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Chicken Pot Pie Made Healthy

This recipe adds more carrots and parsley, substitutes low-fat milk, and uses less butter! Easy swaps like this can really transform a classic recipe into something healthier!

 

Ingredients

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
  2. Combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery in a saucepan. Cover with water. Boil until chicken is no longer pink in the middle and vegetables are fork tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
  3. Cook and stir onions in butter in a saucepan over medium heat, until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick, about 5 minutes. Stir in parsley and remove from heat. Set aside.
  4. Place chicken mixture in bottom pie crust; pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in preheated oven until pie is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

 

Let us know how you like this great recipe from allrecipes.com!

KM

Intuitive Eating

Are you tired of dieting and being confused by all the latest diet trends? Do you feel like you don’t know how to get on track and establish a consistent eating pattern? Are you unsure of how food connects with your mental and physical health? If you answered yes to any this, the concept and practice of intuitive eating will be great to apply to your lifestyle.

Intuitive eating in a nutshell is a mindset or philosophy that honors internal body cues that we are innately born with such as eating when we are hungry and stopping when we are satisfied, and it rejects the diet mentality that is heavily marketed. There is more that is involved in becoming an intuitive eater but here are the 10 principles that were first developed by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in their book titled intuitive eating.

  1. Reject the Diet Mentality – Avoid fad diets and all the rules surrounded about eating
  2. Honor your Hunger – Listen to the cues your body gives you to tell you to fuel up. Keep yourself fed.
  3. Make Peace with Food – Give yourself permission to eat and enjoy all foods. Restriction leads to overeating which creates a poor relationship with food
  4. Challenge the Food Police – Stop the thoughts in your head that make you believe your “good” for eating low calories or “bad” for having some ice cream.
  5. Respect your Fullness – Listen for the signals your body gives you to tell you that you are no longer hungry. A hunger scale can be great to use for this.
  6. Discover the Satisfaction Factor- Enjoy the food and meal experiences you encounter. Remember that food is to be both nourishing and satisfying.
  7. Honor Your Feelings without using Food – Find ways to cope with emotions you may struggle with. Practice guided mediation, talk with a friend, or dive into a great book.
  8. Respect your Body – Accept your genetic blueprint and be proud of the skin you’re in! Your worth is not determined by your size.
  9. Exercise, Feel the Difference – Get active in an activity you enjoy. It doesn’t have to be at the gym to be considered exercise. Go on a walk or get some yard work done. It all counts. Shift your focus from solely burning calories to how energized you may feel. It’s a great stress reliever too!
  10. Honor your Health – Avoiding diets doesn’t equate to not being aware of or caring about what you eat. Choose nutrient dense foods the majority of the time also knowing that’s its totally fine to have some indulgences

Remember that intuitive eating doesn’t happen overnight and it takes consistent practice and time. You can work with any of the dietitians at BN to help apply these principles into your way of life long-term.

UC

Sugar-Coated

The American Heart Association recommends no more then 6 TEASPOONS (25 grams or 100 calories) of added sugar per day for women, and 9 TEASPOONS (38 grams or 150 calories) per day for men. To put things into perspective…

1 Tablespoon Ketchup = 3.7 grams Sugar

1 Quaker Chewy Bar = 7 grams Sugar

1 Cup apple juice = 24 grams Sugar

1 Serving Yoplait Fruit, Nonfat Yogurt = 47 grams Sugar

Added Sugar

With the new Nutrition Facts label, there is now a column for “Added Sugar”. This is great information to have and it tells us how many grams of calorie containing sweeteners/added sugars have been added. Consuming added sugars in excess can cause weight gain and obesity because they do not contain nutrients and are a form of empty calories. In large amounts, these sweeteners rapidly increase blood glucose levels, insulin levels, and triglycerides. When these levels are elevated, your risk for diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other chronic illnesses increases.

Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners, aka non-nutritive sweeteners, are another type of sweetener that can be added to food products and are widely known for being added to diet beverages. They are low and even no calorie sweeteners such as Nutrasweet, Sweet One, Sweet’N Low, and Splenda. In their chemical forms they are Aspartame, Acesulfame-K, Saccharin, and Sucralose. This type of sweetener also provides no nutrient benefits for the body. Studies show that daily consumption of artificially sweetened beverages, such as diet drinks, are associated with a 36% greater risk for metabolic syndrome and a 67% increased risk for type 2 diabetes (Gardener, et al., 2019).

Artificially sweetened beverages can be used among consumers to decrease calories but use of these beverages should be limited-time and as an in-between while transitioning to drinking water only.

Real Sugar/Natural Sugar

Not all sugar is bad. Naturally occurring sugars in food such as fruit (fructose) and milk (lactose) provide important nutrients. Whole fruits contain antioxidants and fiber, which helps you feel full for longer and provide metabolic benefits. The natural sugars combined with the other nutrients in these foods are digested more slowly than the added sugars which helps stabilize blood glucose levels. When given the option, always choose whole fruit over dried fruit or fruit juice.

 

As always, we recommend a balance of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats. However, there is room for the occasional Coke or Diet Dr. Pepper in moderation. Living a healthy lifestyle is about variety, moderation and making choices for YOU and your health!

