May 28, 2024

Not just for breakfast…Strawberry Banana Oat Pancakes by Helen Agresti

Strawberry Banana Oat Pancakes

Breakfast is our favorite meal of the day. Therefore, I’m super excited to share our latest healthy pancake recipe with you. I couldn’t resist adding my usual go-to healthy ingredients.  I included oats, chia seeds, and flax meal for additional fiber and Omega 3′s.  The egg whites and unsweetened almond milk provide an extra boost of protein.  These healthy and scrumptious pancakes can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or in the freezer for 2 weeks.

(makes 10 pancakes)
1. ½ c whole-wheat flour
2. ¾ c old fashioned oats
3. 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
4. 1 teaspoon baking powder
5. ½ teaspoon baking soda
6. 1 ¼ c almond milk, unsweetened vanilla
7. 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8. ¼ teaspoon salt
9. 1 teaspoon chia
10. 1 teaspoon flax meal
11. 4-5 fresh strawberries, sliced
12. 1 banana, sliced

1. In a medium size-mixing bowl, add the first 10 ingredients and mix with an immersion blender until smooth.
2. Heat griddle on medium heat, lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Pour ¼ c of batter per pancake onto griddle.  Add a few slices of bananas and strawberries prior to flipping (cook 2-3 minutes on each side).
4. Top with leftover banana and strawberry slices (or any other fruit on hand). Then, lightly drizzle with maple syrup.

Recipe courtesy of Helen Agresti, RD. Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti. For more information and recipes, go to

Post-Workout Power Parfait by Helen Agresti, R.D.

Mango Pineapple Power Parfait

Replenishing after a workout with nutrient-rich complex carbohydrates is essential for building lean body mass.  The fruit and granola that are in this parfait recipe will do just that!  Timing is key when it comes to refueling after exercising.  Consuming a protein and carbohydrate rich snack within 40 minutes of a moderate to high intensity workout will replenish energy stores and prevent muscle mass from breaking down.  I topped this parfait with chia seeds for additional fiber and to promote a healthy balance in blood sugar levels.

In a parfait glass layer…
1. fresh mango
2. plain greek yogurt
3. all natural granola
4. fresh pineapple
5. plain greek yogurt
6. fresh mango
7. all natural granola
8. Top with a dollop of greek yogurt and chia seeds.

Replenish, Rebuild, and Enjoy Eating Healthy!

Recipe courtesy of Helen Agresti, RD. Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti. For more information and recipes, go to

Peppered Pear Arugula Salad by Helen Agresti, RD

Peppered Pear Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette

Pears are nutritionally beneficial to many snacks, meals, and desserts.  Pears are an excellent source of fiber, vitamins B2, C, and E.  They’re also rich in Copper and Potassium.  This Peppered Pear salad is deliciously pretty and easy to make.  The peppery taste of the pears compliments the arugula perfectly and the lemon vinaigrette adds a refreshing twist.

*If you’d like to add more protein, top it off with grilled chicken or pine nuts.

(1 serving)
•    2 c arugula
•    1 Bartlett pear, sliced
•    2 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
•    2 teaspoons pine nuts
•    ground black pepper, to taste
•    1 tablespoon lemon vinaigrette

In a salad bowl, place pears on top of arugula.  Sprinkle ground pepper on pears.  Add feta, pine nuts and dressing.

Recipe courtesy of Helen Agresti, RD. Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti. For more information and recipes, go to

Black Bean Dip by Samantha Lynch MS RD

Oil Free Black Bean Dip
Makes 2 cups

•    2 cups cooked black beans or 15oz can black beans (rinsed)
•    1/2 cup low sodium vegetables broth
•    1/4 cup almond milk
•    1/2 tsp cumin
•    1/2 tsp chili powder
•    1 large garlic clove minced

•    Put all the ingredients in a blender, vitamin or food processor.
•    Blend until smooth.

This dip should last a couple weeks in the fridge or could even be frozen.

Recipe courtesy of Samantha Lynch MS RD. Samantha Lynch is a registered dietician who caters to everyone from athletes and celebrities to students and stay-at-home moms. Based in Manhattan, she holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. After graduating in 2009, she started her own nutrition counseling practice to fulfill her dream of helping people live longer, happier and more energetic lives.

Does eating healthy take more time?

Get Fit Quick Tip

Want to save time during your week? Consider implementing Weekly Meal Prep on the weekend! 1. Plan your meals. 2. Make a shopping list. 3. Shop, wash, chop and store all ingredients in portioned containers. Then all you’ll need to do during the week is assemble and cook!

