Superfood Spotlight - Cantelopes!

July 14, 2020 | Lauren Widawsky, RDN

Did you know that cantaloupes are named for the papal gardens of Cantalupo, Italy, where some historians say this species of melon was first grown?

Cantaloupes deserve to belong to the superfood of the month for many reasons but the one we’re going to focus on today is the carotenoid beta-carotene. Carotenoids are a type of phytonutrient that gives the pigment called beta-carotene it’s orange color. The level of beta-carotene in cantaloupes is significantly greater than it’s orange friends apricots, peaches and mangoes.

Why is this so great? Beta-carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A. This means your body can convert the pigment to the very precious Vitamin known for health benefits such as immunity and eye health. To take in all the benefits of cantaloupe, check out this Arugula Cantaloupe and Blackberry Salad with Honey-Lime Vinaigrette and Feta recipe!

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Oh The Types of Oats

July 10, 2020 | Lauren Widawsky, RDN

Steel cut oats are the least processed as the whole oat is just cut. They also take the most amount of time to cook. Per ounce, steel cut oats contain the most amount of fiber when compared to rolled oats and quick oats. In turn, the lower glycemic index of steel cut oats is the greatest advantage it has over its counterparts.

Rolled oats, or old-fashioned oats are steamed before they are rolled to give them the flattened oval shape. On paper, rolled oats and steel cut oats look virtually interchangeable but since rolled oats are partially cooked, the process takes a glycemic index from 42 of steel cut oats to 55. A higher glycemic index will give you a quicker burst of energy and rise in blood sugar when compared to the others.

Quick oats, otherwise known as instant oats are rolled and cooked more than rolled oats which makes them more “processed.” This makes them thinner and more flaky than the others and is why they turn mushy when hot water is added. The glycemic index of quick oats is about 66 and can go up to 83 for the packets.

Despite their differences, all oats are still healthy options but it is up to you to make the best choice for yourself. I highly recommend enjoying them in the overnight form.

Strawberry, Banana, Chia Overnight Oats

Serves: 1

Portion Size: 8 oz


  • ½ cup Milk
  • ⅓ cup Old Fashioned Oats
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds
  • ¼ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ¼ cup Strawberries, Sliced
  • ¼ cup Banana, Sliced


  1. In a jar, combine oats, milk, honey, chia seeds, vanilla extract, strawberries and banana.
  2. Allow oats to soak overnight (between 8-15 hours).
  3. Enjoy


  • Calories - 360
  • Fat - 7g
  • Carbs - 64g
  • Protein - 12g
  • Sodium - 70mg

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Go with Your Gut

July 9, 2020 | Lauren Widawsky, RDN

By definition, prebiotics feed bacterial growth and probiotics are the good bacteria. A diet including both will help keep good bacteria levels high. Research has shown that a diet including prebiotics and probiotics can prevent and treat diarrhea, improve symptoms of gastritis, peptic ulcers, inflammatory bowel disease and even reduce the severity of food allergies and intolerances.

Some prebiotic foods include onions, garlic, leeks, bananas, apples and oats. Popular probiotic foods include fermented foods like kimchi, miso and yogurt. If you’re feeling a little bit more adventurous, tempeh, kefir, and kombucha provide excellent probiotics as well. Prebiotics and probiotics do not need to be consumed together although your gut microbiome will thank you with regular consumption of both.

Making your own coconut yogurt is simple. There are no fancy tricks or special equipment involved. All you need is coconut milk and probiotic capsules. Empty coconut milk into a jar or bowl and top with the probiotic powder from inside of the capsule and stir. Cover with a cheesecloth and wait 24-48 hours. Refrigerate afterward to thicken, then enjoy your rich and tangy yogurt!

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