Author Archives: ColleensNutrition

Vital Nutrients – Calcium

VN-Calcium-AlmondsCalcium is abundantly present in our bodies and is stored in our bones and teeth where it is distributed through the bloodstream for use by the heart and other organs. It is required for good bone health, efficient nerve and muscle function and cardiovascular health. Including this vital nutrient in your diet helps to replenish those stores to the bones where it can be used as your body needs it.

What you need to know about Calcium:

  • You need an adequate intake of Vitamin D to promote absorption of calcium.
  • Foods high in sodium, cause excessive calcium excretion through the kidneys.
  • Excessive sugar in your diet inhibits calcium absorption and depletes phosphorus as well, which is another important mineral in facilitating calcium absorption.
  • Phosphoric acid, found in regular and diet soda is associated with a reduction in bone mineral density.
  • Caffeine leaches calcium from our bones, and Alcohol is also associated with low bone mass.
  • Some legumes, such as Navy beans and peas are high in phytates that interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium, though they contain many beneficial nutrients so, moderation is your keyword when it comes to legumes.

Calcium is a mineral found in the soil, where it is absorbed into the roots of plants and eaten by cows. So even though we are all conditioned to believe that calcium comes from milk and dairy products, the real source of calcium is the soil. If the cow that you get the milk from is grain fed, as most industrial farmed animals are, then where does the calcium in milk come from? Additionally, our bodies only absorb about 30% of the calcium intake from dairy products, given that, maybe dairy isn’t the best source of calcium. Non-Dairy Foods High in Calcium:

  • Almonds 1/2 cup raw = 187mg
  • Collard Greens 1 cup cooked = 178mg
  • Broccoli 1 cup chopped cooked = 74mg
  • Bok Choy 1 cup shredded = 74mg
  • Napa Cabbage 1 cup shredded = 59mg

For more info on calcium and plant based diets, check out this link.

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I Fell of the Wagon…it happens. Get back on Plan

Fit young woman fighting off bad food isolation on a white backg

The holidays have come and gone and I’m still sitting here jonesin’ for something sweet. I did pretty good during the holidays, but then there was the aftermath. 2lbs of See’s candy, leftover ice cream, whip cream, and cookies. Slowly those old sugar cravings crept back in and I let them. Now it’s February and I’m still getting that old familiar feeling every night. I want something sweet. Ugh!

The other day I took my mom out for a picnic. It was a beautiful day and I thought lunch in the park watching the ducks by the pond would be a nice outing. I stopped and picked us up some sandwiches, kettle chips and…a box of cookies. then proceeded to eat way too many of the chips and cookies. Once those were consumed, I promised my self no more, but the cravings, they take on a life of their own.

After my nieces baby shower where there was absolutely nothing but refined carbohydrates, including my ultimate weakness…cake, I spent the next day in sugar shock. Craving more refined carbohydrates, my body crying out for SUGAR! Now I don’t keep sweet things in the house, intentionally, that is just too hard when I’m at a low, I can’t help myself, but I’m lazy and it’s been so cold out, so if it’s not in the house, I’m not going to go out and get it…usually, but spending that Sunday feeling horrible and only wanting more more more, I left the house that night and came back with Ice Cream (you’d think it was too damn cold, but no.) I’ve even been sneaking a little extra sugar into my coffee in the mornings.

I don’t like how I feel. Low energy, cranky, stressed, It’s time for me to get back on plan. Out comes the food log, I can’t ignore the 75g of sugar I consumed in my 2.5 cup serving of Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream on Sunday. It’s time. Luckily, I’m a nutritionist and I know what to do.

You see? Even a nutritionist, who knows better, can’t be 100% all the time. I’m on day 2 and I’ve cut out the sweet treats, back to 1/2 tsp in my 10oz coffee and eating my complex carbs to curb those cravings.

If you’ve found yourself off track, or maybe you need to find the track to begin with I can help! Book your wellness session with me and find out how. There’s no obligation and if you’re ready to make positive changes in your eating habits then it’s a win win. Book online now.


Vital Nutrients – Magnesium

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. Found in bones, teeth, and red blood cells, magnesium is an essential element required for proper functioning of the nervous, muscular and cardiovascular systems. Magnesium helps maintain muscles, nerves, and bones, and studies have shown that a diet rich in magnesium may help protect against metabolic syndrome, a combination of risk factors that can lead to diabetes and heart disease. It promotes normal blood pressure, and is known to be involved in energy metabolism.

Food with magnesium include; leafy green vegetables as well as almonds, cashews and other nuts, avocados, beans and halibut.


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Protein Pancakes

Pancakes with fresh blueberries and honey

These are a little high in sugar if you use Maple syrup to top them off, but they are a great gluten-free alternative to regular pancakes and super easy to make! Hint: leave off the syrup and mash up some seasonal berries to garnish!

2 eggs
1 banana
1/4 cup gluten free Oat Flour

Directions: Blend with an immersion blender and cook on the stovetop just like regular pancakes!

