4 Yummy—and Healthy!—Recipes

Written by: on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

By Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD


stack of pancakes with fruit on the top

Skip the sugary syrup and top your pancakes with fruit, fruit jam—or even just a touch of powdered sugar (my fave!).


The pancakes are light and fluffy prizewinners. Yum!!!


½ cup uncooked oats (quick or old fashioned)

½ cup yogurt (or milk + 1/2 tsp vinegar)

½ to ¾ cup milk

1 egg (or 2 egg whites), beaten

1 tablespoon oil, preferably canola

2 tablespoons packed brown sugar

½ teaspoon salt, as desired

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup flour, preferably half whole-wheat


1. In a medium bowl, combine the oats, yogurt, and milk. Set aside for 15 to 20 minutes to let the oatmeal soften.

2. When the oatmeal is through soaking, beat in the egg and oil; mix well. Add the sugar, salt, and cinnamon, then the baking powder and flour. Stir until just moistened.

3. Heat a nonstick griddle over medium-high heat.

4. Pour about ¼ cup batter onto the griddle per pancake. Turn when the tops are covered with bubbles.

5. Serve with syrup, applesauce, berries and/or yogurt.


Yield: 6 6-inch pancakes

330 calories per 2 pancakes      57 g Carb, 10 g Protein, 7 g Fat

From Nancy Clark’s Sports Nutrition Guidebook (www.nancyclarkrd.com).


carrot muffins on a wooden cutting board

These moist carrot muffins make the perfect on-the-go breakfast food—or snack!


These muffins are hearty and moist. Enjoy them plain or with protein-packed peanut butter.


 1½ cups flour, preferably half whole wheat

1½ cups dry oats, blenderized into “flour”

½ cup brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons cinnamon

2 eggs, beaten

1 teaspoon vanilla

¾ cup milk

 cups shredded carrots

 apples, peeled and shredded

½ cup raisins


1 cup chopped nuts


1. In a medium bowl, mix flour, oat bran, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

2. Add the beaten eggs, vanilla, and milk; then the carrots, apples, raisins, and nuts. Stir gently until blended.

3. Prepare muffin tins with paper cups (treated with cooking spray for best results). Fill the muffin cups full.

4. Bake in preheated oven at 350ºF for 15 to 20 minutes. Test for doneness with a toothpick.


Yield: 18 medium muffins (or 12 large)

125 calories per medium muffin      25 g Carb, 4 g Protein, 1 g Fat

From: Food Guide for Soccer: Tips and Recipes from the Pros (www.nancyclarkrd.com).



Pecans in a bowl

Pecans are yummy, but don't get carried away: they contain 196 calories per about 20 halves!


This snack has everything your taste buds could possibly want: sweet, spicy, salty, and crunchy. Toast up a batch, and to give as gifts, put them in holiday jars or tins and tie on ribbons.


1 egg white

1 teaspoon water

1 pound pecan halves (about 4 1/2 cups)

½ cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon salt, preferably kosher

¼ teaspoon allspice

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Preheat oven to 325 degreesºF.

2. Lightly coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Whisk together the egg white and water in a large bowl until well blended. Add the pecans and toss to coat evenly.

3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and spices, then sprinkle it over the nuts. Toss until well coated.

4. Spread the pecans in a single layer on the baking sheet, and bake until the glaze is crisp and golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.


Yield: 16 servings (1/4 cup)

220 calories per serving                   10 g Carb, 3 g Protein, 20 g (healthy) Fat

From: No Whine With Dinner (www.MealMakeoverMoms.com).


homemade trail mix

There's no need to buy trail mix; you can whip up a homemade batch in no time!


This is a perfect snack for calming the afternoon munchies. Sweet, but not too sweet.


3 cups oat squares cereal

3 cups mini-pretzels, salted or salt-free, as desired

2 tablespoons tub margarine, melted

1 tablespoon packed brown sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup dried fruit bits, raisins and/or slivered almonds


1. Preheat oven to 325 degreesºF.

2. In a large re-sealable plastic bag or plastic container with a cover, combine the oat squares and pretzels.

3. In a small microwavable bowl, melt the margarine, then add the brown sugar and cinnamon. Mix well, then pour over the cereal mixture.

