NUTRITION CORNER WITH CHEF JEN
Nutrition Corner With UD Chef & Dietitian Jen Muzzi
My name is Jen Muzzi. I’m a Registered Dietitian, Chef and the Nutrition Outreach Coordinator for Employee Health and Wellbeing here at UD. This space will highlight recipes, cooking videos, tips and my blog. Here’s your first tip– healthier eating is easier than you think! While some prep and planning are necessary, it’s well worth it. Check out the latest cooking video and recipes listed below. You’ll never miss any of these, as we will have all of these archived so that you can always access these whenever you need them!
UD Recipe Swap and Share
This group is for UD employees to swap recipes that you have made, want to make, or want someone to make for you! If you make them, you can also post the pictures of your final result. It’ll be a great resource for around the holidays, especially if you want to try something new. Kind of like a “UD employee Pinterest” page. 😊 You can also add other UD employees as well to the group!
All recipes are welcome although, we do prefer to encourage health and wellbeing, we know that you can’t live without some decadence in your life.
- UDelicious Recipes
- Breaking Bread in Unity: Vegan Chick'N and Knock Yo Socks Off! BBQ Sauce
- Recipe & Cooking Video Archive
Provided by UD CHS employee, Ashley Barnas
Ingredients (serves 4):
4 large thin veal (150 g each) (we subbed pork and chicken in this recipe also!)
Freshly ground pepper
4 Tbsp flour
150 g breadcrumbs
150 g clarified butter/ghee (alternative: extra virgin olive oil)
- Tenderize the meat slices, lightly salt and pepper on both sides.
- Pour the flour into one plate, whisk the eggs and pour onto a second plate, sprinkle breadcrumbs on a third plate.
- First, press the meat slices into the flour on both sides, then shake gently to remove excess flour. Then, pull the meat through the egg and finally coat it with breadcrumbs. Do not press too hard onto the breading.
- Heat the butter or EVOO in a large pan. Add the schnitzel and fry for 2-3 min. on each side on medium-low. Lift out, de-grease briefly on a paper towel and serve hot.
A classic way to serve is with lemon wedges to drizzle over schnitzel and potato salad.
2 lbs small potatoes that cook to a hard consistency
½ pint (1 cup) well-seasoned meat stock
1 medium sized onion, finely chopped
1 pinch freshly ground pepper
½ tsp salt
4-5 Tbsp white wine vinegar
4-6 Tbsp sunflower oil
- Boil the potatoes in their jackets ~20 min. They should still be hard, but a knife can stick into them smoothly. Peel them while still hot and then allow them to cool down. Cut into fine slices and put into a bowl.
- Remove any fat from the meat stock, heat and pour over the potato slices. The amount required depends on the potatoes, which should be “wet.”
- Add chopped onion and pepper. Take care not to add too much salt as the meat stock is already salty. Mix in the vinegar and leave the salad to soak for about 30 min.
- Season to taste, then mix in the oil with two forks.
- Alternatively, only mix 1 Tbsp oil with the prepared potato salad. Let it soak and then, before serving, pour on 2-3 Tbsp of melted butter (not browned), finally tossing the salad with two forks.
- Serve at room temperature.
Breaking Bread in Unity Episode 2
Herbert’s Vegan Fried Chicken with Knock Yo Socks Off! BBQ Sauce
Recipe by Herbert Bell
- 3 cups vital wheat gluten
- 3 tbsp garlic powder
- 3 tbsp onion powder
- 3 tbsp dried poultry seasoning
- 2 tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp black pepper
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 7 dashes liquid smoke (Mesquite flavor preferred)
- 3 tbsp coconut aminos (may substitute soy sauce, tamari or Braggs aminos)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 14 dashes liquid smoke
- 6 tbs coconut aminos (may substitute soy sauce, tamari or Braggs aminos- just make sure it’s the same as what you use for the kneading liquid)
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs
- In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients well. In a separate bowl, mix kneading liquids well. Pour wet into the dry; using your hands mix very well until tacky consistency forms. On a plate or bowl, mix breading mixture.
- Once the dough has been kneaded and formed. Pull “chicken nugget” sized portions from the dough and let rest for 30 minutes on a large plate or bowl.
