Join Us for Taste of Health as We Celebrate National Nutrition Month

Are you ready for March yet? I know I am! But not just because March brings with it the beginning of spring, but because March also marks the start of National Nutrition Month.

As a dietitian, I really don’t need an excuse to talk about healthy eating, but it does serve as a nice reminder for the general public that nutrition matters. Designed as a nutrition education and information campaign to bring awareness to the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits, its a great time to refocus on taking care of yourself.

This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” and is meant to encourage people to adopt a eating and physical activity plan that focuses on consuming the right amount of calories, making informed food choices, and getting daily exercise in to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

This year we’re particularly excited to be joining forces with the Dietitians of West Michigan for their Taste of Health event taking place March 11th from 4-7pm!

Taste of Health Event
Click on the image to download the event flyer!

Dietitians from across the Western Michigan district will be gathering together to show individuals just how fun eating well can be. It is also a great opportunity to see what a dietitian can do for you and your meal plan. So whether you love food, want to change the way you eat, or simply have a few questions you would like to have answered by some pretty phenomenal nutrition experts, this is the perfect time and venue for doing just that.

And of course, we’ll be there too! Showing off a few of our must-have kitchen gadgets, giving away prizes, and cheering on our colleagues as they do what they do best.

In addition to booths set up by local dietitians, you will also get the opportunity to participate in both a pre- and post-workout stretching demo and a live cooking demo! Gazelle Sports will also be there showcasing a few of their must-haves for maintaining or beginning an active lifestyle. And yes, it is possible even when the weather is dreadfully cold.

If you live in the West Michigan area, we hope you’ll join us. The event is FREE and is guaranteed to be a great time. We hope to see you there and be sure to let us know when you stop by! I’d personally love to meet you.

The event is taking place at The Salvation Army Kroc Center at 2500 S. Division Ave. in Grand Rapids, MI.

Fun fact: March 11th is National RDN Day – a day where we celebrate the dietitian and their contributions to the health community. What a great reason to come on out and support them by attending this event!

For more information, please visit the Dietitians of West Michigan’s Facebook page.

Not in the area? There may be some fun events going on in your neighborhood too. Be sure to  check your local newspaper, radio station, or TV websites’ calendar of events for possible activities happening where you live. And if you know of something amazing going on, send it our way! We’d love to help spread the word.

A Family Food Adventure in Grand Rapids

With our newest storefront now open in Grand Rapids, our family has been taking  many more trips over to explore the city. Earlier this week was one such trip. If you haven’t been to Grand Rapids in awhile or ever, I highly encourage you to put it on your “must visit” list. So does Lonely Planet, ranking it as the top city in the US to visit in 2014.

So what does a family with a kitchen store in downtown Grand Rapids do and eat when they go to work and play? To get a glimpse, here is a brief run down of our day.

First, we headed to our store right in the heart of downtown. After bringing in a few new boxes of inventory and catching up with Sarah, our store manager and resident Grand Rapids nutrition expert, we were quickly joined by Valerie Lego from WZZM 13 News to shoot a quick segment about the arrival of our store and how we hope to make eating healthier in Grand Rapids a reality.

Kati on WZZM 13
Valerie Lego from WZZM 13 interviewing Kati about the new store

I was able to highlight a few of our favorite products and share some insight on how having the right gadget handy can make a big difference when you want to eat better in the new year. Want to watch the segment?  You can do that here:

 

After we wrapped up the interview, I said goodbye to Sarah and went to check in on the boys over at the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum where they were having a blast with dad. Blowing bubbles, organizing chicken eggs, coloring, and role playing were all on the agenda that day. A great excuse to step away from the television and play! With the museum so close, its also a great way for the boys to have a little fun while I work. For some reason, a kitchen store just isn’t as appealing to 7 and 6 year old boys as it is to me…. go figure.

 

The Boys Playing at the Children's Museum
My Boys Enjoying Their Time at the Children’s Museum

Then it was on to lunch… my favorite part of any trip really. Aaron found a little hole-in-the-wall sort of place just a few blocks away from the Children’s Museum, so off we went to find something delicious. And we weren’t disappointed.

We chose a pizza place so that the food wasn’t too far out of the boys comfort zones. Our find? Cult Pizza on Jefferson Ave. in downtown Grand Rapids. Here’s what we loved: Their pizzas are hand crafted and you can order by the slice. All their veggies, meats, and cheeses come from local West Michigan farms. They don’t let pizza conventionality hold them back. What we didn’t like? The cult-like vibe. I mean, we get it – its part of the branding, but it, along with the matching artwork, was a bit creepy for the boys and I. Despite that, once the pizza arrived it really did have our full attention. It was unique, veggie-loaded, and flavorful – my favorite sort of food combination.