4. Seal the bag or container and shake gently until the mixture is well coated. Transfer to a baking sheet.

5. Bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring twice.

6. Let cool; add the dried fruit; store in airtight container.


Yield: About 10, ½ cup servings

200 calories per serving    40 g Carb, 5 g Protein, 2 g Fat

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association (www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/NutritionCenter/Recipes) and Food Guide for Marathoners: Tips for Everyday Champions (nancyclarkrd.com)

Copyright: Nancy Clark MS RD CSSD Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD (Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics) helps both casual and competitive athletes enhance their health and performance. Her practice is at Healthworks, the premier fitness center in Chestnut Hill MA (617-795-1875). Her Sports Nutrition Guidebook and food guides for runners, soccer players, and cyclists offer additional information. They are available at www.nancyclarkrd.com. See also www.sportsnutritionworkshop.com. For Nancy’s app with Recipes for Athletes ($2.99) see itunes.apple.com.

Be Healthier: Make these 5 simple dietary changes today

Written by: on Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

I have a slight confession to make: yesterday (Halloween) I ate WAY too much candy. I could blame the small, easy-to-grab candy sizes that manufacturers make and the fact that high-fructose corn syrup is addictive. But the truth is: my willpower crumbled as I sampled bite-size Milky Way bars, Milk Duds, Mike & Ike’s, Twizzlers, and more—all between visits by trick-or-treaters.

Chocolate holiday candy

Some researchers believe that eating too much sugar contributes to cancer.

Horrible. That’s the way I feel today as if I drank too much yesterday and woke up with a hangover.

But when you fall off the wagon, the next day you just pick yourself up and get back on track. That’s what I’m doing. But something else (besides just feeling like I have a sugar hangover) is motivating me: my dad just had stents put in two of his arteries, almost completely clogged due to coronary artery disease—which runs in the family. (His dad died of a heart attack in his 50s, his mom died of a stroke.) If that isn’t a wake-up call to eat healthier in general, then I don’t know what is.

While slight digressions in diet (ahem…what I went through yesterday) are okay every once in a while, what’s key is following simple dietary do’s and don’ts regularly—and getting almost daily exercise. You don’t need to overhaul everything you eat and become a strict vegan. That’s not it. Just incorporate a few of these changes into your diet, slowly, over time—and you’ll find you won’t feel deprived, you’ll lose weight, you’ll have more energy, and you’ll be healthier!

bowl of garbanzo beans

I love to add fiber-rich garbanzo beans to salads, rice, soups, and more!

1) Limit red meat. Who doesn’t love a juicy burger or steak? But this stuff simply isn’t healthy for you. Cut it out or limit it to once a week, or better yet, a couple of times a month, max. Substitute lean meat (sans the skin) or beans (my favorite) for much-needed protein.

2) Eat more fruits and veggies. Fresh is preferred but frozen works just as well (as long as there are no added sauces, seasonings, or sugar). At least nine (half-cup) servings a day is best.

3) Cut down on the sweets. I know it’s hard, particularly when faced (as I was yesterday) with a giant bowl of Halloween candy. But cutting down on it will give you more energy and make you healthier in the long run (this stuff, as I well know, is crazy addictive). Some researchers even believe that sugar is the food that cancer thrives on—cut it out and you’ll reduce your risk of developing cancer, they say.

4) Skip that white bread in favor of whole grain—and eat more whole grains while you’re at it. Break out of the box: try quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, millet, and more.

fresh herbs

Try adding chopped fresh herbs to all your dishes—and hold the salt shaker.

5) Pass on the salt shaker—or limit your use of it. Salt is like sugar: the more you use it, the more you become “addicted” to it. When you start cutting it out, you realize that you just don’t need much of it any more. Substitute fresh or dried herbs.

But eating the right thing isn’t easy: if it were, we’d have a whole lot of healthier people in this country. What is making it easier for people: just being released today is the U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of the best diets http://health.usnews.com/best-diet, a super-helpful guide to what will help you meet your goals—whether it is to be healthy (which should always be your #1 priority) or lose weight. DASH (think: low sodium) diet ranks #1 http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/dash-diet, followed closely by my own fave: the Mediterranean Diet http://health.usnews.com/best-diet/mediterranean-diet. Check it out: this ranking is simple, easy to understand, and offers clear descriptions (charts, scoring systems, recipe links, and more). You can even mix and match: pick a few bits of advice from each diet and incorporate them into your own.

But I digress: the key is that you’ve got to change your eating now—before health problems manifest themselves, as in my dad’s case.

And as for me, I’m tossing out all the leftover candy and taking it out to the garbage bin before my willpower weakens again!