Dietitian-Approved Shamrock Shake

Figge's Shake title

If we were talking about baseball, this shake would be a grand slam! This version is an exact replica of the McDonald’s version but it uses natural ingredients and packs in a lot of nutrition. The fact that this recipe uses avocados and spinach to get its green color (instead of food dyes) makes it a powerhouse for potassium, Vitamin K, folate, antioxidants and heart-healthy fats. The scoop of protein powder can even help this shake to serve as a great snack to share with someone or count as a quick meal on the go! This shake is perfect for:

  • kids who won’t eat green fruits or vegetables.
  • individuals needing to increase their protein intake.
  • picky eaters who lack a variety of nutrients in their diet.
  • anyone wanting a delicious and healthy treat.

Figge's shakeFigge’s Shamrock Shake

  • ½ cup fresh spinach
  • ¼ medium avocado or ½ small avocado
  • ¼ cup almond milk
  • ½ cup light coconut milk (from the can)
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp pure peppermint extract
  • 1 packet of Stevia
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein powder
  • 1 ¼ cup ice*

Put all ingredients in blender or food processor. Blend and enjoy!

*You can use more or less ice to create a thinner or thicker shake, if desired. Recipe makes about 16 ounces.

Nutritional facts: Calories: 289. Fat: 15 gm. Protein: 22 gm. Carb: 18 gm.

Thank you so much, Dietitian Cassie, for the inspiration for this recipe!

Sweet and Spicy and Low Carb Nice-y!

If you have been following my blog, then you know how much I love spaghetti squash. One of the primary reasons I cook with it so much is because my husband is not very tolerant to wheat, so spaghetti squash is a safe (and lower calorie) alternative to pasta. If you have tried spaghetti squash before and didn’t care for it, I highly recommend you take one more stab at it with this recipe.

Spaghetti Squash with Sweet Spicy Sauce

  • 1 spaghetti squashbroccoli
  • 2 lbs lean ground turkey
  • 2 heads broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 5 cups spinach
  • ½ red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ zucchini, diced
  • Coconut aminos (gluten-free soy sauce alternative)
  • Smoked paprika, ground chipotle powder, cumin and salt to season turkey
  • Coconut oil

For the Sauce

  • baby spinach leaves in bowl2 Tbsp almond butter
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 ½ Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp hot sauce (for extra heat, replace hot sauce with siracha)
  • ½ Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tsp sesame oil
  • 3 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 425oF. Cut squash in half. Lay flat sides down on baking sheet and bake from 30-35 minutes until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, heat some coconut oil in large pot over medium heat. Once heated, add turkey, coconut aminos and seasonings. Cook for about 5-7 minutes until browned. Remove cooked meat with a ladle and set in a separate bowl.
  3. With some of the leftover cooking juices from the turkey, add the broccoli, pepper and zucchini. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until cooked tender. Add spinach and cover with lid and let steam for a couple minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, whisk all ingredients for sauce together in a separate bowl.
  5. Finally add turkey and spaghetti squash into pot with cooked vegetables. Pour sauce over mixture and let cook on low for a few minutes before serving.

Sweet and Spicy Spagetti Squash

Recipe inspired from Paleo OMG. I have omitted the garlic since it is in the same FODMAP family as wheat.

A New Spin on Breakfast in Bed

Romance-red-rose-newspaper-breakfast-in-bedWhat better way to pamper a loved one than by serving them breakfast in bed! However, many times these special meals consist of biscuits, donuts, toast, waffles, pancakes and syrup. We might have the best of intentions when making these menu items, but a heavy refined-carb breakfast may make one feeling sluggish and bloated a couple of  hours later. Not to mention, this wouldn’t make the best choice of food items for someone who has blood sugar problems. This is a new breakfast that I am absolutely obsessed with! I made this for my mom and sister while visiting them in Tennessee. There’s nothing better than starting off the day with a light, healthy, green and omega-3 rich meal!

Veggie Scramble with Smoked Salmon

Serves 4-5
• 1 tbsp coconut oil
• ½ bundle of asparagus, cut into small segments
• 1 zucchini, diced
• 5 tbsp leeks
• 5 oz baby spinach
• 2 garlic cloves
• Pinch of salt/pepper
• 9 eggs
• 4 oz goat cheese
• 6 oz smoked salmon

photo 3

1. In a medium-large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Meanwhile cut and prepare vegetables.

2. Once oil is heated, add asparagus, zucchini, leeks, spinach and garlic sauté for about 8 minutes or until asparagus stalks become slightly tender.

3. While veggies are cooking, whisk together eggs and goat cheese. Pour eggs on top of cooked vegetables and let sit for about 1 minute. Then begin to gently push eggs around with spatula until cooked all the way through.

4. Add smoked salmon once eggs are cooked and continue to heat for another 1-2 minutes. You may season with a small amount of salt and pepper or dill and chives. I sprinkled a little bit of remaining goat cheese on my dish.

Simple, delicious and a slight gourmet touch!
Recipe adapted from

Living and Breathing What I Teach

Living healthy, active lifestyles is not only something that I encourage on all my patients, it’s something that I value in my own life. I strive to maintain a healthy, active lifestyle, not only to set a good example for my patients but more importantly to lead a long, healthy life for myself and my family. To show proof, here is how I spent my Friday.

5:15am:Alarm clock! Yes, I did snooze for 9 minutes then quickly got up, dressed, brushed my teeth and out the door we go to Crossfit.