- While nuggets are resting, prepare boiling broth in a large pot. Set heat for a low boil (not rapid boiling). After resting time has completed, carefully drop nuggets in boiling broth and let simmer for 45 minutes.
- Mix breading ingredients together in a bowl. Pull nuggets out of boiling broth and set on a plate and cool. Then, roll each individually in the breading.
- Frying the nuggets: Recommended frying in either canola or vegetable oil. Fill frying pan that’s around 2” deep with oil. (If you have a home fryer, fill with oil per manufacturers instructions). Fry nuggets for ~ 5-9 minutes, or until browned. Remove and place on paper towel lined plate to absorb excess oil. Serve with Herbert’s BBQ sauce listed below (or sauce of your choice)
Knock Yo Socks Off! BBQ Sauce
By Herbert Bell
- 2 cups ketchup
- 2/3 cup water
- 1/3 cup cane sugar (brown preferred)
- Scant ½ cup habanero sauce*
- Scant ¼ cup Tiger sauce*
- 1 tbsp PickAPepa sauce*
*should total ¾ cup hot sauce
- 6 Tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- Mix all ingredients well with a whisk. Store in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- Coconut Chickpea Stew PDF | Coconut Chickpea Stew Video
- Homemade Granola PDF | Homemade Granola Video
- Whole Wheat Brownies PDF | Whole Wheat Brownies Video
- Whipped Coffee PDF
- Mini Crust-less Veggie Quiche PDF
- Olgas Enchiladas | Olga’s Enchiladas Video
- Homemade Fried Brown Rice PDF | Video
- Memorial Day Video Overnight Oats PDF Nutrition and Preventive Health
- Carrot Dogs with Slaw PDF
- Zucchini Chips PDF
- Veggie Stuffed Turkey Burgers PDF
- Whole Wheat Pizza Dough PDF | Whole Wheat Pizza Video
- Chicken Bruschetta Zoodle Pasta | Zoodle Video
- Foods That Hydrate Video
- hydrate Cucumber, tomato, bean salad PDF | hydrate strawberry and cauliflower lettuce cup PDF
- Grillin and Chillin Video | Grilled Romaine Salad PDF | Grilled Chicken Foil Packets PDF | Grilled Pineapple Dessert PDF
- Dog Biscuits PDF | Dog Cake PDF | Dog Birthday Treats Video
- Overnight Oats PDF | Overnight Oats Video
- Spiced Peach Jam PDF| Jam Video
- Sandwich Logs and Queso Fundido | Fun Foods Video
- Breaking Bread in Unity: Jamaican Ackee and Saltfish PDF| Video
- Jalapeno Poppers and Southern Tomato Pie | Video
- Breaking Bread in Unity: Herbert’s Vegan Chicken PDF | Video
- Slow Cooker Breakfast Burritos PDF | Video
- Norwegian Apple Pie PDF | Video
- Sparkling Cider Punch PDF| Fall Hot Chocolate PDF | Video
- Mindful eating video
- Pumpkin Donut Holes PDF
WELCOME TO MY FOOD BLOG!
This is where I get deeper into the nutrition aspect of the recipes of the week and sometimes, it’s just my journal. It’s updated weekly with the videos and recipes so, if you’ve missed any they are achieved here as well.
Have a question related to healthy eating that you would like to see on the blog? Have any requests for recipes?
Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Breaking Bread in Unity Blog: Diversity, Facing Our In/Actions and Food
- Bi-weekly Food Blog: Self-compassion, Yoga and Food.
- Eating for Mental Health
Diversity, Facing our In/Actions and Food
By Jen Muzzi, RDN/LDN, RYT-200, Chef
While I was going through yoga teacher training, I was taught to evaluate my thoughts, actions and face past traumas. Also, to take a moment or two to think before speaking and avoid passing judgement. As my teacher stated, “Y.O.G.A, Your Own Great Awareness” and so it is. I’m also a dietitian. Both of these make it important for me to have a heightened awareness, to be mindful and present to the needs of my students, patients or clients. I have learned to “read the room” by noticing body language and energy and with that, comes the responsibility for setting the tone of that space. Sometimes it can be difficult because, I am human being and am far from perfect.
