Better Nutrition in 3 Easy Steps: Dietitian Approved

My Diet Matters
better nutrition

Sometimes life is just exceedingly difficult. Like right now. We have filled our heads with ways to stay safe through the pandemic, and that takes up a lot of our “head” space. I have always contended that to make change, you must have some mental space to move forward. If our heads are full of lots of stress and thoughts, even making slight changes can be difficult. In terms of overall health, it is more important than ever to get your diet on track with better nutrition. That can take mental energy that you may not really have at this point due to our current stressful environment.

The good news on better nutrition

But the good news is that there are some simple actions you can take right now to get on track with a better diet immediately. And did I mention these suggestions are delicious and easy? Here are some dietitian approved “recipes” to ramp up the quality of your diet right away. 

1. Make a chocolate peanut butter smoothie

This is not just any smoothie. Take a cup of low fat or fat-free kefir milk (or any milk). I prefer kefir for the probiotics. Toss in a blender with one banana, 1-2 tsps. cocoa, your favorite sweetener (I use one packet Stevia), one banana, and 2 Tbsp. peanut powder. I have been using Crazy Richards brand. This probiotic rich chocolate smoothie will take care of your chocolate cravings and give you some excellent quality protein and potassium. For more suggestions on how to handle chocolate cravings, check out this blog. 

2. Make some pumpkin pie for better nutrition

pumkin pie no crust

Yes! My pumpkin pie recipe is very nutritious and easy to make. It is so easy to toss together that I am not sure it is really a recipe per se. The back story on this pie “recipe” is that it is so healthy, I would feed it to my kids for breakfast all year round. Pumpkin is not just for Thanksgiving. We eat this all year round, specifically because it is so healthy. You will get a punch of antioxidants from this recipe. 

Here’s how

pumpkin pie ingredients

Take a can of Libby’s pumpkin pie. I just use the recipe from the can and then make a few tweaks. I cut the sugar to ½ cup and use the lower fat evaporated milk. Instead of pouring the filling into an actual pie crust, I add ½ cup of Bisquick to the filling mixture. Then I pour the mixture into a glass pie dish sprayed generously with Pam or some other vegetable spray. This allows for a crust free pumpkin pie that will still hold its shape upon slicing! You can top with a small amount of canned aerosol whipped cream. Did you know canned aerosol whipped cream is mostly air and has almost no calories? This translates to great taste with no guilt. 

3. Make a basic berry smoothie

berry smoothie for better nutrition

Tossing a cup of frozen berries, a banana and liquid such as orange juice, milk, or milk alternative into a blender is a great method to improve your diet. For this “recipe,” you may only need ½ cup or so of your liquid because the blenderized berries will supply some moisture. If you want the mixture to taste sweeter, you may opt for adding some sweetener of choice. I also keep plenty of straws handy as this smoothie can be on the thicker side.

For even better nutrition

And, if you really want to ramp of the nutritional quality of this mixture, try adding about ½ cup of organic kale. That small amount of kale will not make the smoothie green! Since kale can be very contaminated with pesticides, be sure to opt for the organic version. Want more protein? You can even add ½ cup of cottage cheese to the basic berry smoothie mixture above. Adding the cottage cheese makes the mixture taste like cheesecake! 

Drinking these smoothies will provide you with loads of potassium and fiber. If you add the milk or cottage cheese, you will also be consuming excellent quality protein and be able to skip protein powders.

Other thoughts on how to get better nutrition in your life 

Emphasize plant foods. Decrease your animal protein. Eat more variety. Smalls steps like this can improve your diet so easily without much effort at all. I hope you enjoy my easy “recipes” for promoting better nutrition in your life. 

Take away

With our current stressful times, it’s more important than ever to eat properly in order to stay healthy. Sometimes, it can seem like an overwhelming process to know how to eat a healthy diet. The good news is that small steps can help you reach your nutritional goals. Adding my three plant based recipes to your diet on a regular basis will improve anyone’s diet as these “recipes” provide plenty of fiber, antioxidants, and potassium. Options for adding protein make them easy to incorporate into most anyone’s eating lifestyle.

Sue Rose, MS, RD, LDN

Sue Rose helps readers sort through the maze of nutrition information available to the public. As a seasoned clinical dietitian/nutritionist with decades of experience, her blogs attempt to educate and inform the public at a time when there is so much information it is often overwhelming to understand. Stay tuned for clarity on a variety of topics!

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