Recipes

Learning how to lead a Nutritious Life with Keri Glassman

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I realized after some initial setbacks with my fertility that nutrition held the keys to the kingdom that I was looking for.  I became convinced that what I put in my body would ultimately help me achieve conception.  I got to reading books on foods for fertility and met with a couple of nutritionists, but ultimately knew that I just wanted to be more educated on the subject.  (Maybe the Type A in me?)  Cue Keri Glassman and The Nutrition School (TNS).  The courses not only solidified my understanding of nutrition, but also gave me a “wholistic” view on health, wellness, and nutrition.  Thanks to Keri and TNS, I am now Nutritious Life Certified and accredited by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners.

You may have heard about Keri… she is a nationally recognized celebrity nutritionist, registered dietician, healthy cooking expert, published author, and the founder of Nutritious Life and The Nutrition School.  Or you may have seen Keri on TV; she has been tapped as an expert to speak on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The View, The Talk, The Chew, Dr. Oz, and much more. 

I was recently fortunate enough to snag some time with Keri to discuss how her life was destined to be a nutritious one.  Read on to find out how you too can glean some important tips on leading your most nutritious life!

 

How do you spend most of your time?

Good question.  Every day varies but there are a few things that I do to keep my schedule consistent despite travel and projects.  I always take a look at my week and assess what I am doing with my kids, when I am having my family time, and what are the fun and exciting things that we are doing together based on their schedule.  I also always try to be home for breakfast unless I have early morning TV (interviews), as well as dinners to spend time with them.  Breakfast and dinner together is a huge part of our day. 

When you are your own boss and someone is not telling you where to be all day, it can lead to lack of structure and productivity.  I am an early riser and am my best in the morning so try to tackle one big project on my list between 5:30am and 7am.  That gives me a little bit of time for myself, plus a bit of time to organize and map out the day.  I pause, have breakfast with the kids, and when they go to school, I get my workout in.  Then I try to block out time to get in computer time (writing my own content, doing research) until around 1pm to harness my most productive hours.  I take the time after that to power through media interviews, calls, and meetings.  I find that I am better in those situations because I have crossed off things from my list earlier in the day, am clear-headed and focused.

What inspired you to launch Nutritious Life and TNS?  

Since I was a little girl, I was interested in nutrition without even realizing it.  I played sports and had a natural interest in how the body works and fuels itself.  In seventh grade science class, I told my friend that I was craving almonds so my body must need Vitamin E.  I probably had no had idea what Vitamin E actually did but I had read it somewhere, and was interested enough to remember that fact. 

Fast forward to college, I continued to play sports and eat well.  A lot of my friends did not.  They drank Diet Coke, didn't eat healthfully, yet I was the one who gained the “Freshmen Fifteen”.  As a result, I became interested in how to fuel the body for performance but also how to be lean and fit.  After I graduated, I worked with Sports Illustrated and because it was owned by Time Inc., I could get my hands on all the magazines.  I remember sitting at my desk and going over every last word in Health Magazine.  In fact, I was so interested that I went back to school part-time and took nutrition courses at NYU.

To some extent the rest is history, but when I graduated I started working for an online health and wellness company and was counseling people; first at Equinox, and then privately.  At the same time, I was getting my business experience at a small start-up.  The start-up pulled me away from hard-core nutrition because it took so much of my time so I decided to take the business skills that I had gained and couple it with my passion for nutrition. Then I went for it.

I quit my job (at the start-up) and opened up my own practice called Body Fuel about fifteen years ago, which has since evolved into Nutritious Life.  My practice from day one encompassed the mantra of a nutritious life, and it being more than just food.  In fact, my first logo was an icon for stress (a brain) with an arrow going to a drop of water (hydration) to an arrow going to a bed (sleep)!

I created TNS to scale my practice throughout the country.  It started with a binder to keep myself accountable and to eventually train others.  Then I hired my first dietician, trained her, and then the binder evolved into the program that it is today.

How old were you when you started playing with food?

I talk about this with my mother all the time… My mom still has a recipe box and found all of these cards with recipes that I had written, even though some were make-believe like Lizard Stew!

In the second grade, I made a “cookie dough machine” for a school project.  My dad brought cardboard and paper towel rolls for me to make it.  I always think of that as my first recipe and foray into entrepreneurship.

What’s the first thing that you remember cooking?