Emotional wellbeing has been brought to the forefront in discussions only recently in American history, as well as its interdependence on physical wellbeing. If you are emotionally spent, you may be physically too, and vice versa. Physical wellbeing is not just your activity level, but your diet as well. As a clinical dietitian, there were many times when I entered a patient room, introduced myself, my job title and received groans, eye rolls and “You’re going to take all the good food away from me, aren’t you?” I’ve learned so much about the mind and its connection to food through my work. It was in the hospital, that I realized patients are acutely aware that their lives are out of their control while admitted and they feel helpless. But the one thing that they can control is FOOD!
FOOD has such an impact on our emotional wellbeing. Food can mend fences and broken hearts; show love, share celebrations and sorrow. Food is a universal language of hospitality and inclusion, because it’s inviting. Sometimes, food can be abused when it’s used to “eat your way through” (or avoid) your emotions or even used as a form of self-punishment. Given current events, I believe FOOD is how we can all come together. WE need to “break bread”, gather, share stories and truly listen to one another.
My New Awareness:
I have been sheltered and living in a bubble, so to speak. I came to realize my ignorance about 2 years ago, when I was speaking with a friend of mine who was married to an African American man and has bi-racial children. I remember saying how things are better at this day and age and she quickly said that it was not. She went on to discuss her son being pulled over by police without cause, the looks that her family would receive out in public and other sad stories. I remember thinking, “How is this possible today?”
Another time my ignorance showed was after hearing of Anti-Semitic vandalism and destruction in Texas. I remember thinking, “Who is still Anti-Semitic in today’s society?!” It is so appalling to me.
It was after those few things that I realized, and am being reminded of that now, that not everyone thinks like me. Not only is our division in America over race and religion, but politics and how to handle the Coronavirus are also further dividing our society. This is leading to discrimination, harassment and is hurting our brothers and sisters; Hurting our American family. Where and how can we come together and heal this relationship? How do we make this place a better one for not just ourselves, but our children the many generations to come? Through FOOD.
Here’s a little bit about me:
First, I grew up in suburban, lower middle class in upstate NY. I had a modest upbringing where we travelled some of the east coast and not internationally. The first time I left the US, I was 26. Not including my trip to Epcot (joking), the first country I visited was Canada. Which, to me, didn’t really feel like another country. Montreal had, what I can only assume was a European feel, with its open-air restaurants and historic architecture.
Otherwise, they said “Bonjour”.
We said, “Hello”
They replied, “Table for 2”?
Second, I’m such a blend of heritages that I’m an American mutt. I always was a little envious of those who can claim one specific heritage, which in upstate NY was mostly Irish, Italian or Puerto Rican. So, when my cousin married a Jewish man, I was beyond excited to be a part of that cultural experience and it was THE BEST wedding I have ever been to! (Sorry to my friends who think it was theirs 😉).
My lack of travel wasn’t due to the lack of desire, but more a lack of funds. It is my dream to travel to Hawaii (yeah, it’s US but not really…), all of Europe, Australia, Seychelles and the Middle East. I’m such a mutt, that when I meet new people and experience new cultures and activities, I want to immerse myself in them! “Show me everything and feed me!”, I say.
Emotional Wellbeing, the Struggle and Action:
I think the reason some people aren’t jumping on diversity, cultural and racism education like the explosion of online resources and such that occurred with COVID-19, is because it’s very emotional. We have to face ourselves, the demons that haunt us, our actions (that we may have been totally oblivious to) and realize with doing that, we’ve caused harm to other human beings.
It is hard to face emotions and to “face the music”. Remember when you were a kid and you had to fess up to mom or dad about something you did wrong? This is the same feeling that I wonder if people are feeling now: Shame. No one likes that feeling and having to face the fact that what we have done, likely unintentionally, was hurting a large group of people as a whole.
In some cases, it might not have been our actions, but our inaction. This quote was somewhat altered from the original, but gets the point across in modern language:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is that good men stand by and do nothing.”
How many times have we passed by something and thought “Oh, someone else will do that” Or “That’s not my job to help with that” or something to that matter?
I know I’m guilty at times of “Someone else will do that”. There is a term in psychology that defines this as “the bystander effect”. Google that term and read the shocking story behind it.
Since I have identified my ignorance, or my bystander effect, it’s been a struggle. I believe I am accepting of many cultures and differences and I thought that the majority of Americans felt the same way too.
