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Welcome to The Nutritionist Corner by Clearly Organic!

Find out the latest health and organic news from our resident dietitian, Rebecca, along with recipes, tips and more!

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: AWG provides the Nutritionist Corner blogger(s) with free products and compensation for posts.

Diabetic Meal Planning

According to the Centers of Disease Control approximately 29 million Americans have diabetes. With this condition there comes a need to be more aware of the foods you are consuming and the impact they have on your body, particularly your bold sugar. The right meal plan can help keep your blood glucose within normal limits, it can also improve your cholesterol numbers and overall blood pressure.

When following a diabetes meal plan the thing you want to prioritize is finding nutrient dense foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals. You also want to stick with consistent meal times, this helps balance blood sugar. Some key elements of a diabetes meal plan are vegetables, lean proteins, sprouted grains and fresh fruit. Honestly, a diabetic meal plan is a great guide for anyone trying to maximize the impact of the foods they consume and keep their weight in check. Watch the Clearly Organic blog for more info about diabetic friendly recipes and meals.

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Herbed Potato Pancakes

2 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil

2 medium potatoes, peeled and spiralized

1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Onion Powder

1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Dried Rosemary

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper

2 Clearly Organic Eggs, beaten

1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

In a large skillet over medium heat add olive oil and spiralized potatoes. Season with onion powder, rosemary and salt & pepper. Toss to combine then cover. Cook for about 10 minutes, uncovering occasionally to stir. Transfer potato noodles to a bowl and add in beaten eggs and cheese. Toss to evenly coat. Heat up the same skillet coated with Clearly Organic pan spray. Over medium heat add one large scoop (about 1 cup) of potato mixture. Flatten with spatula. Let cook for 2-3 minutes on each side. Cook until lightly brown and crisp on each side. Flatten with spatula as needed. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Transfer pancakes to a plate and serve immediately. These herbed pancakes go great with a fried egg and avocado! Variations: instead of herbs add bacon, scallions and garlic. You can also spiralize sweet potatoes and add cinnamon. Serve sweet potato pancakes with jam, syrup or almond butter.

Herbed Potato Pancakes

Herbed Potato Pancakes

Herbed Potato Pancakes

Herbed Potato Pancakes

Herbed Potato Pancakes

Herbed Potato Pancakes

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Recipe Modifications

Who wouldn’t want to add more protein, nutrients and flavor to their daily meals? By making a few adjustments to any classic recipe we all can accomplish this goal. When you reduce the amount of sugar, saturated fat and salt in a recipe you can leave more room for protein, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats based on the adjustments you implement. Here are some healthy recipe modifications.

  1. In most recipes for sweet bread, muffins, cookies and pie fillings you can cut about 1/3 of the sugar without altering the texture and taste.
  2. If a recipe calls for condensed soup or sour cream a great substitution is equal parts Greek yogurt and 4% cottage cheese blended together (in a blender to make it extra creamy).
  3. Read the label on any packaged seasoning blend. You want to avoid or limit mono sodium glutamate (MSG). Making your own seasoning blend is easy and it helps moderate your sodium intake. Using garlic and onion powder verses garlic or onion salt is also a great way to keep your sodium intake in check.
  4. In soups, casseroles and stir fry mixtures add additional vegetables in place of noodles, rice or white potatoes.

 

 

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Rosemary Pork Chops

1 lb of rib pork chops (4 to 6 pork chops depending on thickness)

3 Tablespoons Clearly Organic Olive Oil

3 teaspoons fresh rosemary, stemmed and chopped

3 cloves of garlic, mashed

Lemon wedges for each pork chop

Preheat oven on the broil setting. Add olive oil, chopped fresh rosemary and mashed garlic to a bowl and stir together. Rub mixture onto the pork chops, evenly coating both sides. Place chops onto a broiler pan. Broil pork chops for 4 minutes on each side. After removing from the oven let chops rest on pan for 5 minutes. Squeeze a lemon wedge on top before serving or serve with a lemon wedge.

Rosemary Pork Chops

Rosemary Pork Chops

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Organic Nachos

Even your favorite splurge snack foods can be made from wholesome organic ingredients!

 

1/2 cup white onion, chopped

1/2 cup sweet red pepper, chopped

1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil

1/2 cup Clearly Organic Basmati Rice

1 cup water

1 can Clearly Organic Black Beans, drained and rinsed

1 lb cooked organic chicken, pork or beef chunks

1/2 bag of Clearly Organic Yellow or Blue Corn Chips

1/2 cup organic cheddar cheese, shredded

1/4 cup jalapeño, optional

1/4 cup Clearly Organic Sour Cream

1 jar Clearly Organic Black Bean Salsa

 

Rice and Beans: In a sauce pan add onion, sweet peppers and oil. Sauté for 5 minutes then add rice and water. Bring to a boil then stir contents and cover. Lower heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. After rice has fully absorbed water stir in black beans.

Nachos: place chips on an oven safe platter. Top with cooked meat chunks, rice and bean mixture, cheese and jalapeños. Bake at 400 degrees for 8-12 minutes or until cheese melts to desired doneness. Let nachos cool for 5 minutes. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Organic Nachos

Organic Nachos

Organic Nachos

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Milk Options

When it comes to milk we don’t just have to choose between 2%, skim or whole milk anymore. Options abound we can go with soy, coconut, cashew, rice, almond or traditional cows milk. This might leave you wondering what kind of milk is best for you and your family? The answer will likely be different for everyone based on your taste preferences, allergies and food sensitivities.

