What Would Bobbie Eat? Introduction


As a Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer, many of my clients, friends, and acquaintances ask me how I eat/what foods I choose on a regular basis and how I structure my own workouts.   I am creating this blog to share exactly that information with you.  BUT, what I eat and how I exercise has changed a bit over the past three months because…….I AM PREGNANT with my first baby! 

My family started calling me “Bobbie” at a very young age, making a sort of combination out of my first and middle names (Robin Barrie).  Over the years, friends, family, and even pets have known me as Bobbie, Robbie, Bob, or Bobs.  (In fact, my 3-year-old nephew just recently picked up my sister-in-law’s cell phone to call me and say, “Hi, Aunt Bob!”  We are still trying to figure out who taught him that!)   Since you will all be with me throughout this personal adventure as I grow in belly and mind, you can call me Bobbie too!  As I share my experiences, I will teach you all that I already know and all that I learn.  You will see my mostly straight and narrow food choices and workouts veer a bit sideways as my hormones and body take over.  Please feel free to ask lots of questions, make many comments, and share your own opinions and stories.  Here we go…….


                So…..before I even began thinking about getting pregnant, I began taking a prenatal vitamin.  I will explain to you, just as I did for my husband (so he wouldn’t freak out when he saw them sitting in our medicine cabinet years ago).  The main difference between a regular multi and a prenatal multi is that the prenatal ones contain a safe form of Vitamin A and additional folic acid, iron, and calcium .

  • Too much pre-formed vitamin A in a prenatal diet can be toxic to the liver and cause birth defects.  The maximum daily amount (from foods and supplements) is 10,000 IU.  Prenatal vitamins contain much less than this amount and often include beta carotene, which is a vitamin A precursor, and safer in the body. 
  • Folic acid, about 800mcg/day, is recommended for women of child-bearing age, as it prevents neural tube defects (problems with the spinal cord and brain) in the developing fetus.
  • Iron is needed to help with blood and muscle cell development for Mom and baby, while helping prevent development of anemia.  During pregnancy, women’s requirement doubles to 30 mg/day. 
  • Calcium requirements are 1000 mg/day during pregnancy (1300 mg/day for women under age 19) to promote strong bones and teeth for mother and baby.  If Mom doesn’t have enough, the calcium in her bones will be pulled out to meet the baby’s needs, leading to weaker bones for Mom in the future.  Prenatal vitamins do not contain 100% of your calcium needs, since calcium decreases the absorption of iron. 

Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) have many health benefits for mother and baby.  They are polyunsaturated (“good”) fats that are essential in the diet or via supplementation since the human body cannot make them.   They are important for vision and nerve development in the baby, and may decrease the incidence of allergies in babies and increase birth weight.  For the Mom, they can help prevent pre-term labor, decrease the risk of pre-eclampsia and the risk for postpartum depression.  Moms can become depleted in Omega 3’s when the baby uses them for nervous system development and/or when they are used to form breast milk after birth.  This is why it is important for Moms to get at least 220 mg of each EPA and DHA during the prenatal, pregnancy, and postnatal time periods.  They are found in anchovies, herring, sardines, salmon, and tuna, but since many of these fish contain mercury, it may be easier to get Omega 3’s from a supplement.  I have always taken 2000 mg per day since Omega’s have so many health benefits, such as heart disease prevention, decreased period cramps and osteoporosis risk, reduced inflammation (great to reduce post-workout soreness and achieve glowing skin), improved cognitive function, and increased fertility.

I have taken probiotics for years because I was on a lot of antibiotics as a kid.  (Remember that pink stuff for ear infections? Yuck!)  We need antibiotics when we are sick to fight off the bad bacteria or infections in our bodies.  There are also antibiotics found in animal products that we consume, used to prevent sickness in the animals and increase their growth.  These antibiotics are essential at times, but while they may get rid of the bad bacteria, they take the good bacteria with them.  Even organic vegetables may contain antibiotics, as animal manure (from animals given antibiotics) is often used for nutrients in the soil of these crops.  So those of us who eat mostly organic diets may not even be safe.  That is why many of us, who have been on antibiotics in the past, recently, or frequently, could use some help from probiotics in order to replace the good bacteria in our guts.  Probiotics are similar to the good bacteria found naturally in the human gut.  They can be taken in pill form and found in the diet.  They are especially high in foods such as yogurt or other products that are probiotic-fortified.  Probiotics enhance the immune system, decreasing the risk of food poisoning and infection.  They aid in digestion, improve nutrient absorption, can decrease gastrointestinal discomfort, bloating, and constipation.  They may help with weight loss, and decrease skin, yeast, and urinary tract infections.  They also may increase fertility and decrease the risk of early miscarriage.  In babies, they can decrease the risk of developing eczema, colic, diarrhea and food allergies.

