Posts Tagged ‘Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services’

Red, White and Blue Healthy Treats to Beat the Heat

Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services is all about celebrating Independence Day with a healthy twist. These recipes provide a sweet treat without added calories, and can help you cool off from the summer sun.



  • 8 oz. 1% milk
  • 1 scoop Designer Whey Protein  (French Vanilla Flavor)
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen blueberries.


  1. Pour milk into blender.
  2. Add Whey protein powder. Blend until mixed well.
  3. Add 1 cup frozen blueberries and blend until thoroughly mixed.

(This makes a great post-workout smoothie as it has a nice carbohydrate-to-protein ratio!)

Makes one smoothie serving.

Nutrition Information:

  • Calories: 282
  • Fat: 5g
  • Saturated fat: 3g
  • Cholesterol: 72 mg
  • Sodium: 189 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 37g
  • Fiber: 7g
  • Sugar: 27g
  • Protein: 27g



  • 3 cups vanilla Greek yogurt (divided use)
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen blueberries


  1. Blend 1 cup of vanilla Greek yogurt in blender with 1 cup of frozen strawberries until blended well and is uniform in consistency and color throughout.
  2. Divide this evenly and pour into 6 Popsicle molds, to form a red layer.
  3. Next, pour 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt into the 6 Popsicle molds to make a second “white layer.”
  4. Finally, blend the remaining 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt with 1 cup frozen blueberries, until blended well and is uniform in consistency and color.
  5. Divide this evenly and pour into 6 Popsicle molds, to form a blue layer.
  6. Insert wooden Popsicle sticks and freeze Popsicles overnight or for about six hours.

Tips: Rinse blender between usages so the red and blue colors from the berries are more defined. The white layer will be a thinner layer compared to the red and blue layers.

Makes 6 Popsicles.

Nutrition information:

  • Calories: 113
  • Fat: 0g
  • Saturated fat: 0g
  • Cholesterol: 72 mg
  • Sodium: 46 mg
  • Carbohydrates: 18g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugar: 13g
  • Protein: 10g

Recipes provided by Cynthanne Duryea, RDN, LD, Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.

Breaking Down Your Breakfast: Donuts vs. Eggs

By Cynthanne Duryea, RDN, LD, Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist

donut vs egg

Today is National Egg Day and National Donut Day – what a coincidence to have two common breakfast foods be celebrated on the same day! Let’s take a look at their nutritional values and how each might be included into a healthy eating plan.

Donut Do’s and Don’ts

“How can a donut be part of a healthy eating plan?” Here at Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, we like to have an “all foods fit” mindset. Would any registered dietitian nutritionist design healthy breakfast ideas and purposefully choose a donut as an optimal fuel option to begin a busy day? Definitely not. However, let’s look at two common donuts objectively and simply:

Donut Type

Calories Saturated Fat Carbohydrates and sugar

Time in walking (15 minute per mile pace) to burn off donut calories

Glazed Donut


6 31 (12 g sugar)

58 minutes

Old Fashioned Cake Donut 320 10 33 (9 g sugar)

71 minutes

Data from

One might think the glazed donut would be higher in calories due to the sugary glazing on top. But, because the cake donut is much denser, it actually has the higher calorie content. Both donuts have significant saturated fat content. American Heart Association recommends less than six percent of daily calorie need comes from saturated fat. Based on an average 2000 calorie per day need, that would be a saturated fat recommendation of less than 13 grams per day. If you enjoy one cake donut, you have gone through 75 percent of the suggested saturated fat limit for the day.

Each donut has similar carbohydrate content, which is approximately the same amount that would be in two sandwich slices of bread. Because of the glazing, the glazed donut has a bit more sugar than the cake donut.

If you don’t really love donuts, you may decide the calorie price tag is too high for you to enjoy or justify, especially when you consider the time required to burn off the calorie content. Most donut stores will sell donut holes per piece… a great practice for damage control. Each glazed donut hole has 50-70 calories, so enjoying three would be a calorie savings compared to one whole. Remember to enjoy them as an occasional food, knowing that the nutritional value is fairly void.