KM

 

 

Studies and Pictures Cited:

  1. Gardener, H., & Elkind, M. S. (2019). Artificial Sweeteners, Real Risks. Stroke,50(3), 549-551. doi:10.1161/strokeaha.119.024456
  2. Strawbridge, H. (2018, January 08). Artificial sweeteners: Sugar-free, but at what cost? Retrieved from https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/artificial-sweeteners-sugar-free-but-at-what-cost-201207165030
  3. Photo by Mikael Stenberg on Unsplash

How Does Your Bar Add Up?

As a Dietitian, I always recommend real food over meal replacements, shakes or bars. In a perfect world, we would sit down and eat a balanced meal three times a day. However, if you are in a time crunch, having a nutrition bar is better than skipping a meal. So that leads us to the big question – “how do I choose the right bar?”  Choosing the right bar for you can be very challenging. Several bars on the shelves are full of sugar with similar nutrition content as a candy bar. Here are a few guidelines and things to look for when choosing a nutrition bar:

 

  • Carbohydrates: Complex carbohydrates are a great source of sustainable energy, so look for bars that have fiber content. Also, look for bars that contain natural sources of sugar, like fruit. Try to limit added sugars.

Rule of thumb: 2 gm or more of fiber and 8-10 gm or less of total sugar content

 

  • Protein: Protein is needed to help you feel full and keep you feeling full between meals, so this is an important one. Your body can only absorb a certain amount of protein in one sitting, so getting a bar with 30-40 gm protein is not helpful.

Rule of thumb: 8-20 gm protein content

 

  • Fat: Look for a bar that contains healthy sources of fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats) and avoid bars high in saturated or trans fats.

Rule of thumb: less than 3 gm saturated fat content

 

Here is a list of bars that meet the guidelines above:

  • Kashi GOLEAN Plant Powered Bars: Salted Dark Chocolate and Nut; Crunchy Peanut Butter
  • KIND Breakfast Protein Bars: Dark Chocolate Cocoa; Almond Bar; Maple Cinnamon; Peanut Butter Banana Dark Chocolate
  • KIND Sweet and Spicy Bars: Roasted Jalapeno; Thai Sweet Chili; Sweet Cayenne BBQ
  • CLIF Whey Protein Bars: Mint Chocolate Almond Flavor
  • CLIF Mojo Bars: Honey Srirocka
  •  CLIF Luna Bars: Lemonzest; Chocolate Peppermint Stick; Sea Salt Caramel; Nutz Over Chocolate; White Chocolate Macadamia; S’mores; Chocolate Cupcake
  • POWER Bar Plant Protein Bars: Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt
  • EPIC Bars: Chicken Sesame BBQ; Turkey Almond Cranberry
  • Nature Valley Protein Chewy Bar: Honey Peanut Almond
  • Think Thin Protein + Fiber Bars: Pumpkin Spice
  • KIZE Bars: Cocoa; Peanut Butter; Vanilla Almond; Cinnamon Roll; Pumpkin Seed; Peanut Butter Crunch with Pumpkin Seeds

 

Note: The above recommendations are for healthy adults. If you have a chronic disease, please talk to your Dietitian to see if there are any other specific recommendations for you to look at. The bars pictured were found at Crest Foods and Target.

 

LN

The Simple Things

This blog is a how-to on the simple things that we are expected to be able to do in the kitchen, but sometimes never actually learn how to do! We will learn how to bake chicken breasts, bake veggies, and cook pasta.

First up is baking chicken breasts-

What you will need…

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp of your favorite seasoning

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Rub chicken breasts with olive oil and sprinkle both sides with seasoning of choice. Place chicken on pan. *Tip: Lining the pan with aluminum foil can help cook chicken evenly and make for an easy clean up*
  3. Bake in oven for 10 minutes. Flip chicken and cook until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear (about 15 more minutes).
  4. Remove chicken from pan, let cool, & enjoy!

*Reminder- One serving of chicken is 3-4oz which is about the size of a deck of cards, so make sure to fill half your plate with veggies and a quarter of your plate with whole grains to help you feel full longer.

Next, we are going to cook some pasta-

What you will need…

  • Water (at least 4 quarts)
  • Large pot
  • Whole Grain pasta
  • Salt (at least 1 tbsp)
  • Colander/strainer
  • Tongs

Directions

  1. Boil water in a large pot & salt water. *Tip- to make sure the pasta does not stick together, use at least 4 quarts of water per every pound of pasta*
  2. Pour pasta into boiling water, and do not break the pasta.
  3. Stir the pasta.
  4. Follow the cooking time provided on the package, but always taste pasta before draining. Pasta should be a little chewy.
  5. Drain the pasta; if serving hot, add sauce right away; if serving cold pasta salad, run noodles under cold water to stop the cooking.

Sauce: If you are adding some sort of sauce to your pasta, cook on low-medium heat in saucepan on the stove-top until it begins to bubble, then remove from heat and add to noodles.

Last but definitely not least, baked veggies-

What you will need…

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Your choice of vegetables! Here are some examples: broccoli, mushrooms, butternut squash, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, green beans, sweet potatoes.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and lightly oil baking sheet.
  2. Place vegetables in a single layer onto the prepared baking sheet. Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt & pepper. Gently toss to combine.
  3. Place into oven and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until tender.
  4. Serve immediately.

That’s it! You just learned how to make a simple and healthy meal for yourself and your family. Make sure to have some fruit for dessert to complete your plate. Let us know if you have any questions or would like for us to blog about your favorite meal!

 

KM