36 Tips to Waste Less Food and Save More Money

I have a confession to make. I throw away perfectly good food on a regular basis, in spite of being raised by a mom who used up all the food because waste was not an option.

It doesn’t make me feel any better to know that I am not alone in my food management problem. The U.S. squanders about 30% of the food available to eat, and most of it is tossed at home.

March is National Nutrition Month, and I am pleased to see that this year’s theme, Go Further with Food, is as much about minimizing food waste as it is about maximizing good nutrition.  Trashing edible food drives up prices and makes it less affordable to those with reduced financial resources, who miss out on nutrients. Even if you have enough cash, tossing food is throwing money away. On average, a family of four wastes up to $2,200.00-worth of food every year.

Food waste is also bad for the environment.

If food waste was a country, it would be the planet’s third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, right behind China and the United States. Food is the single largest component of trash in landfills, where it produces methane, a global-warming gas. Throwing food away also squanders the resources that went into producing, processing, packaging, and transporting it. For example, 25% of all freshwater in the U.S. is used to produce food that we never eat.

How to minimize food waste

Managing food wisely takes time and creativity. The amount of food tossed in my household is directly related to my level of motivation to manage it, which includes planning meals, shopping, and using up leftovers. The busier I get, the more food I throw away.

We can’t save and eat all the food that’s slated for the trash heap, but I think it’s safe to say that there’s room for improvement.  I asked my dietitian colleagues for their best food-saving tips, and I divided their advice, and my own suggestions, into three levels of difficulty. Let’s face it: managing food is hard, so pick the tips that best fit your lifestyle.

Simple tips to save food and money

  • “Before going to the grocery store, look in the fridge and cabinets to see what you have, and what needs to be used up first. If there is something that I know I won’t eat before it goes bad, into the freezer it goes (either cooked or not, depending on the food). Then I use what’s in the freezer when I’m planning my meals.” – Kaleigh McMordie


  • “You don’t need a complicated recipe to make a meal, snack or side dish. Take a look at what you have, and be confident. Most leftovers combine nicely for a soup, casserole or stir-fry.”- Pat Baird

  • Choose smaller plates and glasses.  Dietitians have been touting this advice for decades, but it’s not usually framed around food waste.  A smaller plate helps encourage proper portions and reduces overeating.  Overeating is technically a form of food waste, because we are consuming more food than our bodies need. This form of food waste can lead to chronic diseases, too. – Chris Vogliano



  • Place foods that spoil quickly within sight so that you eat them first. Wash fresh produce like lettuce and berries just before eating to keep it from spoiling. Store fruits and veggies in separate crisper drawers.

  • “Use fresh produce in smoothies. I keep bulk Greek yogurt in the fridge and make smoothies as a grab & go breakfast.” – Mary Emerson


  • Freeze fresh ripe fruit that’s about to go bad, such as berries, peaches (pit and slice first), and sliced bananas for smoothies, smoothie bowls, and delicious frozen fruit desserts, like  Chocolate Peanut Butter “Ice Cream.”


  • Purchase plain frozen fruits and vegetables. That way, you will use only what you need at the time and minimize waste.


  • Embrace imperfection. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables with odd shapes, sizes, or colors. They taste the same, but so-­called ugly fruits and vegetables often get tossed by grocery stores because they don’t sell. Slightly bruised produce is OK to eat if you cut away the damaged area, but avoid produce with any cuts.


  • Set your refrigerator between 35 ̊F and 40 ̊F, and your freezer at 0 ̊F or below, to keep food fresher for longer. Stuffing the refrigerator and freezer reduces cooling efficiency and speeds up food spoilage.

  • After grocery shopping, get perishables into the fridge or freezer ASAP. If you’re making stops before heading home from the super­ market, bring a cooler bag with you in the car for dairy, meat, and produce.


  • Avoid resealing fresh fruits and vegetables in airtight plastic storage bags or containers because they trap moisture that promotes faster decay. Purchase perforated plastic bags for produce or make your own by poking tiny holes in resealable plastic bags.


