Friday, October 11, 2013

Not All Calories Are Created Equally

When Is A Calorie Not Just A Calorie?
When you hear the word ‘calories’ do you immediately think of diets and weight loss?
Would you choose a food or turn down a food based on calories alone?                                                        

If so, you might be missing out on some quality options.

Making Every Bite Count
According to the most recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the top five sources of energy (calories) in young children’s diets are grain desserts, pizza and soda.  “Nearly 40% of total calories consumed by 2-18 year olds were in the form of empty calories.”*

Children have such small space in their stomach but such high nutrition needs for growing that every bite they take counts.  When they fill up on foods and beverages that don’t give them any nutrients, their growth and development can be compromised. 
When adults eat foods that don’t keep them full and satisfied, they feel hungry sooner and often end up consuming two to three times what their bodies need. 

Not All Calories Are Created Equally

Instead of comparing only calories in a food, compare what your body gets back from that product.

For example, one glazed donut is about 250 calories.  It’s loaded with fat, saturated fat and trans fats.  The refined white flour, sugar, water and yeast won’t keep you full for long.
On the other hand, three Green Plate Kitchen banana chocolate chip muffins have about the same calories as the donut BUT you’d get over 10% of your daily fiber and iron recommendations and about 70% less fat.  The ingredients include whole wheat flour, real eggs, unsweetened applesauce and butternut squash puree…A list any parent and nutritionist would approve.

It’s time to stop judging food by calories alone and start asking “What am I getting back from this?”  If the food label and ingredient list offer nothing but refined flours, sugar and fat, put it back on the shelf and look for something else!

Choosing food with ingredients that nourish and fuel your family is the key to maintaining a healthy weight, feeling energized and more focused throughout the day.


by: Louise Goldberg RD, CSP, LD, CNSC for Green Plate Foods

Learn more about Green Plate Kitchen by visiting our website and our Facebook page.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Back To School with a Super Charged Lunchbox

It’s that time of year again to get your kids prepped up for another great year of learning! Now that you have all of your children’s school supplies, you've attend the “Teacher Meet and Greet”, you have fought the crowds in the mall to get all their back to school clothes, it’s finally time to plan for the most important  part of their school year -  Lunch! 

Did you know that the most sensitive organ in our bodies to chemicals and food allergies is the human brain? Most of us think it is the skin but it is the brain. With that being said, we have to take a hard look at what’s in our kids food.  

How to Build a Super Charged Lunchbox

The Lunchbox:

Children are more vulnerable than adults to harmful chemicals that are found in everyday objects that they touch all day. Picking a lunchbox that is free of chemicals is not only important for your children’s health but smart for the environment, too. There are many great options out there. I personally like the Laptop Lunchbox and Lunchbots.

Shopping For Success: 

When it comes to grocery shopping, I have one simple rule -  if you can't pronounce an ingredient, don’t buy it. I make this a game with my daughter to help teach her the importance of educating what we are eating. Some of the big offenders in 80% of our foods are artificial flavors and colors, Genetically Modified Foods (GMO), artificial preservatives, artificial sweeteners and large amounts of sodium. For a list of ingredients to avoid check out my "What's The Deal With Neon Blue Icing?" 

How to Build a Super Charged Lunchbox: 

When building a lunchbox is all about balance. Our fabulous nutritionist, Louise Goldberg with Apple a Day Nutrition Consulting, says that vegetables and fruits should always be present in their lunchbox. Even if you know they want eat the vegetables Louise says it is good to have it in there so you can teach them what a balance meal looks like. 

Louise also mentions in her blog to avoid giving sweets in the lunchbox, because they are going to go straight for that first rather than eating it at the end of their meal. Treat them every once in a while to a high quality chocolate kiss. 

Think Outside of the Bun!

You can’t go wrong with a sandwich, but there is so much more you can do. 
  • Forget the bun and wrap thin sliced carrots, cucumbers and lunch meet in lettuce. 
  • Use a tortilla instead of a bread. 
  • Soup is always a great way to sneak in vegetables. Use a thermos to keep it nice and warm. Leftovers can also be a godsend to reheat and use a thermos.  Also, it doesn't always have to be hot, my daughter loves pizza or pasta leftovers cold.
  • Pack a "bento" box or any container with 5 smaller "snack" type items for you little one to have a wide variety like I highlighted in a previous blog post: Back to School Snacks & Lunch Ideas.
  • We also Love our dietitian's recipe page for tasty and healthy ideas: An Apple a Day Nutrition Consulting Recipe Page.