As for my diet, I consciously started cutting out fish containing the highest levels of mercury: 

  • Orange roughy
  • Marlin
  • Tilefish
  • Swordfish
  • Shark
  • Mackerel (king)
  • Tuna ( bigeye, Ahi)

I also consciously limited these other high-mercury fish, making sure to have no more than three 6-ounce servings per month:

  • Sea Bass (Chilean)
  • Bluefish
  • Grouper
  • Mackeral ( Spanish, Gulf)
  • Tuna (canned, white albacore)
  • Tuna ( Yellowfin)

Six 6-ounce servings per month are allowed for these lower-mercury fish:

  • Bass ( Striped, Black)
  • Carp
  • Cod ( Alaskan)
  • Croaker ( White Pacific)
  • Halibut ( Pacific and Atlantic)
  • Jacksmelt ( Silverside)
  • Lobster
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Monkfish
  • Perch (freshwater)
  • Sablefish
  • Skate
  • Snapper
  • Sea Trout ( Weakfish)
  • Tuna (canned, chunk light)
  • Tuna (Skipjack)

These fish below have the lowest mercury, and us pregnant/pre-pregnant girls can enjoy 6-ounce servings twice a week.

  • Anchovies
  • Butterfish
  • Catfish
  • Clam
  • Crab (Domestic)
  • Crawfish/crayfish
  • Croaker
  • Flounder
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Herring
  • Mackeral (N Atlantic, Chub)
  • Mullet
  • Oysters
  • Perch (ocean)
  • Plaice
  • Salmon ( Canned, Fresh)
  • Sardines
  • Scallops
  • Shad ( American)
  • Shrimp
  • Sole
  • Squid ( Calamari)
  • Tilapia
  • Trout (freshwater)
  • Whitefish
  • Whiting

(*list from the Natural Resources Defense Council, http://www.nrdc.org)

I took a horrible stomach virus early this past spring as my opportunity to give up coffee.  I know that having a cup a day is allowed during pregnancy, but my issue was that I have always enjoyed Splenda or Truvia in my coffee and did not want to keep that steady stream of artificial sweetener running through my body.   I also like green tea, but most green teas have caffeine, and there is controversy over whether green tea affects the absorption of folic acid in our bodies.   I personally enjoy hot water with lemon, so if I wanted a hot drink, I stuck with that.   

As for alcohol, I was never a big drinker.  For me, cutting back a bit while trying to get pregnant was not a big deal at all, except for my friends’ watchful eyes at dinner!

Other than all that’s listed above, my pre-pregnancy diet stayed the same.

My weekly workout schedule consisted of the following:  3 -4 spin classes at Soul Cycle, 2 hours of strength training, and 1-2 additional cardio workouts, usually on the stepmill, slide board, or treadmill.  I also took a yoga class a couple of times per month.  I worked out 5-6 days per week, always taking of Sundays as a day of rest for my body.  I did not change any of this pre-pregnancy.

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Weight Change Tips

Ever hear a friend or family member say  “I can’t lose weight,” “my body is different, even when I don’t eat I still don’t lose weight,” or “I have really slow metabolism.”  These are common sayings people use to explain why they have not met a goal or achieved weight loss.  This sheet is going to breakdown the weight loss process, suggest some tips, and help you meet your weight goal.

First, in order to lose weight your body has to have a calorie deficit.  A calorie is a unit of energy.  3,500 calories equals one pound, so in order to lose 1 pound, you would need to have a calorie deficit of 3,500calories.

We can decrease calories by consuming fewer (eating) or by burning more (exercise).

EVERYONE’S body works this way!