  • “Write the date a food was opened when you open a container of shelf stable food like broth or canned beans to avoid having to guess whether it’s still good or not when you can’t remember how long it’s been in the fridge.” – Courtney Stinson


  • “Consider a meal delivery service. I found food waste challenging when we went from a family of three to a family of two. Using the Hello Fresh for a few meals a week is helpful. We get just the right amount of ingredients and the meals-for-two are actually dinner-for-two and lunch-for-one. I buy frozen protein (mostly fish and chicken) and take out only enough for what we will eat, add a microwavable frozen veggie pack and the brown rice bowls they sell at Costco. I would have to say that cooking for two is a challenge because many recipes aren’t easily cut in half. I recognize that buying a lot at a cheaper per unit price isn’t cheaper if it goes bad, so I am okay with buying smaller quantities of food at a higher per unit price.” – Shelley Real

See what happened when Dana Angelo White challenged herself to reduce her family’s food waste

Next-level tips to save food and money

  • Plan meals and snacks for at least five days of the week and shop for the ingredients. Meal planning helps to save money and food waste, and prepping meals on the weekend saves time Monday through Friday.

  • “Reorganize your fridge. Crisper drawers actually have a purpose! Reconsidering how you organize your fridge can keep your food fresh longer by reducing spoilage.  This will save you money while fighting food waste.  Check out this fridge storage infographic for more information.– Chris Vogliano


  • “I cook vegetables within a day or two of purchase and refrigerate them in airtight container if I know I will not be eating them that day. This allows me to get to them before they have a chance to wilt in the fridge.” – Barbara Baron


  • Know what the dates mean. You may pitch food because you want to eat only the freshest and safest items, but throwing away perfectly good items contributes mightily to food waste. Some of the dates on food packages are more about quality than anything. “Sell by” dates are used for fresh, perishable foods, such as meats and dairy products. It’s the last possible day the store can sell the product, and it’s a date you should take seriously for safety’s sake. However, if the date passes while you have the product at home, the food should still be safe if handled properly. The “Use By” and “Best If Used By” dates have more wiggle room, as they refer to perceived food quality, not food safety. For example, the “best if used by” is the last date recommended for the customer’s use of a product at its peak quality. To see how long food is still good past these dates, visit stilltasty.com.


  • “Have a family fix it yourself leftovers night. We do this when we’re too lazy or tired to assemble a whole meal. We try to eat all the leftover food and what that is close to expiring. Nobody eats the same thing, but we can still usually each find a pretty balanced meal.” – Courtney Stinson

  • “I use extra vegetables and grains to make pasta dishes and rice bowls.” – Rebecca Clyde


  • “When I’m feeling ambitious, I portion out foods like fruit, veggies, beans, and grains into see-through containers, typically in ½-cup or 1-cup portions. That way, instead of the blueberries getting accidentally pushed to the back of the refrigerator and forgotten, someone can easily grab a portion to throw on top of cereal, or easily grab grains, beans, and greens for a broth.” -Wendy Kaplan


  • “Build a layered vegetable salad in order of the food’s ability to withstand moisture, and it’ll keep in your refrigerator longer. Starting at the bottom of the bowl, use sturdy vegetables like peppers and carrots. Then use vegetables that can withstand some moisture, like mushrooms and beans. Follow with a layer of whole grains. Finish with a top layer of herbs and lettuce. Add dressing on individual plates, right before serving.” – Tamar Rothenberg

Here’s how to makeover your leftovers

Cook more to curb food waste

  • “I keep a bag of vegetable scraps in my freezer to make stock. When I get enough, I toss the vegetables in with bones and cook overnight.” –Wendy Jo Peterson

  • “I’m loving the new food trend of eating root-to-stem! For example, if you’re a fan of broccoli, there’s no need to throw out the leaves and the stem. You can sauté the leaves, which tastes similar to kale, and turn the stem into broccoli rice in the food processor.”  – Jessica Spiro 


  • Use ice cube trays to preserve leftover wine, remaining tomato paste, milk, yogurt, and 100% fruit or vegetable juice, and use in recipes later.

Check out Jessica Elyse’s ways to reduce food waste.

  • “ While it doesn’t completely eliminate food waste, you can use up parts of veggies you wouldn’t normally eat, or veggies that have lost their texture (ex: softened carrots) by making your own vegetable broth. You can be extra eco-friendly by composting the veggie scraps after you’ve gotten flavor and nutrients out of them.” – Kelly Jones



  • Make food fresh again. Perk up wilted kale, Swiss chard, spinach, and other greens by placing them in ice water for 30 minutes. Cook and eat or freeze. To freshen up nuts, toast them on a baking sheet in a 350 ̊F oven for 10 minutes.

