salmon lavash wrap

Salmon Lavash Wrap

By Nutrition, Recipes

This salmon lavash wrap makes for a great breakfast, lunch, or light meal—and you can substitute the cream cheese for avocado for a dairy-free alternative.


8 oz. smoked salmon

1/2 cup cream cheese (plain or herbed)
-or-one mashed avocado

1 cucumber, sliced

fresh spinach

4 slices of lavash bread

1. Spread two tablespoons of cream cheese (or mashed avocado) over each slice of lavash bread
2. Add cucumber slices, spinach, and two ounces of smoked salmon to each slice
3. Roll up, cut in half, and enjoy

Happy Healthy New Year

Happy Healthy New Year

By Nutrition

Start the New Year by making a healthy resolution. Here are five worthy goals for the new year to help keep the body healthy.

Jumpstart your metabolism, burn fat and improve cardiovascular health by exercising at least 20 minutes a day.

Cane sugar is the number one enemy for lowering the immune system and decreasing gut health. Start being more conscious of the sugar content in the foods you choose to eat. The simple rule is always to try picking items that have 0-5 grams of sugar per serving. Indirectly, your caloric intake will decrease by choosing items that are lower in sugar.

Apple Cider Vinegar
End your day with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a small amount of honey. It is a great probiotic and helps to digest food faster by increasing stomach acidity.
Experiencing heartburn? A teaspoon of apple cider vinegar will help resolve it.
Apple cider has also shown to help lower belly fat, lower blood sugar and helps to lower cholesterol.

It’s important to keep bodies hydrated at all times. In adult men, 60 percent of their body is water and 55% in adult women. As we get older, our metabolism slows down and our bodies have a harder time flushing out waste so it becomes even more important to drink plenty of water to flush away waste and detox our bodies.

The latest research has shown that you can actually lose weight and boost the immune system by adding more color to meals. Nuts and seeds are also great ways to add more flavor and color to foods. Increase omega and fiber intake by just simply adding one tablespoon of sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds to oatmeal, granola, yogurt or even salads.

Tips for Healthy Travel

By Nutrition

Traveling can be a stressful situation on its own.  It starts from packing to long airport lines and finally long flight times, and that’s assuming there are no delays.  Planning ahead, creative packing and letting go of expectations can help you distress.

These are 5 simple tips to stay healthy while traveling

1.  Water

Dehydration is the number one problem to fatigue, crankiness, headaches and even constipation.  Making sure to hydrate yourself at all times, especially if flying is important.  Before getting on the plane it is best to buy at least one bottle of water.

2.  Magnesium

Magnesium is a great mineral that helps with insomnia.  It can also help with muscle cramping that can happen either from long flights or from sightseeing.  It can also help you avoid becoming constipated. The best dosage is 400 mg.

3.  Antioxidants

Traveling has a way of wearing down the immune system.  Airports, rest stops and planes are loaded with germs.  Our immune system also gets compromised depending on what time of year you are traveling and climate change. It is best to travel with Emergency C or NUUN. Having fruits and vegetables as much as you can is a great way to get in vitamin C and boost the immune system.

4.  Probiotic Drinks

Fermented drinks like Kombucha, Got Shot or apple cider vinegar are great to help boost the good bacteria in the gut.  Probiotics in fermented drinks work to help with tummy trouble while traveling.

5.  Tea Bags

There are teas that help with relaxation and sleep.  The tiny tea satchels are perfect for travel because they take up very little space.  They can also be used to soothe tired eyes and puffiness that can happen from long flights.


Always remember to wash your hands as much as you can or carry with you natural hand sanitizers.  Enjoy your trip and stay healthy!

hot apple cider

Hot Apple Cider

By Nutrition, Recipes

Made from fresh apples in a slower cooker!  Add citrus and cinnamon for a naturally sweet and spicy treat for a winter night!


10 fresh organic apples

1 orange

2 cinnamon sticks

Dash of ground nutmeg

Dash of ground cloves (or 4 whole)

1 gallon water

  1. Cut apples into slices and place them in the slow cooker.
  2. Wash orange, cut into eight slices and add to slow cooker
  3. Add spices
  4. Pour water into the slow cooker and turn on low for 6-8 hours.
  5. Strain out apples, oranges, and spices.
  6. Serve hot or cold
Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

Dark Chocolate Almond Butter

By Nutrition, Recipes

The average American consumes about 12 pounds of chocolate each year, and over $75 billion is spent annually worldwide on chocolate. With all this chocolate-eating, only dark chocolate has health benefits. The secret ingredient that makes chocolate healthy is cacao.  Packed with high omega’s, healthy chemicals like flavonoids and theobromine, making it a disease killing machine. It takes approximately 400 cacao beans to make one pound of chocolate.

