Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Nutrition for Muscular Injury…Can food help you heal?

A sport nutrition colleague (Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD) from Sport Dietetics USA wrote this summary - check it out!

Have you ever wondered if food can help you heal?  The truth is…YES…it can!  Food provides the building blocks needed for cells to repair and proliferate and also influences messages sent throughout the body to regulate blood flow, tissue replacement and healing.  The main key is to eat a diet that is rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fat as these provide vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.  However, when injured there are several nutrients to focus on to help the body heal.

  • Calories: Energy needs increase when the body is repairing itself due to post-injury hormonal changes and new tissue formation.  Resting metabolic rate (RMR) may increase 15-50% after traumatic injury and 15-20% following surgery.  Thus the goal is to increase healthy calories post-injury.
  • Protein: Protein is key for tissue repair and remodeling.  Rehabbing an injury requires 2 grams per kg body weight of protein.
  • Fat: Increase omega-3 fatty acids to 3-9 grams per day.  Examples include salmon, salmon oil, sardine oil, flaxseed, walnuts, hemp seeds, green leafy vegetables, other oily fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil. Limit intake of omega-6 fatty acids from foods such as vegetable oils (corn, safflower, sunflower and soybean).
  • Vitamin E has been shown to delay healing in muscular injuries and thus should not be provided during injury recovery.
  • Vitamin C enhances neutrophil and lymphocyte activity during the inflammation phase and plays a role in collagen synthesis.
    • Recommend up to 1-2 grams per day for limited time spans
    • Food examples include: citrus fruits, strawberries, red and green peppers, green leafy vegetables
  • Vitamin A reduces early inflammation after injury, helps reverse post-injury immune system suppression and assists in collagen formation.
    • Recommend 25,000 IU during short periods after surgery and 10,000 IU for 1-2 weeks post-injury
    • Food examples include: green leafy vegetables, carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, mango
  • Flavonoids can also help manage inflammation through their well-known antioxidant properties.
    • Compounds found in cocoa, tea, fruits, vegetables, legumes
    • Can be taken in supplement form via blueberry extracts, green tea extracts, and bioflavonoid supplements; however, the best source is from food
  • Copper is a mineral that assists in the formation of red blood cells and acts in concert with vitamin C to strengthen connective tissue.
    • Recommend 2-4 mg per day during first few weeks post-injury
    • Food examples include: seeds, beans
  • Zinc is required for over 300 enzymes in the body and plays a role in DNA synthesis, cell division, and protein synthesis; all of these enzymes are necessary for tissue regeneration and repair.
    • Recommend 15-20 mg per day, especially during initial stages post-injury
    • Food examples include: animal meats, oysters, clams, nuts, seeds
  • Iron deficiency impairs proliferation of all cells involved in wound debridement and healing.
    • Iron levels should be checked for iron deficiency prior to recommending iron supplements or an increased consumption of iron-rich foods
    • Food examples include: nuts, seeds, tofu, meat, sweet potato, pinto beans, artichoke, spinach, tomato juice
    • Consume iron-rich foods with foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits/juices, tomatoes, green leafy vegetables, red and green peppers, this helps increase iron absorption

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Gluten Sensitivity and Athletes

Some athletes struggle with intestinal problems that interfere with training and performance. Sensitivity or intolerance to a specific protein (gluten) in wheat, rye, barley, triticale, spelt can reduce the absorption of nutrients and lead to poor nutritional status and chronic low energy levels. Symptoms include indigestion, gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort or pain, diarrhea and chronic fatigue. This inability to cope with gluten in the diet, in its extreme form, is called celiac disease (1).

Performance foods for a gluten-free boost to your performance include:
§       Gluten-free starchy foods: Legumes (chick peas, lentils, kidney beans), potatoes/ sweet potatoes, quinoa, rice/wild rice, corn, buckwheat flour, millet, amaranth, tapioca; some people are also sensitive to oats however this may be due to them being processed in a wheat environment so look for oats that have been processed in a GF environment;
§       Protein rich foods: Greek style yogurt, milk/soy milk, legumes, meat, poultry, fish, tofu and other gluten free soy products, nuts and seeds/nut butters;
§       Omega 3 fats found in fatty fish, canola, soy and flaxseed oils, walnuts;
§       Vegetables, fruits and fruit juices;
§       Snacks such as rice cakes, rice crackers, gluten-free pretzels, corn chips
§       Gluten-free sports foods (gluten-free sport bars and gels)