  • “I make an Egg Bake with my leftover food–nearly anything can be mixed with eggs, some onions and a little cheese (even cottage cheese–one of my favorites).” – Kitty Broihier


  • “Don’t throw away the liquid from the can of beans! This “aquafaba” makes an excellent vegan egg alternative for baked goods (it makes the fudgiest box brownies ever) and can be used to make vegan mayo. Here’s one example of how to use it in these sweet potato fritters with aquafaba aioli!” -Chrissy Carroll


  • “Search for recipes based on what you need to use up. I had a half can of pumpkin and a half can of coconut milk so I googled “pumpkin coconut milk muffins.” You are bound to find something to try! Also, when I realize I made too much of something, I’ll find a friend or neighbor to share it with. -Kacie Barnes

Cooking Down: Minimize Waste and Make Easy Real Food


  • “Dry fruits and vegetables in the oven or a dehydrator. Purée veggies and tomatoes for marinara sauce. Make soup. Make croutons with extra bread.” -Aimee Sarchet


  • “I evaluate the fridge before going to the store each Sunday and make a combination meal that can include several leftovers, like a frittata featuring leftover veggies and cheese; a grain salad for lunches with leftover cooked whole grains, salad greens, leftover veggies and meat; or a soup. I also always freeze leftover canned goods.”‪ – Jessica Ivey

A year of less food waste by Moms Kitchen Handbook

  • “I have several ideas in this (free) PowerPoint and accompanying handout. The photo of “Clean the Fridge Chopped Salad” is one of my favorites, because, you just take bite-size odds and ends of whatever is in your fridge and would go well with each other (veggies, nuts, cheese, fruit, meat, etc.); mix them together and add your favorite salad dressing! -Alice Henneman

    Judy Barbe’s Roasted Cauliflower Fettucini 

Kara Lydon Evancho has compiled 25 delicious, creative recipes to use up leftovers. 

When it’s OK to throw food away

You shouldn’t eat every food in the name of frugality. Never freeze, cook, or eat any food that smells funny to you. For safety’s sake, toss the following:

  • Odd­-smelling food
  • Food left out for more than two hours, or one hour if the air temperature is 90 ̊F or above
  • If the power has been out for at least four hours and you haven’t opened the refrigerator
  • or freezer; sooner if you have (raw animal foods, dairy, and leftovers should all be tossed)
  • If cans have rusted or they’re leaking, deeply dented, or bulging
  • Moldy food (except for cheese; you can cut that part away)

What are your favorite ways to curb food waste?








Slow-Cooker Beef and Mushroom Stew

The episode of This Is Us where Jack dies because of a fire caused by a slow cooker has not scared me off this kitchen tool, especially because I use it to make Slow-Cooker Beef and Mushroom Stew, one of 60 recipes included in Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy.

I love knowing this stew is ready to eat for dinner on a chilly evening, and for lunch the next day.

Whole grain cornbread is delicious with the stew. 

You don’t need to give up meat to eat a plant-based diet, and this recipe proves it, as one portion supplies a full serving of vegetables, along with protein, iron, and about 25% of your daily requirement for choline, a nutrient every cell in your body requires, and is especially necessary for developing brains during pregnancy and early life.

This burger recipe is a beef and mushroom blend

The stew is rich in mushrooms, which take the place of some of the beef. Mushrooms are the only product in the fruit and vegetable section with vitamin D, and they have many other beneficial properties, too.

Mushrooms provide umami, a taste sensation that brings a savory flavor to dishes.

Vary this recipe with a mixture of mushrooms, such as white button and shiitake, if you like.

Slow Cooker Beef and Mushroom Stew

Makes 6 servings.

1 medium onion, chopped

2 cups baby carrots

16 ounces sliced baby bella mushrooms

1 can (15-ounce) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained

11/2 cups reduced-sodium beef broth

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 pound stew meat, such as chuck, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1 cup fresh or frozen peas

Freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)

Place all the ingredients except the beef, peas, and pepper in a slow cooker. Combine well. Add the beef. Cover and cook on the low setting for 8 hours, or on high for 4 hours. Just before serving, add the peas and season with pepper, if desired. Stir well. Cover and cook for 5 more minutes.

