Friday, October 23, 2015

Mushroom Pork Potato Pies

Mushroom Pork Potato Pies
Many people are anti-pork because they think it is loaded in fat.  Pork however has come a long way due to its reputation.  Now if you go to the grocery store and look at a cut of pork you will see more lean portions available.  Pork is perfectly fine to eat when it is not loaded with fat and it provides great nutrient.  It is loaded with B vitamins, iron, zinc, and selenium.   You do not need to worry about this meat as long as you pick lean portions just like with any meats on the market.  

Another great ingredient in this recipe is mushrooms.  Mushrooms exposed to UV light are a great source of Vitamin D.  Vitamin D is important in the absorption of calcium in the bones.  You can eat a ton of calcium, but without the vitamin D to absorb it you are at a lost cause.  It is hard to obtain enough vitamin D from diet alone.  Our skin makes vitamin D naturally when we go outside.  However since more and more individuals are staying inside, we are experiencing a deficiency in vitamin D.  Vitamin D has also shown to be protective against musculoskeletal disorders, infectious disease, autoimmune diseases, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, neurocognitive dysfunction, mental illness, infertility, and adverse pregnancy and birth outcomes.

The potato crust in this recipe is a great alternative for many pies such as chicken pot pie, hamburger pie,  and shepherds pie.  Potatoes may have a lot of starch but they are also loaded with B vitamins, calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.  It is also a great source of fiber with 7g per serving.  No reason to avoid this starchy vegetable, moderation is the key for any of these diets.

2 tbsp canola oil
1 large onion cut into wedges
1 lb lean pork, diced
4 cups of mushrooms, diced
2/3 cup apple juice
Salt and pepper to taste
3-4 medium potatoes, chopped
1/3 cup margarine
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 egg, beaten
Seasonings of choice (ex tarragon, cumin, thyme)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Begin boiling potatoes.
In pan heat oil and cook onions until nice and soft. About 3 min.
Add pork and cook until brown.  Add muxhrooms and cook until  soft.  About 2 min.
Stir in apple juice and seasonings. 


Divide mixture in to 4 oven proof bowls.
 Once the potatoes are nice and tender you can begin preparing the crust.  Drain potatoes and allow them to cool uncovered.   
Mash the potatoes and stir in margarine and desired seasonings.  Add flour and baking powder and stir lightly until it forms a nice dough.  Knead the dough carefully with your hands.  Divide it into 4 sections.  Roll each section out and place it on top of each bowl.  Pinch the edges to seal it.
Brush the tops of the pies with the egg.  Bake for approximately 40 min or until golden brown.  

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Oktoberfest is a German festival celebrating the coming harvest.  Oktoberfest normally occurs in Munich, Germany the first week of October.  Americans are starting to adopt  the tradition because of the interesting food and beer.  Being that I am half German, I love any opportunity to get some delicious German food. Most German food is all natural and made from scratch.  This food is from a German restaurant in Miami during the time of Oktoberfest.   My sister took me there on my visit for us to celebrate our own version of Oktoberfest with a great feast!!!

Various German suasages with saurekraut, and spatzle (egg noodles)

Schnitzel with German potato salad.

Kasse Spatzle (egg noodles with cheese)


Sunday, September 20, 2015

Acne and Diet

32 years old and now acne free. Read below to see my acne journey.

Like most people I started getting acne at puberty.  I always thought I would grow out of it and that it was just a bad case of hormones going wild.  Little did I know that it was an issue that I was going to have to deal with well off in to my adult years.  

Like most people who have acne I tried everything.  I thought my face had to have been dirty for me to get so many breakouts, so I washed my face constantly.  I used every over the counter acne product on the market.  Nothing seemed to work.  I then discovered the power of benzyl peroxide and used a popular acne system, Proactive for years.  For the most part it cleared my acne, however it was harsh on my skin.  My skin was always very dry, red, and peeling due to the strong  chemicals found in the product.  

Bride to be getting ready for my big day.  You can see some of my cystic pimples on my cheek.

While using proactive I started getting cystic pimples.  I realized the Proactive was no longer working and so I stopped using it.  Well that caused a huge side effect.  You see benzyl peroxide works by killing the bacteria on your face.  When you no longer use it, the bacteria gets excited and trys to make up for lost time.  So the end result meant I had a worse breakout then when I started.  I believe this is how they keep you hooked on their products.  They know that when you stop your face will break out, which means you have to return to the product.  Well,  I said enough was enough.  I stayed tough through the process of my skin adjusting to not using the proactive. 

