It’s about time you tried a Green Smoothie!

By Rita Larsen, RD; Elite Sports Clubs Dietitian and Nutrition Counselor

Many people are busy today with work and activities other than preparing meals. You may want to try this smoothie recipe as a fun addition to your meals.

One good suggestion is taking this to work with you after you have prepared it and frozen it in freezer cups. Then, throughout the day, you are able to take out of your lunch bag and let it defrost. Shake well and it is ready to drink!

Try a Green Smoothie

Reasons to hop on the Green Smoothie craze:

  • It can contain all the fruits and vegetables that you need daily.
  • It can also have additional ingredients based upon what you have on hand.
  • Protein powder can be added in the form of soy, whey, rice, or casein. If you do add one of these, you can consider this smoothie a complete meal!
  • It tastes great! See for yourself if this is something that would be tasty for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner!

Note: It is best to use a high powered blender. Don’t have one? Then just remove some of the peel from citrus.

Mmm Green is Good!

Green ingredients can often vary based upon your tastes. (But, not all greens are easy to blend!) Try these ingredients at your own pace:

  • Seedless cucumber, 1/3 to 1/2 English version
  • 1-large bunch Spinach (or Kale!), fresh and cleaned (sometimes it helps to freeze in advance)
  • 1-Kiwi, peeled and diced
  • 1-Avocado, peeled and diced
  • 1-Lime, whole including the rind, cut into at least 8 pieces

Try adding these for additional flavor, texture, & nutrition!

  • Bananas
  • Cuties or mandarin oranges, including the skin
  • Grapes
  • Flax Seeds, 2-Tbsp. or Flax Seed Oil
  • Plain or Greek yogurt

These smoothies provide all the nutrients that a meal could provide. They are especially high in antioxidants, B complex vitamins, minerals, such as iron and potassium, and are high in fiber.

Just another way to increase our nutritional strength without all the fuss in the kitchen!

Calories: 16-oz. portion for 175 calories; with 2-scoops of protein added, 16-oz portion for 375 calories. For more helpful nutritional advice and recipes, tell us a little more about your goals! Or check out our ongoing health & nutrition programming for everyone from children to adults!

There are MANY more possible green ingredients to include in smoothies. What are some of your own suggestions? Do you drink green smoothies?

3 Healthy Food Products Worth Trying

By Rita Larsen, RD; Elite Sports Clubs Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor

Every year we have changes in the rational of what makes for “good health” and what makes for “good food” products to support this health plan. This year we are following many new low cholesterol food selections and also we are looking at foods that are gluten free. You may be interested in taking a look at these items:

  1. Farm Fresh Eggland’s Best All Natural, Vegetarian Fed Hens Eggs:

    Eggland Broccoli Frittata These eggs are low in cholesterol (only 175 mg), but quite high in vitamin D, B12, and E. They are made from real shell eggs, but have no antibiotics, animal by-products, or added hormones. The eggs, I can tell you, are rich and delicious. (Check out this recipe for a Broccoli & Cheddar Frittata using Farm Fresh Egg.land’s Best All natural, Vegetarian Fed Hens Eggs.–I’d suggest also adding 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme, and 1 teaspoon of fresh basil to boost the flavor without adding calories!)

    Just how are these eggs produced? As mentioned, these are real eggs. Hens are fed a special combination of all-natural, vegetarian feed of healthy grains, canola oil, and an all-natural supplement of rice bran, alfalfa, sea kelp and vitamin E. And for our use at home, still comes out a natural egg. They are more expensive; but research has shown that these eggs, even consumed twice daily for a week, will not contribute to a higher cholesterol level. They may be worth a try!

  2. LÄRABAR snack bars:

    LARABARS The “original fruit and nut bar,” according to the company. They are gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan and kosher. Each bar is small but contains enough fruit to equal ¼ cup of fresh fruit. They each are 190 calories, so they are equal to any health bar recommended as a snack serving. The fiber and protein is fairly high. As most gluten free users can find it hard to find good food products, these rank high for taste and satisfaction. They are a little more expensive, as are most gluten free products. They would be worth your trying.

  3. Yonanas Banana Ice Cream Maker:

    Recently purchased at Target for $49.00, this machine was demonstrated at our Scamp Kids Nutrition program this summer at Elite Sports Club-Brookfield. Kids enjoyed seeing the bananas become a smooth ice dessert right in front of their eyes. Primarily, the machine works with bananas only, it can also handle additions such as strawberries, pineapple, and kiwi fruits. The object was to demonstrate yet another way of incorporating fruit into the children’s diet, and in a fun way.

    The machine is easy to operate and to clean up. I would still suggest an adult being nearby. Bananas are high in antioxidants and potassium. Children can participate preparing the bananas by peeling the skins off and placing in the freezer for 24 hours before making into the dessert. Overall, this is a fun activity for the entire family.

Staying in touch with new products and new appliances will help to increase the choices that you have to improve the quality of your diet and to keep your selections interesting! What new health foods or kitchen gadgets have become your favorites lately?

For more helpful nutritional tips & recipes, let us know a little bit more about your goals and we’ll get you in touch with our Registered Dietitian, Rita. You are also more than welcome to check out our other health & wellness programs offered at Elite Sports Clubs.