Butternut Squash Pizza
A whole lot of YUM! Vegan Butternut Squash Pizza

And if you follow us on Facebook and were wondering what the “unusual” ingredient on my pizza was, well, this was it – butternut squash puree to replace the sauce. It was BRILLIANT! And delicious. I’m definitely going to be trying this at home. The boys weren’t as geeked out about this pizza as I, but they did enjoy the meat lovers slice they each had. Aaron, lover of all foods, enjoyed them all.

After the yummy lunch we checked back in with Sarah, set up a new bank account, and then headed back home. All in all, a successful day and a reminder why I love owning my own business… I get to work and play all at the same time. Its the best.

Okay, now its your turn.. what’s the most unique food you’ve ever had on top of a your pizza pie? 

Celebrating Fresh Avocados Throughout the US With Members of thePlate Community!

If you follow us on Facebook or on Twitter, you already know that we’ve been spreading our love for fresh avocados throughout the United States. Thanks to our fabulous bloggers, communities all around the nation have been learning about avocados and discovering new ways to incorporate them into a balanced diet.

Related: When Life Gives You Fresh Avocados, Host a Party to Share the Benefits!

We kicked off the avocado parties back in May at thePlate Boutique, our own storefront located in downtown Mt. Pleasant, MI. As part of our monthly healthy eating club loyalty card program, our members were asked to come shop and learn with us.

Avocado Party at thePlate Boutique

We had two displays in place; one where members could stop and learn how to select, ripen, pit and store a Hass Avocado. Another, where they could watch us whip up a tasty avocado and banana smoothie recipe found within the Hass avocado cookbook provided by the Hass Avocado Board (HAB) and additionally found over at LoveOneToday.com.

As we whipped up smoothies and discussed the best ways to get an avocado ready to eat, we also dished on some of the nutritional benefits associated with avocados.

Abby showing off avocados at thePlate Boutique
Store Associate, Abby Scharf, from thePlate Boutique showing us how to take care of our avocados!

Many of our members already knew avocados were good for them, but what really intrigued them was the versatility of the avocado. From breakfast dishes to desserts, the addition of fresh avocados to dishes morning ’til night was where most of our conversation stayed.

Over the past few months, the conversation continued. With five events hosted so far, our food health and nutrition bloggers brought about that same nutrition know-how to their own communities. We provided cookbooks and tips for hosting an event similar to ours, but the rest was up to them.

Megan Lyons from the Lyons Share Wellness created her own smoothie featuring the beloved avocado at a workshop she hosted at her dance studio. Her Summer Refresh-mint Smoothie was a hit, in addition to her veggie-loaded guacamole.

Megan from the Lyon's Share
Megan from the Lyon’s Share Wellness dishing up avocado goodness

Elizabeth Shaw, RD also shared her love of fresh avocados by hosting a party and month long campaign on her blog, Simple Swaps. Her displays were beautiful and the food amazing!

Avocado table set up for Simple Swaps event
Check out that spread! So many delicious options to choose from!

Interesting avocado facts were also shared in The Fit Cookie’s Avocado Class. The information shared and the recipes created can be found over on the Fit Cookie’s blog. Our favorite? The easy avocado chicken salad. Seriously! Go and check it out!

Sarah Jane Parker at Avocado Event
Sarah Jane Parker from the Fit Cookie is ready to show people how to incorporate avocados into their day!

A few teenagers over in New Jersey also learned a think or two about avocados thanks to registered dietitian Mary Brighton, RD. Mary gave a great nutrition presentation about all the benefits associated with avocados. She also shared a super simple and super delicious recipe for Simple Guacamole.

Mary Brighton, MS, RD
Mary Brighton, MS, RD is ready to show off her avocado knowledge!

As we continue to move through the next month, we’re excited to share the continued efforts our bloggers are making as they share their love for avocados with those in their community. In the meantime, be sure to visit LoveOneToday.com for great tips, recipes and resources.

Disclaimer/Disclosure: These events and this post were sponsored by the Hass Avocado Board. We received financial compensation for this campaign, but all opinions expressed are Kati’s alone. We just thought you should know. For a full list of our disclaimer and disclosure policies, please visit our legal page.

Celebrating 5 Years of Around the Plate with Dreamfarm! *GIVEAWAY*

Did you know that Around the Plate turns FIVE years old this month!?! It seems crazy to think that we’ve been posting and sharing healthy eating tips and inspiration for such a long time, especially when it feels as though everyday we’re embarking on a new adventure here behind the scenes.