 Eventually the breakouts was not as serious, but I of course still had the acne.  I decided to go the natural route.  I tried several natural face products hoping that maybe going back to nature would fix my problem.  The natural products were not as harsh as the benzyl peroxide, so I didn't have as much dry skin, inflammation, or flaking.  However it didn't cure my acne.

I then decided to see an expert.  So I made an appointment with the dermatologist.  She prescribed antibiotics and a special face cream.  The antibiotics worked great.  However after using them constantly I was getting concerned about  getting immune to it.  I asked the dermatologist for another option.  She prescribed birth control to help balance my hormones.  That didn't work so next she prescribed a retinol cream.  It too helped eliminate my acne.  however it was very harsh on my skin and I was still having cystic pimples.  My skin was becoming inflamed from putting so many different things on my face.  I went to the dermatologist the last time and wanted a solution to my acne.  She said I was a candidate for Accutane,  a serious treatment with a high dose of vitamin A.  She said I would have to use birth control because it can cause serious birth defects.  That scared me.  So I decided to do some research before making such a drastic decision.  Side effects of Accutane include dry skin, itchy rash, dry mouth and eyes, and hair loss,  WHAT!!  Hair loss!  That was a deal breaker for me.  i did not want to take my chances with my hair falling out so I said no thank you and decided to look for a solution  on my own.

I did much research and I found that diet is  one of the biggest culprits to acne.   I did some reflection on my own diet.  I didn't really have a bad diet.  I ate whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, so I wasn't sure if what I was reading was true.  Well I decided it never hurts to try.  So I tried changing my diet by removing certain food items from my diet to see how my skin reacted.  Some of the food items that I found made me breakout were food items that has been considered "healthy" foods, but for some reason, my body does not do well with them and so caused my breakouts.  The change didn't happen overnight and it took a few weeks to actually to start seeing a change.  It took some time to determine which foods caused my acne.  But once I found the food items I cured my acne completely.  I no longer have cystic acne, pimples, or black heads.  I do not use any medications.  the face products I use on my face ore basic face soaps with no added ingredients for acne.  

My family and friends are shocked at my transformation.  I struggled with acne for over 20 years, with the last few years being the worst with the cystic acne.  And I was able to cure my acne with just changing my diet.  

If you have acne, you too can cure your acne.  I am available to help you with your journey.  It is a complicated road and a puzzle determining which foods cause your acne.  But I assure you it is a road that can be conquered if you are determined.  If you would like me to help you, please visit my website at  No one should have to live with acne.  And you can get pass this, one bite at a time.

Stacie with no make up on. I no longer have any cystic pimples.  My only breakouts now are by choice, because I know what foods cause my breakouts.  I am now control of my acne, instead of acne being control of me.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Protein Banana Nut Bread

I love baking!  And popular recipes such as banana nut bread can be made healthier with a few changes to this famous recipe.  I am always trying  to find ways to increase my protein and fiber intake.  For this bread I added protein powder to help you feel fuller longer.  The walnuts are a great source of fiber, Omega-3s, and magnesium so I tend to be very generous with adding these to my dish.  If you have some ripe bananas in your pantry it is time to start cooking this delicious and healthy banana nut bread.

1 cup of flour
1 cup of protein powder (plain or vanilla)
2 ripe bananas
1/2 cup applesauce
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 tbsp cinnamon
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350.  In a loaf pan, spray with cooking spay.  Begin by mixing your flour, protein powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.

In a separate bowl place your bananas, egg, brown sugar, applesauce, and vanilla.  Use a hand mixer to blend well to get out all the chunks.

Mix your wet and dry ingredients together. Add your walnuts, but leave a few tablespoons to top your bread with.

Pour your batter in the loaf pan and top with some walnuts.

Bake for about 30 min or until toothpick comes out clean.


Simply Strawberry Smoothie

When I am in a rush in the morning, and I want to have a balanced breakfast,  I make me this easy smoothie.  This is the smoothie I always turn to when I need something fast and tasty.  My husband has to wake up extra early during football season, so making a full breakfast where you must sit down is near impossible.  Instead I make him smoothies and put them in to-go cups for the road.  He can drink them on the way to work without wasting any time.