Youth Fitness & Nutrition: Country Fruit Stand Salad Recipe

By Rita Larsen, Elite Sports Clubs Registered Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor

Country Fruit Stand Salad
Country Fruit Stand Salad, MrFood.com

This week we had a great opportunity to make a nutritious fruit salad with a tasty dressing for our students in the Scamp (Summer Day Camp) Kids Exercise & Nutrition ProgramChildren learned about the benefits of eating fruits high in antioxidants, especially berries of all varieties, such as, blackberries, strawberries, and raspberries. In addition, they learned how to make a tasty fruit-based dressing with orange juice and honey. The topping was an excellent cinnamon granola mixture. The children enjoyed the entire salad and helped me prepare the final mixture for tasting by the group.


Country Fruit Stand Salad

(Original Recipe)

Country Fruit Stand Salad gets its sparkling taste from a marinade of a combo of ginger ale, orange juice and honey. This unbeatable trio of flavors turns an ordinary fruit salad recipe into something special.

Serves: 10

Preparation Time: 35 min

What You’ll Need:

  • 1 medium to large cantaloupe, cut in half, seeds and rind removed
  • 1 medium to large honeydew melon, cut in half, seeds and rind removed
  • 1 medium to large pineapple, top removed, sliced into quarters, rind and core removed
  • 1 quart strawberries, washed and hulled (tops removed)
  • 3/4 cup ginger ale
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup granola

What To Do:

  1. Cut cantaloupe, honeydew, and pineapple into bite-sized pieces; place in a large  bowl.
  2. Cut strawberries in half (or in quarters, if they’re large); add to other fruit.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ginger ale, orange juice, and honey; mix well. Add to fruit; mix well.
  4. Allow fruit to “marry” for 15 to 20 minutes before serving. Serve immediately, or cover and chill until ready to use.
  5. Just before serving, sprinkle each serving with a bit of granola.

Note

The number of servings this makes will depend upon the size of the fruit you use.


We often send home recipes for children to try at home with their parents. Of course, the supervision will come from the parents; but we do often like to have the children do some assembly work and to actually be able to touch and feel the food.

If you and your children would like to discuss further healthy foods to prepare, family eating schedules and planning, please contact Rita Larsen for a family discussion of “HELP,” Healthy Eating for Life Program. This can be arranged by appointment at a convenient time and location for your entire family.

Have a good rest of the summer and enjoy these summer nights with a delicious healthy meal your whole family will enjoy having, time after time!

Four of the Best Foods You Should be Eating Regularly

By Rita Larsen, Elite Dietitian & Nutrition Counselor

For a long time, the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has been speaking in very general terms to “eat a variety of foods.” Today, scientists are able to be more specific about their research in order to target those foods that will help you prevent certain kinds of illnesses and disease processes. These include heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers—and promote better overall health. You can look better and feel better, too, when you eat a healthy diet. So, consider putting some of these foods to use in your eating plan today, and every day!

Berries

Berries at Farmers Market

According to the American Cancer Society, foods rich in vitamin C may lower the risk of cancers of the gastrointestinal tract. The antioxidants in berries may help maintain normal communication of the neurons in your brain. Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, and raspberries and blackberries are good sources too. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are also low in calories and high in fiber.

Cruciferous Vegetables

Cruciferous Vegetables

Vegetables in this family contain compounds called glucosinolates, which are being studied for possible anticancer effects. A new laboratory study shows that compounds in cruciferous vegetables can selectively target and kill cancer cells while leaving normal, healthy cells unaffected. The family includes broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kale, turnips, radishes and watercress.

Nuts

Nut bowl

Almonds are rich in vitamin E, an antioxidant that may help protect against heart disease and promote brain health. Some research suggests that nutrients such as vitamin E may be important in lowering the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Nuts also are high in protein and fiber (but also in fat, so be careful with portion size).

Whole Grains

Whole GrainsIn contrast to refined grains, such as white flour and white rice, whole grains are rich in fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Eating whole instead of refined grains can help to lower cholesterol, triglycerides and insulin levels, decreasing the risk of heart disease. Eating whole grains can also reduce the risk of diabetes and improve digestive health. Refining wheat strips away significant amounts of vitamins B and E and virtually all of the fiber.

Courtesy of the American Cancer Society, and the Cotton—O’Neil Heart Center. Spring 2013, Heart Health News.

Sweet-and-Sour Savoy & Fennel Salad

Serves 4

Sweet Sour Savoy Fennel Salad

Ingredients:

• 1 ½ cups thinly sliced Savoy Cabbage (about 6 oz.) [or Napa Cabbage]
• 6 Tbs. Olive Oil
• ¾ lb. Fennel Bulb (sometimes called anise) stalks trimmed flush with bulb and bulb chopped fine (about ¾ cups)
• ¼ cup Water
• ¼ cup Cider Vinegar
• 1 cup Orange sections

Preparation:

1. Using a sharp knife cut cabbage and fennel in strips as you would for coleslaw.
2. Mix well.
3. Mix dressing ingredients together.
4. Pour over salad mixture.
5. Section orange and add.
6. Let set in refrigerator for 1 hour.
7. Serve chilled.

Looking for more recipes to add to you cookbook? Or just general guidance on how to incorporate the above foods into your daily menu? Get in touch with Rita, our Registered Dietitian at Elite Sports Clubs! Also, make sure you follow our other Nutrition blog posts for more great tips!

Berries, cruciferous veggies, nuts, and whole grains! Oh my! Do you eat foods from all of these categories on a regular basis? Tell us in the comments!