(drink water throughout the day)
Café au lait
Buckwheat pancakes with berries, maple syrup and butter
Rice cake(s) and hard cheese
Vegetable or dilute fruit juice
Corn flour tortilla stuffed with tuna salad and mixed veggies
Glass of Milk/Soy milk
ü     SNACK
Small apple and almonds, herbal tea
ü     SUPPER
Beef, kidney bean and broccoli stir fry with steamed rice
Peaches with oatmeal crumble topping
Decaffeinated latte
Sport drink, water
Fruit smoothie using Greek style yogurt

1.         Inman-Felton AE. Overview of Gluten-Sensitive Enteropathy (Celiac Sprue). Journal of the American Dietetic Association 1999;99(3):352.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sport Nutrition Tips for Century Rides

Q: I’m doing my first 100km ride this fall. How do I know how much and how frequently I need to eat before, during and after the ride?

The Best Energy Booster for the event day is a Carbohydrate-Rich DIET!
  • * Prevent the need for quick energy
  • * Eat before you run out of fuel.
  • * Practice recovery nutrition

What you eat on race day (hopefully tried and finessed in training sessions) can make a huge difference in your ability to maintain your pace near the end of your event and recover quickly afterwards. The training for your 100 km ride is the practice ground for you to determine which foods/fluids work best for youbefore, during and after training. It will also allow you to learn how much of what foods and fluids you will need to eat/drink to keep you energized. Use these tips in your training sessions NOW to determine your needs for this fall’s 100 km ride:
Experiment with the nutrition you need  before the event. This will boost your confidence in the choices you make BEFORE, DURING and AFTER you cycle hard. Eating carbohydrates during exercise has the potential to delay fatigue and enhance your performance. Remember that everyone is different. What works for you is not necessarily the best choice for one of your training buddies! Make a list of potential “winning” foods and fluids to try out during training to see what works best for you.
Practice Tips
  • * Focus on fluids and easily digestible carbohydrate-rich foods and beverages before and during every training session;
  • * Experiment with foods and drinks in training and “test” races (like a long time trial) to determine the best timing and your tolerance for pre-exercise foods and fluids;
  • * Refuel, rehydrate and rest-up post-workout to be stocked up and ready to go for your next training session;
  • * Eat foods full of protective nutrients for long-term health that will also fuel your body for optimal training and race day performance.  
Choose Smart Carbs
Carbohydrate rich foods (e.g. fruit, milk, yogurt, veggies, rice, pasta, breads, cereals, legumes, cookies, and sweet desserts) are vital for boosting pre-, during and post-workout energy levels and mood. Carbohydrate-rich foods are the body’s preferred source of fuel for higher intensity activity (race-pace cycling), plus they keep you in a positive frame of mind. Lack of carbs before and during a workout leads to whining, cranky cyclists who quickly run out of steam. But pay attention…not all carbs are the same! If you have trouble with wheat-based foods, choose rice, quinoa and potatoes as your starchy carbohydrates of choice. These are gluten-free/low-gluten alternatives to wheat-based products such as pasta, breads and wheat/oat-based cereals.
The amount of muscle glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrate in muscle cells) you have on reserve reflects your eating and exercise habits over the past few days; however, the meals you eat right before a competition can also provide additional energy. A strategy for pre-event meals will help you prevent hunger or fatigue during your race and provide your body with adequate fuel to keep performing well. Larger meals should be consumed 3 to 4 hours before training sessions and competitions to ensure that you’ve digested the food you eat and you are ready to perform. Sometimes you may not have a lot of time to eat a meal, so eat a large snack 1 to 2 hours before your training/competition to get the energy you need. For training sessions and competitions lasting more then 60 minutes, a small snack 15 to 30 minutes beforehand is a good idea to ensure that you are topped up and ready to go! Use the examples below to help you plan your own pre-workout nutrition program.
Meal Examples Pre-Workout With milk, vegetable and/or
fruit juice or water
Large Snack – Pre Workout With milk, vegetable and/or fruit juice, or water Small Snack – Pre-Workout With milk, vegetable and/or
fruit juice, or water
Omelet or potato frittata Hard-cooked egg or cheese with crackers A few crackers with fruit/vegetable juices, water
French toast with fruit and yogurt Fresh fruit with cottage cheese Piece of fresh or dried fruit with water
Low-fibre cereal with fresh fruit and milk, toast with peanut butter and banana Whole wheat bread or bagels with a slice of cheese or nut butter Small granola bar with water or fruit juice
Sandwiches with low-fat cheese, sliced roast beef/pork, turkey or chicken and veggies Date squares, sesame snacks or oatmeal cookies ½ small sandwich with fruit or vegetable juices, water
Grilled chicken and veggie kabobs on rice Low fat yogurt with granola Chocolate milk or fruit smoothies
  • Cyclists (especially masters aged 50-plus) need to ensure they are drinking enough fluids during their rides. Masters cyclists tend to have a diminished thirst mechanism so the drive to drink can be absent until dehydration becomes an issue. This can happen in younger cyclists as well. The bottom line is that drinking while exercising is a learned trait for many.It can cause digestive upset for some so it is important to not only figure out how much fluid your gut can tolerate at a time but to train it to handle sufficient fluid. Water is the number one choice for shorter distances (1 hour or less) but if you are looking for some extra energy, sports drinks have just enough energy to keep you going and also have added electrolytes (e.g. sodium and potassium). Adding sports drink crystals to your water bottle helps promote drinking and adds flavour.
  • For your long rides and on event day, eat small carbohydrate-rich snacks (approx 15-20 gms/60-80 kcal of carbohydrate) every 20 minutes or so.  Examples include dried fruits, fig newtons and oatmeal cookies, boiled potatoes, candies or sport gels.
It is important to remember that your body needs to be refueled after riding to help your muscles recover and repair. Eat a snack or small meal rich in carbohydrates within an hour or two of finishing your ride. Here are some ideas to get you refueled.
Recovery Meals and Snacks
Meal  + FLUIDS Large Snack  + FLUIDS Small Snack + FLUIDS
French toast with maple syrup, fresh fruit and yoghurt Hard cooked egg or cheese with crackers and cut up apple Snack bag – shredded wheat with raisins and almonds AND water
Grilled chicken and veggie kabobs on rice; Lentil soup & salad Low fat yoghurt with granola; Berry smoothie Granola bar with a fruit juice or fresh fruit and water
Multigrain cereal with fresh fruit and milk; Multigrain toast with peanut butter and banana Fresh fruit with cottage cheese; Whole grain muffin with cheese A few whole grain crackers with fruit/vegetable juices, water
Every cyclist is different, so experiment to find what foods and fluids work best for you. Remember that you need to practice sports nutrition as well as doing all the training you need to meet your cycling goals.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