5 Health Benefits of Dark Chocolate

  • Improves Heart Health
  • Great for Memory
  • Helps lower blood pressure
  • Rich in antioxidants including vitamins, minerals and phytochemical
  • Protects the body from disease

Give Dark Chocolate a try with this Dark Chocolate Almond Butter recipe!  It is a fun twist on a classic!


2 cups sprouted almonds (or dry roasted almonds)

3.5 ounce dark chocolate bar, minimum 72% cacao

2 tsp coconut oil

½ tsp sea salt

coconut sugar, to taste

  1. In a small saucepan or double boiler, melt the dark chocolate and coconut oil. Set aside.
  2. In a food processor, add almonds and pulse until almonds are a fine meal. Turn on the food processor to high until the almonds begin to break down into a butter consistency.
  3. Add in melted chocolate mixture and sea salt and continue processing until a smooth creamy texture is achieved.
  4. If desiring more sweetness, add in coconut sugar one teaspoon at a time.
  5. Pour in jars and serve immediately or store in the refrigerator.

Recipe and photo from

Kale Cabbage & Quinoa Salad Recipe

Kale, Red Cabbage, and Quinoa Salad

By Nutrition, Recipes

This kale, red cabbage, and quinoa salad makes a delicious healthy side dish, or can be served on its own for a light meal!


2 cups cooked quinoa (see below)

1 bunch of curly-leaf kale, washed and chopped (approx. 6 cups)

2 cups shredded red cabbage (packaged or thinly sliced from a small head)

4-6 scallions, chopped (light and dark green parts only, unless you want a stronger onion flavor)

¼ cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted


5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

½ cup vegetable or olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

¾ teaspoon black pepper

2 teaspoons sugar

To cook quinoa, add 1 cup raw quinoa seeds to a microwavable bowl. Add ½ teaspoon kosher salt and 2 cups water. Cover and microwave for 10-15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed. Remove bowl from microwave (bowl will be hot) and cover with plastic wrap to rest/finish steaming. Fluff with a fork like you would rice or couscous.

To toast almonds in a toaster oven, line a small pan with foil. Add nuts in a single layer and bake at 275 for 5 minutes or until lightly golden. To toast over the stove, add nuts to a skillet and cook over medium-low heat until lightly golden. For both methods, watch closely as nuts can burn quickly. (I toast a cup or more of nuts at a time and save the rest for snacking or adding to oatmeal.)

Strip thick stems from the kale and wash and dry the leaves. (A lettuce spinner works well for this.) Chop and add to a large salad bowl. Add shredded red cabbage, scallions, cooked and cooled quinoa and toasted almonds.

To make dressing, add all dressing ingredients to a jar. Fasten lid and shake vigorously.

Toss with dressing (to taste) and serve.
Leftover dressed salad will keep for at least a day, covered and refrigerated.

Serves 10-12 as a side salad or 6 as a main meal

Thanksgiving Nutrition Tips

A Happy (Healthier) Thanksgiving Dinner

By Feature, Nutrition

Thanksgiving is a special time when people get together with their loved ones and enjoy each other’s company over delicious food.  Traditionally, this special holiday started with healthy foods that were prepared from scratch with whole organic ingredients.  If we think of the historic times, the original Thanksgiving dinner had slimmer pickings than the meals that we have today.  Unfortunately, with the passing of time, many not-so-healthy recipes have made their way on the Thanksgiving table. As you prepare your feast, keep in mind there are great healthy recipes that use oil & seasoning for flavoring instead of butter and cream.  Take advantage of these substitutions whenever possible.

Enjoy a happy, healthier, Thanksgiving dinner with these great tips!


Turkey is traditionally the star of the show.  Enjoy, but avoid eating the skin to avoid extra calories.


Stuffing is often the highest calorie builder in the entire Thanksgiving feast. Depending on how it’s prepared, it can be close to 500 calories per serving. There are a number of things you can do to cut down on calories and still enjoy a delicious treat:

  • Use chicken stock or broth instead of fat when preparing.
  • Substitute cornbread for regular bread.
  • Add extra vegetables like onion, apples, and celery.
  • Cook your stuffing outside the bird (it’s leaner if cooked separately).

If you are one of those people that can’t live without stuffing and can’t control how it’s made, then try treating it like dessert and eat just a small portion to avoid the unwanted extra calories.