Second, don’t drink your calories-soda, juice, Gatorade, alcohol all add up towards that 3500 calories.  Get your calories from food, they fill you up and add fiber.

Third, DO NOT SKIP MEALS, research shows having breakfast and small meals throughout the day leads to greater weight loss success

Resting Metabolic Rate

The best way to start you weight loss journey is to discover how many calories your body needs everyday to maintain health and life, this is called resting metabolic rate.  Discovering your metabolic rate allows you to know your daily calorie needs without including your work, exercise, or daily activities. This is your metabolism.

Determining your caloric needs tells you how much to eat and exercise to lose weight, maintain weight, or to increase weight.  By conducting this test you will understand your body and its needs, shattering any ideas of having a “slow or fast” metabolism.   Robin Barrie provides this test at her practice.

 Tips for Gaining Weight

The first step in increasing body size and weight is to make sure you are consuming enough calories.   Instead of having a calorie deficit to lose weight, you must have a surplus of calories to gain weight.   By testing your RMR and adding in your daily exercise you will discover the minimum calories you need to maintain weight and how many to take in to gain weight.  The only way to increase size and weight is by ingesting more calories.

¨ Plan your  meals- eating meals throughout the day can help to balance your calorie intake and keep your blood sugar and hunger levels even.   Skipping a meal can put your body in ‘starvation’ mode leading it to store calories preventing weight loss.

¨ Eat Breakfast– People who eat breakfast are more likely to maintain a healthy weight . Skipping meals leads to overeating later in the day.  Some experts believe eating breakfast keeps your metabolism running, kick starting it in the morning.

¨ Choose Calorie Dense Foods–  Increase the amount of healthy fats, nuts, avocado, olive oil, in your diet.  Fat has more calories per gram than any other nutrient.  Put slices of avocado on your sandwich.

Choose the Healthier Food- increase your intake of high fiber, nutrient dense foods.  These foods will provide you more nutrients, keep you full longer, and help you stay regular.  Always choose fresh food when possible!

  • Heart-healthy nuts: Almonds, walnuts, or pecans (10 nuts is roughly 100 calories, so watch out!)
  • Whole Grains: Bread, bagels, pasta, brown rice, quinoa (provide more fiber)
  • Vegetables: Fill your fridge with non starchy vegetables, they are low in calorie, filled with nutrients and fiber.  Filling half your plate with vegetables is a great way to decrease calorie intake and keep you satisfied: Bell peppers, broccoli, Bok Choi, Brussels’s Sprouts, carrots.
  • Fruit and Dairy:  For a low calorie healthy choice, mix fresh fruit with non-fat yogurt, for a sweet healthy nutrient packed snack.
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Sports Nutrition Tips

Proper food intake improves overall health, boosts sport performance, enhances muscle recovery, and can help prevent injuries.  Leaner, stronger bodies perform better and are not achieved via exercise alone:  Weight loss and increased muscle mass are attained 80% through diet and 20% from exercise.  The right foods help improve body composition (increased lean tissue with decreased fat mass), allowing for more muscle mass, which means increased strength and power.  These facts prove true for all athletes, including dancers, runners, golfers, swimmers, rowers, and rugby players, to name a few.

3 Important Tips To Get You Started:

1. HYDRATE YOURSELF:                                                                                                                  Lack of thirst does not mean you are properly hydrated. A better indicator of proper hydration is having pale yellow colored urine. Drink fluids before, during, and after physical activity.  As little as 2-3 percent of body weight lost in sweat can affect performance.  The best way to determine how much water lost during activity is to weigh yourself before and after long duration (90 mins or more) or very sweaty or outdoor workouts.  The weight lost determines the amount of fluid you need to replace: 24 ounces per pound lost.  It is especially important for water and cold-weather athletes to follow the above tips to make sure they hydrate properly as well, despite not noticing the sweat losses.

2. FUEL YOUR BODY: BEFORE, DURING, AFTER      Fuel your body 2-3 hours before physical activity to supply your muscles with energy and delay fatigue. Focus on eating carbohydrate-rich foods with moderate amounts protein and minimal fat. For endurance activities lasting longer than 1 hour, have carbohydrates and water or a sports drink on hand. Within 30 minutes after physical activity and again within 2 hours, replenish muscle energy stores with a recovery meal or snack that is high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and more liberal in fat.

