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Nutrition & Good Eating

Spring Cleaning and Star Gazing

It’s that time of year again – to clean out the closets, clean out the kitchen cupboards, and clean up your mind, body and soul.

Where should you start?

Open the windows and open your eyes. Visualize yourself in the clouds looking down on yourself. What do you want your space to look like from this perspective?

Can you see yourself hiking to the top of the mountain in your favorite workout gear and arriving there to touch the clouds and observe your surroundings? Notice where you are. What is present in your life? What needs are unmet?

Do you want to clear out the heavy winter clothes and make room for spring’s fresher, brighter and lighter clothes? Have you outgrown your big sweaters, baggy sweats, and cluttered closets, with all your hard work, energy and perseverance; and with eating clean, green and being mindful?

Is your kitchen open to be cleansed of the processed, artificial, hormone and antibiotic laden, sugary, salty, and foods that are unkind to your body?

If you say “Yes”, then let’s do it! You deserve it! You've earned it!
Now let’s make it happen and savor each moment!

Start with yourself. 

Who are you? What do you do? What do you need to do to be where you want to be? 
Take a good, hard and honest look inside. Are you a crazy-busy person without a moment to go to the bathroom without simultaneously checking your text messages (I admit I used to do this)?  Or are you someone with time on your hands but have so many aches and pains that you can’t get up to cook, clean or go for a walk?  Take notice of where you are and what you have in your life, and then see what a realistic goal is for you this week.

Be kind to yourself, don’t criticize yourself, and focus on your strengths.

Now the kitchen clean-up is ready to begin. 

The kitchen is often the center of the house, and for good reason. It’s where we all sit around the table and check in with each other, where we cook and nourish our bodies, and where we create our masterpieces, pulling from the freshest, most beautiful choices of healthy, clean and green foods.

Clean Out:
  • Processed Food: If you can’t pronounce the ingredients, you shouldn’t put them in your body.
  • Added Sugar: Corn Syrup, HFCS, or other foods with sugar listed as the first ingredient.
  • Trans and Saturated Fats: These fats often go along with processed foods.
  • Fake Foods: Try to discern what real food is or is not, and stick with real foods. Was it made in a plant, or is it a plant?
Eat instead:
  • Fresh or frozen fruit and vegetables.
  • Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, beef or lamb, eggs and fish.
  • Low fat or non-fat dairy products or substitutes (soy or almond milk, soy yogurts).
  • Nuts and nut butters, seeds, beans, and soy products like tofu and miso.
  • Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, spaghetti squash, oatmeal, and Ezekial sprouted wheat bread.

And onto the closets.

Oh! There can be so much sentimental stuff just hanging out on your hangers and sitting in drawers or storage boxes. But memories of the past are just that. You don’t need an old piece of clothing to remind you of someone or something special. Take a picture of it if you need to, but then move it on out. Clutter in the closets lead to clutter in the brain. A clean house leads to a clean(er) mind; just like clean foods lead to a clean(er) body.  A clean mind and body can lead to peace, harmony, focus and acceptance.

Carving out time now to get things in order will help you create more time later by:

  • Being able to find things more easily...your keys, phone, wallet and, oh...that bill you forgot to pay!
  • Wearing the things that you have. We all save that favorite shirt or shorts that hasn’t buttoned since 1989 but don't keep things that don't fit. You'll gain more time by not having to keep trying things on, seeing what matches, and then go shopping, once again, because you “have nothing in your closet”.
  • Not having to keep re-stacking, re-reading, re-organizing, replacing, and just being mindful of things you don’t need to crowd your style. 

You can now take better care of yourself and your loved ones. And doesn’t that feel refreshing like warm spring breeze!




Turkey Meatloaf

  • 2 pounds of ground turkey
  • ½ c. panko bread crumbs
  • ½ c. milk
  • 2 T. ketchup (plus more for the top)
  • ½ t. salt and pepper
  • ¼ c. Italian seasoning
  • 2 eggs
Directions: Mix the milk and panko in a bowl then add the mixture to the turkey and other ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Spread evenly in a bread loaf pan that has been lightly greased. Spread some ketchup on top. Bake at 350 F for 60-75 minutes, or until the center of the meat loaf is at an internal temperature of 160 F. Slice and serve with roasted vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, onions, peppers) and corn muffins. 

Leftovers will be great for sandwiches the next day (on Ezekial bread with veggies) or in egg muffins. To make egg muffins, simply crumble up some of the meat loaf and add to a bowl of eggs, low-fat milk, shredded cheddar cheese, salt and pepper. Pour into greased muffin tins and bake about 10- 15 minutes at 350 F until set. Enjoy on the go for a quick and easy breakfast.

Grilled Shrimp Tacos

  • ½ c. Greek Yogurt
  • 3 T. organic mayonnaise
  • 3 T. milk
  • ½ t ground cumin
  • 1 ½ pounds raw large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 T. melted butter
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 limes cut into quarters
  • Kosher salt
  • 8 large washed and dried romaine lettuce leaves
  • 2-3 c. finely shredded red cabbage
  • Tomato salsa
  • Directions: Heat grill to medium-high. In a small bowl, whisk together the 1st four ingredients. Set aside this “sauce”. Skewer the shrimp (if using wood skewers, soak them in water for 10 minutes before you use them). In a small bowl, combine the butter and garlic. Brush the shrimp with this mixture. Place the shrimp on the grill with the limes for about 4 minutes a side (until the shrimp are opaque and the limes are browned). Remove from the grill and lightly salt the shrimp. Divide the shrimp evenly among the romaine lettuce leaves, top with cabbage, the “sauce”, salsa and the juice from the grilled limes. It may be messy – but will be delicious!
    Please send comments, feedback, thoughts or questions so I know what’s on your mind to  Wondering about the Star Gazing reference? Stay tuned for the May Newsletter with my Special Sleep Camp.

    Carena Lowenthal, MS, RD, CDN
    (917) 882-5033 |
    Copyright © 2015, All rights reserved.

    Carena Lowenthal is a Registered Dietitian and is Certified in Adult Weight Management by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a consultant to physicians and clients specializing in health and wellness, weight loss, pre- diabetes, diabetes, and heart disease.  Carena is passionate about helping people make lasting lifestyle changes for a more fulfilling, healthy, happy and complete life.





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