From a Dietitian’s Kitchen: Sam’s Club

We all know Sprouts and Whole Foods have beautiful healthy foods.  The good news is you don’t have to shop at a health food store to find tasty additions to a healthy diet.  Here are four of my favorite items sold at Sam’s Club for competitive prices.

1. Spring mix, spinach or baby kale are fantastic as a salad, sauteed, or blended in a smoothie.  To keep them from wilting so quickly line the tub with paper towels.  The paper towel barrier between the leaves and the plastic will significantly extend their life!

2. Almonds are a great source of healthy fats and fiber.  For those limiting sugar these cocoa almonds are a sweet treat for only 5 grams of sugar.
3. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is a seed that can be cooked like rice.  This naturally gluten free food is a good source of protein, fiber and iron.

4. Sugar snap peas are a great snack to eat right out of the bag.  They are a good source of Vitamins A and C and Iron.  Give them a try when you need a change from baby carrots.


New Year, New You?

Rather than a new you, why not a better version of you? It’s easy to make proclamations of resolution in January but by March, many have been neglected because they’re too drastic.

A lot of people have great intentions for new years resolutions and we support striving to be healthier or kicking bad habits. But true transformations don’t happen overnight. In fact, small changes yield the biggest results. Catch this video from dietitian Elie Krieger on the TODAY show, discussing how small swaps(similar to the ones outlined below) can really get you past your plateau, whatever it may be.
So how can you get started? Short-term goals. Set them, write them down and stay focused on several small changes, not a laundry list of aspirations. 
  • Time parameters: Aim for the next 2 weeks
  • Goal: Increase exercise
  • ‘In the next two weeks, I will walk 30 minutes a day/ 5 days a week’
  • Time parameters: Aim for the next 2 weeks
  • Goal: Increase fruits and vegetables intake
  • ‘In the next two weeks, I will have 2 servings of fruit/vegetables a day’


Another helpful tip is making swaps to your meals and snacks. Rather than a ‘diet makeover’, simple swaps will have you making strides in the healthier direction. Before you know it, you could be craving those fruits and vegetables! Start by swapping corn tortillas for flour. If you must drink soda, cut your intake in half and swap for the diet version. The message isn’t deprivation- it’s alteration. We think you can still enjoy many of the comfort foods you may consider off-limits, if you balance other nutritious choices into your diet. Try these swaps and see how easy reaching your healthy goes can be.
Instead of a Bagel, Reach for an English Muffin
Swap the old bagel and cream cheese routine for a whole-wheat English muffin topped with a tablespoon of peanut butter and banana slices. The flavor is all there, but the refined grains are not. The fat from the peanut butter will leave you full.
Instead of Low-Fat Milk, Reach for Greek Yogurt
We’re big on Greek Yogurt here at Banister and Associates. Instead of low-fat milk over your bowl of granola, try lowfat Greek yogurt.
Instead of Oatmeal Packets, Reach for Plain Oats
Making your own oatmeal could not be simpler. And you’ll be saving yourself the extra sugar that is LOADED into oatmeal packets. Adding your own sprinkle of splenda or stevia is okay for a touch of sweetness, however adding fresh fruit is even better.
Instead of Regular Ranch, Make Your Own
Prepared ranch is loaded with extra ingredients to lengthen shelf life. Try making your own, using plain Greek yogurt and this recipe. It tastes BETTER and you’ll be impressed with the simplicity.
Instead of White Rice, Try Brown Rice or Quinoa
Brown rice is a whole grain and offers a bounty of nutrients that white rice has been robbed of from processing. Once you’re feeling comfortable with the switch, try quinoa. It has a slightly nutty bite and bumps up the whole grain and protein profile of your dish- voila!
Instead of Butter, Try Margarine made with Vegetable Oil
Butter has saturated fat and many margarine brands are still made with trans-fats. However, some companies have created a product to avoid both high amounts of saturated and trans fats. Hooray! Try light margarine spreads made with olive oil for a dose of your heart healthy monounsaturated fats. Smart Balance and Fleishmanns are two examples
Instead of Milk Chocolate, Reach for Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has half the sugar of milk chocolate and delivers an antioxidant punch. Be sure it’s more than 70% dark. 
Start small with simple swaps. Here’s to a HEALTHIER version of YOU. sls