Find everyday, easy and practical healthy living and fitness tips in our Get Fit Quick column.

Healthy Baked Potato Soup by Helen Agresti, R.D.

Healthy Baked Potato Soup

This recipe is easy, healthy, and doesn’t contain any heavy cream.  I enjoy the challenge of taking a calorie dense recipe and making it deliciously nutritious!  Potato skins add fiber and plenty of nutrients.  Enjoy the warming and comforting powers of this healthy baked potato soup.



5 lbs russet potatoes, diced not peeled
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 large yellow onion, chopped
64 oz low-sodium chicken broth
8 oz  1/3 less fat cream cheese
3 (6 oz) low-fat plain greek yogurt
salt and pepper to taste
shredded cheddar


Combine first 4 ingredients in a slow cooker, cook on low for 8hrs or on high for 4hrs.  Add cream cheese, yogurt, bacon bits, salt, and pepper.  Blend well with a handheld blender.  Serve warm, sprinkled with cheese and chives.

This recipe will most likely leave you with plenty leftover.  For future meals, you may want to add chicken or shrimp with vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, or corn.

Helen Agresti is a Registered Dietitian with Professional Nutrition Consulting, LLC.  She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and 5 children.  For more Nutrition advice and healthy recipes follow her on twitter @HelenAgresti. For more information and recipes, go to


Try a New Whole Grain this Week by Gretchen Scalpi R.D.

Most of us eat the same grains over and over again:  pasta, rice, and wheat.  How about trying a new whole grain in place of one of your old standbys?  One whole grain that we think is really worth a try is buckwheat.  Japan, China and Korea have been cultivating buckwheat for over 1,000 years and a favorite food item soba noodles made with buckwheat has become very popular in the United States.

Buckwheat flour is commonly added to commercial pancake mix and this is how most people even know of its existence.  However, buckwheat is much more than just an addition to a breakfast pancakes.  In its lesser known forms, there are many health and nutritional benefits that could make buckwheat a wonderful addition to a “whole foods” diet. Contrary to its name, buckwheat is not a form of wheat at all.

Whole buckwheat is a very nutritious food. The protein in buckwheat contains the eight essential amino acids. Buckwheat is also rich in many B vitamins as well as phosphorus, magnesium, iron, zinc, copper and manganese, and has Alpha-Linolenic Acid, which is one of the two essential fatty acids we must have in our diets.

In addition to its nutritional value, there are a few health benefits that make this food worth your consideration:

-Buckwheat is a high fiber food. 1 cup of cooked buckwheat groats contains over 4 grams of dietary fiber.
-Because it is high in fiber and has a low glycemic load, and is a good carbohydrate choice for people with diabetes.
-Many grains lack protein but buckwheat has more than corn, wheat or rice.
-Diets that contain buckwheat have been linked to lowered risk of developing high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
-Buckwheat is a gluten-free alternative to grains, which makes it a healthful grain alternative for people with celiac disease or wheat sensitivity.

Buckwheat Groats: hulled grains of buckwheat, triangular in shape and resembles other grains. The seeds from buckwheat can be used to make flour after being removed from the husk.

Buckwheat Kasha:  kasha, or roasted hulled buckwheat kernels, may be sold whole or cracked.  You may find it ground into coarse, medium, or fine consistencies. The variety you use will depend on the consistency you need for the dish you are preparing.  Buckwheat groats and the roasted version, kasha are usually cooked in a manner similar to cooking rice. Either can be used to make hot cereal, added to soups or casseroles, or used as a side dish.

You can find an abundance of recipes in cookbooks and on the internet that include buckwheat so now is the time for you to start adding it to your diet!

Gretchen Scalpi is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Diabetes Educator and Certified Wellcoach®. She is the author of “The EVERYTHING Guide to Managing and Reversing Pre-Diabetes 2nd Ed.”, “The EVERYTHING Diabetes Cookbook 2nd Ed.”, “Virtual Grocery Store Tour: Getting The Most Nutrition Out Of Your Food Shopping”, “Pre-Diabetes: Your Second Chance At Health”, “The Quick Start Guide to Healthy Eating”, “The Quick Start Guide To Pre-Diabetes” and “Quick Start Recipes For Healthy Meals”.  Read her articles, recipes and blog at and learn more about her books at


Making Meals Happen by Kristen Yarker

Two Foundational Steps for Making Meals Happen

Do you dream of having the family come together at the table every day? Are you at a loss about how to make it happen? If so, then you’re not alone.