So how do you make this easy smoothie?
In a blender add 1 cup of frozen strawberries, 2 scoops of protein powder, 1 6oz container of yogurt (I normally use vanilla),  and 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk.  Blend, Pour, and Go!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Blackened Fish Nachos with Watermelon Salsa

A healthy treat that satisfy all your taste buds.  This delicious dish is a spin on the classic nachos, only made a little bit healthier.  This dish is spicy, sweet, salty, and juicy.  I never thought watermelon using watermelon as a salsa would be such a good idea.  The watermelon cools your tongue after taking a bite of the spicy fish.  It is also a great source of vitamin A which is essential for our eyes and skin.   This dish is definitely now one of my favorites.

4 fish fillets (a white fish such as tilapia or flounder)
Canola oil
Blackened Seasoning
2 cups of cubed watermelon
2 tbsp of lime juice
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
2 cups shredded cabbage
Baked tortilla chips 
shredded mozzarella cheese

Begin by seasoning the fish with the blackening seasoning.  

Heat skillet and cook fish on both sides for about 3-4 minutes.

For the salsa, mix together the watermelon, lime juice, and cilantro.

To assemble the nachos begin by putting a handful of chips on a plate.  Place a hand full of shredded cabbage, a fish fillet, the watermelon salsa, and sprinkle of cheese.


Recipe modified from The dairy Good Cookbook.

Friday, September 4, 2015

Why You Should Use a Dietitian?

I recently started my Nutrition Business providing education, consulting, and a variety of other services for individuals.  My job is to help people succeed with making behavior changes that will help them reach their nutrition goals.  

Unfortunately there is a lot of misguided information out there concerning nutrition.  Everyone is considered an "expert" in this area and because of that there is a ton of information given out that is not necessarily backed by science.  There are many self proclaimed experts giving information about nutrition, which means you have to be careful where you get your information from.  Some people are in the health industry to make money.  They are trying to find the next big thing in health to advertise to make money.  We see it all the time from fad diets, to exotic foods, to different herbs and supplements that are suppose to be the next big miracle worker.  These things are designed to get you excited and make you spend your money. And most of the time they do not even work.

The truth of the matter is if you want to reach your nutrition goals it requires behavior changes.  A dietitian can work with you to identify what behaviors that need to be changed.  Dietitians are trained professionals who are experts in the nutrition field.  Dietitians were required to go to school, many of which have their Master's Degree in Nutrition.  They had to compete to receive one of a few internships offered for inspiring dietitians which means only the best of the best continue on to become dietitians.  For their internship they must complete 1200 hour in a variety of health settings including the hospital, food service, and in the community. Once they are done with their exam they then must take a board exam in order to become registered and official.  So you can see their knowledge and expertise is not simply telling people to eat vegetables, but they must be on top of their game in the health and nutrition field.  That is the type of person you want on your team to help you reach your fitness goals.    Whether it is something as simple as increasing your vegetable intake by adding one extra side of vegetables at dinner or something more complicated such as identifying the correct formula for a person who must eat through a feeding tube that is pumped directly into their stomach because they are unable to swallow.    

 70 percent of the US is either overweight or obese.  Many of them it is not necessarily their fault but it is a result of their environment, genetics, and lack of knowledge of how to reach their goals.  Many of these people spends hundreds of dollars each year to try to become successful at losing weight. Many people get gym memberships with the idea,  "If I workout, then I can eat whatever I want."  That couldn't be farther from the truth.  80% of your fitness goals is based on nutrition.  You cannot invest time and money just on exercise and expect to get results.  Total wellness means you have to make changes in several areas of your life in order to be a success.

For many people hiring a dietitian is the way to do it.  Having monthly, weekly, or biweekly visits with a person specialized in food has shown to help people stay on track with their nutrition goals.  For my clients that means you will be spending as little as $55-125 dollars a month, about as much as many gym memberships.  Studies have shown that individuals who use a dietitian are more likely to lose weight, reduce their risk of  diabetes, cancer, and heart disease, and improve their overall health status.  Individuals with diabetes have improved their blood sugars when taken the advice of dietitians. Athletes also have shown benefits with the use of a dietitian.  They have found they have more energy, improved lean body mass, and overall improved performance.

So when you are making decisions about your health, I want to encourage you to consider adding a dietitian to your health routine. I provide a variety of services that you can choose from if you choose me as your dietitian.  But whether you choose me or not, I want you to strongly consider adding a licensed and registered dietitian to your health routine.  