Egg-cellent Healthy Options

The nutritional value of eggs is top notch. In each large egg, there are six grams of quality protein (all nine essential amino acids are found in whole eggs) which can sustain energy levels throughout the day. Breakfast for many is carbohydrate-rich and protein poor, including cereal, toast, large muffins or jumbo bagels. The egg is a perfect addition to breakfast because its protein is packed into just 70 calories. Eggs are a terrific source of many nutrients, including vitamins D and B12.

For at least 40 years, eggs have gotten a bad rap due to the cholesterol content of their yolks. But after many years of research, it has been concluded that the cholesterol in egg yolks is not a culprit in increasing heart disease risk or raising levels of bad cholesterol. In fact, the new 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans has excluded the recommendation to limit dietary cholesterol.

However, each yolk contains two grams of saturated fat, so a three-egg omelet contains six grams of saturated fat.  An egg-straordinary idea is to combine two egg whites per one whole egg to decrease saturated fat, as the white has no fat content.

To add an egg to a meal or a quick snack, try boiling it. The shell is nature’s packaging, making it portable and convenient to carry to work or on the road.  As easy as boiled eggs are to prepare, peeling the egg can be challenging. To make the perfect boiled egg that is easy to peel, we offer these tips from

  1. PLACE eggs in saucepan large enough to hold them in single layer. ADD cold water to cover eggs by one inch. HEAT over high heat just to boiling. REMOVE from burner. COVER pan.
  2. LET EGGS STAND in hot water about 12 minutes for large eggs (nine minutes for medium eggs; 15 minutes for extra large).
  3. DRAIN immediately and serve warm. OR, cool completely under cold running water or in bowl of ice water, then REFRIGERATE.

For easier peeling, use eggs that are 7 to 10 days old.

For more food and nutrition tips from Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit our Nutrition Bites page. To learn more about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit or call 972.560.2667.

Healthier Gingerbread Cookies

December 11, 2015 1 comment

Gingerbread cookiesMake a “Cooperized” gingerbread man this holiday season with this delicious healthy cookie recipe from Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services! What’s your favorite way to decorate your gingerbread creations?



  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. baking soda
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 3 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 large egg
  • Cooking spray


  • 1 cup sifted powdered sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. water


  1. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into measuring cups; level with a knife
  2. Combine flour, ginger and spices in a bowl; stir with a whisk
  3. Combine brown sugar, butter and molasses in a large bowl; beat with  a mixer at medium speed for two minutes
  4. Add eggs; beat well
  5. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture; beat at low speed until well blended
  6. Divide dough in half (dough will be sticky)
  7. Gently press dough into a 4-inch circle on heavy-duty plastic wrap;  cover with additional plastic wrap
  8. Chill 1 ½ hours
  9. Preheat oven to 350
  10. Roll each portion of dough to a 1/8-inch thickness on a floured work surface
  11. Cut with gingerbread man cookie cutter to form 48 cookies
  12. Place cookies one inch apart on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray
  13. Bake at 350 for 8 minutes or until lightly browned
  14. Remove cookies from baking sheet; cool completely on a wire rack
  15. To prepare the icing, combine sifted powdered sugar and 1 Tbsp. water.
  16. Spoon the mixture into a zip-top plastic bag; snip a small hole off the corner of the bag
  17. Pipe icing onto the cookies as desired

National Healthy Eating Day – How the Experts Make Healthy Eating Happen

November 4, 2015 Leave a comment

Making healthy food choices is one of Dr. Cooper’s 8 steps to Get Cooperized™. It can be tough to integrate enough servings of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean protein and other healthy food into a daily routine, especially if you live with a picky eater or have children who are more interested in snacking on tasty junk food.

The Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services team is made up of people who face similar challenges, and they have developed some simple and effective ways to make sure healthy eating becomes a habit in their households, at school and at the office. Check out their great tips, and try implementing a few of them into your daily routine!

Elana Paddock, RDN:

“I pack lunch for the week on Sundays, including things such as bags of grapes and raw veggies. I grab the pre-made components of my lunch each day and it’s so easy because everything is ready to go!”