Here are my two foundational steps for making meals happen:

1. Think Beyond Dinner. Don’t get fixated on dinner being the meal that your family eats together. In many families, it’s breakfast where people come together to eat and connect. It’s a fantastic way to start the day. Another great strategy is a bedtime snack/second dinner concept. This works well in families where one parent works later or gets home from their commute too late to eat dinner with (especially younger) kids. In this scenario, the parent who is home earlier makes dinner and eats it with the kids. When the later-arriving parent gets home, the kids join him/her at the table. The later-arriving parent eats warmed-up dinner and the kids eat their bedtime snack. This way everyone is eating together at the table and connecting.

2. Plan Your Schedule with Eating Together in Mind. As the saying goes, “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. There’s another saying that’s true too: “you can’t have it all”. This next piece of advice may sound harsh, however I’m sharing it in the attempt to be of service – to give some tough love. Many parents have told me that they can’t eat dinner together because the kids’ activities extend over dinnertime. Having this schedule means that you are choosing ballet and soccer as priorities over eating dinner together. Determining your family’s priorities is your choice. If you choose ballet and soccer that’s OK, own your choices! Determine your values, set priorities and then make your schedule to align with it. The problem comes if your schedule isn’t a match with your priorities. If it’s out of alignment, then make changes. If it is in alignment, then let go of the guilt of not being able to have it all.

Kristen Yarker is known as The Dietitian Who Transforms Picky Eaters into Food Confident Kids. From introducing solids through the picky eating years, she helps Moms and Dads be confident that they’re giving their kids good nutrition today… and instilling a life-long LOVE of healthy eating. Get scientific evidence-based answers to real questions from real parents (recipes too!) by signing up for her 101 Healthy Snack Ideas at:

Need a new dinner recipe?

Need a new, healthy, EASY, go-to dinner recipe? Give this healthy, simple Curry Chicken recipe a try.


Curry Chicken



1 lb organic boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp curry powder
¾ cup carrots, diced
1 cup frozen peas
2 cup chicken stock
1 cup coconut milk ( from a can)

Ready to eat in 3 easy steps:

Step 1: Heat oil in an oven proof pot. Brown chicken on all sides.

Step 2: Add in onions, garlic, curry, carrots and saute for a few minutes. Add in chicken stock, bring to a boil then let simmer for 20 minutes.

Step 3: Add in coconut milk, salt pepper, peas. Let simmer for 15 minutes and serve!

Recipe by Shirley Plant- Nutrition Coach and Author of Finally Food I Can Eat Follow her on Twitter via @sherrecipes

Spiced Hot Chocolate by Amanda Miarecki

Spiced Hot Chocolate

What’s more comforting during chilly winter months than a big, warm cup of spiced hot chocolate? There are many health benefits of cacao, aside from simply tasting delicious!

Raw cacao contains over 300 identifiable chemical compounds, making it one complex and nutritious food:

Anandamide: a neurotransmitter known as “the bliss chemical”
Arginine: nature’s aphrodisiac
Magnesium: for healthy heart function
Serotonin: anti-stress neurotransmitter
Tryptophan: anti-depressant amino acid
Phenylethylamine: controls the ability to focus attention and stay alert
Polyphenols: antioxidants

Chili Powder is a blend of spices including chili peppers, cumin, oregano, paprika, salt, and garlic powder. The health benefits of chili powder are derived mostly from the capsaicin in the red pepper:

Pain Reduction
Fights Inflammation
Boosts the Immune System
Increased Metabolism

Recipe for Spiced Hot Chocolate
1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, coconut milk, or favorite non-dairy milk option (I prefer coconut)
3 tbsp raw cocoa powder
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 cinnamon stick

Combine milk, cocoa, nutmeg, and chili powder in a blender
Blend until combined
Heat on stove (or heat in a mug in the microwave if you can’t wait)
Serve with a cinnamon stick.

Amanda is a Boulder-based Health Coach, fitness enthusiast, avid trail-runner, and aspiring physician with a passion for integrative health. Her goal is to motivate women to live inspiring and healthy lives and create a revolution in how people think about their health. Her passion is encouraging others to take care of their bodies with exercise, healthy behaviors, and nutritious foods. Get inspired to live fit and connect with Amanda on her blog. Visit her on Facebook and Twitter.