Per serving: 

Calories: 238

Protein: 27 grams

Total fat: 5 grams

Saturated fat: 2 grams

Cholesterol: 54 milligrams

Sodium: 470 milligrams

Carbohydrate: 22 grams

Dietary fiber: 4 grams

Calcium: 39 milligrams

Iron: 3 milligrams

Choline: 111 milligrams

No-Bake Bean and Peanut Butter Treats

I don’t know about you, but there’s no way I’m going to celebrate Valentine’s Day without chocolate. I usually go overboard on candy, so this year I devised a plant-powered, not-too-sweet treat as a vehicle for just enough chocolate to satisfy me. And that’s saying a lot!

No-Bake Bean and Peanut Butter Treats are perfect for everyone in the family because they are delicious, energizing, and heart-healthy.  Little hands can form the dough into hearts, or, if they prefer, balls. The best part is that these treats are ready in about 30 minutes!

No-Bake Bean and Peanut Butter Treats pack oatmeal, peanut butter, and beans to energize and satisfy.

No-Bake Bean and Peanut Butter Treats

Makes 18 hearts or balls

1 cup oatmeal, uncooked

1 15-ounce can white beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

1/3 cup pure honey or maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/3 cup dark chocolate chips (vegan and gluten-free, if desired)

3 tablespoons finely chopped peanuts

Place all the ingredients except the chocolate chips and peanuts in a food processor.  Blend until the mixture is well-combined, about 3 minutes, pausing to scrape down the sides of the processor.  Leave the dough in the food processor and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Place the dough on a large cutting board and press into a 9-inch square that’s about 1/2-inch thick. Use a medium heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut the dough.*  Combine remaining dough and press into a 1/2-inch thick piece. Cut dough into hearts until you have 18. Place hearts on a wire cooling rack on top of a cutting board.

*Note: You can also shape the dough into 18 balls. Dip half of each ball into the melted chocolate and coat with peanuts. Place on wax paper to harden.

A glaze of melted dark chocolate chips provides just enough to satisfy a chocolate craving without excessive sugar.

To decorate, melt the chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler.  Glaze the hearts with the melted chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.  Allow the chocolate to harden before eating, or not! Refrigerate any leftovers.

Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and these treats are ready to eat! No baking necessary.






How to Eat to Beat Digestive Problems

Today’s topic: gut health. I know, I know, kind of gross, and not something you bring up in polite conversation. Well, maybe it should be. If you’re among the millions of Americans who suffer with uncomfortable gastrointestinal (GI) tract symptoms on a regular basis, you’ll want to know what Kate Scarlata, RDN, LDN, the co-author of The Low-FODMAP Diet Step by Step, A Personalized Plan to Relieve the Symptoms of IBS and Other Digestive Disorders, has to say about getting relief.

One in four of us have tummy trouble on a regular basis, and an estimated 25 to 45 million Americans suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  IBS causes gas, bloating, cramping, pain and altered bowel function. The low-FODMAP way of eating is based on an approach created by researchers at Monash University in Australia. According to Scarlata, research shows that up to 75% of people with IBS can get relief from their symptoms by following a low-FODMAP diet, which may also benefit those with other GI conditions, such as celiac disease (along with a gluten-free eating plan.)

One in four Americans suffer from tummy trouble.

When it comes to digestive woes, the authors know what they are talking about. In addition to providing the latest research about personalizing a FODMAP plan and 130 delicious recipes, Kate and her co-author and recipe developer Dede Wilson, discuss their own experiences in the book. Kate had a major intestinal resection nearly 23 years ago that resulted in debilitating digestive symptoms.  Dede was diagnosed with IBS in 1990.  Both have successfully used the low-FODMAP diet to manage their issues.

Here’s more from my interview with Kate.

What are FODMAPS?

FODMAPs are a group of certain carbohydrates (sugars and fibers) found in higher levels in many everyday foods, such as apples, garlic, traditional yogurt (not Greek), and products made with wheat. Because some people can’t properly digest them, FODMAPS can pull water into the small intestine, and they are rapidly consumed by gut microbes (the bacteria present in the gut), which results in excessive gas production. If you have a sensitive gut, water and gas can contribute to symptoms of bloating, alteration in bowel habits, and pain.  Additionally, the microbes that feed on FODMAPs create compounds that may also play a role in the symptoms of digestive distress.

Peanuts and walnuts are on the low-FODMAP food list.

Why did you write this book? 