A PowerFuel recovery dictates your athletic performance

How you “powerfuel” your body post workout is more important than your training for achieving improvements in your athletic performance. Those athletes that fail to focus on post workout nutrition are effectively negating the impact of their prior training session on muscle protein resynthesis – necessary for the body’s ability to recover, repair and regenerate muscle cells to meet a tougher training stimulus for maintenance and improvement of performance.

Here are the latest recovery tips to help you succeed with your training:

1. Leucine appears to be a key amino acid for flicking on the switch for muscle protein synthesis to start.

2. The best sources of leucine come from animal sources, in particular, whey protein which is found in dairy products such as milk and yogurt.

3. Muscle protein synthesis is maximized with approximately 20 grams of high quality, leucine rich protein immediately post workout. Aging athletes (60 yrs+) will need slightly more protein post workout.

4. Leucine rich choices need to be integrated into snacks and meals repeatedly as part of snacks and meals throughout the next 24 hour period.

5. Overall energy intake needs to be sufficient or else muscle mass will be lost despite the higher protein intakes.

PowerFuelTM GOAL: To integrate in some leucine rich food choices at ALL snacks and meals. See the table below to get started.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Eat Less, More Often, and On Time

Are you eating enough, not too much, and eating on time? Surveys suggest that most athletes do NOT consume sufficient energy to support needs. They have a tendency to supply needed energy AFTER it is needed mainly because they are poor planners with many work, home and sport commitments or they are restricting their intake to achieve too fast a rate of weight loss leading to disordered eating patterns. Training on too few calories can lead to chronic fatigue, poor immune function, loss of muscle mass and decreased performance.