Growing up I cooked with my mother who made so many great recipes!  I remember the ritual and experience more so than what we actually made; sitting on the counter in the kitchen and being with mom, and cooking dinner every night.   We started every meal with half a grapefruit, and a salad with Ken’s Italian dressing.  Every night we had a vegetable, starch, and a protein, followed by dessert.  It may not always have been focused on health per se but it was always balanced.  We also always sat down as a family.

An ingredient that you can’t live without?

Nuts and nut butter.

One ingredient that you avoid at all costs?

There is almost nothing that I do not like but I can’t stand cilantro. 

What do you listen to when you cook?

Everything from what I listened to when I was growing up to what the kids listen to now.  From Coldplay, Eminem, U2 to the Bee Gees to Taylor Swift.  I was rocking out to Katy Perry the other night and loved it.  My daughter took the opportunity to share… “Mom, that song is not good”.

Favorite vegetable?

That is hard…  I have to pick one?!  Mmm…. Let’s go with spinach.

Favorite fruit?

Blueberries

Last cookbook that you used?  What did you cook?

I recently made a great recipe from “It’s All Good” by Gwyneth Paltrow.  I made Two-Pan Chicken with Harissa, Preserved Lemons and Green Olives. I love olives.  In fact, it inspired me to make poached olives and they were so good.

Do you have any secret talents?

Hand-eye coordination.  If you throw something at me, I will catch it.  I can also pogo stick for hours.  I think I beat a neighborhood record when I was a kid.

If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?

Oprah.  Who wouldn’t want to sit with Oprah all night and pick her brain?

What is the number one piece of advice you would share with those looking to lead a Nutritious Life?

The combination of eating real, whole foods in conjunction with listening to your body, eating when you are slightly hungry, and to stop eating when you are slightly satisfied.  You’ll never have to count calories or worry about anything food related if you can master that powerful combo.

Remember it’s not just about the food.  It’s also important to pay attention to the other areas like focusing on stress reduction, sleep, and to not forget that they are just as important as exercise and food.

 

Ready to get started?  I put together a sample meal plan below with balanced and healthy recipes designed by Keri.  Just click on the recipe links below to get started with leading a Nutritious Life!

Breakfast: Morning Glory Muffins

Snack: Avocado Banana Smoothie 

Lunch: Chopped Salad with Tofu & Soy Nuts

Snack: Carrots & (10) Almonds

Dinner: Noodle Free Turkey Lasagna

 

*Note: Look out for GMO-free soy products.  Also, all recipes shared were created by Keri Glassman, Nutritious Life.

Breakfast for Days

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I was not a breakfast person until recently.  While I love breakfast and have been known to eat it for dinner, I never quite made the time to "break the fast" in the morning.  Between the snooze button on my phone and finding myself rushing out the door, I could never quite get to it.  Sound like you too?

Motivated to have it all (the extra sleep plus fit in breakfast,) I have made eating breakfast a priority and possible thanks to meal prep in advance.  Here's what prompted me to get excited about breakfast...

A healthy breakfast kick starts your metabolism for the rest of the day.  (Really; starting your day with a morning meal initiates thermogenesis, the metabolic process that gets your body going.)  Skipping breakfast might initially mean saving on calories but the body gets conditioned to make up for it and then some by looking for more food and usually less healthy options later in the day*  If the potential weight gain isn’t convincing enough; when the body is focused on basic survival and when it is going to eat next, it isn’t working as optimally and is certainly less focused on making new life happen.

If breakfast is something you'd like to get add in to your daily ritual without sacrificing something else; here is one of my favorite healthy prep-in advance recipes for Overnight Oats to help get you started.  The following is a recipe that I have adapted from Angela Liddon’s cookbook: “Oh She Glows Every Day," for Apple Pie Overnight Oats.

Apple & PB Overnight Oats


HERE’S WHAT YOU’LL NEED

  • 1 cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats (I like Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1 ½ cups Almond Milk
  • 2 tbsps Natural Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter.  I like Justin’s either way)
  • 1 tbsp Raw Honey
  • 1tsp Cinnamon
  • ½ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Pinch of Sea Salt (I like Himalayan)
  • 1 large Apple diced (Organic when possible)
  • 3 tbsps Chia Seeds

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

  • Hemp Seeds
  • Ground Cinnamon
  • Dried Cranberries
  • Additional Apple

The Recipe

10 Minutes Prep & Let Refrigerate for 2 Hours+ or Overnight

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the oats, milk, peanut butter, honey, cinnamon, vanilla, salt, apple, and chia seeds.  Stir to combine.
  2. Cover or transfer into a large mason jar to settle.  Refrigerate for 2 – 3 hours or overnight to soften the oats.  If the mixture is too thick for your liking, add a little extra almond milk and stir.
  3. Serve chilled or warm up.  Add toppings if you would like.  Keep any leftovers in an airtight container (or mason jar) in the fridge for a few days.   

