Nutrition and Fitness with Randa

Healthy Chocolate Raspberry Parfait

Parfait is a French word literally meaning "perfect" that began referring to a kind of frozen dessert in 1894.

So what do you eat when you want something chocolatey but want to feel good about making a healthy choice? Being summer, I wanted something cool, refreshing and light, but also rich with chocolate goodness. What I created was so good I decided to serve it at a party I threw, and it was a big hit! And what chocolate dessert can you eat that is low in fat, sugar and calories, and high in protein (at least 20 grams!)?

Dessert so delicious and fun to serve!

Oftentimes, I believe we do well making healthier choices for ourselves, but when it comes to our family or friends, we give them food we know isn't healthy. Maybe because it is cheaper or takes less time and thought, but I have come to realize that is makes ME feel good when I share health with others through food. My 'tagline' is "Sharing health, one person at a time", and this is one great way of doing so.

As always, you can modify this dessert according to your tastes, but here is my recipe for 20 individual servings. You could easily make this as a snack for you or your kids on a smaller scale.

Healthy Chocolate Raspberry Parfait

  • 64 oz. plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Chocolate protein powder (up to 60 grams of protein total) or 2 cups of powder
  • Splenda, stevia, or organic sugar for sweetening (optional based on sweetness preference)
  • 2 bags frozen or fresh unsweetened raspberries or other fruit of choice
  • 1.5 small bars of dark chocolate* (Choose dark chocolate with at least 60 % cocoa content - this ensures less sugar. If you don't know what the cocoa content is, choose a chocolate that is highest in fat compared to sugar or carbohydrates.)

1. Blend together yogurt and chocolate powder until very smooth and creamy. Mix in sweetener of choice until desired sweetness is achieved.

2. Place berries or fruit on bottom of cup or glass, and layer chocolate yogurt blend on top.

3. Grate dark chocolate bar and sprinkle shavings on top of yogurt.

4. Enjoy!

*Trader Joes sells a variety of great dark chocolate - try their organic dark chocolate truffle bar!

LOVE THIS! Nutrients per serving (20 servings): 167 Calories, 2.5g Total Fat, 1g Saturated Fat, 10g Carbs, 1.5g Fiber, 6.9g Sugars, 25.8g Protein

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Chicken for Breakfast?

Chicken for Breakfast? How to Add More Protein to your Breakfast

A friend of mine recently asked how she can get more protein in at breakfast without eating dairy. I thought this would be great blog post as I imagine many are either not getting enough protein, or eating too much of it, at breakfast. I do have a friend who enjoys chicken at breakfast - why not? There are no rules! Well, maybe 2: make sure to actually eat breakfast and secondly, ask yourself if you have enough protein.

Speaking of breakfast, it is likely that we have all heard – maybe to ad nauseum – that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. But WHY is it such a big deal?

  • Your metabolism slows when you haven’t eaten in a while (more than three hours) When you wake up, you haven’t eaten for at least 6 hours – unless you are raiding the pantry in your sleep!
  • Eating breakfast within 30 minutes of waking essentially jump starts your metabolism.
  • If you can’t stomach breakfast, at least eat a snack, then eat breakfast two hours later.

So what to eat to ensure you are getting at least 15 grams of protein? Here are some delicious breakfast ideas:

* Add vanilla protein powder to your oatmeal. Tip: Wisk the powder with some water or milk before adding otherwise it will be lumpy – yuk! (If you are dairy-free, try Jay Robb Egg White Protein Powder or Life’s Basics Plant Protein Powder)

*Greek Yogurt topped with berries, a small sliced banana and some toasted nuts.

*Cereal with milk or soymilk – if the combined amount of protein in the serving of cereal and serving of milk is not 15 grams, add a small side of eggs, turkey sausage, or add protein powder to your milk.

*Egg sandwich: 1 egg/2 egg whites or 3-4oz egg whites and a piece of Canadian bacon  or Morning Star soy sausage patties sandwiched between two pieces of whole wheat or sourdough toast with a side of berries or grapefruit

*Fruit Smoothie: 1 banana + 1 cup berries + 1 serving protein powder + H2O + ice

1 cup milk (any kind) + 3 cup berries + 1 serving protein powder + ice

(You can also add some ground flaxseed to any of these breakfast ideas for a boost of essential fatty acids and fiber)

What do YOU eat for breakfast? Leave a comment!

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Greek Yogurt- The “Other” Sour Cream

A staple in my daily nutrition is Greek yogurt. The trend is catching on quickly and many stores are now carrying this thick and creamy goodness. What I love about Greek yogurt, other than its wonderful versatility and healthy benefits, is that it is a protein, not a carbohydrate, like all other yogurts. What this means is, when you look at the nutrition label, you will see that the amount of protein is higher than both the amount of carbs and fat. This applies to any food - whichever macronutrient is highest (carb, protein or fat), that is what the food is. This is another blog entry on its way!

What is Greek yogurt?

The principle difference in creating Greek yogurt is that after the milk is heated and cultured, it is allowed to sit in muslin or cheesecloth bags, so that the whey filters out of the yogurt. Some yogurts have an almost runny texture, or have liquid on the top when you open them. Greek yogurts don’t have this liquid because of the straining process.The results tend to be superior when whole milk, or a combination of whole milk and cream are used to produce Greek yogurt.

To cut back on the huge amount of fat in the full fat yogurt, opt for the nonfat, which is also wonderfully creamy and delicious. If you live near a Trader Joe’s, they make their own brand and it also imports less expensively than other brands. I also like to be in control of the sugar added so I buy the plain and add my own sweeteners like honey, splenda, stevia or demerara sugar if I want it sweet.

Nutrition Breakdown in 1 Cup of nonfat Greek yogurt:

Calories: 120

Fat: 0

Carb: 7g

Protein: 22g (wow!)

There are so many ways to use Greek yogurt:

  1. Mixed with frozen berries for a healthy snack
  2. As a dip for apples and other fruits with cinnamon and natural sweetener mixed in
  3. Mix in spices such as curry, garlic, chili for a marinade for chicken
  4. As a substitute for sour cream in tacos or chili
  5. In smoothies in place of protein powder or milk
  6. Add 1/2 scoop of chocolate protein powder and 1 tbs of peanut butter for a sweet treat!

Randa's Recipe for Oatmeal Trifle

This is one of my favorite breakfasts. It is a cinch to make and tastes like dessert! Bon Appetit!

  1. 3/4 cup oats
  2. 1 cup frozen berries
  3. 1/2 -1 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  4. 1 tbs toasted almonds or walnuts OR 1-2 tbs ground flaxseed

1. Cook oatmeal with water as directed.

2. Sprinkle a little splenda or stevia on berries and place in microwave save bowl and cook for 1 min.

3. Layer berries over top of cooked oatmeal

4. Layer Greek yogurt over berries

5. Top with nuts or ground flaxseed and drizzle honey or diabetic, sugar-free syrup on top

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