Practice makes perfect
Your digestive system (as well as your muscles) needs some training to be able to keep you well fueled during your training sessions (and competition). If you want to be able to eat and drink comfortably during your marathon (or longer) event, you need to be practicing that in training. Exercising hard while eating and drinking are not things that your body would normally prefer to do at the same time – but just like skating fast, eating is a learned skill that requires the same amount of practice and attention to detail. If you plan on consuming 200-300 calories an hour and 1 litre of fluid (for example) during your race you need to practice consuming both of these in your training. Don't skimp on fluid or calories during training!

So why do so many of us train on too few calories (and fluids)?
All it takes is getting dropped by the pack when the pace picks up or on a hill climb during training and it's easy to start thinking that “if I just lost a couple of pounds I would be able to stay with the pack". The problem with trying to diet while training is that the lack of calories and specific nutrients (especially carbohydrates) wreaks havoc on your muscles and immune system and makes you prone to injury (you will read more on that in Week 5 – keeping injury free with carbs). Taking in far fewer calories than what your body requires may result in the body attacking it's own tissues, resulting in a a weakened muscular and immune system. Training, building muscle and following a sound diet are the best way to lose weight because it comes off slowly.

How much do you need to eat?
Track your intake for three days – don’t change anything. If you are able to answer yes to the following questions then you are likely eating enough:

* Can you train without undue fatigue? (i.e. you can train well throughout each training session)
* Do you have a fast recovery between training sessions? (i.e. you are energized for each training session)
* Are you maintaining your body composition (i.e. not losing muscle mass or gaining body fat)
* Do you have optimal biological functioning (e.g. regular menstrual periods for women, able to sleep well, concentrate on the tasks at hand, etc)
* Is there an absence of health & performance issues?

If you answered NO to any of these questions then there are changes you can make to your eating patterns, food choices and timing of food intake to improve your health, your ability to train well and achieve peak performance in your sport.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Train low…compete high….. is it really as good as we think?

Certain bio markers of the body’s adaptation to endurance training appear to be enhanced to a greater extent when one trains with low muscle glycogen (the storage from of carbohydrate in the muscle cell) or with low availability of pre and during workout snacks of carbohydrate rich foods/drinks. The potential outcomes are:
- it may enhance skeletal muscle capacity for endurance performance at the cellular level and
- it may increase in use of muscle triglyceride (fat) and adipose tissue to meet training needs.

Competing on high carbohydrate availability takes advantage of these training influenced metabolic adaptations to help achieve peak performance… however this is at the expense of low carbohydrate availability during training. Acutely, this will make training difficult, and you may not be able to go for as long or as hard as you had planned too. Low carbohydrate availability can also compromise the immune system; negatively impact cognitive performance and central nervous system (balance, coordination, quickness) functioning…. and likely make you pretty cranky. Despite all these issues, there may be some metabolic advantages to manipulate carbohydrate availability before, during, or after selected training sessions in a periodical training-nutrition plan for the cross country skier who is looking to promote endurance performance. Here are a number of different strategies to train low:

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Get the Plant Based Diet Advantage!

Every day, more and more endurance athletes are incorporating a more plant-based diet into their training and competition nutrition plans. This carbohydrate rich style of eating delivers performance and health benefits, including enhanced muscle recovery and optimal heart and bone health. Plant based eating is fantastic for runners, cross country skiers, swimmers and road cyclists, giving extra energy stores to push performance to the limit! Prudent use of fortified foods and supplements will help ensure that you get all the nutrients you need.

Vegetarians need to be as diligent as meat eaters to make sure they get adequate amounts of iron, calcium, zinc and B12. Female athletes are at risk for developing iron deficiency or anemia. Routine monitoring of iron status is recommended for female athletes, especially during periods of rapid growth (i.e., adolescence) and when training volume increases significantly. Anyone following a very low fat diet for weight loss or other health reasons is at risk for a deficiency of essential fatty acids, and may warrant supplementation with marine plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

Contrary to popular belief getting enough protein is not an issue, as documented in the recent ADA Position Paper on vegetarian diets (JADA, July 2009, p. 1266) which highlights that vegetarians are, in fact, meeting their protein needs. Protein quality of plant-based diets should be sufficient long as a variety of foods are provided with adequate energy. Because plant proteins are less well digested than animal proteins, an increase of about 10% in the amount of protein consumed may be made. Recommended protein intakes for vegetarian athletes approximate 1.3-1.8 grams/kg of body weight/day.

