Healthy Concepts
Kim Stoeger, MS, Clinical Nutritionist

Kim Stoeger, MS, Clinical Nutritionist

Kimberly Stoeger, MS, is the clinical nutritionist and owner of Nutritional Healing, LLC. Her passion lies in supporting people’s health through evidence-based medicine (risks versus benefits of medications) and healing therapies through nutrition. Kimberly has her masters of science in human nutrition degree, and experience working with clients regarding weight and fatigue issues, sports nutrition, food sensitivities and allergies, and general health concerns such as high blood pressure, high glucose levels, high cholesterol/triglycerides, migraines, thyroid conditions and gut dysfunction. To learn more, call 920-358-5764 or email [email protected]

Healthy kale and quinoa power salad with spicy sweet potato, black beans and creamy avocado sauce is a gluten-free (and easily vegan) salad that packs well for lunch, too!

Ingredients:

Quinoa and kale

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 bunch kale, ribs removed and chopped into very small, bite-sized pieces
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium lime, juiced
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Sweet potatoes

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1½ pounds), sliced into small, ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1½ teaspoons salt

Avocado sauce

  • 2 avocados, sliced into long strips
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium jalapeño, deseeded, membranes removed and roughly chopped
  • 1 handful cilantro leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground coriander, optional
  • Salt, to taste

Everything else

  • 1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained, or 1½ cups cooked black beans
  • ⅓ cup crumbled feta (Omit for vegan/dairy-free salad)
  • ¼ cup pepitas (green pumpkin seeds)

Instructions:

  1. To cook quinoa: First rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water for a minute or two. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil, then cover the pot, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Remove the quinoa from heat and let it rest, still covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot, drain off any excess water and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set aside to cool.
  2. To cook the sweet potatoes: In a large skillet, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped sweet potatoes and toss to coat, then add the cumin, smoked paprika and salt. Stir to combine. Once the pan is sizzling, add a scant ¼ cup water, then cover the pan and reduce heat to low to avoid burning the contents. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potato is tender and cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  3. Uncover the pan, raise the heat back to medium and cook until the excess moisture has evaporated and the sweet potatoes are caramelizing on the edges, about 3 to 7 minutes (add another little splash of olive oil if the potatoes start sticking to the pan). Set aside to cool.
  4. To prepare the kale: Transfer the kale to a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle the chopped kale with salt and use your hands to “massage” it, which improves the flavor. Grab handfuls of kale in your hands and scrunch it up in your palms. Repeat until the kale is darker green in color and more fragrant. Whisk together 2 tablespoons olive oil, the juice of 1 lime and ½ teaspoon salt. Drizzle over the kale and toss to coat.
  5. To make the avocado sauce: Simply combine the ingredients as listed in a food processor or blender. Blend well and season with salt to taste.
  6. To toast the pepitas: In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the pepitas, stirring frequently until they are turning lightly golden on the edges and starting to make little popping noises, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  7. Once the quinoa has cooled down a bit, pour it into the bowl of kale and toss to combine. Divide the kale and quinoa mixture into four large salad bowls. Top with sweet potatoes, black beans, a big dollop of avocado sauce, and a sprinkle of feta and pepitas. 

Imagine waking up in the morning feeling great! You bounce out of bed with the kind of energy that will take you from morning to evening. You have the confidence to finally get to all those things you have been putting off. You are gaining control of your health and control of your life! Isn’t this what everybody wants? Good health, full function and absence of disease well into old age? Of course we do!

Here is a scenario that might sound more familiar for you or someone you know. You go for your annual physical and blood tests. The results come back and your doctor tells you to start various prescription drugs because your results were not in the healthy range (i.e. cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, HDL, glucose, blood pressure, etc.). This happens more and more each day, and this prescription drug may put a Band-Aid on the problem, but doctor, “what exactly got me unhealthy in the first place?”

This is not to say that some drugs don’t ever successfully prevent disease. But the fact is that no matter how you look at it, the US (and to a lesser extent other countries) has a prescription drug problem. The US spends two times more on drugs, and takes twice as many drugs as other countries, and yet the health of Americans is actually worse. That means we are paying money for drugs that are not working for us (and possibly causing additional health concerns or adverse side effects in the meantime).

