Friday, August 28, 2015

In The News: More Research That Suggests Drinking Water Before Meals Helps With Weight Loss!

Haven't we all heard time and time again to "drink more water!".... and especially before meals because it will help us eat less?  Well a recent study has investigated just that!  The research published in the journal Obesity, involved 84 obese results, 41 randomly assigned to the intervention group and 43 to the control group. All of the participants received a weight management consultation, where they were counseled on how to adapt their lifestyle and improve their diet and levels of physical activity.  Those recruited for the intervention group were asked to preload with 500 ml of water before each meal.  The results showed that those drinking the water lost almost 3 pounds more than the control group by the end of the 12 weeks follow up. These are exciting results that such a simple measure can make a reasonable difference for those trying to lose weight.  Check out the summary in the study HERE!


Friday, August 21, 2015

Recipe Redux Post # 37, Super Easy Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Chicken

The theme for August Recipe ReDux is “Back To The Dinner Table,” meaning we were challenged to share our healthy recipes that encourage our families to eat dinner all together. One of my favorite things to do on Sundays is throw some ingredients in a slow cooker that transforms them into a delicious dish for our family to enjoy that evening, and also provides leftovers for the start of the week.  This super easy slow cooker bbq chicken is just the ticket.  Just a few simple ingredients to combine together, then set it and forget it for 4 -5 hours and viola, you have got your main dish all ready!  We like to eat this chicken with some corn, simple sautéed kale and a salad.  Then later in the week it is great in tacos, atop salad or in sandwiches. I hope you will give it a try and also check out the many great family favorites developed by the awesome Recipe ReDux group.
3 pounds chicken breasts
2 cups BBQ sauce (we love Trader Joe's Carolina Gold)
1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 teaspoons brown sugar
Add all the ingredients to large slow cooker  and cook on low for 4- 4.5 hours. Break up chicken with fork to shred and then cook for another 30 minutes.
 Makes 8 cups, 14 servings

Serving size  1/2 cup   Calories 150   Protein 18  g Carb 14  g Fiber 0  g Sugars 20  g Fat   2 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 470  mg


Thursday, August 13, 2015

Gabby Eats: Power Cookies

I was really excited to develop this recipe with Gabby because what parent and child do not LOVE baking cookies together?! 

I gave her full reign in terms of what to put in and she chose the peanut butter oat base with the cranberry, coconut and chocolate chip mix ins.  Although this combo was a bit off the beaten path, it came together deliciously. We kept the added sugar fairly low and let the other ingredients carry the recipe, which worked out great. In fact, aside from snacking and dessert, these cookies can even be nice treat for breakfast on occasion as well. Check out this recipe and many others developed by Gabby and I in the new eCookbook we just published for charity!


2 cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick, use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
2 eggs
½ cup creamy peanut butter
3/4 cup packed brown sugar 
½ cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup dried cranberries
cooking spray


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine the oats, baking soda, and coconut in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, beat together the peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla. Add the dry oats mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well. Stir in the cranberries and chocolate chips. Drop onto a baking sheet coated with cooking spray(spacing dough at least 2 inches apart)and bake for 19-20 minutes until lightly browned.  

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Serving size 1 cookie Calories 150 Protein 3 g Carb 17 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 11 g Fat 9 g Saturated fat 4.5 g Sodium 95 mg

Gabby's Shot:


Friday, July 31, 2015

Gabby and I have Published an eCookbook for Charity!

Hello family and friends,

Hope your summer is going well!  As many of you know, Gabby and I like to cook together and she has also been developing recipes/blogging with me on my site Nourish You Delicious for over a year now. About 6 months ago we got the idea to publish an electronic cookbook (aka eBook) with a collection of all these recipes that she has created and to have all the proceeds go to her charity of choice.  

"Gabby's Good Eats" is a 89 page electronic book of her recipes (and the stories behind them) with photos and nutritional stats plus bonus illustrations and quotes. All the recipes are easy to prepare, healthy and are applicable to both kids and adults. We have worked very hard on this project and Gabby has decided she wants to donate the money to Food For the Hungry, an organization that works in over 20 countries to help the less fortunate gain access to food, clean water and education, as well as provide disaster relief, through donations and child sponsorship.  We have sponsored a child in Nicaragua through this organization for 2 years and it has been a great experience. So if you chose to purchase this book and try the recipes you will not only be nourishing yourselves but the also the many children worldwide that the money will go to support.

The cost of the book is $10.00 and it is available to purchase through our online store: at to purchase.

Feel free to spread the word about this book to anyone you know that may be interested.

Thanks in advance for your support and we hope you will buy and enjoy the book!!