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Yummy Date Breakfast Cookies

Start your day of with a yummy cookie!!  Not just any cookie,  a healthy date cookie with avocados, oats, cinnamon, and yogurt.  You know that sounds good, and it is.  Cookies are my favorite food, so this delicious healthy treat is just what I need to get my cookie fix and fill my morning with a wholesome breakfast.  This recipe is great for breakfast on the run.  You make a batch at the beginning of the week and you will have enough cookies to last you a few days.  Just grab and go!

3 cups of old fashion oats
1 1/2 cup flour ( you can use whole wheat for more whole grain goodness)
4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 ripe avocado, mashed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup plain low fat yogurt
2 eggs
2 cups of chopped dates (12 oz)

Preheat oven to 375.  
In a bowl mix oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

In a separate bowl use a blender to mix the avocado, oil, and sugar together.  Then add the yogurt and eggs.

Combine the wet and dry mixture.

Take your dates.  I found mine at Walmart in the produce section (by the nuts and seeds).  

Chop the dates into tiny pieces

Add the dates into your batter.  Using a 1/4 cup measure scoop the batter onto a cookie sheet 2 inches apart.

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until golden brown.


Recipe modified from Fresh Avocado Love One Today Campaign

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Roasted Italian Vegetables

I don't know about you, but I am always looking for new ways to make my vegetable sides.  Eating just a side of green beans or carrots can be boring after a while.  I like to make my vegetable sides exciting so I have something to look forward to.  This vegetable side as surprisingly delicious and easy to make.  Caramel flavor of the roasted vegetables added the right touch to make this dish special.  Check out the recipe below

1 red bell pepper cut in strips
1 cup baby carrots
1 large onion cut in wedges
1 cup of baby portobello mushrooms
drizzle of Italian salad dressing
sprinkle of Parmesan

Mix the vegetables and salad dressing together in a baking dish.  
Top with cheese.
Bake until vegetables become tender about 20 minutes.  For a more caramelized taste, broil the vegetables for the last 5 minutes. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Guess Who in America has the Best Diet in America

According to National Health and Nutrition Examination survey of 2009-2010  Seniors aged 71 years and older have the best diet.  I personally find this to be true when I speak with my patents about their diet.  I am amazed by how many seniors are already eating a very healthy diet.  I do not even need to give many of them that much advice because they are already doing a great job.  Many of them eat plenty of vegetables and whole grains.  A few of them may lack in protein.  Getting enough calcium seems to be the biggest issue I see since most seniors do not like drinking milk.  Taking calcium supplements can  help with those individuals. But overall these individuals are doing great with their diet and we should take time to learn from our elders.  They are living long and part of the reason why is because of what they ate growing up and now.

Unfortunately the group with the worst diet is currently the teenagers.  Many teens nowadays live off of junk food from fast food restaurants, chips, cookies, and sugary beverages.  As adults it is our job to teach them how to eat right and be an example to them.  Teenagers who have parents who eat healthy are more likely to pick healthier choices than teens with parents who do not eat healthy.  Get the junk food out your house.  Don't allow your kids to get fast food for lunch everyday, or even every week.  Teach them that junk food is suppose to be for special occasions and should only be consumed once in a while.

  For me and my husband, we find that if it is in the house we will keep eating it until it is gone.  Our solution,  we don't buy it!  I love cookies!  I remember buying some frosted animal cookies right after me and my husband got married.  I kid you not,  I walked around with that bag of cookies for two days straight until it was gone.  If I, being a professional in the nutrition world cannot have self control with junk food, what makes you think you can.  What I do when we want junk food we will go and make it a special treat.  Perhaps me and my husband will go to an ice cream shop and get one serving of ice cream instead of bringing the whole tube home to be eaten within a few days.  If I want cookies, I go to the gas station and buy an individual pack so I am not tempted to splurge.  Controlling your environment is key to your success.  When I visit my senior clients, they do not have junk food in their house.  And if they do it is literally only one item.  This shows that controlling your environment can help you control your eating habits.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Protein Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a classic breakfast choice for many people.  This heart healthy whole grain is full of fiber which helps you stay full longer and aids in digestive health.  Unfortunately though, eating just oatmeal by itself is not considered a complete breakfast.  Oatmeal is mainly carbohydrate with some natural fat found in the oats.  It does not provide enough protein for your breakfast meal.  Unless you pair it with some eggs, and turkey bacon you are going to be behind on your protein needs for the day.  One trick I like to do is stir in protein powder with your oatmeal.  We know that many of the flavored oatmeals are jam packed with sugar which can spike your blood sugar.  But eating plain oatmeal can be boring.  By adding flavored protein powder, such as vanilla,  you will get that sweet taste you are looking for and get plenty of protein.  I like to use Natural Whey Protein by True Athlete which is found at Vitamin Shoppe.  It contains probiotics to help with digestive health. 