Sara McHenry, Diet Technician:

“I try to make dinner at home most nights out of the week and when I do, I make enough for lunch, too. I pack it up that night before so it is ready to go in the morning and I’m not tempted to go out and buy junk food.”

Meridan Zerner, RDN:

“I drag out the crockpot weekly this time of year – and toss in everything but the kitchen sink (especially frozen veggies!).  Also, any time I am in a drive-thru or at a restaurant I get an additional salad “to go” for me or my husband to have as lunch the next day.”

Molly Wangsgaard, RDN:

“I cut raw veggies in advance and make individual bags to take to work for lunch each day, and I roast a big pan of veggies a couple nights of week—one pan gives me veggies for two or three dinners.

Another thing I do is keep individually-wrapped sweets in my office drawer and pantry to help curb my sweet tooth.  Two pieces of dark chocolate or a piece of sugar-free gum usually satisfies the desire to end the meal with something sweet!”

Patty Kirk, RDN:

“At the beginning of the week, I bring enough food to work for healthy snacks and lunches so I don’t have to think about it every day. Examples include tuna, Amy’s Bean Burritos, whole wheat  or sprouted bread, tomatoes, dark green salad greens pre-washed, fresh fruit, light Babybel or 2% cheese, wheat thins and Boom Chicka Pop popcorn.

One other idea that works for me for a quick dinner is picking up Wendy’s chili (a great source of protein and fiber), taking it home and adding a quick dark green leafy salad that has been pre-washed. Dinner is ready in less than 5 minutes, and is great for a cool night!”

Gillian Gatewood, RDN:

“On Sundays I pre-cut veggies for the week, and pre-portion snacks in plastic bags. Examples include bell peppers, carrots, zucchini and nuts with whole grain cereal like Kashi.”

Kathy Duran-Thal, RDN:

“I keep eggs, egg beaters, low fat yogurt, low fat milk, Babybel Light Cheese, and Parmesan Reggiano cheese, grape tomatoes, bananas, orange marmalade, and lemons in my fridge at all times.

I keep Muir Glen Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Marcona almonds, fresh garlic,Triscuits, peanut butter, Seeds of Change Quinoa & Brown Rice, oatmeal and whole wheat pasta in my pantry.

From these ingredients I can make really wonderful meals in minutes!

(I know you are thinking ‘of course you do’ …. But I also go through KFC drive-thru and pick up a grilled chicken breast, corn on the cob and green beans at least once a week.)”

Cynthanne Duryea, RDN:

“My personal strategy is to prepare lean meat about two times per week.  If I want the Crock Pot meal to be low sodium, I add chopped onion, or 1 pound of sliced mushrooms, maybe garlic cloves, or a variety of vegetables like celery, carrots and onions diced. The flavors of the vegetables mingle into the meat, and keep the meat low sodium yet flavorful. A reduced sodium soup can always be used also.

By using the crock pot, the hardest part of the meal (the lean meat) is already complete by the time I get home from work, and my house smells amazing!”

Colleen Loveland, RDN:

“Once a week I pick up a rotisserie chicken from Kroger, throw in a Birdseye steamer or two for a quick healthy dinner before leaving for a practice or a game. I also spend Sundays washing grapes and carrots to put in bowls that are placed on the middle shelf in fridge and I pre-prep a salad that will last a couple of days so I can pull those out when I get home from work. I always pack my lunch for work.”

Do you have a favorite healthy eating tip? Share with us in the comments below!

Finding Healthy Options During Fall Festivities

Hot dogs! Funnel cakes! Cotton candy! You can picture it, right? You’re walking through your local fair and vendors are calling out their delicacies to anyone who will listen. Or you’re approaching the concession stand at your team’s football stadium and the nachos and extra-large soda catch your eye. Do you indulge? Do you run away as fast as you can? Do you try to avoid these situations all together?

Illuminated ferris wheel at a county fair in midwestern USA

Don’t be overwhelmed by food options at the fair. Healthy choices can be made, and moderation is key!