6:00am: CrossFit WOD

Bench Press (close grip) 4-3-2-1
    (75 lbs, 85 lbs, 95 lbs, 100 lbs)

Thruster 8 min EMOM (every minute on the minute) 3-5 reps
(4 reps @ 83 lbs)

5 Minute AMRAP- 1 Turkish get up (each arm), 3 strict pull-ups, 10 wall balls (14 lbs)
3 rounds

7:15am:1 scoop of whey protein powder + 8 oz of almond milk.

9:30am:Breakfast (in between patients) of 5 eggs whites sautéed with mushrooms and spinach and ½ cup sweet potatoes + ½ avocado. I always make my breakfast and lunch meal the night before so I am stocked up and ready for the day.

photo 2

12:30pm:Lunch. Typically I have leftovers that consists of meat and veggies but since the leftovers are used up at the end of the week, I threw together a salad and plan on cooking tonight. Salad ingredients: mixed greens and baby spinach, artichokes, craisins, mushrooms, avocado, grilled chicken and walnuts with balsamic vinaigrette 4

2:30pm: Snack time. Gala apple with peanut butter.

photo 5

5:00pm:Pack up and head home but not before having a little fun after clinic-hours. Who doesn’t do a handstand after work to celebrate on Fridays? I also munched on some mixed nuts on my ride home and to the grocery store.


6:30pm:Dinner is fixed. Kept it simple tonight with my rosemary herbed chicken, garlic-roasted butternut squash and garlic mashed cauliflower. Can you tell my love for garlic??

photo 3

9:30pm:8 oz of chocolate almond milk–delish!

10:30pm:Lights out. Early morning Crossfit workout and lots to do on Saturday!

Eat clean, move more, spend time with family, value your sleep and make a point to have a little fun each day!

Figge’s Favorite Groceries

grocery shoppingWith the success of  Figge’s Favorite Things blog post, I thought I would follow up with a list of some of my favorite foods that frequently occupy my shopping list. Years ago, my diet heavily consisted of processed luncheon meats, frozen dinners and snack bars. Today, fresh fruits, vegetables and meats are typically what fill up my grocery cart. This was no overnight process, but slowly, I began to step outside my comfort zone and taught myself how to prepare and cook with fresh ingredients. To stay healthy, I rely on clean, minimally processed foods. Combined with a healthy dose of physical activity each week, clean eating helps keep my cholesterol down, energy up and promotes a good night’s sleep.

  1. Eggs. Eggs have been hounded over the years for their fat and cholesterol content. However, with today’s research on eggs, we are learning that 1) the cholesterol found in eggs is not what is causing high cholesterol in individuals and 2) the benefits of the yolks include a Vitamin B12 source, eye-healthy lutein , zeaxanthin antioxidants, and choline, which is essential for cardiovascular and brain function.
  2. fresh-spinachSpinach. This green giant gets sautéed in with my eggs each morning and makes several appearances in other meals throughout the week.
  3. Peanut or almond butter. If I could eat almond butter every day, I would; but because the cost of it is often more than peanut butter, I tend to go back and forth between these heart-healthy fat and protein snack additions.
  4. Cauliflower. My kitchen often looks like a cauliflower war zone. For those of you that regularly cut up cauliflower, you know what I’m talking about! My preferred way of cooking it is steaming in a sauce pan and then mashing it in my food processor. Add a pinch of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, butter and garnish with chives and you have a great vegetable side dish (not to mention for the cost of $3 or less!)
  5. Spaghetti Squash. We have been having a lot of fun with spaghetti squash this winter. It is a great substitute for pasta in recipes. To me, it is not very tasty when served plain, but if you add mixed vegetables, seasonings, sauces or a homemade mayo to the mix, you’re set-to-go for a delicious meal.
  6. Chicken. This is the most popular protein consumed in our household. For that reason, I am constantly finding new ways to season and prepare it. We also consume beef, pork and fish but chicken definitely takes the podium for most consumed.
  7. Apples. This fruit is a good source of antioxidants and soluble fiber. I usually have at least one and sometimes two apples a day with my peanut or almond butter for heart-healthy, filling snacks.
  8. Whey protein powder. Since both my husband and I do Crossfit, we need a quick source of protein for our post-workout snacks. One scoop of protein powder poured in 8 oz. of almond milk allows my body to quickly refuel after a workout, promote lean tissue growth and speed up recovery time.
  9. Ground flaxseed. This antioxidant powerhouse can be easily mixed into recipes or sauces or can even be sprinkled on top of foods to add fiber, omega-3 and healthy lignans to any dish.
  10. Sweet potato. These Vitamin A giants interestingly are most often consumed with my breakfast meal. I’ll sauté a medium-large sweet potato in 1 Tbsp of coconut oil on Sunday nights and then portion out servings to grab and go for the week. NCI5_POTATO

Holiday Edition Part Two

Have you ever wondered what to do with your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving? Amanda Figge, Springfield Clinic registered dietitian, shows us around County Market on how to make a delicious recipe with leftover turkey.  Plus she delivers some excellent healthy eating tips. Enjoy!

Roasted Turkey Goat Cheese Salad with Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing


For the dressing:

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp honey

1 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

For the Salad:

3-4 oz leftover white meat Thanksgiving turkey

1 ½ cups Salad Greens (50/50 mix of Spring Mix and Spinach recommended)

1 oz of goat cheese, crumbles or freshly sliced

2 Tbsp dried cranberries

2 Tbsp walnuts

1. Whisk together salad dressing ingredients in small bowl and set aside. Combine all salad ingredients in bowl. Drizzle 1-2 Tbsp of dressing over salad and serve immediately.


In case you missed Part One :