I co-wrote the The Low-FODMAP Diet Step by Step because I wanted IBS patients to have an easy-to-understand approach to following the low FODMAP diet.  I have created ways to make the approach less daunting and realistic through my work with thousands of patients to implement the low-FODMAP diet.

What do you want people to know about a low FODMAP way of eating?

The most important point about the low-FODMAP approach is that is it a three-part nutritional intervention. The first part is a two to six-week elimination phase where high-FODMAP foods are taken out of the diet.  The second part is the challenge, or reintroduction, phase. During this phase, FODMAPs are systematically added back to the diet to help you identify which FODMAP sources trigger symptoms, and which FODMAPs do not. The third phase is the integration phase, when tolerated FODMAP foods are slowly added back to the diet.

The goal of the low-FODMAP approach is to eat the most varied and enjoyable diet as possible while maintaining good symptom control. However, balance is important. Cutting out too many foods on the low-FODMAP diet may also reduce some healthy microbes in the gut.  We encourage the challenge and integration phases of the low-FODMAP diet so that you can follow an eating plan with as much variety as possible to maintain symptom relief and keep your gut healthy.

Yes, Chocolate Chunk Cookies are on the low-FODMAP diet menu! You’ll find the recipe in book.

You mention in the book that digestive disorders are on the rise. What are your thoughts on why this is happening?

In my opinion, we are seeing an increase in digestive issues due to a complexity of environmental changes including the broad use of antibiotics and antimicrobial sprays and detergents, manipulation of the food supply with use of high fructose corn syrup (a concentrated source of FODMAPs) and food additives. For example, emulsifiers in highly processed foods such as ice cream, salad dressing, and mayonnaise, cause gut inflammation and altered gut microbes in animal studies. Pollution, stress, and other factors also alter and disturb the balance of microbes that inhabit our gut and support health.

What your gut bacteria say about your health

Do you think it’s difficult for people to be properly diagnosed with IBS and other digestive disorders? 

In America, talking about gut health is often viewed as taboo. Although our views on talking about it is slowly changing for the better, I do feel many patients would rather suffer in silence than address their GI symptoms with their doctor. A recent study revealed that primary care doctors fail to ask about GI symptoms quite often as well during physical exams, which further compounds the problem.

How to talk to your doctor about digestive issues

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the best), how exciting is the evidence about the effects of what you eat on digestive health and overall wellbeing? 

I would say we are at about a 10+ in this area! The evidence continues to mount daily that the gut is the window to health. What we eat impacts the trillions of microbes that live in our intestine. We know these microbes affect our chances for chronic diseases including diabetes, obesity, non alcoholic liver disease, and depression.  It is a very exciting time to be a dietitian interested in gut health…and I truly believe all dietitians should be watching the research closely so that they can best communicate findings to patients and other consumers.

You mentioned a low-FODMAP diet as a way to manage colic in infants. What’s on the horizon?

There are so many new studies looking at how FODMAPs may affect health. A 2017 study showed that when breastfeeding moms of infants with colic decreased their FODMAP intake, the infants’ colic symptoms decreased. While more research is needed about the effect of mom’s diet on colic, the study offers hope to parents. Another interesting study looked at how the low-FODMAP diet may help reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation can give rise to chronic conditions including heart disease and cancer.



Eat to Conceive: Food and Fertility

Chances are, you’re familiar with someone struggling with infertility, and you may not even know it. About 15% of couples have trouble getting pregnant, which makes infertility quite common.

I wrote about infertility in Expect the Best, Your Guide to Healthy Eating Before, During, and After Pregnancy, and while I’m aware of the stats, they don’t convey the fact that women who face fertility issues may experience shame.

Talking more openly about infertility can help to ease a couple’s burden, and hopefully, reduce bad feelings about a condition that is not their fault. Registered dietitians Elizabeth (Liz) Shaw and Sara Haas, also a chef, have taken the lead in this regard in the Fertility Foods Cookbook, 100+ Recipes to Nourish Your Body. I spoke with Liz about book, which is full of amazing recipes, one of which I prepared, and feature below.

Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN

Why did you write this book with Sara?

I always knew that I wanted to write a book, and when I realized that there was a need for a fertility foods book, I reached out to Sara Haas, a friend that I had made online through our mutually-exhaustive experiences with infertility. After asking Sara for her opinion about my book idea, she told me that she wanted to work on a fertility book, too! Two heads are better than one, and so began our book adventure. We took the opportunity to tell our uniques stories and struggles with fertility, and to let our audience know that they are not alone.   

