As January comes to a close and with February just around the corner many of us who have already broken our New Year’s resolutions try to jump start them with Lenten promises of abstinence.  Nurses are no stranger to the importance of nutrition and diets, which we address in detail at NIH.

Here’s a few more helpful tips, and a useful recipe that you might want to pass on to your patients – and use yourself!

  • Use your Fridge to keep you motivated – place a motivational picture on your fridge to thwart late night snacks . . .
  • Does your social circle also contribute to your bad behavior?  If your friends aren’t joining you at the gym – you need to join a gym and make new friends!
  • But wait!  Maybe you don’t have to give up your friendship circle so fast!  Make a “date night” with pals and let them know that instead of dinner and a movie – you’re going to go biking and have a picnic – pack healthy nutritional items – even if it’s a couple cans of tuna, bottles of water, some plastic spoons and some bananas – you’ve made a great start toward encouraging another person – and most importantly – yourself to include exercise into your daily routine – and to eat healthier!
  • Go online and write to a fitness personality that inspires and motivates you – you might be surprised that they (or a publicist) will get in touch with you and offer you some wonderful encouragement.
  • REMEMBER NOT TO SKIP MEALS but to declare foods off-limits – if you have to go out of your way to avoid the fast food alley on your way to work or home, do so – find another more scenic route – maybe one that goes by a gym?


Salba – it’s an insoluble fiber which makes food pass faster through your digestive track – keeps your digestive system clean – and your tummy full longer.  Salba is a natural, whole food grain rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  This South American gluten-free grain is harvested from the tiny seeds of the Salba plant grown in Mexico and other parts of South America.  Start with just 1-2 tablespoons a day; adding it to yogurt or as a salad topping.  Salba has a high water absorption rate – so be sure and drink at least an 8 oz. glass to feel even that much more fuller – which means you’re feeling satisfied!!

Kefir means “feeling good” in Turkish.  It is similar to yogurt and has many gut-friendly micro-organisms.  Many people who have lactose intolerance find they can indeed digest Kefir.  Kefir does come in varying degrees of calories so those of you just starting out at a higher end of the scale will want to concentrate on purchasing low-fat Kefir – and/or plain Kefir to which you can add chopped fruits, nuts, veggies and berries.  Adding Kefir to a protein shake with a tablespoon of flax seed and a tablespoon of the above-mentioned Salba can lead to a very healthy digestive tract in a small amount of time.  Kefir is rich in the B vitamins that are so crucial to regulating the liver, kidneys and nervous system.


Quinoa with roasted veggies

  • One cup of Quinoa – rinse and drain
  • 1 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 medium sized sweet potato/yam – cut into diced chunks
  • ½ red onion sliced
  • 2 parsnips and 1 beet – peeled and cut into diced chunks
  • 10 brussels sprouts quartered
  • 2 tbsp EVOO (‘extra virgin olive oil’)
  • dash of cinnamon, paprika and achiote or Mrs. Dash
  • 2 tsp of low sodium soy sauce
  • black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Bring 2 cups of water to boil – stir in quinoa, turmeric and your cinnamon/paprika/achiote combo.  Return to boil and reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed – about 10-15 minutes depending on your stovetop and altitude.

In a bowl mix the veggies, soy sauce and olive oil with black pepper – whisk to coat – if it doesn’t seem like you have enough soy or EVOO – add 1-2 tablespoons of either orange juice, squeeze a lemon or lime, or 2 tbsp of water.

Transfer coated veggies to foil lined cookie sheet and bake – when the veggies are brown with crisp edges – about 30 minutes – remove from oven.

Since the veggies take longer to prep and then cook – start your quinoa 15-20 minutes into vegetable preparation.

Fluff quinoa with a fork and pour over veggies and sit-back and enjoy!

You could also cut these vegetables in half (i.e., smaller sweet potato, no beet, just parsnips and still half an onion and maybe 1-3 julienned strips of bell pepper) and add 8-12 oz. of raw tuna, salmon or perch – or 12 small shrimp or 8 large prawns – put all inside a parchment pouch – again, coated with EVOO, soy sauce and spices – and for flavoring I add one pat of salt free Land-O-Lakes butter – and also steam in bag in oven – again at 400 degrees for 30 minutes and put over the quinoa (or wild rice) – healthy and delicious!!

Foods we recommend you can take to work to use as snacks:

  • bag of beef jerky – 1-2 slices per day (look for low sodium brands);
  • bag of almonds – one handful per day;
  • Seapoint Farms lightly salted dry roasted Edamame – you won’t miss peanuts with this delicious soy treat;
  • 2-3 times a day eat 3 GNC Papaya Enzyme tablets to help your digestion and food breakdown;
  • Can of creamy Jif peanut butter – 1 to 2 tbsp. daily as a fun, delicious “pick-me up” snack;
  • 1-2 navel oranges or 2-3 tangerines or tangelos;
  • small cans of tuna or white chicken – in water – check sodium content before purchasing;
  • tin of sardines in oil – that’s some good fish oil there – and if you eat this at home – try saving some of that oil to add to balsamic vinegar, a little honey and lemon juice for a jazzed up salad dressing that will have an extra kick you can’t get from extra virgin olive oil.



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