Here are some nutrition tips to help you out:

1. Eat different types of protein rich plant foods (unrefined grains, legumes, seeds, nuts, and vegetables) throughout the day. Choose small pre-workout meals such as baked beans on toast, or a peanut butter and banana sandwich on whole grain breads. Refuel after running with a vegetable based lentil and rice soup. For fast refueling, combine soft tofu or yogurt with fruit and soymilk for a high protein shake.

2. Very low fat diets may lead to a deficiency of essential fatty acids, and may warrant supplementation with marine plant sources of omega-3 fatty acids in addition to other polyunsaturated fatty acids from plant sources (vegetable oils, regular salad dressings, nuts/seeds).

3. Include plenty alternative sources of calcium such as dark leafy green veggies, fortified soy milk, legumes, peanuts, almonds and seeds. These will be your primary source of calcium, important for a normal heart rhythm, strong bones and teeth, and general health.

4. Include iron rich plant foods every day – this is most important for menstruating female runners. Plant sources of iron are not absorbed as well as animal sources but combining foods rich in vitamin C with any iron rich food will improve its’ absorption. Mix legumes, whole grains, and iron-enriched breads and cereals with dark leafy green veggies and dried fruits to maximize iron absorption.

5. Include zinc rich plant foods every day and your immune function gets a boost as well. While red meat and poultry supply the meat eaters amongst us with most of our zinc intake, some seafood, whole grains, dry beans, and nuts also provide zinc.

6. Eat vitamin B-12 fortified foods or supplements to ensure adequate intake. Vitamin B-12 is only found naturally in animal products and fermented foods such as miso and tempeh have small amounts of B-12 but generally not enough.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Going the Distance – Nutritional Tips for Loppet Skiers

The most successful loppet skiers rely on quality training and attention to nutritional details, including
• Adequate hydration and electrolyte replacement;
• A diet of whole foods (not supplements), emphasizing vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes and low fat sources of protein rich foods;
• Timing of pre and post workout snacks and meals; and
• Using optimal foods and fluids throughout training and race situations.

Match your eating and drinking to your training
You should be in your ready to race phase as you wind up for your 2011 loppet. So make sure that your energy and fuel requirements are being met with the right amount of foods and fluids to support your training and loppet day performance.

How do you know if you are eating enough?
You should remain energized throughout your training. Any dips in energy levels and/or performance means that something is missing – are you drinking enough and are you strategically sneaking in those carbohydrate rich foods at meals, snacks and during training? Here is a typical day of carbohydrate rich eating when you are out all day on your skis:

Recovery between training sessions is essential
Optimizing recovery is where most masters’ athletes do poorly. Recovery is the MOST IMPORTANT part of your training and race day preparation program. If you do not get adequate recovery (rest, refueling, rehydration) your body will break down. This shows up as compromised immune function (you get sick), injury, loss of power, strength and endurance, poor performance OR a lack of performance improvement, and/or an overall sense of malaise/fatigue.
Tips for Optimizing Recovery
1. Maintain a well- balanced diet but eat more food on the days when you train more.
2. Eat more frequently. Frequent feeding will keep you in the best possible energy balance for health and performance.
3. Include food sources of protein with each meal/snack (see chart below).
4. Refuel with carbohydrate and protein combinations after working out (see chart below).
5. Weight yourself before and after training and replace lost weight with similar weight of fluids over the next 8 hour.
6. SLEEP! Cat nap during the day if you can’t get enough sleep at night.
7. After your toughest workouts take the next day off and do light activity only. Older athletes (60 yrs +) may need to take 2 days off training to optimize recovery after high volume or high intensity workouts.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Use nutritious foods to get your essential nutrients

A daily vitamin pill won’t improve a poor diet – focus instead on getting your essential nutrients by eating a variety of foods. Look at the following table to see what foods you could add into your diet to ensure that you get the nutrients that you need.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

All Star Foods for 2011

To get healthier this year forget the fad diets and turn up the vegetables in your meals and put some under-rated but all-star foods on your plate.