Chef Sara Haas, RDN, LDN

A healthy body weight improves fertility in women and men

What makes a food a fertility food? Do fertility foods differ from other foods?

While fertility-fueling foods are certainly no different than other wholesome, delicious foods, there are some principles of an eating plan conducive to conception that are important to consider. We recommend plant-based eating. You don’t have to eat a vegan diet, or severely restrict animal foods, but the bulk of your plate should be plant-based. We discuss ways in which combining healthy fats with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, and plant-based proteins, such as soy and legumes, creates a plate that promotes fertility, giving couples a sense of control over a condition that sometimes feels so out of their control.

Here’s one of the recipes from the book that I tried and loved:

Chickpea Salad with Tahini Vinaigrette from the Fertility Foods Cookbook by Elizabeth Shaw, MS, RDN and Chef Sara Haas, RDN, LDN is easy, delicious, and can be served as an entree or as a side dish. It’s a plant-based recipe that everyone in the family will enjoy! 

Are fertility foods for women only? If not, would you explain why?

Absolutely not! It takes two to Tango, right? Although we specify in the introduction that the book is directed toward females, we include advice about food choices for men, and how some may be different than for women. While females who struggle with anovulatory infertility are encouraged to choose whole milk dairy products to enhance fertility, men are encouraged to stick with low-fat dairy. Slow-releasing carbohydrates, such as those found in whole grains, vegetables, legumes and soy, are good for both genders. One other interesting note is the research that suggests regular walnut consumption may help support male fertility in animal studies.

Walnuts may help support male fertility. They are also good for your gut health, and your partner’s.

Are there foods to avoid when trying to conceive and why?

While Sara and I certainly don’t want to discourage any food, we do recommend limiting added sugar, as well as reliance on highly-processed foods. Most highly-processed foods supply fewer nutrients than their less-processed counterparts. While nearly all the foods you eat, including plain milk, eggs, and lettuce, are technically “processed,” it’s possible to make better choices. For example, whole wheat bread is better for you than highly refined white bread, even though both foods are processed.

Don’t worry about engaging in a slice of birthday cake or other special occasion treats. Rather, focus on a fertility-fueling mindset most of the time. In addition, since those actively trying to conceive may become pregnant, we also recommended focusing on safer seafood choices, such as salmon, canned light tuna, and shrimp, and steering clear of fish that tend to be higher in mercury, such as King mackerel, marlin, orange roughy, shark, swordfish, tilefish (Gulf of Mexico), and big eye tuna (not canned) that is typically used in sushi.

This recipe from the Fertility Foods Cookbook is next on my list to try! 

Heavenly Chocolate Cake with Rich and Creamy Chocolate Frosting is gluten-free, vegetarian, and packed with far more protein, fiber, and other nutrients than regular chocolate cake.

In your discussions with those who are trying to conceive, what are they most confused about? 

One of the common misconceptions is that couples think they need to completely avoid carbohydrates, maybe because of the gluten-free trend.  (Men and women with diagnosed celiac disease should avoid gluten.) My job is to help educate people about the importance of including whole grains, many of which are gluten-free, in a diet that can help fuel fertility. I find once people recognize that they can become satiated, satisfied and at ease with a nourishing bowl of quinoa, mixed vegetables, and a delicious walnut sauce, their mindset about eating for fertility shifts. They start thinking of food preparation not as another chore but as a controllable way to fuel their fertility.

If you know someone who is struggling with fertility issues, check out BumpsToBaby.com, the support community that Liz started and runs. BumpsToBaby offers a free, closed group for those seeking health and support from others who are trying to conceive.


5 No-Diet New Year’s Resolutions

It’s a new year, and a good time to renew your commitment to healthy eating. Here’s my advice about how to do just that, without taking drastic steps that will derail your vows in a few weeks, or less. As always, think progress, not perfection.

Do. Not. Diet.

Let’s face it: diets suck.

Fad diets are tempting, but ignore their false promises, and focus instead on improving your eating pattern for longterm success. You’ve done it before, so you know that quitting every favorite food will not fly in the long run.

Food is fuel, and you must eat to survive. The best way to eat is one that you can live with, and doesn’t require “cheat days” to sustain. As my colleague Shelley Real so aptly puts it, “Eating isn’t cheating.”   

