Diane May Nutrition Blog

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How To Make Healthier Desserts

November 6th, 2017

With the holidays around the corner, sweet treats become more prevalent.  There is no reason to abstain from enjoying holiday treats.  You just need to learn healthier ways to make scrumptious desserts.  It is important to note that women should not consume more than 6 teaspoons of sugar a day (100 calories) and men should not consume more than 9 teaspoons (150 calories) a day. But an occasional indulgence is ok and there are ways to reduce sugar and calories without sacrificing flavor. Below are some swaps to make desserts just as yummy,  less forbidden and increase the nutrition. 

  • Swap 1 cup chickpeas for 1 cup flour-best for brownies and chocolate cake-elevates protein and makes them moist!
  • Swap 1 cup 100% whole wheat flour ( you can use 1/4 cup nut flour with 3/4 cup 100% whole wheat flour as well) for 7/8 cup white flour for all baking needs.
  • Use 1/2 cup of apple sauce or low fat greek yogurt and 1/2 cup oil instead of 1 cup butter or oil.
  • Use 3/4 cup prunes with 1/4 cup boiling water instead of 1 cup of butter.
  • Use 1 cup mashed bananas or pumpkin instead of 1 cup butter or oil.
  • Switch from traditional chocolate chips to coco nibs.
  • Switch from heavy cream to evaporated skim milk or other lower fat dairy options.
  • Try switching 1 Tablespoon of chia and i cup of water (let sit for 15 minutes) instead of 1 egg.
  • When possible, use a whole vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract, it adds way more flavor.
  • You can usually, but not always reduce sugar in a recipe by 25%-so for example, if the recipe calls for 6 Tablespoons of sugar, you can reduce it to 5 Tablespoons.

Always make sure you pay attention to portions, even when making healthy swaps. Moderation is key, and enjoy!

Frozen Pumpkin Mousse Pie

From: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2007

Ingredients 10 servings


  • Crust 30 small gingersnap cookies, (about 7½ ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons raisins
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil 
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 pints (4 cups) frozen low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt, softened


Active: 20 m

Ready In: 2 h 20 m

Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 9-inch deep-dish pie pan with cooking spray. To prepare crust: Combine gingersnaps and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add oil and pulse until blended. Press evenly into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake the crust until set, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. To prepare filling: Combine pumpkin, sugar, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg in a large bowl and mix well. Add ice cream and stir until blended. Spoon the mixture into the cooled pie crust. Freeze until firm, at least 2 hours. Let the pie soften slightly in the refrigerator for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.

Make Ahead Tip: Cover and freeze the pie for up to 3 days.

Equipment: 9-inch deep-dish pie pan

Tip: To soften frozen yogurt quickly, microwave on Medium-Low for 30 to 60 seconds.

Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.

Nutrition information

Serving size: 1 slice

Per serving: 231 calories; 5 g fat(1 g sat); 2 g fiber; 42 g carbohydrates; 4 g protein; 34 mcg folate; 4 mg cholesterol; 28 g sugars; 26 g added sugars; 4,054 IU vitamin A; 1 mg vitamin C; 111 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 146 mg sodium; 149 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (81% daily value)

Carbohydrate Servings: 3



Six Foods To Aide Weight Loss

October 1st, 2017

The way we eat can help or hinder our weight loss journey. There are certain foods that we can make work for us and assist in not only losing, but maintaining a healthy weight. The power-house foods listed not only support health but help keep us feeling full and satisfied longer.

Apples: The expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is accurate! Loaded with fiber and Vitamin C, apples can reduce the risk of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and cancer. One medium apple has approximately 95 calories. Pectin, a soluble fiber found in apples helps to naturally pull LDL cholesterol out of the body. There are 4.4 grams of fiber found in an apple. Fiber helps to keep us full and gives a greater sense of satisfaction. The peel of an apple contains a component called Ursolic acid, which has the potential to increase muscle and brown fat and lower white fat, which leads to obesity.

Greek Yogurt: Strained of whey, Greek yogurt is thicker and has more protein than regular yogurt. Protein helps to keep us satisfied and helps repair muscle. Probiotics found in yogurt have been shown to assist with weight loss. The calcium in yogurt makes your fat cells release less cortisol. Cortisol is a negative hormone that produces glucose,which leads to elevated blood sugar levels. Low fat dairy can reduce blood pressure and support the immune system. Look for Greek yogurt that has between 100-150 calories, at least 10 grams of protein and no more than 20 grams of sugar per serving.

Almonds: Protein, monounsaturated fat (7 grams per serving), fiber and antioxidants make almonds a healthy addition to any diet. Studies have shown that those who consume almonds have better weight loss results. Almonds can also reduce blood pressure. Beware that almonds (as well as all nuts) are high in calories, so pay attention to serving sizes. 11 almonds are approximately 100 calories.

Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, arugula, and cabbage are just some of the vegetables found in the cruciferous family. These vegetables are super high in fiber and very low calorie per serving. Eating high fiber foods that are low in calories not only helps us feel full longer, it helps us lower our overall caloric intake. They also have a high water content, which helps keep the body hydrated. Cruciferous vegetables can reduce oxidative stress. One of the phytochemicals found in cruciferous vegetables, sufloraphane can help reduce the risk of cancer. Munch on them raw as a snack when feeling hungry or lightly steam or roast to add needed fiber and nutrients to your daily routine.

Water: The best thing we can do to stay hydrated and maintain our weight is to drink water. It is the best sports drink, and with zero calories, the best option to sip throughout the day. You can add lemon, ginger, or mint to add some flavor. When you are not well hydrated, your body is not as efficient as it should be, and metabolism is affected. Studies have shown that those who have higher BMI’s drink less water overall. Hydration helps us feel full. Often the sensation of hunger is actually dehydration, so before grabbing a snack, drink a glass of water first! Everyone is different, but we all should consume approximately 1.5 liters of water a day.

Beans: High in fiber, protein, and nutrients, beans should be a part of everyone’s diet. Heart healthy and low in fat, they can lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, hypertension, as well as control blood glucose. Consuming beans has been shown to reduce our risk of developing metabolic syndrome. They also can contribute to weight loss. The protein and fiber helps to keep us satisfied and eat less. Portion control is important, as there is a carbohydrate component to beans, which in large portion, could contribute to weight gain. When using beans instead of animal protein, ¼ cup beans equals 1 ounce of protein. (As an example, we should have 4-6 ounces of animal protein for dinner, which would equate to a cup of beans). Sprinkle them in salads, roast them for a snack or add them to soups and stews.

These are just some of the super foods we can incorporate into our diet to not only aide in weight loss, but weight maintenance!


Cauliflower Rice Pilaf

From: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 2017

Ingredients       6 servings

  • ¼ cup toasted sliced almond
  • 6 cups cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs, such as chives, parsley, cilantro and/or basil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest


  • Prep 20 m
  • Ready In 20 m
  1. Pulse cauliflower florets 2 cups at a time in a food processor until chopped into rice-size pieces.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cauliflower rice, sprinkle with salt and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in almonds, herbs and lemon zest.
  • To make ahead: Refrigerate raw cauliflower “rice” (Step 1) for up to 3 days.


Nutrition information


  • Serving size: ⅔ cup each
  • Per serving: 114 calories; 9 g fat(1 g sat); 3 g fiber; 7 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 65 mcg folate; 0 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 110 IU vitamin A; 54 mg vitamin C; 39 mg calcium; 1 mg iron; 227 mg sodium; 361 mg potassium
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (90% daily value)
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: 1 vegetable, 2 fat