To Your Health: September 2012

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In this Issue:

  •  Stock the Kitchen – Fridge Essentials | Freezer Essentials | Pantry Essentials
  • Herbs and Spices
  • Essential Kitchen Equipment
  • Happy National Mushroom Month
  • News and Events
  • Recipe of the Month
  • Quote of the Month

A Note from Bonnie

School is back in session, summer days are in the past, and now it is time to re-focus and get back on track with your health and fitness goals!  Clients often ask me “What is the secret to success?”  Well the truth is there is no one secret, but there is one common characteristic shared by people who do reach their goals:  preparation and planning.

When it comes to weight loss, the first step in preparing for success is to be stocked with food to fuel and nourish your body to help you reach your goal.  This month I am sharing the “Kitchen Essentials” food list for your fridge, freezer, and pantry as well as a list of the most popular tools and utensils. Carve out some time and take inventory of what you have, and then stock up on what you need!


Ingredients for Success:
Stock the Kitchen

Fridge Essentials:

You may not want to or need to purchase ALL of the below ingredients, but here you will find a comprehensive list of foods to keep on hand for a healthy and more vibrant life. Mix it up. Some of the ingredients – especially the produce, may vary from week to week depending on your work, travel, and social schedule as well as your family’s preferences.

Fresh Produce. An essential to healthier living is to eat more fruits and vegetables. A few staples include: lettuce, onions, red and green bell peppers, cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, carrots, spinach, mushrooms, lemons, apples, oranges, and berries.

Quick produce alternatives. If you never seem to get around to washing, cutting, and eating the fresh produce you purchase, then start filling your basket with healthy “fast food.” Pre-cut and pre-washed fruits and vegetables and cut varieties are now available. A few of those convenience produce items include: cherr  y tomatoes, pre-sliced carrots, baby carrots, pre-rinsed lettuce, pre-sliced mushrooms, steam in the bag vegetables such as broccoli, snow peas, sugar snap peas, and California Blend…just to name a few.

Additional foods to stock the fridge with:

  • Eggs
  • Liquid egg whites
  • Nonfat Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt can be an excellent, high protein, low calorie alternative to sour cream.
  • 1% or skim milk (if you are sensitive to milk or dairy, then use almond, rice, or soy milk)
  • Reduced fat cheese
  • 1% or non-fat cottage cheese
  • Wholly Guacamole 100 calorie packs
  • Laughing Cow light cheese spread
  • Organic butter (unsalted)
  • Light whipped margarine such as Brummel and Brown Yogurt Butter Spread
  • Turkey or center cut bacon (for a healthier alternative buy nitrate free)
  • Tofu Shiritaki Noodles
  • Salad dressings such as: Walden Farms Balsamic Vinaigrette (or other salad dressings of choice), Annie’s Gingerly Vinaigrette,
  • Buttermilk Ranch Dressing and Annie’s Low Fat Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • 100% Natural Fruit Spread
  • Sabra Hummus and single pack hummus
  • Rotisserie Chicken

Freezer Essentials:

A well-stocked freezer with vegetables, fruits, and lean meats will ensure you always have the foods on hand to whip up a healthy meal! Here are just a few recommended items to keep on hand.

  • Frozen vegetables such as green peas, edamame, broccoli, spinach, onions, stir fry blend, California blend, and Italian blend
  • Unsweetened fruit such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries (or a mix of all three), mango, peaches
  • Boneless skinless lean chicken breast
  • Ground turkey breast
  • Lean ground beef (90% or higher)
  • Lean stew meat (i.e. Laura’s Lean)
  • Shrimp
  • Fish such as tilapia, catfish, and salmon
  • Garden Burger veggie patties
  • Applegate Farms chicken sausage

Pantry Essentials:

  • Truvia or Stevia (these are no-calorie substitutes for sugar and a much healthier alternative to artificial sweeteners)
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Quinoa
  • Whole wheat pasta
  • Couscous
  • Brown rice and instant brown rice
  • Quick cooking barley
  • Bran flakes
  • Whole wheat bread, pita bread and wraps
  • Old-fashioned oats and steel cut oats
  • Fiber One cereal (Original)
  • Canned Beans (black beans, black eyed peas, Lima beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, navy beans..when possible purchase low sodium alternatives
  • Crushed tomatoes (low sodium)
  • Rotel tomatoes  (or other spiced tomato variety)
  • Diced tomatoes (low sodium)
  • Tomato sauce
  • Salsa
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Roasted bell peppers
  • Pure Pumpkin
  • Pineapple chunks in own juice
  • No sugar added applesauce
  • Water packed tuna and salmon
  • Sun dried tomatoes (dry)
  • Reduced sodium chicken, beef and vegetable broth
  • Pickles

Condiments, Seasonings, Herbs and Spices:

