Summer BBQ Survival Guide

With the 4th of July right around the corner it makes for a long week of BBQs, picnics and pool parties!

Hot dogs, hamburgers and ice cream…oh my!  


Hypothetical Situation: Say you have 3 buffalo chicken wings for an appetizer, a cheeseburger, small bag of potato chips and 1 cup potato salad for dinner and a piece of cherry pie a la mode for dessert.

You would be consuming:

(drum roll please) 

1,651 calories

89 grams of fat

18 grams of saturated fat

3,815 grams of sodium

That’s just for one meal!!!

Instead: Opt for hummus and carrot sticks for an appetizer,  a black bean burger on a whole what bun, corn on the cob with butter, 2 cups salad with 2 tablespoons light balsamic salad dressing and 2 cups of watermelon for dessert.

You would be consuming:

637 calories (1,015 calories SAVED)

15 grams of fat (70 grams SAVED)

2 grams of saturated fat (16 grams SAVED)

781 grams of sodium (3,034 grams SAVED)


Follow these tips to prevent diet disaster!

1.  Fill up on veggies first – Nibble on carrot sticks and hummus instead of chicken wings and potato chips.

2.  Eat on smaller plates - Trick your mind into thinking you’re eating more by putting food on smaller plates.

3.  Make half your plate vegetables - A simple way to reduce your calorie and fat intake without feeling deprived!

4.  Sit down while you eat – Prevent mindless munching by sitting down, slowing eating and actually tasting your food!

5.  Skip the liquid calories – Sip on flavored seltzer water instead of a strawberry daiquiri and save yourself 300 calories!

6.  Choose fruit for dessert - Watermelon, cherries, strawberries, kiwi all so naturally sweet!  Or, share with a friend and have a smaller portion of dessert.

7.  Pass on the buns - Forget the white processed bread products and put your burger, chicken or veggie burger on salad instead!

8.  Bring a healthy dish -Worried there won’t be anything healthy to choose from?  Bring a dish of your healthy summer time favorites!

Check out these links for Healthy 4th of July Favorites!

Eating Well

Cooking Light


  • healthy 4th of july, healthy picnics, prevent diet disaster, summer survival guide

slim down smoothie

Have you been over-indulging lately?  

Need a way to reset your body and get slimed down for the summer?

 Start the day with this smoothie to curb your appetite and detox your body!

slim down smoothie

The high water content of cucumbers helps to hydrate our cells, while the lemon acts as a diuretic furthering the cleansing and detoxifying process.  The pear and kale add fiber and bulk to keep you full and curb unhealthy cravings.

This smoothie is so refreshing and rejuvenating, it’s a great way to start your day off in a healthy way!

Slim Down Smoothie

1 pear

2 cups kale

1/2 cucumber

1/2 lemon, juiced

1/2 cup frozen pineapple

1 cup coconut water

~Blend and Enjoy!~

A high powered blender such as a vitamix works best for this smoothie.

I knew my morning would be hectic so I prepared the ingredients the night before and stored it in a mason jar!  I just added it to the vitamix with the frozen fruit and coconut water and I was good to go!

slim down smoothie

honey mustard dip (sneaky beans!)

Kids love to dip their food!  Dips are a great way to entice children to eat fruits and vegetables.  Instead of giving them unhealthy cream based dips try this dip instead!

It contains a secret ingredient that’s so good for them…beans!

honey mustard dip

Not only are beans loaded with fiber and protein, they are a great source of iron which is often deficient in a child’s diet.  They are also a great source of phosphorus, magnesium and potassium….all important for those little growing bodies!

This dip paired nicely with oat bran pretzels and baby carrots however, it would make a great spread on a veggie or turkey sandwich!

honey mustard dip3

Honey Mustard Dip

1 15 ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

3 tablespoons yellow mustard (preferrable organic, gluten free)

3 tablespoons raw honey

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

honey mustard dip1

-Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until creamy.

note: children under the age of one should not have honey because it may contain spores of clostridium botulinum which causes botulism.

my nephew toughest critic!

my nephew Christopher…my toughest critic!

For more kid-approved recipes join me this Saturday at GLOW Yoga for a Toddler Nutrition Class!

Go to for more information!

chopped roasted veggie salad

Umm…quite possibly one of the best salads I’ve ever made!

The combination of warm roasted veggies, avocados and cannellini beans make this a meal-worthy salad!  Served on a bed of crisp romaine lettuce and savory dressing this salad will be a new summertime favorite!


Chopped Roasted Veggie Salad

adapted from

1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and chopped into thirds

3 large or 6 small portabello mushrooms

1 zucchini, cut into bite sized pieces

3 scallions, chopped

2 ripe avocados, peeled and cubed

2 head romaine lettuce, chopped

1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

extra virgin olive oil

chopped roasted veggie salad


2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

1/2 shallot, finely chopped

2 teaspoons dijon mustard

2 teaspoons raw honey

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

fresh ground pepper to taste

roastedveggie chopped salad


-Place asparagus, portabello mushrooms and zucchini on a roasting pan, drizzle with olive oil.

-Roast in a 375 degree oven for 30-40 minutes or until lightly browned.

-Meanwhile, add lime juice, vinegar, dijon mustard, honey and sea salt into a bowl.  Slowly add olive oil and whisk together until emulsified.  Stir in chopped shallots and fresh ground pepper.

-Arrange chopped romaine onto a large serving dish.

-When vegetables are perfectly roasted, remove them from the oven and add to a large bowl with avocado, corn, beans and scallions.

-Pour dressing on top and mix until all vegetables are well coated, place on top of chopped romaine lettuce.


roasted veggie chopped salad


fiesta quinoa quick meal and post-exercise nutrition

First, I’d like to apologize for posting so many quinoa recipes!  I know I need to branch out but, quinoa is so versatile and is so much more nutritious than many other grains!  I promise, I will start to get more adventurous with my recipes!

This past weekend Shaye entered (on a whim) the Lower Cape Sprint Triathlon.  For someone who doesn’t bike or swim on a regular basis he did pretty good!  (I’m being modest…he killed it!)

He had to work a double shift after the triathlon (yikes!) and I being the neurotic nutrition person that I am,  was worried about his muscle recovery and glycogen stores. (I know, not normal!)


During intense physical activity, your body runs off of glycogen (energy stored in your muscles).  This powers you through a workout but needs to be replenished ASAP by eating a meal consisting of carbs and protein in a 3:1 ratio.  The amino acids in protein work to rebuild muscles and the carbohydrates replenish glycogen stores and glucose levels.  Quinoa is great for a post-exercise meal because it provides all the essential amino acids (protein) and carbs needed for recovery.

I prepared this Fiesta Quinoa Quick Meal and had it waiting in the refrigerator for Shaye to eat after the triathlon.  I recommended he add avocado to it for healthy fat and added antioxidants.

I’m in love with the idea of mason jar “quick meals” because they are a no-brainer!  Just grab them and go!

This recipe is great alone or use as a side dish to any meal!

Fiesta Quinoa Quick Meal

fiesta quinoa quickmeal


3 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup diced cucumber
3/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup red onion
2 scallions chopped
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
1-2 – 1 teaspoon salt (depending on taste)
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 – 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped



-In a large bowl, mix cooked and cooled quinoa with all the vegetables and black beans.

-Mix together olive oil, lime or lemon juice, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper.  Pour on top of quinoa, add cilantro and mix well.

-Place in mason jars.

Makes 2 quart sized mason jars

fiesta quinoa quickmeal3

You can find another recipe for Quinoa Quick Meals here!