Stacked Enchiladas

I make crock pot chicken pretty regularly and am always looking for new things to do with all this lovely organic chicken. Last week Enchiladas tickled my fancy so I set out to make a batch as clean as I possibly could all the while looking for that flavor that would satisfy my craving for Mexican food. I find myself returning to GimmeSomeOven often for simple fast and delicious recipes. I really like Ali’s style. I swap out her ingredients for more organic choices and everything turns out delicious. I specifically liked her stacked twist because it makes the whole assembly easy as can be.

I found her Stacked Enchiladas on Pinterest and they were easy to assemble and a big hit in my household. I used Organic; tortillas, corn, black beans, chicken, cheese and scallions. Note here, Organic corn tortillas are not easy to find, you will have to go to a market like Whole Foods. The original sauce recipe called for oil, that didn’t sound right to me, so I found a different sauce and it turned out delicious, I’m not even sure I want to deviate from it. Here’s the recipe for the sauce:

  • 1 24oz Jar of Organic Strained Tomatoes
  • 1 Can diced tomatoes
  • 24oz of Water
  • 3 Tbsp Chili Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Taco Seasoning (I made my own)
  • 1/2 Organic Onion
  • 4 cloves Organic Garlic
  • 1 Organic Jalapeño seeds and ribs removed
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Stacked Enchiladas OverheadBlend everything in a high powered blender or food processor.

Simmer over medium heat

Use immediately or store freeze for future use.

For the casserole I followed Ali’s recipe using the Organic ingredients noted before and the sauce above. A recipe that will get used regularly in my kitchen.

Pre-heat oven to 375F
Layer in a 9×13 casserole dish:

  • 1 cup of enchilada sauce
  • 8 small organic corn tortillas
  • thin layer of cheese
  • Black beans
  • Organic corn
  • Chicken
  • Spinach
  • Cheese
  • 8 small organic corn tortillas
  • Enchilada sauce

– Cover with foil and Bake at 375F for 20 minutes
– Take off the foil, cover with the remaining cheese and bake for 10 more minutes
– Garnish with chopped cilantro, avocado and green onions

Gluten Free Cornbread


  • 2 cups Organic Corn Meal
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp Himalayan Sea Salt
  • 1 Organic Egg
  • 4 Tbsp Grass Fed Butter, melted
  • 1 Can of Organic Coconut milk
  • 4 Tbsp Raw Organic Honey

Directions: Put all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and stir it up! Pour into a cast iron skillet and cook on 425 for 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top.

I served this with Chili! Tried out a recipe from a client in the crock-pot. Amazing, gluten free, comfort food dinner.

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Roasted Pepper Pesto Pasta Salad

Yield: 4  |  Prep Time: 15 minutes


  • 4 cups of spiralized zucchini
  • 1/3 cup Roasted Red Pepper Pesto
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 2 ounces capers, drained
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan cheese


  1. Add 4 cups in a large bowl. Cut the cherry tomatoes in half.Add 1/3 cup pesto and capers and toss. Garnish with shaved Parmesan cheese.

Roasted Red Pepper Pesto

Yield: 6 servings  |  Prep Time: 5 minutes  |  Cook Time: 12 minutes


  • 3-4 Fresh Roasted Red Peppers (roast with S&P, minced garlic, olive oil)
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves (10-15 leaves)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Pulse the walnuts in a food processor. Pulse the roasted red peppers, fresh basil, in a food processor until finely chopped.
  2. Add the parmesan cheese, chopped walnuts, olive oil, and 1/2 tsp. salt to the food processor, Pulse to combine. Salt and Pepper to taste.

Roasted Zucchini, Tomatoes, Red Onion


  • 2 Organic Zucchini
  • 1 1/2 Organic Tomatoes on the vine
  • 1/2 Organic Red Onion
  • Himalayan Sea Salt
  • Fresh ground Black Pepper
  • EV Olive Oil

Tossed it all in the cast iron skillet and put it on the BBQ right next to the Organic Chicken. Suggested by my good friend in response to my question, “what should we do for a vegetable?” I was unprepared with an idea but I had the #ingredients. A perfect blend of flavors. 30 minutes. Dinner.  I only wish I’d made more. 

 Still sizzling, hot off the grill. If you could smell it… 

This served 3 of us but could have easily been 2 servings coming in at under 170 cal. per serving.  14g of awesome monounsaturated fats. This is why I always have zucchini, tomatoes and red onions on hand, for those moments when you don’t have a recipe, and now I do. 

  #eatrealfood #realfoodisingredients #foodrevolution #foodmatters 

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 Cups chopped mushrooms
  • 1 Cup chopped cabbage
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha, or more, to taste
  • 1 can chopped water chestnuts, drained
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 head butter lettuce


Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium/low heat. Cook Mushrooms until tender. Add ground chicken (if chicken is already cooked, add it last) and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the chicken as it cooks; drain excess fat. Stir in garlic, onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger and Sriracha until onions have become translucent, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in chestnuts and green onions and cabbage until tender, about 1-2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.

To serve, spoon several tablespoons of the chicken mixture into the center of a lettuce leaf, taco-style.

NOTES: If you pre-cook the chicken, this recipe literally takes about 20 minutes to throw together and it’s so healthy and yummy!

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