3. CHOOSE WHOLE FOODS     Eat mostly minimally processed, whole foods. Whole foods contain an ideal blend of many natural ingredients that even supplements cannot match.

Nutrition and Hydration for Activities Lasting Longer than 90 minutes

1-2 hours Before Activity:

Drink 1-2 cups of water.

  • Consume a low-fat, low-fiber, high-carbohydrate snack for energy that is easy to digest and does not result in stomach discomfort.
  • Consume a moderate amount of protein to maintain satiety.
  • Choose familiar, well-tolerated foods. (Try new foods during practice or casual events, not during tournament, race, or game day.)

Food Examples: Oatmeal topped with nuts, raisins, and skim milk or slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter, and sliced banana

During the Activity

  • Replace fluid losses.
  • Sufficient carbohydrates to maintain optimal blood sugar levels.  Drink 8 oz sports drink every 20-30 minutes to maintain hydration, replenish electrolyte loss, and provide some energy.

Examples: Sports drink containing carbohydrates and electrolytes (Gatorade, Gu with 16oz of water) or a banana and water

30 minutes to Two Hours After Activity

  • Replace fluids and electrolytes losses (determined by weight lost if possible).
  • Sufficient carbohydrates to replace muscle glycogen
  • Protein for building and repair of muscles

Examples: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich with a glass of low-fat or chocolate milk, or grilled chicken with steamed broccoli and brown rice

Make sure you have a backup: If you are unable to have a meal or snack before or after your workout, carry some non-perishable options.  For bars I recommend all natural bars NOT loaded with saturated fats (partially hydrogenated and palm kernel oils) and added sugars (cane sugar, fructose, corn syrup, rice syrup, evaporated cane juice, dextrose, maltose, molasses…to name a few).  Do NOT fall for sport-specific bars that may have great marketing but contain some or all of these ingredients.  Some of my favorites (for taste and health) are: Larabar, Luna Bar, Gnu Bar, Kind Bar, Pure Organics Bar, the Real Bar, Cliff C Bar.

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Is Organic the Right Choice?

Whether you buy your groceries online or at a nearby store, organic food and product choices are present at every turn.  But are they better for us?  Is organic the secret clue to buying healthier food?

The 411 on Organic Products

The term “Organic” relates to the way foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy products, and meat are grown.  Organic farming is designed to aid in water and soil conservation, reduce pollution, and decrease pesticide use.  For example, instead of spraying a crop with a pesticide to prevent a specific kind of pest, the farmer would bring in a different insect that consumes the crop-destroying pest.

For livestock to be considered organic, the USDA requires that 30% of their nutrient intake comes from grazing, and they are put out to pasture for at least 4 months of the year.  This is required for both organic meat and dairy items.

Products labeled organic have severe restrictions on food additives and fortifying agents, including preservatives, artificial sweeteners, coloring and flavoring, and monosodium glutamate (MSG).

What are the Differences?

  • Currently there is no research that shows any nutrient difference between “organic” or conventional farming.
  • The cost: Organic foods typically cost more than their conventional counterparts, in part, to more expensive farming practices.
  • They spoil faster from the lack of use of preservatives and waxes.
  • Looks: Some organic produce may have odd shapes, varying colors, different sizes.  However organic foods meet the same quality and safety standards as those of conventional foods.
  • Taste:  Some people say that organic products do, in fact, taste better.

Food Labels

It is common to see “natural”, “cage-free”, or “hormone free” labels on food products.  Through the descriptions have to be accurate they do not mean “organic”.

  • 100% Organic:  The item is completely organic or all the ingredients are organic. Displayed with seal.
  • Organic: At least 95% of the ingredients are organic, displayed with seal.
  • Made with Organic Ingredients: At least 70% of ingredients are organic, no seal displayed.