Cooper Clinic recommends a diet of moderation, wherein a person eats healthy 80 percent of the time and indulges in less healthy options 20 percent of the time. When it comes to navigating fall festivities with unhealthy food options, Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services offers the following tips:

In the Stadium

You can browse team websites for information on the concession stand offerings. Many ballparks are now serving healthier options that can save you calories, offer heart-healthy fats and provide complex carbohydrates rich in fiber, including:

  • Sandwiches with turkey deli meat
  • Burritos and burrito bowls
  • Baked potatoes
  • Veggie hot dogs
  • Red beans and rice
  • Chicken Caesar salad with light dressing
  • Smaller-sized hot dogs, sandwiches, fruit, fruit juice and milk (great for the kids…and you!)

Try these nutritious swaps and feel great about your eating choices when watching your favorite team. If allowed, bring your own healthy snacks to the game to help limit temptations that arise with a growling stomach. If you are not able to bring your healthy food to the game, eat before you go and try to make only one trip to the concession stand.

At the Fair

  • Eat a healthy meal before going to the fair.
  • Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. Alternate non-caloric or low-calorie beverages with caloric beverages.
  • If you go for the giant funnel cake, corn dog or other fried specialty, share it! You’ll still get a delicious taste of fair food without overloading on calories.
  • Use a pedometer or fitness tracking device to count your steps throughout the day.
  • Eat slowly and with purpose – sit down at a table to eat instead of continuing to browse other food options, games or shows with food in hand.
  • Take inventory of food options before settling on a meal or snack. Healthier options, such as kabobs or sandwiches, may lie just around the corner!


  • Have a healthy snack before you arrive. Don’t skip meals thinking you can save up for the tailgate. Eat your regularly scheduled meals and snacks.
  • Focus on the game and the good company, not the food.
  • Alternate non-caloric beverages with caloric beverages. Calories add up quickly with alcohol and regular sodas.
  • Fill your plate once so you know what you are eating, instead of grazing all afternoon or evening.
  • Take your time and eat slowly…you’ll eat less.
  • Exercise either before or after the game.
  • Drink wisely and hydrate often. You can bring water bottles, low-calorie fitness water, iced tea, diet green tea or diet sodas.

Enjoying a game or afternoon at the fair does not have to use up your entire caloric, sugar and fats allowance. Do a little research beforehand, take inventory of your options and make the choices that are right for you. However, a little splurge now and then is perfectly acceptable – don’t be afraid to indulge in a scoop of ice cream or fried turkey leg, as long as you plan accordingly and make an effort to abide by the 80/20 rule!

Fueling Your Kids in the Fast Food Lane

September 22, 2015 Leave a comment

The race is on!  Spring sports have started, activities are abundant and as a parent you are faced with balancing a very hectic schedule. It can be challenging to plan healthy snacks and figure out sensible choices when the convenience of fast food is inevitable.

Snacks can help bridge the gap between lunch and dinner by acting as fuel to supplement your kids’ diet, but not sabotage their appetite.

Secrets to Snacking Success:

  • Keep snacks around 150-200 calories.
  • Plan snacks to avoid snack “attacks.”
  • Limit high-fat, high-sugar foods in the house.
  • Keep serving sizes in check. For example, a ½ cup serving of Chex Mix has 150 calories, but a child can easily eat one or more cups which can double or triple the calories.
  • Pre-portion snacks in small bags instead of grabbing straight out of the container.
  • Serve snacks at the table, not in front of a screen.
  • Involve your child and give him or her choices.
  • Pair fiber-rich carbs with protein. See examples below.
Instead of This:                                                                     Try This:
1 ½ cups of Chex Mix:  450 calories 100 calorie bag of light microwave popcorn and