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Recipe ReDux Post # 36, Morning Glory Muffins

The Recipe ReDux challenge for July is"Fresh From the Garden" and we have been asked to create recipes using fruits and vegetables that are in season this month.  July is a good time to stock up on Summer squash and I almost always buy zucchini weekly during the Summer.  I have yet to grow it in my garden, but that is a future plan for sure! I decided to use my weekly stash in muffins as a nice way to get in some veggies at breakfast.  I chose a morning glory theme which also incorporated some carrots, apple and even some banana.These muffins are a powerhouse of nutrition- they have 2 fruits, 2 veggies, whole grains, and protein, PLUS they taste amazing! Hope you will try them out and take a look at all the fresh in season recipes from the talented Recipe ReDux bloggers too!


2 cup rolled oats (old fashioned, not quick, use a gluten-free oats such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
3/4 cup oat flour (use a gluten free brand such as Bob's Red Mill if you are on a gluten-free diet)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 large sized over ripe bananas, mashed
6 Tablespoons liquid egg white
6 Packed tablespoons brown sugar
½ cup finely grated carrot
½ cup finely grated zucchini
½ cup finely grated apple
1/4 cup milk (I used unsweetened vanilla almond milk)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
cooking spray
Optional: 6 Tablespoons protein powder *(preferably natural
unflavored, see notes on the one I use below) 


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine the oats, oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, (protein powder) and cinnamon in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, mix together the mashed banana, brown sugar, egg whites, milk, vanilla, carrots, zucchini and apple. Add the oats/flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well. Spoon into muffin pans (see size options below) coated with cooking spray or muffin liners and bake on the bottom rack of the oven for about 30-35 minutes, until top is firm, lightly browned and firm. 

6 jumbo size muffins


12 regular size muffins


6 dozen mini muffins

Note for protein muffins * I have had great success with using Nature’s Best Isopure PerfectNatural Protein Powder, unflavored- it is gluten-free, lactose free

Jumbo muffin, 6 servings

Serving size 1 very large muffin (with protein powder) Calories 310 Protein 13 g Carb 57 g Fiber 7 g Sugars 25 g Fat 3 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 280 mg

Serving size 1 very large muffin (without protein powder) Calories 280 Protein 7 g Carb 57 g Fiber 7 g Sugars 25 g Fat 3 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 130 mg

Regular muffin, 12 servings

Serving size 1 muffin (with protein powder) Calories 150 Protein 7 g Carb 29 g Fiber 3 g Sugars 12 g Fat 1.5 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 140 mg

Serving size 1 very large muffin (without protein powder) Calories 140 Protein 3 g Carb 29 g Fiber 3 g Sugars 12 g Fat 1.5 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 120 mg

Mini muffin, 72 servings

Serving size 1 muffin (with or without protein powder) Calories 25 Protein 1 g Carb 5 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 2 g Fat 0 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 25 mg

IMPORTANT NOTE: these muffins are very moist so the ones you do not eat on the day you bake them must be stored in the fridge.  I just leave one out for an hour or two to get to room temp or pop one in the microwave for 40 seconds right out of the fridge.


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Lentil Sausage Pasta Sauce


3 cups cooked lentils (I used canned, Westbrae)

1 teaspoon olive oil

0.75 pound Italian style chicken or turkey sausage (not a precooked variety)

1 cup finely chopped white onion

24 ounces of your favorite marinara sauce  

optional garnishes- fresh basil, olives, capers


Cook the lentils according to package directions, or if using canned precooked, rinse well and put aside. Coat a large pan with the olive oil. Put on medium heat and add the sausage to brown for about 5-7 minutes, stirring frequently. Throw in the onions and cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss in the lentils and sauce and stir well. Top with fresh basil, olives and/or capers if desired. Cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Serving suggestions:

Enjoy this sauce on pasta, spaghetti squash or squash noodles!!

Makes 6 cups, 12 servings

Serving size: 1/2 cup Calories 140 Protein 10 g Carb  15 g Fiber 6  g Sugars 5  g Fat  5 g Saturated fat  1.5 g Sodium 400 mg


Thursday, June 25, 2015

A Delicious Potato Salad Recipe and the Latest Cranberry Info and Research From the Cranberry Institute

Check out these interesting fasts and studies, along with a very creative potato salad recipe, from the Cranberry Institute!!

Tasty Tidbits about the Tiny, Tart Cranberry

·         Cranberry products are naturally low in sugar and high in acidity (very similar to a lemon!) so they require sweetening to be palatable—but when it comes to dried cranberries, the total amount of sugar is equal to that of other dried fruits, like raisins and dried cherries.
·         Drinking 8–16 oz. of 27% original, low- or no-calorie cranberry juice cocktail each day is recommended to maintain urinary tract health and prevent urinary tract infections.
·         One-quarter cup of dried cranberries is equal to  cup of fruit, according to MyPlate.