When considering foods to purchase, spend money on the risky foods that are high in pesticide use:

Foods at low risk for high pesticide content (non-organic should be safe):

  • Asparagus
  • Avacado
  • Banana
  • Brocooli
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Corn
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Mango
  • Onion
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Sweet Peas
  • Sweet Potato
  • Tomato
  • Watermelon

Foods at HIGH risk for high pesticide content (try to buy organic):

  • Animal Products (meat, poultry, eggs, dairy)
  • Apples
  • Bell Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Imported Grapes
  • Kale
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
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Detox Diets

Over the course of a lifetime, we will be exposed to thousands of foreign compounds that can enter our bodies through the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and directly through our skin or eyes.  To make matters worse, many of us have substituted healthy meals with a poor diet that lacks nutritional value to fuel to body’s detoxifying capacity.  All of these factors contribute to an accumulation of toxins, or what is simply called toxicity.

Are you feeling tired or out of sync? Having fatigue, brain fog, headaches, difficulty sleeping, depression or anxiety?  Skin problems such as psoriasis, eczema or acne?  Joint or muscle pain, stomach issues such as gastric reflux, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, nausea or irritable bowel problems?   Have you been diagnosed with medical conditions such as migraine headaches, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, insomnia, depression, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or chemical sensitivity syndrome?   If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be time to consider detoxification as the key to unlocking the door to health and wellness.

Detoxification is about removing and eliminating toxins.  It is about resting, cleansing and nourishing the body from the inside out.  Detoxification works because it addresses the needs of the individual cells, the smallest units of human life.  Detoxification allows toxins to be eliminated from your liver, kidneys, intestines, lungs, lymphatic system and skin.

Detox Diet

Most of the body’s detoxification in done in the gut (intestines), kidneys and liver.  The skin and lungs also play a significant role.  Overall detoxification is heavily nutrient-dependent whereby key steps are fueled by vitamins, minerals and other major food components.  Some of the key nutrients involved with detoxification include:  zinc, pantothenic acid, vitamins, amino acids, L-glutamine, taurine, and N-acetylcysteine.

A detox diet is NOT a “cleanse”.  Robin will guide you through a detox diet customized to meet your calorie and protein needs.  This is not a juice only diet, and in fact, includes many fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes.  You will not feel hungry or weak on this diet if you follow the guidelines given.  Other symptoms such as headache and fatigue may occur at the beginning as the toxins are leaving the body.  Detox diets, also known as elimination diets, can be used to determine food allergies or sensitivities.  By eliminating food groups, then slowly putting them back into the diet, it will be easily noted which foods cause negative reactions in the body.

How a detox diet works

Detox diets typically run 7 days to 28 days (one month) in length.  You will start by gradually eliminating foods in your diet, while continuing to consume high-antioxidant and nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables.  Although these diets are not directly intended for weight loss, they may allow fluid and actual weight to be lost due to their strict nature.  Detox diets may be a good jump start to kick off your healthy lifestyle change.

Start today! Contact Robin Barrie to learn more about creating a healthy lifestyle and recharging your body.

Healthy Foods Eaten on a Detox Diet:

  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Cabbage
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Lettuce and Spinach
  • Apples
  • Pears
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The Sweet Side of Barbeques

The 4th of July is behind us, but the summer barbeque season is still in full swing.  Let’s not forget about the sweet endings.

You don’t have to skip dessert!  For some, a barbeque is not complete without a sweet finish, which brings us to desserts.  Pies and cakes can topple any healthy BBQ or diet plan, so make sure you are providing alternative options throughout every course.  Grilled or fresh fruit topped with fat-free yogurt is a great treat; try pineapple, peaches, mangoes, or papayas on the grill.  Chocolate covered fruit and frozen fruit are also great desserts and snacks.  Instead of serving ice cream, use frozen yogurt with fruit toppings.   Serve large slices of watermelon, cantaloupe, or honeydew, or serve a large mixed berry and fruit salad.  The popularity of this item may surprise you!

Crumble Tip. Instead of making a pie, try a crumble.  It has less sugar and butter, but still tastes great.   When selecting a fruit, choose and in-season berry to make your dessert even more mouthwatering.  The website 20 Low fat desserts has a list of 20 great, low calorie dessert recipes.  Check out the apple fig compote, as it is divine!


Refreshing Drinks:  We have been hit with a heat wave this summer and it is important that there is always enough water and fluids available.  It is common for children and the elderly to not recognize signs of thirst and easily become dehydrated.