Why Culture and Food Experiences are Important:
For a while, when I thought of culture, OTHER country’s culture is what came to mind. One of the great things about this country is that we are truly a melting pot. There is so much culture that we can learn about here in the US. I have my husband to thank for my experiences since he was in the Navy when we were first married. As newlyweds, I was hopeful for an international duty station so that I can finally “see the world” and was slightly disappointed when that didn’t occur. But, I quickly overcame that when we were stationed in North Carolina, where we lived in a small town in the southern outer banks. Then transferred to Charleston, SC. Just those two places helped to “broaden my horizons” more than I had ever expected.
Through immersing ourselves in the towns and new states, we learned a lot! There were many things that I learned, that I didn’t expect. As I’ve mentioned, I’m from upstate NY, so North and South Carolina was a bit of culture (and weather) shock! Side note: I’ll never forget our trip to Savannah when the tour guide was discussing the Civil War as “The War of Northern Aggression”. Wait- What?!
Travelling the different regions in this country, you can experience other cultures. An example from the Carolina’s is their BBQ traditions. For me BBQ was just using the grill and the sauce. Holy Moly! I am here to say that it is not that to them! It’s far from it! Did you know that NC BBQ is vinegar based and SC BBQ is mustard based? It also involves smoking the meat for hours and sometimes days on end! There are many epic arguments over which BBQ joint has the best sauce and who makes it “the right way”. In Carolinas, we got to experience different elements of culture besides BBQ, such as Gullah cuisine and culture and soul food. The Carolina’s have some of the best food I have eaten in my life! It so happens, that Charleston is also where I went to culinary school.
So now, whenever I travel to new places, I NEED to try the food! Mind you- my inner Dietitian is silenced quite often when we do this, 😉. For example, here are some of my recent experiences:
Chicago: I ate deep dish pizza and had a Chicago style hot dog (mustard, onions, sport pepper, relish and French fries).
Colorado: I (reluctantly) tried Rocky Mountain Oysters. (yeah, that’s crossed off the list and not doing again)
NYC: I ate pizza, bagels, a pastrami sandwich (it was only ¼ of it because it was the biggest sandwich I’ve ever seen in my life!). Whenever I’m in NY, I am always on the hunt for falafel, like a Beagle in search for the rabbit (or food).
I only eat at Waffle House if I’m south of the North Carolina border (covered and smothered ma’am)
Philly: Chicken Cheesesteak (provolone, wit)
South Carolina: I ate pulled pork sandwich with slaw ON THE sandwich; I overindulged on the fried chicken, collard greens and Coca-Cola cake at Jestine’s. Fell in love with Shrimp and Grits at SNOB’s and Foie Gras at Charleston Grill. I lived for the ball park and its BOILED PEANUTS. Also, I have a Philippine friend there who once invited me to her child’s baptism and reception and now I’m asking anyone who has that heritage if they will make me and give me the recipe for puto! Then there was that time my husband and I ate a 5 course dinner in the Captain’s quarters on a Taiwanese Naval Ship. (Great story for another day)
Dallas: I ate TX BBQ- ribs, brisket, mac and cheese and PECAN PIE.
Memphis: RIBS, RIBS, RIBS, RIBS! Also, PB, Banana & bacon sandwich at Graceland.
Vermont: EVERYTHING MAPLE, especially Maple Creemees
New York State: My sister married a Dominican man and she’s learned that when I’m visiting she has to make beans and rice, or else I won’t step foot in her house! Then there’s the Italian bakery’s simple, but incapable of replication, buttered hard roll. Mmmmmmmmmmm…..
Is anybody else hungry now?????
Even though I lack travel experiences away from the US, my travels within have exposed me to many cultures and backgrounds so that I can tell you this:
WE CAN COME TOGETHER ACROSS CULTURES AND IT IS THROUGH FOOD!
Anthony Bourdain once said: “Meals make the society, hold the fabric together in lots of ways that were charming and interesting and intoxicating to me……… Food is everything we are. It’s an extension of nationalist feeling, ethnic feeling, your personal history, your province, your region, your tribe, your grandma. It’s inseparable from those from the get-go. ….The perfect meal, or the best meals, occur in a context that frequently has very little to do with the food itself.”
