Pumpkin Spice and Everything Nice

By Sheri Berger, RDN

These days pumpkin spice is definitely the trend in food, beverages, candles, lotion, body wash, etc. – you name it!  The pumpkin spice food and beverage fad can be not so nice for your waistline if it is consumed with more sugar than spice!  A dose of fresh or canned pumpkin is an incredible source of vitamins A, B, and C as well as a great source of fiber, copper, and potassium.  When pumpkin is prepared in a healthy way, it can be part of a tasty and figure friendly feast.  To stay on top of your healthy weight goals during this splendid time of the year, steer clear of the pumpkin spice muffins, cookies, and pie and give these pumpkin treats a try:

Make a pumpkin soup.  Here are some healthy and easy recipes:
Simple Pumpkin Soup
Mayo Clinic Healthy Pumpkin Soup
Roasted Pumpkin Apple Soup

Roast your pumpkin seeds!  Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of protein and omega 3 fatty acids.  A handful of pumpkin seeds and a piece of fruit (produce and protein) make an excellent late afternoon snack. See here for some creative ways to spice up your pumpkin seeds:
Pumpkin Seed Recipe

Roast not only the seeds, but the pumpkin too.  Instructions here:
Roasted Pumpkin

Make it a healthy, energizing snack:
No Bake Pumpkin Bites

Make a homemade pumpkin spice latte.  Here is one of my favorite recipes (so much better than Starbucks):
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte

Make a pumpkin chili!  Here are some recipes:
Pumpkin Black Bean Chili 
Turkey Pumpkin Chili   
Pumpkin Chicken Chili     

Make a healthy pumpkin smoothie:
Pumpkin Oatmeal Shake 
Pumpkin Protein Smoothie (vegan)

Put it in your oatmeal!
Overnight Oats

I hope you find these tips helpful.  Have a great week!

Sheri Berger is a Registered Dietitian having completed her B.S. in Food/Nutrition & Dietetics and a dietetic internship at Loyola University Chicago. Sheri has a diverse professional background that includes hospital and outpatient clinic support, preventative wellness programs, corporate wellness services, cardiovascular disease management, and working with seniors. Sheri enjoys engaging her clients in pursuit of their personal wellness goals and leading by example with her healthy lifestyle. Sheri has been certified in adult weight management since 2005. She belongs to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, California Dietetics Association, and the San Jose Peninsula District of the CDA. Sheri enjoys spending her free time with her husband and two daughters and she loves to run marathons.

Healthier Holiday Recipe Alternatives

By Katrina Vinson

Thanksgiving is right around the corner and every year I try to find recipes that are healthier alternatives.

Gravy is an absolute must at most dinner tables so why not try a recipe that is lighter, delicious, AND vegetarian (a bonus for the non-meat eating relatives). Now mash potatoes are by far my absolute favorite but I really wanted to cut back on the starchy dishes this year. So a great alternative is mashed cauliflower.  Cauliflower is also low in carbs option and is a cruciferous vegetable that is naturally high in fiber and B-vitamins. Enjoy!

Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy

1-2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 Onion, finely chopped
4 oz. mushrooms, finely chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp. chopped thyme
1 tsp. chopped sage
1 tsp. chopped rosemary
3 tbsp. all-purpose flour
2-3 c. vegetable stock


Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until
beginning to soften. Stir in mushrooms and herbs. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add flour and cook for 1 minute.
Pour in 2 cups of vegetable stock and whisk to combine. Bring to simmer and cook for 5-10 minutes, until the flavors have melded and the mixture has thickened
slightly. If the mixture is too thick, gradually add more vegetable stock.

Serve warm.

Mashed Cauliflower
2 medium heads cauliflower, florets removed
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. milk
kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped chives, for garnish
Butter, for serving

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add cauliflower florets and cook until tender, 10 minutes. Drain well, pressing with paper towels or a clean dish towel to remove as much excess water as possible.
2. Return to pot and mash cauliflower with a potato masher until smooth and no large chunks remain.
3. Stir in cream cheese and milk and season with salt and pepper and mash until completely combined and creamy. (Add a couple tablespoons more milk until you reach desired consistency.)
4. Garnish with chives, season with more pepper, and top with a pat of butter.

Funston, L. (2016). Mashed Cauliflower. Delish.com, recipes. Retrieved from
http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a50786/mashed- cauliflower-
Miyashiro, L. (2016). Vegetarian Mushroom Gravy. Delish.com, recipes. Retrieved from
http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a50251/vegetable- gravy-recipe/

About the Author: 

Katrina received her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology and is a CPT through the American College of Sports Medicine. Katrina worked as a personal trainer for several years while putting herself through college. In addition to her 16 years experience in the health club and fitness industry, Katrina has competed in several sports including basketball, track & field, softball, and soccer at the collegiate level.

Are you in pain? Physical Therapy can help.

National Physical Therapy Month is an opportunity for BaySport to recognize physical therapy as an ideal solution to manage pain caused by an injury and get the patient back to work or play in a timely manner. Our licensed physical therapists have a common goal: to provide individual attention and quickly get the
patient back to optimum health and function. “Treating the cause of the pain can accelerate the healing process as opposed to simply treating the symptom“ says, Daniel Alvarez, D.P.T. “We spend one-on- one time with the patient to learn their history, concerns and goals for recovery.”

The American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) states the following advantages for working with a physical therapist to reduce pain:

Exercise – You can lessen the chronic widespread of pain by 28%, if you exercise more than 3 times per week.

Manual Therapy: From carpal tunnel syndrome to low back pain, this type of care can effectively reduce your pain and improve your movement.

Education: Physical Therapists will hep you to understand your pain history, and help set realistic expectations about your treatment.

Teamwork: Your Physical Therapist is able to directly work with you and assess how your pain responds to treatment.

If you’re in pain from an injury or have ongoing pain and you don’t know why, give us a call and schedule a complimentary injury assessment. You will have one-on- one time with a physical therapist to assess your injury. BaySport Physical Therapy Clinics are conveniently located near highways in Los Gatos, Santa Clara and Redwood Shores within facilities that provide top of the line fitness equipment, locker rooms, showers, and aqua therapy.

For more information about our physical therapy programs and to learn more about BaySport services, go to www.baysport.com or call (408) 395-7300.