Lettuce Sandwich Wrap


2 romaine leaves, washed and trimmed
2 teaspoons of mustard
1 carrot, shaved
1 cucumber, shaved
2 slices of turkey meat (nitrate + hormone free + low sodium)


Use a vegetable peeler to shave a handful of carrots and cucumbers. Lay out your washed romaine leaves and pat dry. Spread mustard on the lettuce. Layer the sandwich meat, carrots and cucumbers and roll up nice in tight.

Snacking Smart

Snacking is probably the hardest category to stay strong with good clean foods. There are multiple aisles in the grocery store dedicated to processed snacks that are directly marketed to kids. Try to avoid those as much as possible and hit the outer perimeter of the grocery store for good sources of snacks. 

Brain Power Snacks:

  • Cut up fruit and veggies in your fridge for quick and easy snacks. Vegetables can be paired with hummus and fruits go great with low sugar yogurt. Peanut butter goes great with celery and even apples. 
  • Nuts and Seeds
  • Low Fat Plain Yogurt + Fresh Fruit +Honey + Cinnamon
  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • We pride ourselves at Green Plate Kitchen to make nutritionally dense snacks, replacing oil and refined sugars with pureed veggies and fruit. Some of our most popular our are Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins packed with butternut squash and made with whole wheat flour and applesauce.
  • If you lucky enough to live in Houston, many of our snacks and healthy treats can be found at Whole Foods Market and HEB.  Check our locations page for an up to date listing.

Final Thoughts

Our children learn from us everyday by our attitude, actions and words, so it starts with us to be excited about clean eating. You are their role model!
If you have not already embraced clean healthy living, get excited and tell yourself "I can and I will" start to help my family live a cleaner + healthier life. 
You will not only positively impact your family and help prevent future preventative diseases, but you will arm them with powerful knowledge that they will be able to positively impact their friends and their future families. 

Happy + Healthy Eating!
Lisa Pounds
Follow us!
Instagram: @GreenPlateKitchen

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kale & Quinoa Salad

Kale + Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing

Kale is considered one of the healthiest superfoods on the planet and quinoa is not too far behind it. Quinoa is one of the most protein rich foods we can eat. It is a complete protein containing all 9 essential amino acids. It is high in fiber and rich in magnesium.

Kale contains an abundance of glucosinolate enzymes which stop cancer cells from becoming active and speeds up the removal of carcinogens from you system. Besides being a natural cancer fighter, it has many other benefits.


Our kale + quinoa salad is a weekly staple for me. It is crunchy, filling, full of flavor and packed with nutrients. The toasted walnuts and cranberries dance beautifully together with the hearty chopped kale and delicate bits of quinoa. The lemon vinaigrette dressing brings all of the flavors together and leaves me satisfied every time.

Kale + Quinoa Salad with a Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing
Salad Ingredients:

  • Kale 1 large bushel
  • Quinoa (cooked) ¼ cup
  • Dried cranberries ½ cup
  • Chopped Walnuts 1/3 cup
  • Grated Parmesan ½ cup

Lemon Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • Dijon Mustard 1 ½ tbsp
  • Lemon juice ½ cup
  • Garlic cloves 3 tbsp
  • Olive Oil 1 ¾ cup
  • Honey 1 ½ tbsp
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

To make the salad, remove the vain from the kale. Roughly chop the kale and place in a large bowl. Add in your cooled cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, chopped walnuts and grated Parmesan cheese. Set aside and start on your dressing.

To make the dressing, in a separate bowl whisk together all the ingredients except the olive oil. Once you have everything at a nice consistency slowly drizzle in the oil until it is emulsified.
Drizzle the dressing on the salad and toss until everything is nicely coated.

Enjoy your new favorite dish!

If you live in Houston, you can order this salad directly from Green Plate Kitchen HERE and can find it on our Catering Menus as well! 

Happy and Healthy Eating,


Follow Us!
Instagram: @GreenPlateKitchen

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Top Foodie Mom 2013- Need your vote!

