Wednesday, November 21, 2018

HUNGRY HARVEST: A PRODUCE DELIVERY SERVICE THAT HELPS REDUCE WASTE


Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, helping others…. and food. Thus the inspiration for my blog today:

A few months ago, I was contacted by Hungry Harvest (HH), which is a produce delivery service that takes produce that is not favorable for grocery stores and delivers it to your doorstep on a mission to end food waste. According to their website, 40% of all food in the US goes to waste in this country, uneaten. These foods often go unsold to grocers because they don't look the part: too large, too small, weird dots, etc. They are the ugly ducklings of the produce world that need love too. And just like people, while some of them may not be too attractive on the outside, they are wonderful on the inside!
A mini harvest with watermelon, kale, potatoes, zucchini, and several other fruits and veggies

 This company does a great service to society and environment by not only using food that would otherwise be thrown out, but they also donate produce to SNAP and various food banks and other services that benefit the community. I immediately took an interest in learning more about this company that seeks to reduce waste and help others. Hungry Harvest is trying to provide a service to people looking to eat healthy, but also who want to help make a positive impact, it's a win-win.

            After learning about HH, I wanted to test out their service and see the quality of produce, for which I was offered one complimentary mini-harvest. In order to gain access to the produce delivery service, users create an account on their website (for which anyone who uses the code WAYNENUTRITION will receive 30% off their first harvest*). From there, you have the option of various “harvests”, including mini, full, super, and organic, all of which you can edit and swap out items (for a small fee). You can also add on items such as bread, snacks, more veggies and fruit, etc. Users can specify certain produce you love and produce you're not too keen on. HH has done a fantastic job swapping out produce that would normally come with my mini harvest that I don’t really like for produce that I do like (for no additional fee).

I personally think they provide produce and add-ons at a very reasonable price. I have been able to get a dozen jumbo cage free eggs for just $2.49, and an avocado for only $1.00, which I think is a bargain (especially this time of year). Below is an example of my mini harvest with several add-ons (eggs, avocados, grapes, mushrooms, garlic, apples). For only $30, I am getting well over 10 pounds of vegetables and fruit, which is a steal. The quality of the produce is also generally very good, and I have not been disappointed with anything yet. During the summer, I got the tastiest tomatoes I have ever had through Hungry Harvest, and most come from a farm somewhat local (within a couple states of PA). Furthermore, this service provides some more unique fruits and vegetables that I would not typically buy. So, it is a great way to expand your diet with new fruits and veggies.
Example of my order for this week with the mini-harvest and a few add ons

For someone that advocates “eat as many vegetables as you can” to my clients, Hungry Harvest is an economical way to make this happen, while also helping to reduce waste. Even more, Hungry Harvest delivers right to your doorstep (for most locations near Philadelphia and some other major cities), which makes it super convenient for busy people. I try to order as much as I can through Hungry Harvest to keep my grocery shopping to a minimum during the week. To me, it’s a no brainer to use this delivery service.

            I cannot say enough about what great of a service Hungry Harvest is, and I wish I had known about this service years earlier. You can’t beat the price, the quality, the convenience, and the mission of the company. I plan to continue using Hungry Harvest indefinitely, and really encourage all clients and blog readers to look into it. Don’t forget to use my promo code to get 30% off your initial harvest: WAYNENUTRITION.


*Besides the first free mini-harvest to test out the company, I have not received any form of compensation for promoting Hungry Harvest and I pay out of pocket every week for my personal Harvest delivery.

Friday, May 11, 2018

My Healthy Pick At: WHITE DOG CAFE (Wayne, PA)

The White Dog Cafe is a quintessential Main Line restaurant where you will find most well-to-do people in the area dining on a regular basis. I know friends that travel from afar to go to their brunch there, but I have not been. That being said, I make it there every few months for dinner, but definitely not regularly. The menu is pricey (except for their great happy hour specials!) and I also find it difficult to navigate in terms of making a healthy selection. I struggle to find something satisfying for my clients to choose when they go there. The salads need extreme modification, or a healthier appetizer is usually not a lot of food and will leave someone feeling like they haven't had a meal. Months ago I got the salmon with lentils and cauliflower mash, which sounds like it should be healthy, but as with any good restaurant, it was loaded with butter and salt. But I get it, to be a good chef, you have to use a lot of butter, people love that!



Anyway, I went back again last month for my fiance's birthday, and also because I had a $15 gift card, thanks to my Birthday Pak. I went in with the mission to find something that I really enjoyed and that I could recommend to clients. Mission accomplished! I inquired if I could change the steak in the "Thai Steak and Noodle Salad" to chicken. They were very accommodating and allowed me to make that switch. I was also able to get the Thai vinaigrette on the side. This meal was right up my alley since I love the flavors of Thai food, and it was pretty healthy. While there were (refined grain) Udon noodles, there was not a significant portion. I was pleasantly surprised with the quantity of vegetables, and the amount of chicken was perfect. Since I ordered this delicious and satisfying meal, I have recommended it to several local friends and clients.

So I am pleased that I have finally found something I can recommend at White Dog as a dietitian. Don't get me wrong, the food is terrific, which is why it's a popular spot... but generally difficult to eat at if you are trying to eat healthy and/or watching your waistline. So give it ago and see how you like it!


Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My Healthy Pick at: TERESA'S CAFE IN WAYNE, PA



When clients come to me and are looking for easy ways to lose weight or decrease salt in their diet I have one main recommendation: LIMIT EATING OUT! I generally advise to my clients that the more you eat out, the harder it is to stay slim and have a well balanced diet. Most restaurants are going to add more butter, oil, and salt to foods, sometimes unbeknownst to you. They sneak butter in places you would not guess... everything is made better with butter!

