Spice up your BBQ Salad (without the guilt!)

By Reuby Staviss,

embodyFitness/Boston University Dietetic Intern

Summer is here and that means it’s time for crisp vegetables and refreshing fruit. There is nothing better than digging into a ripe juicy fruit after spending the day in the sun.  

With warm weather comes people’s desires for light, healthy foods that will keep them feeling great all day long. I love getting a nice salad from a cute cafe in the summer months and finding a nice patch of grass or bench to eat it at. We all know how expensive and often unhealthy those salad places can be because of all the added ingredients in their salad dressings. 

Luckily, embodyFitness’ recipe book has got you covered with a variety of healthy and delicious salads and dressings to keep you craving more all summer long. 

This mango, white bean and avocado salad is truly to die for. Dressed with only lime juice and sea salt, there’s no need to worry about those extra calories from salad dressing. This salad is also packed with a wide variety of nutrients, many provided by the mango. 

Mango is packed with vitamin C and vitamin K which are important for the immune system, iron absorption and muscle and bone health. Mango is also rich in antioxidants which helps keep your digestive and heart health in tip top shape. Most importantly for summer, mango, and other tropical fruits are packed with potassium, an electrolyte, that is important for fluid balance, to make sure you stay well hydrated (but don’t forget to drink your water).  Try out the recipe below and let us know what you think! 

Sometimes We Eat Out of Season

We always hear the recommendation to eat in season to ensure that we eat locally grown foods that supply us with a year round variety of nutrition. However, variety being the spice of life, sometimes we like to eat imported fruits and veggies. Where I live, Northeast US, we get lots of apples, greens, squashes and root veggies, and more but the tropics offer a sweet delight that we never have a season for!

Pineapple, mango, papaya are indeed sweet with lots of sugars, but using them as flavors and ingredients in recipes instead of as the main or only ingredient can be a nice way to get in some vitamin A, C, K, potassium and anti-oxidants that help us stay healthy!

Pam’s Mango Spiced Chia Pudding

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Snack
Servings 6


  • 2 mango peeled
  • 1/2 cup chia seeds
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 4 Tablespoons Maple Syrup or Honey
  • 1 tsp ginger fresh, grated
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom


  • Add the flesh of one mango to a blender and process into a puree.
  • Combine and whisk together chia seeds, coconut milk, maple syrup, pureed mango, ginger and cardamom in a bowl.
  • Add in chopped pieces of mango (reserve some for garnish)
  • Place the bowl in the fridge for 15 minutes.
  • Remove from fridge and stir then replace for an additional 10 minutes.
  • Remove from fridge, spoon out into 6 servings and top with mango garnish.


Leave out the maple syrup if you don’t want the extra sugar. You can also substitute honey!

Keep It Simple, Sweetie (KISS)

Be Fitter, Stronger and Trimmer!

Anne Rollins MS CSSD RD LDN

Simplicity.  Sometimes when we are feeling out of shape, unable to lift items we could always pick up, tired and stuffed into our clothes, we dismiss the notion that the solution may be simple.  How?  This is a big project.  Weight loss, strength, energy levels?  This is going to need lots of effort and quite frankly I’m too tired for that.

Good news!  Small adjustments to your day may be all you need to help get the ball rolling, and once the ball is in motion, use the momentum!

Here are some simple and basic tips to try.  Do something small each day and eventually you may find yourself fitter, stronger and trimmer!

FOOD:  Eliminate ONE unhealthy choice.  Sugary coffee with flavor syrup, French fries with lunch, chocolate and caffeine snack in the afternoon?  Pick one, not all, to replace.  Enjoy your coffee without syrup or maybe try a tea. Include a fresh, crisp salad instead of fries.  Eating a few bites of the salad helps increase vitamins and minerals and displaces the empty calories of the fries.  Need a pick me up in the afternoon?  Try an iced green tea that offers lower caffeine and is chock full of antioxidants.  Choose an apple, pear or berries as an afternoon snack to include some natural sugars that bring fiber and phytonutrients (really good stuff).

FITNESS:  Include a new physical activity for 15 minutes each day.  Take a walk at lunch, use the stairs frequently or stretch at your desk – set a timer to remind you.  Ask friends if they would like to join you in a class – maybe yoga, zumba or stretch.  If you can’t dedicate enough time to this currently, google one new yoga pose each week and do it first thing in the morning or maybe just before bedtime.

STRESS:  If your stress is high, like many Americans report, you will likely experience fatigue, weight gain or difficulty losing weight, and loss of interest in activities among many other health complications.  Learning stress management is for everyone wanting to lead a healthier life, not just those that appear overwhelmed and “stressed-out.”  Participate in meditation, visualizations, yoga, breathing exercises or mindfulness practices to fill your stress tool box with a variety of tools.

ONE THING! Remember that just because some is good doesn’t always mean more is great!

Imagine Yourself Achieving All Your Goals!