Water Alternatives:  There are many individuals who do not enjoy the taste of water and turn to beverages that contain empty sugar calories:  soda, iced tea, lemonade, sports drinks, and fruit juices.  Here are some clever inexpensive ways to give water a makeover that everyone will love.  Serve pitchers of fruit infused iced water, or “aguas frescas.  One pitcher could be sliced cucumbers with mint and lime and another with sliced lemon, oranges, and strawberries.   Click here for a great recipe:  Peach Aquas Frescas.

Remember that BBQs are wonderful summer traditions that can easily be made over into healthy food festivities.  Try these recipes out and let me know what you think.


Share any healthy BBQ recipe that you love!

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Buns, Beans, and Macaroni: the BBQ Carbohydrates

When we think about food served at a BBQ, meat is almost always the first image that comes to mind.  However when you take a closer look, you will notice that the meat is always accompanied by a slew of carbohydrates.  You may see pasta salads, macaroni and cheese, rolls, hamburger and hotdog buns, corn, potatoes, and beans.  Carbohydrates, which include bread products, grains, rice, and starchy vegetables, are an important part of a balanced meal and a successful BBQ.  Nevertheless, healthy, whole grain carbohydrate choices are important. They provide more fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while allowing one to feel satiated faster, stay full longer, and decrease the chance of over eating.


Bread Tip:  Choose whole grain hamburger and hot dog buns for the BBQ.  A great way to reduce carbs is to use only half of a bun with your meat.

 Pasta Salad, hold the Mayo please:  Pasta salad is swimming in hidden calories that’ll hinder you from keeping your summer shape.  Here is great recipe to add to any outdoor festivity that incorporates a whole grain pasta choice and vegetables.

Rainbow Butterfly Pasta Salad

1 cup bow tie whole grain, whole wheat, or rice pasta

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup chopped red pepper

1 cup chopped green pepper

2 medium carrots, shredded (about 1/2 cup)

1 medium yellow squash, chopped

1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)



Cook the pasta as the label directs. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil to prevent sticking; let cool.

In a large bowl, toss the cooled pasta with the bell pepper, yellow squash, and carrots. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Add the parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss again and season to taste.

Starchy Vegetables:  Instead of serving a pasta salad or baked potato, substitute a sweet potato or yam as a healthy nutrient rich side.  Roasted corn on the cob or squash are also delicious starchy sides that will satisfy your guests without adding to their waist line.  Try this delectable dish!


Roasted Squash Medley

5 Servings

2 Peeled and Chopped Butternut Squashes

2 sliced white onions

1 chopped Zucchini

1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbs Salt

1 Tbs Pepper

  • Chop up vegetables, squash should be in cubes.  Place all vegetables in a bowl, add olive oil and spice; mix.
  • On a baking sheet, lay out the vegetables.
  • Grill or bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Vegetables should be tender.


Beans:  Beans a healthy carbohydrate packed with protein and nutrients, and can be added to many different dishes at an outdoor event.  Instead of a pasta salad, make a bean salad or black bean dip.  Canned beans are certainly convenient for summer cookouts and parties; unfortunately they can be a deceivingly high-calorie side dish.  Make your own flavorful, lighter version with these recipes and tips.

  • Start with canned beans like pinto or cannellini, look for the low sodium options, and rinse and drain them; this removes up to 40 percent of the sodium.  Place the beans, flavorings like ketchup, Dijon mustard, and/or fruit juice in a bowl. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake until bubbly.  To add a zing, stir in fresh rosemary or thyme.  Instead of pork fat, add a sprinkle of smoked paprika or some spicy chipotle pepper to create that smoky flavor.

Vegan Baked Beans


  • 1 (16 ounce) package dry navy beans
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onions
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions (10 servings)

  1. Place beans and water in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender. Drain, and transfer to a large casserole dish.
  2. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions, and cook until tender. Mix in garlic, and cook until golden brown. Mix onions and garlic into casserole dish with the beans. Stir in the tomato sauce. Mix in vinegar, bay leaves, mustard, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
  4. Cover and bake 3 1/2 hours in the preheated oven, stirring frequently and adding water if necessary. Remove cover, and continue baking 30 minute

Post your favorite carbohydrate side recipe!

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