Light Babybel Cheese:  150 calories

Sonic chocolate milkshake (mini):  570 calories Fruit smoothie: blend fat free milk, frozen strawberries, ½ frozen banana and vanilla for 20 to 30 seconds:  200 calories
Oreo Mini Chocolate Sandwich Cookies Go Pak, 3.5 oz.: 455 Calories Spread fat free frozen yogurt between 2 sheets of graham crackers and thinly sliced ½ banana or ½ cup strawberries.  Freeze, if desired:  175-200 cal.
2 oz. bag of Cheetos: 340 calories  16 Tostitos Oven Baked Scoops with 4 Tbsp. bean dip mixed with 3 Tbsp. salsa:  200 calories
1 cup of ice cream:  320 calories Sugar cone filled with nonfat Greek yogurt and sliced fruit:  150 calories
Peanut butter sandwich with 2 Tbsp. peanut butter and 1 Tbsp. jelly:  380 calories Mini Pizza:  toasted whole wheat English muffin with pizza sauce sprinkled with 2% shredded cheese:  200 calories
1 cup granola cereal and milk:  500 calories Kashi Chocolate Almond & Sea Salt Chewy Granola Bar with ½ Tbsp. peanut butter:  190 calories

When it’s snack or dinner time and you’re running from soccer practice with one child to flute lessons with another, a grab-and-go fast food meal seems to be the answer.  Try to choose wisely so you don’t get short-changed on nutrition and end up with an excess load of calories and fat.

Tips to Navigate Fast Food:

  • Know before you go! Review menus with your children and have a plan of action for healthy choices.
  • Go for balance. Even fast food restaurants offer salads and fruit.  Substitute them for fries.  If fries are ordered, split them among several people at the table.
  • Downsize portions instead of supersizing! Portion control is the key. The average hamburger in the 1950’s was 1.5 ounces and today is 8 ounces.
  • Skip the liquid candy! Order low-fat milk or water instead of sodas or lemonade.
  • Trim the high fat, high calorie extras, including mayonnaise, dressings, sauces and cheese.
Instead of this: Try this:

6” turkey, ham, or roast beefChips


21 ounce soda:  930 calories

Subway Fresh Fit for Kids

4” turkey, ham, or roast beef

Apple slices

Low-fat milk:  320 calories

Chick- fil-A

6-count nuggets

Waffle fries

Soda:  770 calories


6-count grilled nuggets

Honey barbeque sauce or Buttermilk Ranch sauce

Fruit cup

Low fat milk:  300-345 calories


Burrito – flour tortilla, chicken, rice, cheese, and lettuce:  800 calories


Chipotle Kids Meal

Kids corn tortilla cheese quesadilla with black beans , low fat milk, and orange:  385 calories


McDonald’s Kids Mighty Meal

McDouble cheeseburger

Small French fries


Fat-free chocolate milk:  800 calories

McDonald’s Kids Meal


Kids’ fries

Apple slices

Low-fat milk:  475 calories

As a parent, the most important point to remember is you are your child’s role model and most influential teacher.  Their little eyes are on you, so practice what you preach. Don’t pig out when you eat out!  Instead, guide your children toward making better choices. Realize occasional indulgences are fine and can be worked into any healthy eating plan.  It’s not what you do on once every so often, it’s what you do every day that counts!

Flavor Up with Herbs and Spices!

September 8, 2015 Leave a comment

Cinnamon with soup? Curry powder with corn? Combining various herbs and spices with meats, vegetables and other dishes can add a kick of flavor without the need for additional salt. Lower your sodium levels and raise your cooking standards based on suggestions from Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services! Download your own handy guide here.


Weight Loss Checklist: Part III

Dining out can be a challenge when you’re watching your weight. With so many food and drink options put directly in front of you, it can be tough to turn down the free chips and salsa, a refreshing soda or a slice of cake for dessert. Part III of the Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services Weight Loss Checklist will guide you through difficult dining situations and keep you on track for eating healthy and losing pounds. Download the checklist hereWLChecklist3

Weight Loss Checklist: Part II

Part II of the exclusive Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services Weight Loss Checklist is now available! You can download it here.

Limiting variety and temptation can be a challenge, but with some kitchen reorganization, healthy substitutions and determination, you can make it happen! Share your best tips for limiting food variety and unhealthy temptations in the comments below.

Checklist 2 full

Weight Loss Checklist: Part I

Looking for a way to jump start your weight loss journey and set attainable goals? Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services has created an exclusive weight loss checklist that can fold into your daily life, one step at a time. Start by taking things slow and substituting certain foods for healthier options, as described in our first weight loss checklist. Download the checklist here, and be sure to share your healthy lifestyle changes and experiences in the comments below!Blog_Checklist