So what is your first line of therapy now that you have your results? Surprisingly, obesity and chronic diseases associated with aging — hypertension, cardiovascular disease, arthritis, diabetes and osteoporosis are not inevitable outcomes of the aging process. Instead, these diseases are largely preventable, simply by making sound lifestyle choices. Lucky for us, there are medically approved wellness programs available as alternatives to prescription drugs. Your first line of therapy should be to fix what got you ill in the first place — your diet and lifestyle! 96 percent of primary care physicians (PCPs) believe that the US health care system should place more emphasis on nutrition in treating chronic disease. So why don’t they just follow through on that notion? Well, because there are barriers for PCPs, such as lack of financial incentives, time, support staff and training to help each individual patient in this manner.

Helping patients adopt a therapeutic lifestyle is the first and possibly the most important therapy doctors and other health care providers could use to treat many chronic health problems, as well as the associated obesity epidemic we are experiencing in the US. It all comes down to us choosing to be proactive about our health versus reactive, and accepting the all too eager prescriptions that are handed to us each day. Making lifestyle changes (proper diet, supplements, activity, stress management, etc.) is a small price to pay compared to how much we tend to pay in just one year for prescription drugs. You definitely do not have to go to medical school to know how to take care of yourself in those areas of your life!

Again, rest assured that there are professionals and medically proven programs out there to help you achieve your wellness goals. Remember, it is not just about preventing disease; it’s also about striving to live your life to the fullest in all areas — more energy, less stress, improving your shape, better sleep, more strength, fewer aches and pains, and the list goes on! So, what will be your first line of therapy?

Wednesday, 28 October 2015 16:16

Fish and Mango Salsa Salad

Ingredients:

Cod

Lettuce

Pepper Jack cheese

Mango Salsa ingredients:

1 mango

1 avocado

½ red onion

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 small bunch cilantro

1-2 colored peppers, red, yellow or orange

Add a jalapeño and some lime zest if desired

Directions:

Drizzle fish with olive oil, Cajun seasoning, a little bit of salt (or any kind of seasoning preferred). Bake in the oven on a cooking sheet lined with tin foil at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes.

Cut all the salsa ingredients into bite-sized pieces and mix it up. (Tastes the best when you mix it up and let it sit a few hours).

Put the lettuce, fish and salsa together on the plate and sprinkle with some Pepper Jack cheese.

You can put this into lettuce wraps for fish tacos too! 


Wednesday, 30 September 2015 14:50

Sweet and Sour Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:

2 large cucumbers

1 small onion

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons white vinegar

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dill

1 teaspoon dried cilantro

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

½ to 1 tablespoon powdered stevia

2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

Toast sesame seeds in pan for a minute or two. Be careful because they cook fast! Then set aside.

Spiralize or cut your cucumber and onion into small chunks. Put into a large bowl.

In a separate bowl, combine the oil, vinegar, lemon, garlic, spices and stevia. Mix it up and taste to see if you need to add anything.

Toss the dressing over the cucumbers and onions and add the toasted sesame seeds at the end.

Fresh cilantro would be tasty addition with this recipe, as well as red pepper flakes to add some spice! The recipe tastes great if it sits for a bit!


 

Monday, 24 August 2015 19:50

Bruschetta

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon olive oil

3-5 cloves garlic (finely chopped)

½ large red tomato

3 small/medium heirloom tomatoes (or 2 pints of cherry/grape tomatoes)

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

15-20 fresh basil leaves

1 teaspoon salt (you may not need a whole teaspoon, the cheese will give it a salty flavor too)

¼ teaspoon pepper

Fresh grated parmesan cheese

Ezekiel low sodium gluten-free bread (this crisps up awesome — no need for regular French bread!)

Directions:

Take a few slices of the bread and cut them in half from top to bottom and set aside for now.

Finely chop the garlic. Add the olive oil to a pan and cook the garlic so it becomes fragrant and lightly golden in color. Set aside and let cool just a bit.

