would minimize risk of injury.  The FMS is designed for all healthy, active people, and for healthy, inactive people who want to increase physical activity. It is designed for those that do not have pain or injury.

The FMS itself is a series of seven different movements. By screen, this does not mean it’s a diagnostic tool. The FMS is not diagnostic at all. It is a proven tool that looks objectively at quality of movement. It is extremely objective, reliable, and reproducible. It used by a wide range of health care professionals.

The seven tests require a balance of mobility and stability. Mobility and stability are the essential elements of the movement patterns in the FMS. If there are limitations in either, the FMS will reveal them.  What often happens is people are putting exercise and performance on top of dysfunctional movement, which can impair performance and cause injuries. 

Once the FMS has revealed a dysfunction, an appropriate exercise strategy can be implemented to correct the problem. This is part of the magic of the FMS and corrective exercise system.

If you have questions about the FMS, or would like to have the FMS screen conducted on yourself, contact me

2 09, 2015

Introducing Susan Caciano to Team RD

September 2nd, 2015|News, Nutrition|Comments Off on Introducing Susan Caciano to Team RD

Prior to joining NutriFormance, Susan earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and her Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Physical Performance from Saint Louis University. Susan specializes in plant-based nutrition and has a passion for helping others start and develop their own cooking practice. She has experience in eating disorder, weight management, sports and family nutrition counseling, as well as teaching plant-based cooking classes in individual and group settings. She has worked at Castlewood Treatment Center and as an independent consultant.

Susan has swam competitively the majority of her life and enjoys multi-sport endurance events as well as stabilizing barre and yoga classes. She discovered the benefits of plant-based eating during training and in everyday life as she saw improvements in her own recovery time, athletic performance, energy levels, and self-awareness. She continues to pursue and share plant-based nutrition as a means of vitality, disease prevention, and from a purely authentic desire to cook and share sustainable and nourishing food.

Susan’s certifications and achievements include:

  • Registered Dietitian – #1062754
  • Missouri Licensed Dietitian – #2011037378
  • American College of Sports Medicine Clinical Health-Fitness Specialist #697894
  • Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Member
  • Sports, Cardiovascular, and Wellness Nutrition Practice Group Member
  • Published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine: Effects of dietary acid on exercise metabolism and anaerobic exercise performance, July 2015

susancacianoSusan’s philosophy is that simplicity is the root of satisfied living. She guides you in making plants a central and streamlined part of meals for busy, everyday life.