However, I am guilty of eating out for dinner at least once or twice a week, on average. I find eating out enjoyable and I don't want to deprive myself of fun social situations. This is something I stress with my clients as well: you cannot become a hermit in order to control your eating... that is the sign of a more serious problem. So, you have to learn how to make good choices when you do eat out. Hence, I decided to start a series of blog posts entitled "My Healthy Pick at: ______" where I go around to local restaurants and give my recommendations for more healthy items at these institutions. 

My first healthy pick is from a place I rarely eat at, simply because my friends prefer the right hand side (Teresa's Next Door) for the ambiance, nice bartenders, and the fact that the draft beers are on that side. The left side (Teresa's Cafe) is lovely, but it is a different (Italian) food menu, vibe, and you don't have as quick access to the beers. However, I had several clients say they had no idea what to order at Teresa's Cafe, so I decided to go investigate and come up with a recommendation for them at that location.

Upon reading the Teresa's Cafe menu, I decided something that I would enjoy, but would be healthy is their "Roasted Veggie Salad". However, this is lacking a protein... so I decided to add scallops. In hindsight, I only received 3 scallops, so for that price I should have opted for roasted chicken breast and hopefully received a little more protein. I asked for the dressing on the side (as I always advocate!), and found I didn't even need it. The roasted vegetables had oil and salt and were flavorful enough. I found that I couldn't even finish the meal as it was an ample serving of veggies, definitely Wayne Nutrition approved! So, next time you are at Teresa's Cafe in Wayne, and looking to order healthy, try the Roasted Veggie salad w/ roasted chicken breast (or shrimp!).

In the next few "My Healthy Pick at" posts, I will hopefully move to Teresa's Next Door, Christopher's, The Great American Pub, and other Wayne or Main Line/KOP spots. Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Chocolate PB Banana Kefir “Milkshake”


This recipe appeared in the 2018 February edition of Radnor Life & Style Magazine:



Kefir is one of the foods (and one of the few beverages that I recommend besides water) that I recommend quite frequently to my clients, especially for those with gastrointestinal problems. Kefir is cultured milk that is loaded with billions of healthy probiotics. You can find it at most supermarkets now in the yogurt aisle. Some have a lot of added sugar, so I have most of my clients get the plain, which only has sugar from the natural lactose in milk. Below is a recipe that I have clients make when they are looking for a dessert-like treat, that is more voluminous and nutritious than a bowl of ice cream. It’s something that tastes indulgent but actually is fairly healthy as far as desserts are considered.

INGREDIENTS

·         ½ c plain low-fat kefir
·         ¾ c unsweetened chocolate almond milk (shelf-stable)
·         ½ medium frozen banana
·         1 tbsp Chocolate PB2 (or other powdered peanut butter)
·         1/2 scoop Trader Joe’s Chocolate Whey protein (or another chocolate protein that does not use artificial sweeteners)
·         ½ c ice

DIRECTIONS
1.      Pour kefir and almond milk in blender.
2.      Break up frozen banana
3.      Add protein, PB2, and ice.
4.      Blend and enjoy!

NUTRITION- makes 1 serving
200 calories, 5 g fat, 29 g carb (3 g fiber), 14 g protein, good source of Calcium and Vitamin D (analysis performed using Diet Master Pro software)

Picture Source: Nature & Health website 

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Light Vegetable Frittata


I just came up with this meal the other night when I was trying to get rid of some eggs and veggies that were getting past their prime. I often tell my clients that a very easy, quick, healthy, and cheap meal they can always make at night is a (mostly egg white) veggie omelet. For those that are looking for even more convenience, I say you can use the carton of "All whites" and frozen vegetables if you are really in a time crunch or feeling particularly lazy. One reason I came up with this recipe was when I was feeling lazy and thinking that if I make a giant omelet, I can really eat that for a few days and not have to make a new one every day.

This meal can be used for breakfast, lunch, or dinner and is extremely healthy, easy, and quite cheap! Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have… even thawing frozen vegetables to use would work just fine. This frittata can last several days in the fridge, so is a great thing to make and keep on hand when you need a quick meal. Since I made this and realized how quick, easy, delicious, and healthy it is, I have been recommending it to nearly all of my clients!


INGREDIENTS

10 egg whites

2 whole eggs

Salt, pepper, and other spices to taste (I use cilantro and turmeric)

1 zucchini, sliced into ½” slices

¼ c crumbled feta cheese

1 can diced tomatoes, drained

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

5 large leaves of kale, collards, Swiss Chard (or sub spinach), chopped

½ c shredded 2% mozzarella cheese


DIRECTIONS:

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Whisk together egg whites and eggs in a large bowl with spices.

3. Spray 8” round or square baking pan (pie pan, spring form, etc.) with oil spray, paying attention to spraying sides of pan thoroughly.

4. Lay bottom of pan with zucchini slices.

5. Pour egg mixture into pan.

6. Evenly lay feta, tomatoes, mushrooms, onion and greens on egg mixture in pan (some will fall to the bottom).

7. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top of egg and vegetable mixture.

8. Bake for 30-40 minutes until eggs are cooked through.

9. If desired, broil on high for about 5 minutes until cheese is brown and bubbly on top.

I serve this with avocado toast (on whole wheat bread) which makes this meal even more well-balanced and satisfying!
==================================================================

NUTRITION INFO PER SERVING: Serving size= ¼ frittata  (analysis using DietMaster Pro)
175 calories, 6 g fat (3 g saturated, 1 g MUFA, 1 g MUFA), 101 mg cholesterol, 10 g carbohydrate (1 g fiber), 19 g protein

Picture source: http://www.simplyrecipes.com/wp-content/uploads/2006/01/spinach-frittata-vertical-a2-1800.jpg