Cows milk alternatives became popular due to the growing number of people desiring a diary free milk choice. Almond milk, soy, coconut and rice milk (plus several others) are dairy free. They are also great if you’re vegetarian, vegan or lactose intolerant. However, some cows milk alternatives are lower in protein and higher in sugar, so like any food you purchase that has a label take a look and see what the product is offering. Some of the main things to consider when looking at a milk label are calories, protein and sugar content. Weigh your options and find what works best for you.

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Caesar Chopped Salad

This delicious combination is a unique way to enjoy a caesar salad. Shaved brussel sprouts and broccoli are two super foods that help mix up your leafy green routine.

1/3 cup toasted pine nuts

2 cups broccoli florets, chopped

1/2 medium shallot, sliced

1 Tablespoon Clearly Organic Olive Oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper

1 lb brussel sprouts, halved and thinly sliced without stem

1/2 cup sweet red pepper, thinly sliced

2 peeled hard boiled eggs, grated

1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1 half of an avocado, sliced

1/2 cup Clearly Organic Caesar Salad Dressing

Lemon wedges (optional)

In a sauté pan toast pine nuts over medium heat with a dash of olive oil. Stir every 30 seconds to prevent burning. Toasting should only take about 4-5 minutes. Remove nuts from heat and transfer into a separate bowl, set aside. In the same sauté pan heat olive oil, shallots and broccoli over medium high heat. Add salt and pepper and sauté for about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add sautéed broccoli and shallots to a salad bowl. Using a chefs knife remove stems of brussel sprouts and thinly slice. Slice red pepper then add brussel sprouts and red pepper to the salad bowl with the broccoli. Add grated eggs, Parmesan cheese and avocado chunks. Top vegetables with Clearly Organic Caesar dressing and half of the toasted pine nuts. Toss ingredients together until evenly distributed. Just before serving top with remaining toasted pine nuts and squeeze a lemon wedge over the top of the salad if desired.

Caesar Chopped Salad

Caesar Chopped Salad

Caesar Chopped Salad

Caesar Chopped Salad

Caesar Chopped Salad

Caesar Chopped Salad

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Eat More Vegetables

The world of nutrition and fitness has multiple different approaches and opinions, but one thing everyone can agree on is vegetables are a vital part of living well. Veggies can improve your health if you incorporate them into your meal plan on a daily bases. However, that is part of the challenge. Many people find vegetables hard to cook and lacking in flavor. So when you hear that you need to eat vegetables everyday and we need to add more of these super foods to our diet we start to dread what that might involve.

Here are a few easy ways to eat more veggies.

  1. Try a new vegetable based recipe. Scan the web for appealing photos of vegetables, and test out a new way to prepare a veggie you enjoy.
  2. Add extra vegetables to an existing recipe. It’s easy to add extra veggies to a soup or hot dish. Also try adding vegetables to a non traditional recipe like homemade meatballs or meatloaf. You can add minced carrots, cauliflower or broccoli to these recipes.
  3. Try a veggie smoothie. You know you need more greens but the thought of eating another salad is nauseating? Try a spinach, frozen berries and almond milk smoothie.
  4. Make a veggie bag. The prep work for vegetables is usually what keeps people from eating them. If you can set aside one day to wash, chop and prep your veggies you’re far more likely to get your needed 5 plus veggies servings each day.
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Hidden Salt

The Food and Drug Administration recommends that most Americans can safely consume about 2,000 milligrams of sodium each day. People at risk for heart disease should limit their intake to around 1,500 mg. However, the average American consumes about 3,400 mg of sodium per day. Most of this excess salt consumption is not coming from the salt shaker. It’s coming from ready prepared packed foods. Cereal boxes, frozen dinners, canned soups, fast food and restaurant foods are often culprits for extra sodium.

 

The most common location for hidden sodium is packed sweets. Sweet blended coffee drinks and doughnuts are some of the most surprisingly sodium dense foods that don’t even taste salty. The best way to keep your sodium intake in check is to enjoy lots of plant based whole foods. Potassium, which is another essential nutrient, can balance sodium consumption by helping to lower blood pressure. Potassium is naturally found in fruits and vegetables like sweet potatoes, prunes, oranges, tomatoes and bananas. The best way to avoid hidden sodium is to embrace cooking with the vegetables and natural proteins that you love.

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Healthy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

What makes a dip healthy can depend on what you serve it with, this spinach and artichoke dip goes great with sliced sweet peppers, broccoli and zucchini.

1 (8oz) package Clearly Organic Cream Cheese, softened

3/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon Clearly Organic Ground Pepper

1 teaspoon Clearly Organic Onion Powder

1 (14oz) can quartered artichoke hearts, drained and chopped

1 (10oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained

3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 Tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese

6 grape tomatoes, quartered, for garnish on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large mixing bowl stir together softened cream cheese, yogurt, garlic, salt, pepper and onion powder. It also works well to use an electric hand mixer to evenly distribute ingredients. Then using a spatula to stir, add artichoke hearts, well drained spinach and mozzarella cheese. Add contents to a small baking dish. About 1 1/2 quart. Top with Parmesan cheese and sliced grape tomatoes. Bake until cheese is browned and sides are bubbly. 20-25 minutes.

Healthy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Healthy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Healthy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Healthy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

Healthy Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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