Right now, the focus is on race, but it’s so much more than that. We need to celebrate our differences both physically, spiritually and intellectually. One is not below the other, we are all the same. We are all humans and it’s time to act like it. It’s time to learn about each other and adapt so that we can overcome our fears, insecurities, differences to just love and appreciate one another
Why am I discussing all of this? It’s all due to an amazing suggestion from a colleague. In an effort to help us all to see, be seen and unite.
Employee Health and Wellbeing is starting a new event that we need your help with:
“Breaking Bread in Unity”
SHARE: The request is for people of different cultures to share your favorite foods that you believe define your culture, heritage or childhood.
STORY: Describe why it’s your favorite, where it came from and let’s break bread together over these recipes. Answer Q&A and have your story and recipe highlighted. If you desire, you can remain anonymous!
COOK: If you feel comfortable with Zoom and cooking, we will cook your recipe together and discuss your story in a recorded Zoom session for the University. (If not, we will work something out regardless 😉 ).
Your Q&A will be posted when the video goes live on the College of Health Sciences Facebook page and EHWs Nutrition Corner page.
Finally, maybe, I’ll take a stab at helping to adjust it from a Dietitian stand point or maybe I’ll just let them be.
Here is the link to submit your recipe(s):
Be well, eat well, walk your dog, love one another and Bon Appetit!
~~ Chef Jen
Self-compassion, Yoga and Food
By Jen Muzzi, RDN/LDN, RYT-200, Chef
For me, when I hear the term “compassion”, I think of something more than just care. I think of overwhelming feelings of care and the need to act on it so much that you are actually doing something. So, self compassion = doing something good, loving, kind for and to yourself.
As a yoga instructor I always have my class set an intention at the beginning of the practice. Intention is a good, loving word or phrase. It’s something you can focus on and hold on to as you work through the class. I always emphasize that it should be “good and loving”. I tell my yogis these few things during class:
1- First and foremost: Breathe. Relax or unclench your jaw.
2- If you took too big of a step forward and the lunge is too challenging, then move your foot back. After all, it’s not cemented there; you can move it.
3- Being kind to yourself. Pain is your body telling you that what you are doing, isn’t good for you–it’s yoga, not CrossFit! If something hurts, don’t do it or ease up on the pose!
4- Rest when your body tells you to. You can take child’s pose at any time.
These are not just applicable to when you’re on the mat, but in daily life as well!
As a dietitian……..Goodness, where do I start? There are so many aspects of this job that lend to body image issues and a newer termed eating disorder called “orthorexia”. I’ve found that it seems, a lot of people in the sports, health and fitness industries suffer from this. Orthorexia is an unhealthy obsession with healthy food. This is where someone completely avoids eating anything “bad” due to fear that it can cause chronic disease or obesity. Which as time goes on, people run the risk of becoming “fixated on the fear of sickness, disease, and unhealthiness”. They then feel “the need to control [their] health through any means necessary.”1
In an article by Today’s Dietitian, they further explain that it “can lead to diets so strict that they have health-related consequences, including malnutrition, social isolation, and severe psychological strain”. 2
I recently caught myself in a cooking demo where I almost said, “guilt-free dessert”. (Even I have been “trained” to think that way too). But, I stopped myself because:
YOU SHOULD NEVER FEEL GUILTY ABOUT WHAT YOU EAT!!!!
If you do……. Then you need to consider and analyze those feelings. Why do you feel guilty? Where did that feeling come from? Consider journaling your feelings. Writing it out on paper may help you to resolve these feelings. If you feel you need help or more help, know that UD has resources available to you. Click here for more information.
Just as in my blog on Halloween tips, we can allow ourselves to eat sugar or fat or (gasp!) carbs. We just have to be mindful of how much, how frequent and WHEN we are eating these foods. Be easy on yourself and make sure that when you are “eating bad food”, you aren’t punishing yourself for not making a fitness goal, or in retaliation to a bad work day, or in response to being indifferent.
For more information, look into “Intuitive Eating” and find an “IE Practicioner”. It’s similar to “Mindful eating” but with more depth. This gets into your traumas, your past, your psyche to find out where some habits may be linked; to expose those links and right the wrongs and help you to have a healthier relationship with food…. Which leads to a healthier relationship with yourself which equals…. Self Compassion.
Other ways of being self compassionate
Reward yourself with a massage.
Buy an iTunes album.
Take time to put on TV or earbuds and listen to music to help shut the world out for a few moments.