Chop the tomatoes into small bite sized pieces. Add garlic and tomatoes to a medium sized bowl. Add the balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Finely mince the basil leaves and add to the mixture. Let this mixture sit for an hour or two to allow all of the flavors to come together.

Now add the olive oil to a pan and rub the pieces of bread around so they all get lightly coated in the oil. Keep the heat at medium to medium/high so they do not burn. They should take around 5-10 minutes or so to get nice and crispy. Toast each side.

Spoon the mixture on a piece of bread and sprinkle on some of the cheese. It is delicious!


 

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 20:28

Does your diet need a name?

A lot of people are talking about the benefits of The Paleo Diet. All diets sound convincing at first, but before you start eating mostly meat and giving up on your carbohydrates, I invite you to consider the following:

1. Not all carbs are your enemy.

As humans, we actually need complex carbohydrates for brain health, muscle energy and emotional health. And women in particular will feel the urge for carbs at different times throughout their cycle. These cravings don’t mean you are bad and out of control; they mean your body needs something specific for nourishment. The carbs you don’t want are the simple carbs and those in processed food. Passing on the sugar, cookies and bread to avoid the refined carbs is a healthy choice for sure — but that doesn’t mean you need to stop eating all carbs.

2. Our quality of meat is questionable.

The Paleo Diet is based on our heritage of being hunter/gatherers. The problem is, the meat we eat today is very different from the meat our ancestors used to hunt. Back then, cows were not roaming the woods. Factory farm animals are high in toxins and very inflammatory to the body. Unless you have access to completely grass-fed, free-ranging meat or wild game, it’s best to stick to predominately plant-based sources of protein and fish low in mercury. The philosophy to take away from the hunter/gatherer approach is to eat seasonally and locally for the best quality of nutrients.

3. Whole grains and legumes also go way back in history.

Avoiding all starch may lead to quick weight loss at first, but it’s not what’s best for your long-term health. So often as a nutritionist I see people struggle to omit food groups and instead end up binging on them when they no longer can do the strict diet plan. Choosing starches from whole grains and root vegetables can be very nourishing for your sweet tooth, not just your body. Grains, legumes and root vegetables have been sustainable dietary choices for centuries.

4. The most important thing to remember is how you eat does not have to have a name.

Diets that take a rigid approach to eating don’t work long term because they are “static,” and you are a living organism. They don’t take into account how your daily life changes last minute or how your body needs different foods at different times. Sometimes your body will need more complex carbs. Other times it will need more healthy fats. Sometimes it will need more protein. At least everyone agrees on eating more vegetables and avoiding processed foods.

Letting your body guide you is much healthier than letting a diet guide you. Remember, a one-size-fits-all approach does not truly fit all. It doesn’t even fit you all of the time! Sustainable weight loss happens when you focus on health first. What foods are you not eating that could benefit you? Take that approach versus what to eliminate!


 

Monday, 29 June 2015 21:05

Apple Cinnamon Cake

Looking for an easy breakfast option not loaded with sugar? Try our protein-rich Apple Cinnamon Cake! This perfect alternative will give you about 11 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving!

Ingredients:

1 19-ounce can of chickpeas

4 eggs beaten

2 tablespoons powdered stevia

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 medium apple grated through a fine grater

1 teaspoon grated lemon rind

(Makes 4 servings)

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Drain and rinse chickpeas and process them until smooth in a blender or food processor. Spoon the puree into a bowl and add the remaining ingredients, stirring until fully combined. The mixture will be runny. This is normal.

Grease an 8x8 cake pan. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from the oven and let cool completely before cutting into squares. Enjoy!


 

Wednesday, 27 May 2015 13:02

Blueberry Fruit Dip

One of the most difficult food groups to eat each day are legumes, or as we more commonly refer to them, beans. With the upcoming summer months ahead, we know life is going to be busy with traveling, tailgating, vacations, graduation parties, weddings and so on. Beans are a food that just does not pop up while we’re out and about. Something fun and tasty to make ahead of time and bring along to many of these social events is Blueberry Fruit Dip.

Not only will you be tackling the challenging food group of beans, but your guests won’t even know that it’s good for them! This delicious dip is a great way to get in fruit and beans, and enjoy their health benefits all at once!