  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Bay leaves
  • Black pepper
  • Lemon pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Dried herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, tarragon)
  • Low sodium Cajun seasoning
  • Italian herb blend
  • Onion powder
  • Pure vanilla extract
  • Caper
  • Dijon mustard
  • Vinegars: red wine, apple cider, and balsamic
  • Hot sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder
  • Sea Salt
  • Agave Nectar
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Honey
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Reduced sodium soy sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Chile-garlic sauce

Nuts, Seeds, Fats and Oils:

  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Nut butter (such as peanut butter, almond butter, or soy butter)
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Pine nuts
  • Extra-virgin Olive oil
  • Canola oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Canola or olive oil mayonnaise
  • Avocados

Kitchen Cooking Essential Equipment:

A well-stocked kitchen means not only having the right ingredients on hand, but also the right kitchen tools and utensils.  Here is a list of some kitchen cookware essentials that will ensure (with the right ingredients) you are ready to prepare any meal!

  • Crock-pot
  • Rice Cooker
  • Storage containers with the appropriate matching lids
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Blender
  • Cutting Boards. Consider investing in a few different color coded cutting boards. It is nice to have a cutting board only for raw meat, one for fish, one for fruits and vegetables, and then one for foods with a strong flavor such as garlic and onions.
  • Food processors (a mini one is great for quickly chopping and dicing onions, bell peppers etc. All you really need though is a standard 4 – 7 cup food processor to do just about anything)
  • The right knives…all you really need are a few good paring knives, 1 – 2 chef knives, and a serrated knife.
  • Oil Mister. An oil mister is a healthier alternative to traditional non-stick cooking sprays.
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Food Scale
  • Mixing bowls
  • Pots and Pans

Happy National Mushroom Month

September is National Mushroom Month!  Mushrooms have been used for thousands of years by the Japanese and Chinese to promote health.  In fact, mushrooms are a hidden treasure of nutrition.  They are low in calories and carbohydrates, high in vegetable protein, iron, zinc, fiber, essential amino acids, and nutrients such as copper, the B vitamins riboflavin, niacin, and pantothenic acid, plus antioxidants selenium and ergothioneine.  Mushrooms also contain vitamin B12, a vitamin normally found in animal products (great for vegetarians!).

Mushrooms come in all different forms– fresh, frozen, canned, or dehydrated.  Since mushrooms do not require sunlight, they can grow year round.  There are over 38,000 varieties known, some edible and some toxic.  This is why picking wild mushrooms can be very dangerous.

Mushrooms 101

How to select:   

  •  Purchase mushrooms that are firm and have a fresh, smooth appearance.
  • Surfaces should be dry, but not dried out, and appear plump.

How to store:

  • Refrigerate mushrooms in original packaging for up to 1 week.
  • Once opened, store them in a paper bag for longer shelf-life; avoid storing in airtight container, which can cause condensation and faster spoiling.
  • Fresh mushrooms should never be frozen, though frozen sautéed mushrooms will keep for up to a month.

How to clean:

  • Brush off any dirt with a damp paper towel.
  • Rinse mushrooms only briefly under running water and pat dry with a paper towel. They absorb moisture so never soak them.
  • Trim the end of the stem before using.

Recipe of the Month: Portobello Mushroom Sauté

Serves: 8


5 large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
1 cup white mushrooms, sliced
1 red onion, chopped
1 medium red pepper, chopped
2 cups spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley


  1. Thoroughly clean all mushrooms.
  2. Sauté mushrooms, onions, peppers and spinach in olive oil.
  3. Season with thyme and garlic powder.
  4. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Serving Size: 1 cup

Nutrition information:
70 calories
4 grams fat
6 grams carbohydrate
2 grams dietary fiber
40 milligrams sodium

Quote of the Month:

“All who have accomplished great things have had a great aim, have fixed their gaze on a goal which was high, one which sometimes seemed impossible.”

– Orison Swett Marden

News and Events:

iEat Mindfully

Make Peace with Food – Enjoy Guilt Free Eating, a Life Free of Dieting, and a Body You Love

Watch you inbox in the next few weeks for detailed information on this exciting new program that will free you from dieting and help you return to your natural healthy body weight without feeling deprived or restricted.

If you can’t wait, and want information now, email Bonnie to set up a FREE phone call to see if this program is right for you!  No obligation!

The Nutrition Key with BRG – Blog

Be inspired and motivated this summer as our Summer Success Stories Series continues!  

If you haven’t yet signed up to follow the BRG Blog, click here now so you don’t miss out on all the great success stores.  You will receive an email with the link to each new post.  Sign up now!

Click here to read about our latest success!

Contest Winner: Win a Nutrition Check-up!

Congratulations to Karissa Thurau who won a Nutrition Check-up in our Facebook contest.  If you haven’t LIKED us on Facebook yet, here’s the link.

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