Health And Nutrition · vegan

Blueberry Banana Pancakes 

How are we as Americans doing on our fruit and vegetable intake? 

In 2013, the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) found that less than 18% of adults in America eat the recommended amounts of fruit, with less than 14% of adults in America eating the recommended amounts of vegetables.

With this issue in mind, the 2015 USDA Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that we increase our intake of fruits and vegetables, as well as consume less than 10% of our total caloric intake from added sugar.

What can we do about this?

We can pay attention.

We can act.

I love creating nutrient-dense recipes for my family. Pancakes are one of our favorites. Good news here, this pancake recipe has all the added sugar cut out, in addition to containing whole grains and 1 cup equivalent of fruit per serving.

By topping them with more fruit instead of maple syrup, you can have a delicious treat while increasing the nutrient density of an American favorite breakfast.

You CAN eat well delicious!   

BLUEBERRY BANANA PANCAKES

Yields about 8 pancakes, or 2 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour*
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 medium bananas, ripe, mashed
  • 1/2 cup milk of choice
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries

Directions

  1. Turn on your skillet/griddle to medium to medium-high heat.
  2. While your skillet is heating up, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside. Combine the bananas, milk, and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, and add to flour mixture. Stir to combine. Fold in blueberries.
  3. Once your skillet is ready, spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pour batter onto the skillet using a 1/3-cup measuring cup. 
  4. Once you see lots of bubbles, carefully flip the pancakes (they will be delicate). It should take about 1-2 minutes per side. As soon as they are lightly golden brown on both sides, remove them from the heat.
  5. Top with your favorite toppings, and dig in! 

Notes:

I used organic unsweetened soy milk, but you can use any milk you would like. Fresh or frozen blueberries will work. We topped our pancakes with 1/2 cup homemade unsweetened applesauce and more blueberries.

You can also use ¼ cup unsweetened protein powder in place of ¼ cup of the flour to increase the amount of protein. 1/4 cup coconut flour would also work, which would bring a coconut flavor as well as another good source of fiber. 

*Nutritional facts listed in printer-friendly version linked below. 

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What are your favorite pancake toppings?

What are some ways you are increasing the nutrient density of the foods you eat? 

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Health And Nutrition · My Life · RDN

What led me to where I am now?

Little did I know that one decision would change my entire life.

As a new freshman, barely entering college, I felt impressed to take a nutrition class with a particular teacher. I did so, and that started a lifelong friendship. I began working with her the next year as her teacher assistant, and throughout the past few years I have taught with her, reached out to and helped empower the students to find success in their study and application of nutrition, and have worked as a team with other in-class teacher assistants for the other sections of nutrition taught and have helped troubleshoot the challenges we encounter.

Through my experiences working with the professors in the on-campus Nutrition department, I have witnessed their love for their families as well as for their students. They care for the one and take the time to help them succeed. I also came to understand what I want to do with my career. Through my studies, I have had the privilege to help develop class worksheets and teaching materials to help students apply principles to help others through nutrition. Throughout my classes this past year, I have recognized a love for learning. Nutritional biochemistry has been one of my favorite classes so far. Human physiology fascinates me! I also survived my first Organic Chemistry class and fell in love with the principles. The Lord is helping me recognize that I can do hard things, including starting a family. I hope to continue to deepen my understanding and help others understand it as well.

My first priority is to be a mother. I want to make my home a safe haven for my husband and our future children, and I want to support them in reaching their full potential. Everything I am learning here in the university can help me as a full-time mother to my children as well as serve in the community. God is the best Public Health professional. He works with us individually, knows what we need and how we will respond best to it. I pray for the gift of discernment to understand the needs of my spouse and our future children so I can be a blessing to them.

Secondly, I want to apply what I am learning to help others gain greater health and wellness. My goal is to help individuals get off of unnecessary medication through lifestyle changes.

I would love to work with the Hispanic population, as well as individuals with Type 2 Diabetes and obesity. While serving a full-time mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I grew to love the Hispanic culture, and now I want to expand my Spanish and learn the medical vocabulary to expand my communications.

What is coming up next?

With my internship starting up this next week, I am excited to see how it is to be a  registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) working in the field (as I have seen how it is to be a RDN and teach at the college level, which I love to do) and certified diabetic educator, as that is another certification I have considered. I would love to be a professor or teacher someday.

I am looking into masters programs for public health and registered dietitian nutritionist, and I am completing the prerequisite classes for those programs. I have also considered becoming a Certified Medical Interpreter to help me learn the Spanish to communicate in the health field.

The Lord has played a huge role in my life. He has helped me recognize gifts I have been given to serve others, and I am humbled by the Lord’s hand guiding my path. I could not have come so far without the Lord’s help. I am grateful for His hand. My husband and I have been married for a month now, and we continue to learn more every day together. I’m learning how to cook for two people, and I have some fun to share here on this blog. Tune in soon for some challenges and recipes.

college · Health And Nutrition

A Marvelous Creation

The more I learn about the body, the more I appreciate the marvelous creation it is. We are not a mistake. We were not made by chance. He designed and created our bodies so we could come to earth and gain experience. He wants us to become like Him. I am so grateful for my body and how amazing it truly is. Every second, the SA node cardiac cells of the right atrium (in the heart) depolarize and send action potential electrical currents, resulting in the contraction of the left and right atrium, which top off the ventricles with blood. The electrical current then travels down and back up the ventricles, causing them to depolarize and contract, allowing the blood to flow throughout the body. And that is just touching the tip of the iceberg of the wonders of the body. The human body is simply amazing. I love how this video shows the inner life of a cell — to think that goes on every minute of our lives is incredible. I am so grateful for my body and all the things it allows me to do and the things I can learn through it. 

I hope you are doing well!

with lots of hugs,

Kathleen