We really wanted to say thank you to all of our amazing readers who’ve made every day at Around the Plate amazing, and what better way to do that then with a little celebratory giveaway?

Meet Dreamfarm! Probably one of the most innovative kitchen gadgets lines we’ve seen to date.

From their easy to use garlic press to their awesome potato and avocado masher, we’re pretty excited to share our anniversary with this fun kitchen line. Yep, Dreamfarm came on the scene just about the same time we did – WAY back in 2009! And separately, we’ve both been taking the world by storm one healthy idea at a time.

What we love about Dreamfarm is their commitment to solve problems in the kitchen. They don’t intend to design products that become useless or lost in your drawers. No, they look for ways to enhance your everyday kitchen experience and want to bring you quality products that last and do the job they are designed to do. From the packaging to the products themselves, the colors are bright and the design elegant. Seems like a perfect fit for the more modern cook or modern day healthy eater if you ask us.

Now as we join forces to celebrate 5 years, we hope these innovative products will help you cook a little easier, a little bit better, and a little bit healthier.

One lucky reader will also win their own set of gadgets from Dreamfarm! We’re giving them a Garject Lite (garlic press),

Garject Lite
photo credit: Dreamfarm

a Smood (potato/avocado masher),

Smood
photo credit: Dreamfarm

a Vebo (silicone steam bag),

credit: Dreamfarm
credit: Dreamfarm

and a Savel (fruit/veggie saver)!

Savel
photo credit: Dreamfarm

And for those of you who don’t win, guess what!?! We’ll soon be carrying this line at thePlate Boutique! So you can always eat well and think of us as you do. In the meantime, our mid-Michigan residents can stop by our downtown Mt. Pleasant store location to see these items in person. Our team is having fun testing them out, but we promise to show them to you too when you stop by!

To enter our giveaway, follow the directions below and good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclaimer/Disclosure: We received one Savel, one Garject lite, one Vebo, and one Smood to review courtesy of Dreamfarm. Dreamfarm has also provided a duplicate set to be given to one lucky Around the Plate reader. We were not compensated for this post and the opinions expressed are Kati’s alone. For terms and conditions of this giveaway, please review the statement given via Rafflecopter above. For further disclosure and disclaimer information regarding our site, please visit our legal page. 

Local Bagger Dave’s Hosts Multi-Day Fundraiser for Kids’ Food Basket Through Sept. 19th

With our soon-to-launch Grand Rapids store location, we have to say we’re pretty excited to see some of our fellow Grand Rapid businesses and organizations partnering together in an effort to attack child hunger.

Related: Help Us Open Another Healthy Kitchen Store with IndieGoGo! 

Bagger Dave’s Burger Tavern is currently hosting a nearly week long fundraiser for the Kid’s Food Basket at four of its Grand Rapids-area restaurants through Friday, September 19th. Participating restaurants are in Cascade Township, Grand Rapids, Holland, and Grandville.

Girl with Healthy Lunch

If you aren’t familiar with the amazing nonprofit organization, Kids’ Food Basket, you should probably know that its one of our absolute favorites. Not only do they tackle childhood hunger by providing thousands of nutritious meals to kids within the area, but they also help young people learn to live and eat well.

During the week, each restaurant will be collecting the following items: Cracker packs and granola bars, peanut butter (any sized jars), snack and sandwich-sized Ziploc bags, individual fruit, pudding and gelatin cups, 100% fruit packs (0.9 oz or similar), brown and white paper lunch sacks (eight pound or extra large), individual serving size cereal, bulk pretzels, veggie straws (snack) and plain Cheerios.

For all our readers who live close by, we hope you’ll consider donating! We also encourage you to take a photo of your contribution and post it to your favorite social media site using the #daveshungerfight hashtag and showing the picture to your server. By doing this, you’ll be eligible to receive a free Bagger Dave’s koozie.

Related: Grab Your Invite to Bagger Dave’s Signature Drink Event

When you visit one of the participating restaurants, you’ll also get the opportunity to decorate paper sacks that Kids’ Food Basket’s clients receive their meals in. How awesome is that!?! What a great way to make a healthy sack lunch even more fun and special.

 If you’d like more information on Kids’ Food Basket or are looking for more ways to get involved, consider visiting their website. They also have a great Facebook page and Twitter handle to follow.

For more information on Bagger Dave’s and their hours of operation, visit their website at http://baggerdaves.com.

And don’t delay! This unique event ends tomorrow!