Read about one thing that can lead to a longterm healthy relationship with food. 

Eat to burn more calories.  

We nutrition experts encourage eating whole grains for their fiber, and other nutrients. But did you know that whole grains are also metabolism boosters? Whole grains include cereals, breads, grains, and popcorn. Eat at least three servings daily, or even better, make all of your grains the whole kind.

The only way to keep your resolutions.

Don’t play the numbers game.

Consider ditching the bathroom scale and the tape measure. Constantly taking stock of your weight can be a downward spiral, especially when weight loss doesn’t occur as quickly as you like. Focus on overall health instead.

Stop the shaming.

So you overindulged during the holidays. So what? Punishing yourself for past transgressions is pointless, and shame is a useless and harmful emotion. Good health isn’t an all-or-nothing endeavor.  Some days, weeks, and months are better than others when it comes to eating and exercising. Each day is a new chance to make better choices.

Discover how to get more Body Kindness.

Ditch the trash talk. 

There are certain phrases I never use, including “fat” (as it relates to body weight), “skinny,” and “clean eating” because they have negative connotations that contribute to a disordered relationship with food. “Guilty pleasures,” “cheat days,” and “detox” are not on my vocabulary list, either. Hopefully, if you stop using these useless phrases, you’ll improve your point of view about eating.

What are your non-diet goals for 2018?


3 Mini Desserts for the Holidays

They say good things come in small packages, and for me that means mini desserts. There is no way that I’m going to skip sweets, yet I don’t want a huge piece of pie or cake, either.  The first few bites of any food are the most satisfying, so why eat more than you need? Here are three pint-size creations suitable for seasonal entertaining.


Brownie Bites with Raspberry Chia Jam

Brownie Bites with Raspberry Chia Jam

Makes 24 brownies.

1 cup fresh or frozen plain raspberries

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chia seeds

1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup canola oil

2 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate mini chips

2 tablespoons sweetened flaked coconut

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 24-cup mini-muffin pan with cooking spray.

Place berries in small saucepan and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the fruit breaks down. Using the back of a wooden spoon, mash the berries. Take the berries off the heat. Add the sugar and chia seeds, and let the mixture stand until thickened.  Place in the refrigerator until ready to use.

Place the beans and the oil in a food processor. Process on high until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and blend well. Add the baking powder and salt and blend for 10 seconds more. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter by rounded tablespoons into each muffin cup. Bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a brownie bite comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely.

Top each brownie with 1 teaspoon jam and a few coconut flakes.



Mini Pumpkin Mousse

Mini Pumpkin Mousse 

Makes 12 servings.

2 cups plain canned pumpkin

1 cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt

3/4 cup pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

8 ounces frozen, thawed light whipped cream (or 1/2 cup heavy cream that’s been whipped, or cashew cream)

2-3 medium gingersnaps, crumbed (optional)

Place pumpkin, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves in a large mixing bowl. Beat on high speed for 1 minute. Set aside 3 tablespoons of the whipped topping or cream, and fold what remains into the pumpkin mixture. Spoon the mousse into 12 small serving dishes. Chill until ready to serve. Top each with a teaspoon of whipped topping and crumbled gingersnap cookies, if desired.



Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups

Peanut Butter Chocolate Cups

Makes 24 cups.

12 ounces dark chocolate

1 cup heavy cream

2/3 cup Greek-style cream cheese

1 cup powdered sugar

1/2 cup creamy peanut butter

mini chocolate chips or chocolate for shaving, if desired

Cut two clean, one-dozen empty foam egg cartons into separate egg cups to make 24 cups.

Melt the dark chocolate.  Place a heaping teaspoon of melted chocolate in each egg cup and tilt to evenly coat. Put egg cups on a baking sheet and freeze for 20 minutes.

Place cream in a large mixing bowl. Beat on high speed until cream forms stiff peaks, about one or two minutes. Do not overbeat.  Transfer cream to a medium bowl and set aside.

Add cream cheese, sugar, and peanut butter to the large mixing bowl.  Beat on high speed until smooth. Fold the whipped cream into the peanut butter mixture until completely combined and the mixture is uniform in color and texture. Refrigerate.

Take egg cups out of the freezer. Carefully peel the egg carton from the chocolate, keeping your fingers near the bottom.

To assemble, place a tablespoon or so of the peanut mixture into each chocolate cup and top with shaved chocolate.



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