All Star - Beans (also known as legumes)
Beans are nutrition superstars rich in protein, fiber, complex carbs, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. A diet rich in legumes can help to lower LDL [low-density "bad" cholesterol] and raise HDL [high-density "good" cholesterol].
Nibbles Tips:
These are foods that give you gas, especially if you are a new bean eater - so start off slowly with small amounts - some are gassier than others - so resist the urge to start off with veggies and hummus dip for a snack, followed by lentil soup with salad at lunch and then a more bean that meat chili for supper…you might regret it….
Lower the sodium in canned beans thoroughly rinse the beans in water.
Toss these nuggets into soups, stews, salads, grain medleys, or greens or create a veggie dip by pureeing beans and adding your favorite seasoning, like hummus made from chickpea

All Star - Sweet Potatoes and Butternut Squash
Sweet potatoes and butternut squash are nutritional all-stars and two of the best vegetables you can eat. Not only are they a great source of beta carotene, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, but both of these are so versatile.
Nibbles Tips:
Slow-bake a sweet potato and top it with black beans and salsa. Other options: Mash it or slice into fries and oven bake until golden brown.
Slowly steam a butternut squash in a slow cooker. When its soft to the touch, cut it in half and scoop out the seeds. Mash the squash with a sprinkle of cinnamon, applesauce, and crushed pineapple…Yummmmmy :-)

All Star - Red Cabbage

This cruciferous vegetable is a great source of fiber, vitamins A, D, and K; folate; and lots of trace minerals and antioxidants. This veggie can boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
Nibbles Tips:
Eat it raw, cooked, sweet, savory, stand-alone in a dish like coleslaw, or add it to almost anything from soups, salads, casseroles. Make this braised cabbage side dish to compliment any meal:

Braised Purple Cabbage with Apples
2 tbsp. butter
1 large red onion, sliced into thin crescents
2 tsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
¾ cup water
3 tbsp. cider vinegar
1 head purple cabbage (about 2 pounds), sliced into ½-inch strips
1 large firm apple, peeled and sliced ¼-inch thick

In a wide heavy sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the onions, brown sugar, caraway seeds, and a few grinds of pepper. Sauté the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until softened. Add the water, vinegar, cabbage, and apple. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and braise for 25 to 30 minutes. Uncover and cook over high heat for a few minutes until the juices have reduced. Season the dish to taste with salt and pepper.

All Star - Canned Tomatoes
Everyone thinks fresh is best but processing tomatoes helps release some of the disease-fighting lycopene so it is better absorbed. A study in the 2009 Journal of Clinical Oncology shows that a diet rich in tomatoes may help prevent prostate cancer and that lycopene, a strong antioxidant, may also help prevent other types of cancer. Of course, many other lifestyle and genetic factors also affect cancer risk.
Nibbles Tips:
Stock your pantry with canned tomatoes for pizza, spaghetti sauce, and home-made salsa or toss a can into soups, stews, casseroles, greens, or pasta dishes. Look for the low sodium and no added sodium versions.

Veggie Casserole
1 cup peeled butternut squash, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium sweet potato, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 medium carrot, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 cup fresh or frozen cut green beans
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms 1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
2 Tbsp each chopped fresh oregano, fresh basil and fresh dill
1 (14 oz.) can no salt added diced tomatoes
1 1/2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp each onion powder and garlic powder
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
canola oil cooking spray
3 Tbsp. Romano or Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place all ingredients, except cheese, in large bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to sprayed 7 in. x 11 in. baking dish. Cover with foil and bake until veggies are just tender, about 60-75 minutes. (Remove foil cover for the last 30 minutes, if desired.) Remove from oven; turn broiler on high. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil until cheese is browned and bubbly.

All Star - Plain, Nonfat Greek Yogurt

This is my personal current favourite! Of all the many yogurts on the market, plain, nonfat Greek yogurt is a standout. All yogurts are excellent sources of calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. What distinguishes Greek yogurt is its thicker, creamier texture because the liquid whey is strained out. It also has twice the protein content of regular yogurts - which might help you feel full longer.
Nibbles Tips:
Mix this thick, tart tasting yogurt with the natural sweetness of fresh fruit or your favorite whole grain cereal. YUMMY!