Health & Fitness

By Alexis Lardieri


Celebrity nutritionist and author of The Beauty Detox Solution, Kimberly Snyder

This time of year with holiday parties building up the list of taboo foods gets longer and longer. Here’s some food for thought, rather than focus on what not to eat, this fall why not focus on what foods you should add into your daily diet. BN has paired up with celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder to give you comfort foods that will not only fill you up, but give you ultimate nutritional benefits.


Fall and winter squash varieties have less water content than summer squash, and therefore provide more nutritional and beauty benefits. These varieties include pumpkin, acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash. With its brilliant colors, squash provides an excellent source of carotenes, and a good source of vitamins B1, B6 and C, folic acid, pantothenic acid, fiber, and potassium.

The B vitamins it contains are helpful in reversing the damaging effects of stress on the body, which may contribute to aging faster, and its vitamin C has a collagen-repairing effect on the skin. Squash also contains coumarins, which works with other nutrients to create a blood-thinning effect in the body, which is great to increase circulation and beneficial for glowing skin.

Chef Anthony Stewart, Executive Chef at Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa

Chef Anthony Stewart has won accolades worldwide, including five gold medals in top culinary competitions for his masterful use of foodstuffs like fresh seafood and tropical fruit from his native home Jamaica.

Spaghetti Squash Recipe:

Set the oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half length-wise.
Scraped out the seeds and guts, just as you’d scrape out the guts of a pumpkin.
Poured about a quarter-inch of water into a glass baking dish.
Put the squash halves in the baking dish, cut sides facing down.
Put the dish in the oven.
Let cook for one hour, or when skin is tender to the touch.
Scrape out the middle of the squash to reveal spaghetti-like strands.

Acorn Squash Soup
With Cranberry, Chorizo & Dannon® Oikos® Greek Nonfat Yogurt

By Richard Blais

1 whole acorn squash
¼ white onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 cloves garlic
2 tbsp. celery, chopped
1 ½ quart chicken stock
1/2 cup Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt
1/2 cup whipped yogurt (page 2 for recipe) optional
¼ cup chorizo, crumbled
2 tbsp. cranberry canned jelly
3 leaves cilantro
1 tsp. smoked paprika
Pomegranate seeds for garnish
Lime for garnish

1. In a stockpot, cook the onion, bay leaf, garlic and celery in some olive oil until garlic releases aroma.
2. Add the chopped acorn squash and then the chicken stock and simmer. When the acorn squash is cooked, swirl in Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt and remove from the heat.
3. In a separate pan, cook the chorizo and paprika.
4. When the squash is cooked thoroughly, purée the soup and pass through a sieve so it is smooth.
5. Garnish with the crumbled chorizo, the cilantro, pomegranate seeds, a squirt of lime and cover with the whipped yogurt, or alternatively just add a dollop of Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt.

Winner of Top Chef Allstars and owner of acclaimed restaurant Blais , Richard Blais

Sweet potatoes contain the skin-brightening combination of vitamin A and vitamin C. Together, these nutrients help replace a dull complexion with a fresh face, while working to neutralize cell tissue-damaging free radicals.

Sweet potatoes’ brilliant orange color is attributed to their high levels of carotenoids and beta-carotene, which converts into vitamin A. Vitamin A is necessary for a shiny, well-moisturized head of hair as well as promoting a healthy scalp, which is essential for healthy hair growth.

Sweet potatoes are also rich in biotin, and vitamins B2, B6 and E. They supply a healthy source of iron, potassium, which help keep the right fluid balance throughout the body’s cells, along with copper, manganese and folate, which is especially important for pregnant women.

Choose sweet potatoes that have the deepest orange colors, which indicate the higher carotene content. Be sure to eat them with the skin on, which contains a high amount of fiber and nutrients.

Baked Sweet Potato
with Parmesan, Sorghum & Dannon® Oikos® Greek Nonfat Yogurt

By Richard Blais

4 sweet potatoes
3 tbsp. sorghum
3 tbsp. parmesan
4 tbsp. scallions, sliced
4 tbsp. Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt
2 tbsp. unsalted butter (optional)
Sea salt, to taste

1. Sprinkle potatoes with salt and prick with a fork a few times.
2. Wrap them in foil and bake at 350F until tender, around an hour.
3. When cooked, remove foil, and halve the potato lengthwise.
4. Gently fork mash the potatoes.
5. Top each potato with a drizzle of sorghum, a grate of Parmesan, the scallions, Dannon Oikos plain Greek nonfat yogurt and butter (optional).

Light molasses or dark treacle may be used as substitutes for sorghum.


Pumpkin is one of the most missed foods when it comes to nutritional value. Not only is it a good source of protein, it also contains almost no fat and is extremely low on calories. One pound of pumpkin contains less than half a gram a fat and only 40 calories! It also contains up to 5 grams of fiber. You can do so much with it aside from a classic pumpkin pie– add it to some Greek yogurt with walnuts for even more protein and fiber.

Pumpkin Cheesecake
By Richard Blais

4 oz. non-fat cream Cheese
½ cup sugar (brown is better)
¼ tsp. salt
½ tsp. vanilla
¼ tsp. cinnamon
4 oz. canned pumpkin pie filling or canned pumpkin
4 eggs
4 oz. Dannon Oikos plain Greek yogurt

1. In a mixer, using the paddle attachment, blend together the sugar and the cream cheese
2. Add in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each one
3. In a separate bowl, mix together the pumpkin pie filling and Dannon Oikos plain Greek yogurt
4. Add the yogurt mixture into the cream cheese and mix until fully combined
5. Fill the desired molds and bake at 300?F in a water bath for 15-20 minutes

Originally published December 2012



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