Ingredients:

1 container of blueberries (approximately 1.5 cups)

1 can white beans, drained and rinsed well

2.5 teaspoons powdered stevia

Directions:

Mix all ingredients in food processor until well blended. (Add more beans if you want it thicker). Serve with slices of fruit!


 

Tuesday, 28 April 2015 13:41

Eliminate pain with food

We have all experienced the uncomfortable pains of overeating in our lives, but could what you eat really be the culprit of arthritis, muscle pain, fibromyalgia, digestive and skin disorders as well? Yes, in fact, it can be to blame. Scientists are making a strong link between our food choices and pain. Over 70 percent of our immune cells are in our digestive system, making direct contact with the food we enjoy every day. If the immune system is triggered by bacteria in food, flags a food as an allergen, or has an imbalance of important hormones such as insulin, it can set off the red alert of inflammation.

Inflammation is a major underlying factor in chronic conditions such as arthritis or poor digestive health, resulting in serious discomfort and a limited lifestyle. In other instances, inflammation is a periodic byproduct of stress and the proverbial wear and tear of living. At times we tax our bodies excessively, causing joint pain and decreased mobility. And yet, there are occasions where the stressful demands of work and family — the unexpected obstacles that are symptoms of financial and personal hardship, unhealthy diet and too little sleep — manifest themselves through inflammation.

Persistent, systemic inflammation also increases a person’s risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and an assortment of other problems that become more likely as we age. More disturbing is the rise in the use of prescription drugs — many of which have serious long-term side effects — as a response to the growing threat of inflammation. Bottom line? Inflammation is the root of all chronic disease. How inflammation becomes visible in our own health will depend on the person.

There are immediate steps we can all take to reduce inflammation, starting with improved eating habits. Sufficient rest, moderate activity and a strong immune system also complement our dietary choices so that we can better control inflammation when it strikes. Diet is critical! Amidst the far-too-numerous types of processed foods, sugary drinks and oversized meals, we must seize any chance to embrace the benefits of sound nutrition. When you eat foods you’re sensitive to (especially over and over each day or week), it causes an inflammatory reaction in your body and your health declines. And an important fact to note is that healthy foods such as squash, turkey, beans and apples, for example, may be your “personal poison” foods causing the inflammation.

The easiest way to discover your food sensitivities is a food sensitivity lab test. It’s a blood test that challenges the part of your immune system responsible for food sensitivities against different foods to determine your immune response. The strength of the response tells if you have a severe, moderate or mild sensitivity or none at all. You can choose to test up to 200 different foods, with results listing all your sensitive foods, the degree of sensitivity and your safe foods. It’s that simple. Imagine how long it would take to test that many foods on an elimination diet! It is not a matter of whether a person has food sensitivities. In my experience, how many and which foods are what the blood test results show. The solution to pain is choosing to support your immune system with your next meal. We eat numerous times throughout the day, every day. Your next bite of food has the power to help, or the power to heal. Which would you prefer?


 

Tuesday, 31 March 2015 14:15

Chicken Pad Thai with Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 cup bok choy (diced)
  • 1 cup carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 2 cooked chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup no-salt-added chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Bragg liquid aminos
  • 1 red chili pepper

Garnishes

  • 2 tablespoons peanuts, chopped
  • Green onions (chopped)
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges

Directions

Cut spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. If you are having difficulty cutting it, try microwaving it whole for a minute or two. Scrape away the seeds. Place squash on a foil-covered cookie sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast at 350 degrees for 40 to 60 minutes. Remove, let sit for 5 minutes, and then “shred” the squash with a fork.

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, sauté garlic for 1 minute. Add the bok choy and carrots and sauté over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Remove and set aside on a plate.

Add chicken broth, peanut butter, Bragg liquid aminos, rice vinegar and red chili pepper to skillet. Heat until smooth. Return veggies to the pan, as well as the spaghetti squash. Add in chicken and heat over medium heat for 5 minutes or until sauce has coated all.

Divide among 2 plates/bowls and top with peanuts, cilantro, green onion and lime wedge.


 

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