Are you making avoidable mistakes that have caused your New Year Resolutions to fall short?

Discover what subtle changes you can make that are proven to help you achieve success.

Many of us set goals in the coldest and darkest month of the year (in the Northern hemisphere), so if you don’t live in or plan on moving to Australia soon, let’s discuss how to get you on track with resolutions and goal setting in an already tough time of year.

If you missed my New Year’s Day presentation on goal setting, here’s a recap!  We think about our outcome, maybe, I want to lose weight.  We even try to be more specific with how much weight and by when and factor out how many pounds that is per week.  However, we don’t always plan out the how.  I’m going to eat healthy is vague and incredibly hard to measure and hold to for accountability.  Spending some time on your step by step plan is crucial for success.  Imagine a surgeon or a pilot without a detailed plan.  Disaster.  Imagine your own day with many moving parts without a plan.  If you have kids with schedules and activities and a family to feed and manage, you may know all too well that if there is no plan, people are late, miss appointments and frequently miss healthy meals.  Manage your individual goals as you would any of these examples to achieve the best possible outcome.  Make a plan! Sure, add in some manifest destiny, but a plan is going to be the foundation or road map for what comes next.

I make it a point to never execute my plan on January 1, but use the month of January to pull together my ideas of what I want to accomplish in the upcoming year.  I use a Vision Board, calendars, benchmarks and lists.  Lots of lists!  Don’t use up valuable mental energy trying to remember where you need to be or what needs to done when you can look at a list!

If you are interested in learning more about goal setting, vision boards, implementing a successful plan for you join us on Thursday, January 28 at 6:30 for FREE webinar on how to create the best plan for you!  Use this link to sign up and we will see you then!


Warm Wintery Comfort Foods

Anne Rollins MS CSSD RD LDN

As the days get colder and darker, we have all been known to reach a bit more frequently for the comfort of fall spice confections or creamy, earthy dishes to keep us fueled and a momentary memory lapse about the bitter cold and lack of daylight. Well, not all spice and cream need to be disastrous to your health or waistline. Foods should nourish and taste good. We should not have to choose!

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Do i Need These??

Do I Need Supplements?

Winter is here.  Do I take Vitamin D?

Anne Rollins MS CSSD RD LDN

Years ago my straight up answer to anyone eating a varied diet in the US was unequivocally, No.  However, our food supply has dramatically changed and in some cases, is compromised (even the “healthiest” of stuff may be covered in harmful pesticides), our exposure to plastics and harmful chemicals is overwhelming our systems and our mass production of foods may leave us with agriculture that contains only a percentage of nutrients as compared to 30 years ago.  Maybe we do need supplements?

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Anne Rollins MS RD CSSD LDN

What even is an anti oxidant?

One of my favorite seasons for food (and sports) is upon us!  I’m going to discuss food because sports are a tough conversation currently, especially for football in New England. Pomegranates have arrived in giant boxes to the stores, and now is the time to scoop them up.  Pomegranates contain powerful anti oxidants (vitamin C and E) and in high concentrations, as well as folate, fiber, vitamin A, K, copper, calcium, iron, phosphorus, zinc, manganese and magnesium. All that?! What a bargain!  Well, just how does that break down and why is that important?

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High Stress No Sex

Anne Rollins MS CSSD RD LDN

In researching my new Men’s Health program embodyMo, beginning Sunday, Movember 1, I was expecting to find most of the topics related to cardiovascular health, as heart disease remains the number 1 killer in men of all ages.  Related to stress and anxiety, suicide tops out as the number 1 killer in men under 45. 

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Mental & Health Hygiene: Men’s Health

Anne Rollins MS CSSD RD LDN

This blog was going in a completely different direction until…

Last night, breaking my own “no screen time :30 before bed” rule, I caught a glimpse of Shemar Moore on SWAT.  The scene depicted a man, as macho as they come, struggling with the possibility of his close friend and mentor’s potential suicide.  I was drawn in.  Finishing the episode well after my bedtime, my interest was piqued at the topic of suicide, increased suicide amongst men and even higher rates among male law enforcement.   Nicely done cast, writers and production team for bringing these issues more into the public light, dispelling the stigma one scene at a time.  Moore delivers the line, “I know I am more likely to die from suicide than being killed in the line of duty.” (paraphrased). “The single greatest cause of death for law enforcement officers each year is suicide,” says Jeff McGill, vice president of B.L.U.E. Help.  In 2018, 159 US officers took their own lives, 151 male and 8 female.

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Lack of Mental and Health Hygiene

Lack of Mental and Health Hygiene – Anne Rollins CSSD MS RD LDN

Somewhere between my age and an evolving global pandemic, I find myself consistently shown friends, family, clients and strangers that are struggling with consequences related to the lack of mental and health hygiene.  Some of these people even succumb to theses consequences.  Today I wondered, why do we not list Lack of Mental Hygiene on a Death Certificate? 

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