Hi Friends!

In the hustle and bustle of being a Mompreneur I have forgotten to register for the Circle of Moms 2013 Top Foodie Moms Contest! I am entering with a LONG shot to stay on this prestigious list!  I have many amazing plans to grow my business that is focused on providing healthy REAL food to children and families.  We are now expanding into some exciting retail spots (i.e. Whole Foods and HEB) and into Hospitals!  I am passionate about health education, and a regular advocate on the importance of eating healthy.  Hope you will stay tuned for many exciting plans, products and projects to come!

Appreciate your support!

Vote for Lisa's Green Plate Blog!

Lisa Pounds

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Natural Products Expo West 2013

I had the opportunity to travel to Anaheim, CA for my second Natural Products Expo West. It is one of the largest natural products food shows in the world. They packed in 63,000 attendees this year with some 2,400 exhibitors. I was an attendee again this year, there for meeting, searching for new suppliers, prospects, networking, education and LOTS of sampling and gawking at all the up and coming products, many not on the shelves yet. There were a plethora of all things raw, non-GMO, made with chia, half-popped popcorn, hormone free, soy free, dairy free, and probably the most interesting combination of ingredients were the all new "Protein" bars made with hormone-free meats and chocolate (and derivations of coconut, nuts or berries with bison, turkey jerky, etc.) Now I have seen it all! :-)

Me and My Dad! Team GPK!

So you can get a feel for the size of this event and the huge booths and set ups!:

Some of my favorite healthy snacks I tasted, some new, and some old favorites: Mary's Gone crackers, Go Raw products, Two Mom's in the Raw, Brad's Kale Chips and Onion Rings (yum! loved the Rings of fire if you like spicy!), Amazing Grass Green Superfood Bars (don't look at the inside and you'll be fine! they taste great, I just saw them in the supplement section at Whole Foods not the bar section). Cliff Bar and Kind had new versions out. And Amy's is coming out with knock-offs of milky ways, snickers, toffee bars that are AMAZING, coming out later this year. While not "healthy" they are good clean natural ingredients for that special occasion. Justin's Nut Butter remains one of my favorite brands, my daughter and I LOVE the hazelnut spread and go through a container every week or so, spreading it on toast and for dipping apples. Their peanut butter cups are to die for! I discovered NuttZo seven nut and seed butter at the show. Loved it! Awesome combos of nuts and seeds with crunchy and creamy versions of their original formula, a peanut free version and a chocolate one. The package them upside down so you don't have to stir them. Smart!

Lots of new dried fruit puffs, dehydrated fruit mixes, pouches in every flavor and mix of veggies and fruits, super grains, including the super grain of choice at the show "Chia!" Happy Baby has a ton of new pouch combos and flavors. Great assortment, wish all these were out when my daughter was a baby! I had the honor to meet Shazi Visram the founder of Happy Baby. What an inspiration to mompreneurs and product innovation. Little Duck Organics had some great snacks and cute multi-purpose green packaging with their Mighty Oats product, when you are done your little one can plant it in the garden with built in seeds. Cute! Another new favorite: Peas of Mind new Peas of Pie pizza, like real veggies actually baked into the pizza dough that you can see! And it tasted amazing! Find them at Target everywhere.

The hot new natural sweeteners you will be seeing everywhere: Coconut Sugar and Monkfruit (this was new to me, zero calorie is from the monk fruit and advertises that is does not have the "aftertaste" like stevia does. They say you can bake with it, 1 to 1. I love Big Tree Farms new dehydrated coconut! Just add to you glass of water for instant coconut water, saves tons of plastic bottles!! Plus they have amazing coconut sugars.

I am a big tea drinker, and have to mention my favorite new tea: Rooibiee Red Tea, made from the rooibos bush to be high in antioxidants and naturally caffeine-free. Love it and it is now available in most grocery stores.

Majority of the products are available at Whole Foods. We were excited to see Whole Foods announcement at the show that they plan to mandate all GMO-free products within 5 years. Great news for consumers! We are headed in the right direction, but have leaps and bounds to go! Go to your local grocery stores and request these and other natural products. They listen!

Happy and healthy shopping!

PS: Please make sure to follow Green Plate Kitchen and me on Twitter and Facebook!

Green Plate Kitchen on Facebook