To make your Protein oatmeal is easy.  Pour the desired amount of oatmeal into a bowl ( 1/2 -1 cup is typical).  Scoop your protein powder in to your oatmeal, enough to get atleast 20g of protein.  I used 2 scoops with my True Athlete protein powder to make 20 g.  Then add low fat milk or almond milk.  Stir.  Them microwave to desired consistency as usual.  Yummy!!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Raspberry Orange Pancakes and Syrup

Pancakes are my favorite morning treat.  It is made more special with home made pancakes and syrup.  This delicious raspberry orange pancakes and syrup makes an morning special.  Using fresh oranges you will have a nice tangy flavor added to your pancakes, while the raspberries brings just the right amount of tartness and sweetness.  

Raspberry Orange Pancakes and Syrup

Maple Raspberry Syrup
1 cup fresh orange juice
Dash of cinnamon
2 tbsp of orange zest
1 cup real maple syrup
2/3 cup or raspberries

2-3 oranges
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
¼ cup skim milk or milk substitute
1 egg
2 tsp oil
¾ cup raspberries

In a sauce pan combine orange juice, syrup and cinnamon.  Simmer for 7-8 minutes.  Add orange zest and berries.  Mash berries.  Set aside.
For pancakes, zest the oranges and st aside.  Squeeze oranges to make ½ cup of juice. 
In a lg bowl mix flour, baking powder and salt. Add orange juice, egg, milk, and zest.
Place oil on griddle.  Pour some batter on griddle and cook pancakes evenly on both sides.  Top pancakes with syrup.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Low Fat Strawberries and Cream Popsicle

It is so hot outside! During this weather everyone loves a delicious frozen treat.  However most ice creams are loaded with fat and calories.  If you want to cool down you don't want to put on a few pounds while doing it by eating high fatty foods.  Try these delicious popsicles instead.  They use Greek yogurt instead of whole milk to help cut the fat.  It is a delicious treat that your whole family will love!

Strawberry Shortcake Popsicles
Servings 6-12 (depending on popsicle size)
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup crushed Reduced fat Nilla wafers
2 cups vanilla Greek yogurt

In a bowl combine vanilla wafers, and yogurt.
Put strawberries in a blender or food processor to form a puree.
In popsicle trays fill 1/3 full with yogurt mixture, 1/3 with strawberries, and the remaining 1/3 with yogurt mixture.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Blueberry pancakes

Pancakes are my favorite breakfast recipe.  However the added syrup that normally comes on pancakes is full of sugar and calories. 1/4 of syrup typically has about 200 calories.  Plus adding a tablespoon of butter adds an additional 100 calories.  So having a short stack of 2-3 pancakes ends up being an easy 600-800 calories.  Not necessarily the best way to start your day.  You can cut the calories by substituting the syrup with something lower in calories, such as blueberries.  These blueberry pancakes have become one of my favorite breakfast treats.  It is easy to make and much healthier.

Blueberry Pancakes
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup flour
3 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cup milk
3 tbsp canola oil
½ cup frozen blueberries
½ cup fresh blueberries

Mix dry ingredients in bowl.
Add milk and oil. 
Pour batter in griddle.  Add frozen blueberries.  Cook each side for 2-3 min.
Serve with fresh blueberries.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Low Fat Zucchini Pesto

Pesto is becoming more and more popular.  With people trying to be more adventurous with their dish we are seeing more people eating pesto than in the past.  Pesto is mainly used for pasta however I have seen it now being added to pizza, sandwiches, chicken, vegetables, salads, hummus, soups, and much more.  The only thing is pesto is mainly fat.  Pesto recipes are composed of oil, basil, garlic, and cheese.  Obviously the oil and cheese increases the fat and calorie content substantially. If you are trying to lose weight, eating too much of this actually may defeat your efforts.  A good alternative is the low fat zucchini pesto.  It still has the same great taste, however the fat is cut due to the added vegetables.  I use it for my pasta and pizzas and it tastes just as good as the real thing.

Low Fat Zucchini Pesto

1 Zucchini, diced
1 clove garlic, 
¼ cup baisil
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp parmesan cheese

Boil zucchini until soft.  Drain. 
Transfer zucchini, and remaining ingredients to a food processor.  Blend until desired consistency.