Mashed Potatoes & Candied Yams

When it comes to eating potatoes, sweet potatoes and the Yukon Gold potatoes are your best options. The good news is that they don’t need much flavoring since they are flavorful from the start. A few tips:

  • Add ginger and cinnamon (instead of marshmallows) to add pizazz to your sweet potatoes.
  • Substitute fat-free buttermilk for butter for light, airy, and lower-calorie mashed potatoes.
  • Be mindful of portion control when enjoying starchy vegetables. For those willing to give up potatoes, quinoa can be a great healthy substitute.

Cranberry Sauce

The best cranberry sauce is prepared from scratch.  There are many great healthy recipes with delicious flavor, less sugar, and no preservatives found in the canned variety.

Green Beans

Vegetables are the healthiest sides in a Thanksgiving dinner—as long as they are not from a can and don’t contain a lot of cream soups and butter.  Use fresh green beans, fresh green salads,  and other nutrient-dense vegetables to your Thanksgiving menu.  Remember that ideally, vegetables should take up half of your plate.


Pumpkin, apple, and pecan pie are traditional desserts that can make Thanksgiving an extra special treat.  The best bet is to eat the filling and avoid the crust to save unwanted calories. Otherwise, enjoy them in small portions as if you were doing a test tasting experiment.


Sahar Berjis, RD

Sahar Berjis is a licensed Registered Dietitian with 17 years of experience in traditional and functional nutrition. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, and earned her Dietetic License and Masters in Public Health from Tulane University.

She has been the key speaker at different universities and nutritional conferences including John Muir speaker series, NYU, Columbia, American Dietetic Association, American Homeless Association, New Jersey Nutrition Conference, addressing the importance of nutrition.

She practices Functional Nutrition in Walnut Creek, CA. She looks at each patient individually using the whole-body approach. She spends time analyzing nutritional imbalances using in-office stomach acidity testing and more invasive testings if needed. She creates individualized plans to restore and rebalance gut health and the body using diet & natural remedies.

Leftover Turkey Breakfast Frittata

Leftover Turkey Breakfast Frittata

By Nutrition, Recipes

Not sure what to do with all of that leftover turkey coming your way in a few weeks?  Here is a great recipe for a delicious turkey breakfast!


8 large eggs

½ c. milk

1 tsp. Kosher salt

½ tsp. Freshly ground pepper

2 c. sweet potatoes

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 c. firmly packed chopped kale

½ small red onion

2 clove garlic

1 c. cooked turkey shredded or cubed

3 oz. goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper.

Sauté sweet potatoes in 1 tablespoon hot oil in a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender and golden; remove and keep warm. Sauté kale, onion, and garlic in remaining 1 tablespoon oil – 3 to 4 minutes or until kale is wilted and tender. Stir in turkey, then potatoes. Pour egg mixture evenly over cooked veggies and turkey, and cook three more minutes. Sprinkle egg mixture with goat cheese.

Bake at 350°F for 10 to 14 minutes or until set.

Photo by Romulo Yanes

Roasted Kale & Butternut Squash

By Nutrition, Recipes

Another fall favorite for seasonal fall farmer’s market finds!


1 1/2 pounds butternut squash cubes

4 tablespoons olive oil

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

8 packed cups chopped kale

1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano

1 can (15 oz) butter beans, drained and rinsed

1 pkg (8.8 oz) heat-and-eat white rice

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)

2 tablespoons bottled balsamic glaze

Heat oven to 450°F . Toss squash on a sheet pan with 2 tbsp oil, 1/2 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper. Spread in a single layer and roast 20 to 25 minutes. Meanwhile, in an extra-large bowl, toss kale with 2 tbsp oil, 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and the oregano. Stir in butter beans. Stir squash and push to one side of the pan. Add kale-bean mixture to the other side, mounding slightly. Roast 15 minutes. Microwave rice per package directions. Transfer kale, beans and squash to a large bowl; gently stir in rice and crumbled feta. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and toss. Serve warm.

Recipe and photo credit:

Recipe: Butternut Squash Soup

Butternut Squash Soup

By Nutrition, Recipes

Fall is finally here! And your local markets are filled with an array of delicious fall squashes.  This Butternut Squash Soup would make the perfect intro to your Thanksgiving holiday feast, but is equally suited to a weeknight meal!



2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 carrot, diced

1 celery stalk, diced

1 onion, diced

4 cups cubed butternut squash, fresh or frozen

1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Optional: toasted pumpkin seeds and outer leaves from brussels sprouts

Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add carrot, celery, and onion. Cook until vegetables have begun to soften and onion turns translucent 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in butternut squash, thyme, chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until squash is fork-tender, about 30 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée soup, or to use an upright blender, let the soup cool slightly and carefully purée in batches.

Top with toasted pumpkin seeds and brussels sprout leaves as desired.