I LOVE to take the time on my day off to do NOTHING. I get up in the morning on one of those days, make myself a big cup of tea and head downstairs to the couch. That is when I turn on my Hallmark Mysteries or Hallmark seasonal movie and just enjoy some lighthearted, easy going moments where I’m not being pulled in any direction to do anything. I let my daughter sleep in and if she gets up, I tell her to play on the computer….. (GASP!!!) … so that I can enjoy “me time”.
In the end:
Just remember these things:
- You are not alone. Not ever.
- “The MOST important relationship that you will ever have in your life is the one you have with yourself” (Diane von Furstenburg). …… percolate on that for a few moments…..
- There’s a saying that states: “exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it.” Honestly, that can be a hard statement to adapt. Let’s face it, most women have body image issues. I struggle with it often–I’m a dietitian and a yoga instructor for Pete’s sake! There is absolutely an image that comes to all of your minds as to how that looks. I blame Instagram for the insane yoga poses that not many people can make their way into….. even instructors.
- We are all uniquely made, with our own unique talents, characteristics and body shapes. I would love to be able to sing opera, but I cannot. I would love to love running, but I do not. So, I adapt and adjust my life accordingly to signing in the car like I’m on stage and walking at a good clip or doing yoga.
At this point, I’m reminded of the old SNL skit with Al Franken when “Stuart Smalley” looks into the mirror and gives himself a self-boosting mantra/speech:
“I am good enough
I am smart enough
And doggone it, people like me!” 😊
Be well, eat well, walk your dog, and Bon Appetit!
~~ Chef Jen, RDN/LDN, RYT-200
- https://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/0218p24.shtml#:~:text=Orthorexia%20is%20defined%20as%20an,isolation%2C%20and%20severe%20psychological%20strain. Accessed 11/08/2020.
Eating for Mental Health
There are many different foods that can help to support healthy brain function, relieve brain fog, promote brain growth and even aid in delaying or lowering the chance of developing dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- Fatty fish contain special fats that help with brain function and for younger humans, brain development.
- Protein also helps to generate serotonin, the brains “happy feels” stimulator. Specifically, Tryptophan- YUP- that’s you’re Thanksgiving Day nap inducing amino acid! Tryptophan is actually found in many proteins besides turkey; such as salmon, chicken eggs and beans.
- Decreased selenium, folate and numerous B vitamins have been linked to depression, fatigue and insomnia, Broccoli, leafy greens and fish are good sources of these.
Anyone notice a pattern in foods listed so far???………………………………………………….SALMON!
Research on Eating and Mental Health:
Research has shown that mental health is not just affected by diet, but diet effects mental health. In a research article published on the National Institute of Health’s NCBI website, it was noted that deficiencies in minerals, Omega 3 fatty acids and B vitamins could precipitate mental health issues. Regarding depression specifically, researchers say that nutrition and eating patterns such as, lack of appetite, skipping meals and cravings for sweets plays a role in preceding depression as well as effecting the “severity and the duration of depression”. Nutritional neuroscience is an emerging discipline shedding light on the fact that nutritional factors are intertwined with human cognition, behavior, and emotions.” (1)
“INTERTWINED with cognition, behavior and emotions.” Let’s take a moment to “digest” that statement…………. Not only depression is linked to diet, but so is anxiety. Inflammation is the key factor, which can be diet or disease related. “Diet related” means consuming foods high in saturated or trans fats and refined sugars. “Disease related” means if you suffer from chronic disease such as diabetes, heart disease, arthritis/joint diseases or obesity.
There are many more research studies conducted that investigate the Brain -Gut connection. A lot of it is true, your mind can affect your body and in so many ways. For example, your nerves can give you “butterflies in your stomach”; anxiety/stress can trigger constipation or diarrhea. Also, vice versa, if you are having bouts of diarrhea, it can lead to depression or anxiety due to the need frequent bathroom use; or the uncomfortable pain of persistent constipation. Foods that help with a healthy gut and healthy BMs are whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and pro/pre-biotics.
Probiotics are the microorganisms that line your digestive tract. They are found in yogurt and fermented foods. Prebiotics are the food that the probiotics eat. You can find them in foods like bananas, whole grains and vegetable.
With all of this in mind (no pun intended, but intended) I have devised a meal that will conquer all of these needs!