Go nut-free:  Swap almond milk for nut-free milk and lose the peanut butter.

 

WHY I LOVE THIS RECIPE

A quick, easy to make and tasty gluten-free breakfast for days that provides a good ratio of protein, (healthy) carbs and (good) fats.  

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

Cinnamon is a super spice and chock full of antioxidant properties. It can destroy fungal infections, soothe indigestion, ward off urinary tract infections, fight tooth decay and gum disease, prevent ulcers, and is believed to control blood sugar in people with diabetes.  Plus the scent is linked to curbing fatigue, easing frustration and increasing alertness.

Chia Seeds are high in fiber and are a great source of Omega-3s (7 grams in a 11⁄2 tablespoon or 1⁄2 oz serving or more than 1⁄4 of your daily needs.)  They are also packed with protein, calcium, manganese, magnesium and phosphorus. Chia is linked to heart health, bone health, blood sugar control and exercise performance.  Please don’t consume chia unless it’s incorporated into liquid or foods, otherwise it could pose health risks.

Hemp Seeds provide essential amino acids in a vegan and gluten free seed.  Thanks to the omega-3s packed into these little gems your heart and brain function optimally.  Like chia, it’s abundant in fiber (12 grams in a tablespoon and a half,) and keeps the pipes working smoothly.

Credits: The Nutrition School, Nutritious Life by Keri Glassman.

 

*The National Weight Control Registry is a log of menu and women who have lost anywhere from 30 to 300 lbs and have kept it off for at least 5 1/2 years.  Interestingly enough, 78% eat breakfast every day.  Another study from The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development reported that as of 2011, the percent of obese adults (BMI > 30) in America is 26.1% while the percent of obese adults in Germany is 13.7%.  According to the study, over 75% of Germans eat breakfast every day while only 44% of Americans do.  Credit: The Nutrition School, Nutritious Life by Keri Glassman.

Amazing Almond Milk

When I first started my journey of eating clean, my friend Shannon sent me a kit to make my own almond milk.  I was a serial breakfast skipper and I think that this broke her heart a little.  Shannon wanted to ensure that I was covered from a non-dairy alternative in my coffee to easy pre-made breakfasts.  (Almond milk is a key ingredient to my now go-to breakfast, Overnight Oats.)  I am pretty sure that this was one of the first times that I began using my kitchen since we had moved in to our new home two years ago.  I have since played around  enough to make a recipe that I love and hope that you will too.

Homemade almond milk is a fantastic substitution for dairy milk; from coffee to baking.  Most importantly it tastes great plus is so ridiculously easy to make.  It seriously only takes around 10 minutes or so to achieve an awesome dairy-free milk alternative without all of the gross additives like Carrageenan* that might be found in the store bought versions.

Here's what you’ll need

  • 1 cup Raw Almonds (ideally sprouted)
  • 3 ½ cups Filtered Water
  • ½ tsp salt (I recommend Himalayan Pink Sea Salt because of its added benefit of trace minerals)
  • Zimtal Nut Bag

And because I was always a sucker for the sweet drinks at Starbucks, I sometimes sweeten the pot with the following:

  • ½ tsp Vanilla
  • ½ tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 tsp raw Honey

The Prep

  • Soak almonds in salted water, in a covered container, in the fridge overnight (or at least 8 hours).

The Process

  1. Rinse almonds thoroughly, throw into a blender and blend away.
  2. Grab a small bowl, line the bowl with your nut bag and pour the liquid through.  Remove the bag from the bowl and squeeze the liquid through the bag. (I always imagine this is what it must feel like to milk a cow.)  
  3. Once all liquid contents are in the bowl and you are just left with the almond bits in the bag, pour the liquid back into the blender.  (Don’t forget to give your blender a quick rinse in between to lose any almond bits.)
  4. Add in the natural sweeteners as recommended or to taste, blend and viola, you are done!
  5. Your almond milk should last 3-4 days in the fridge.

*Carrageenan is a food additive that keeps products and beverages from separating.  It can be labeled as organic and natural since it is made from algae.  The seaweed is cleaned, extracted, filtered, concentrated, combined with chemicals, pressed, dried, blended, and refined.  Still sound organic to you?  Research studies link carrageenan as a trigger to inflammation that could be a factor in severe health conditions including cancer, diabetes, colitis, and other GI tract damage.