Science Bites: News from Cranberry Scientists

Does Cranberry Protect the Urinary Tract Post-Surgery?
As you know, placing a urinary catheter is quite common when having surgery – including gynecological surgeries.  Unfortunately, the risk for a urinary tract infection (UTI) after the catheter is removed can be quite high – 10-64% of patients contract one.  To determine if there is a simple way to relieve women from the aches and pains of a post-surgical UTI, researchers from the University of Michigan provided 160 patients with two cranberry juice capsules, two times a day, for six weeks post-surgery.  The cranberry capsules contained whole cranberry extract from cranberry juice, skins, flesh, and seeds, and were standardized to contain 36 mg of proanthocyanidins (PACs) per two capsules. The capsule dose is similar to drinking two, 8-ounce servings of cranberry juice. Compared to a placebo-control group, the women that consumed the capsules had a significantly lower occurrence of UTIs – even when confounding variables were considered, e.g., frequency of intermittent self-catheterization.

Foxman, B., Cronenwett, AEW, Spino, C., Berger, MB., Morgan, DM.  Cranberry juice capsules and urinary tract infection after surgery: results of a randomized trial.  Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2015 Apr 13; pii: S0002-9378(15)00355-5. doi: 10.1016/j.ajog.2015.04.003. [Epub ahead of print]

Two Cups a Day for your Heart
For people struggling with cardiometabolic risk factors – like high blood pressure, high triglycerides or insulin resistance, and above normal levels of C-reactive protein and fasting blood glucose – dietary approaches are king.  Among the recommendations RDs make for such individuals, new research shows that low calorie cranberry juice (just two cups a day) may also help attenuate these factors.  Research published in the Journal of Nutrition looked at the impact of two 240 mL servings on blood pressure, C-reactive protein, triglycerides and glucose in an eight-week, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-arm study.  Twice a day, 30 women and 26 men on a controlled diet were given 240 mL of low calorie cranberry juice or the placebo beverage, containing 173 or 62 mg of phenolic compounds and 6.5 or 7.5 g of total sugar per a 240-mL serving, respectively.  The results showed that these two cups a day of low calorie cranberry juice significantly improved triglycerides, C-reactive protein, glucose, insulin resistance and diastolic blood pressure.

Novotny, JA., Baer, DJ., Khoo, C., Gebauer, SK., Charron, CS.  Cranberry Juice Consumption Lowers Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk, Including Blood Pressure and Circulating C-Reactive Protein, Triglyceride, and Glucose Concentrations in Adults. J. Nutr. April 22, 2015 jn203190.  [Epub ahead of print]


USDA-Reviewed Cranberry Health Research Review
If you haven’t seen it yet, check out the USDA-reviewed cranberry nutrition and health review published in the Cranberry Health Research Library on

Cranberry Health Research Library
Browse the selections by year to find the most recent publications:

Say Cheers with America’s Original Superfruit㈢
Stay hydrated this summer with cranberry juice cocktail five different ways!
·         Celebrate July 4th with a patriotic red, white and blue punch featuring cranberry juice cocktail and champagne mixed with fresh blueberries and diced applesˇfor a festive finish, top with a flag instead of umbrellas! For the kids, make it with sparkling cider instead of champagne
·         Freeze cranberry juice cocktail in ice cube trays and add to seltzer for a fruity zing that invigorates your drink
·         Combine cranberry juice cocktail, pineapple juice and club soda for a spritzer perfect for hot summer days
·         Make your favorite sangria recipe, swapping out your typical juice combo for cranberry juice cocktail
·         Mix orange and cranberry juice cocktail (one to one ratio), pour into ice pop molds and freeze for a refreshing summer snack!
o   No molds? No problem! Pour into sturdy, freezer-proof cups and add popsicle sticks

Put a Twist on a Summer BBQ Classic!

Amp up a stand-by side dish for your next barbeque with tangy cranberries and crisp cucumber in a fresh take on potato salad.

Yield: 6 servings

8 oz. small red or yellow-skinned potatoes
 cup nonfat plain Greek-style yogurt
2 Tbsp. reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 Tbsp. white balsamic or cider vinegar
 tsp. hot red pepper sauce
 cup dried cranberries
1 cup diced seedless cucumber
 cup thinly sliced scallions

1.       Wash potatoes and boil with skin on for 15-20 minutes or until almost tender. Remove from heat and drain. Cool. Cut into cubes and set aside.
2.       In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar and pepper sauce. Stir in cranberries and let stand 20 minutes to soften cranberries slightly.
3.       Stir potatoes, cucumber and scallions into yogurt-cranberry mixture and toss to coat. Adjust seasoning as needed. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Mix it up! Switch out cucumber for diced apple or pear, or try it garnished with chopped, toasted pecans or walnuts.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 70, Calories from Fat 10, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 1g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 70mg, Total Carbohydrate 14g, Sugars 6g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 3g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 8%, Calcium 4%, Iron 2%

Hungry for more recipes?
Cranberry Institute
P.O. Box 497
Carver, MA 02330


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