If you don’t like fish but can eat Tuna (yes, there are some of you out there!), Albacore tuna is a great source of DHA/Omega-3’s. See the below recipe for canned albacore tuna with Barley Tomato and Corn salad. IF you absolutely cannot stand to eat or are allergic to fish, chicken with this recipe would make a great substitute.
If you are vegan or not a fish lover: walnuts, chia seeds and flaxseed oil are high in omega 3’s, but DHA made from these sources isn’t as plentiful as it is from fatty fish. While it’s ideal to get these nutrients through the food that you eat, a daily multi-vitamin with fish oil (DHA and/or EPA) can help you to achieve your nutrient goals. Check with your doctor to see if fish oil is right for you, as it can affect some medication’s efficacy.
Check out a 2 bonus recipes below for mental health!
~~ Chef Jen
(1) T. S. Sathyanarayana Rao, M. R. Asha, B. N. Ramesh, and K. S. Jagannatha Rao. Understanding nutrition, depression and mental illnesses. National Institute of Health, NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2738337/ 2008 Apr-Jun. Accessed 11 May 2020.
(2) Roma Pahwa; Amandeep Goyal; Pankaj Bansal; Ishwarlal Jialal. Chronic Inflammation. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK493173/ Last Update: March 2, 2020.Accessed 11 May 2020
Tuna, Farro & Corn Salad
- ½ cup uncooked farro, rinsed
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- ½ cup corn kernels (canned or fresh)
- 2 tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼ cup fresh basil, sliced
- (1) 5 oz can albacore tuna, packed in water*
- Cook farro: Bring according broth to a boil. Add rinsed farro to pot and return to a boil. Turn heat to medium and cook covered for 15-20 minutes. Drain and let cool. (This step can be done the night prior, if desired)
- Transfer the cooled barley to a large bowl. Add the corn, green onions, and tomatoes; toss ingredients well.
- In a small bowl whisk together, remaining ingredients until combined. Pour dressing over salad, and toss well to combine ingredients thoroughly. Can be made and refrigerated the night before.
- Before serving, stir in basil and avocado, and allow salad to come to room temperature, if chilled, top with tuna.
* Alternative option to use 1 chopped or shredded, cooked chicken breast instead of tuna.
Roasted Salmon and Broccoli with Dijon Sauce
Adapted by Chef Jen
- (4) 5 oz salmon fillets
- 2 large shallots, finely diced
- ½ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 2 Tbsp water
- ¼ cup Dijon or grainy mustard
- 3 Tbsp chopped parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 bunches broccoli crowns
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
1. Pre-heat oven to 400⁰F. Pat dry salmon fillets, season lightly with salt and pepper. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Drizzle 2 Tbsp olive oil on foil. Center the 4 fillets in the pan.
- Break off broccoli into florets and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper. Surround fillets with broccoli and bake for ~15-20 minutes. Or until thermometer in fish registers 145⁰F and broccoli is easily pierced with a fork.
- While the fish and broccoli roast, chop parsley and set aside. Then, finely dice 2 large shallots. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in medium skillet, over medium heat, add shallots. Cook ~ 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add yogurt and 2 tbsp water, using a whisk (silicon whisk if using a non-stick pan) mix until blended, ~ 30 seconds. Remove from heat and mix in mustard.
- Portion out salmon and broccoli on plates. Mix in 2 tbsp parsley into mustard sauce and spoon evenly over the 4 portions of salmon. Garnish with the rest of the parsley over the plate.
Check out Chef Jen’s archived blog posts:
- Eating for mental health
- Memorial Day
- Take Out Makeover
- Olive Oil
- Pantry Staples
- Pointers for Healthy Snacking
- Mindful Eating and Nutrition
- Pizza Edition
- Oodles of Zoodles
- Foods That Hydrate
- Grillin and Chillin PDF
- Pet Nutrition PDF
- Preventive Nutrition PDF
- Chicken Any Way and Pantry Staples PDF
- Jarring/Canning Blog PDF
- Play with your food! PDF
- Excess Garden Produce PDF
- Back to School (Sort of….) PDF
- Sustainable Wellbeing PDF
- Breast Cancer Awareness PDF
- Mindful Eating PDF
- Halloween Tips PDF
- Yoga, Stress and B Vitamins PDF