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Oatmeal is a great, high fiber way to start your day.  The downside – it’s low in protein so you may find yourself hungry in a few hours and let’s be honest, oatmeal by itself is  just plain boring!

So here is a quick and easy recipe to jazz up your oatmeal and keep you satisfied for hours!


• ½ cup oats
• A pinch of salt
• Enough water to cover the oatmeal
• 1 tbsp peanut butter
• ½ tsp of cinnamon


Place the oatmeal in a bowl and sprinkle with salt.  Add enough water so that there is about ½ inch above the oats.  You can decrease this slightly if you like a thicker oatmeal.

Microwave for one minute on high.  Remove and stir.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Remove and stir. Continue in 20 second intervals until it reaches desired consistency.

Stir in 1 tbsp of peanut butter and sprinkle in the cinnamon. (I also like to top with fresh fruit for a little extra vitamins and flavor.)

For those of you that work out in the morning this is a great post workout meal.

Let me know when you give this a try and I would love to hear any of your ideas of how to make this even more delicious!

Bon appetite!

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at








Over the last few months “Gluten Free” has become increasingly popular as a diet and health trend.  However, few people really understand what gluten is and how it can impact their health.

So, what is gluten?  Gluten is a protein that is typically found in many grains.  It is used to enhance the flavor and consistency of many foods.  It is also used as a thickener, which is why you’ll find it in many soups and condiments like ketchup and soy sauce.

What is a gluten intolerance? This term usually refers to two types of people – those with a celiac disease and those with a gluten sensitivity.  Celiac disease produces a dangerous immune response and impacts ~1% of the US population.  Symptoms include chronic diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss.  Overtime damage occurs to the small intestine, which impacts the absorption of many vitamins and minerals.  Those with celiac disease must maintain a 100% gluten free diet and can even be impacted if their food is cooked in the same vicinity as that containing gluten.

Those with a gluten sensitivity tend to have less severe symptoms, which can make it even harder to diagnose.  It is estimated that 5%-10% of Americans have a sensitivity to gluten.  The symptoms that I see most frequently in my practice are acid reflux, hives, gas/bloating and severe fatigue.

How do I know if I have a gluten sensitivity?  If you think that you do have a gluten sensitivity, I suggest removing gluten from your diet for 30 days and seeing how you feel.  This doesn’t mean that you need to go to the store a spend a lot of money on specialized gluten free products!  Instead make some simple substitutions.  Choose risotto over pasta, corn tortilla over flour and tamari over soy sauce.  For a complete list of foods to avoid check out the Mayo Clinic’s website.  Most restaurants have a gluten free menu so don’t hesitate to ask your server to alter the ingredients in your meal.

If you find that your symptoms alleviate after a month you may want to explore some of the many gluten free products that are hitting the shelves.  If not, then you are most likely one of the 90% of American’s that are not impacted by gluten.  Congratulations and go have a sandwich!


Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at



Q: I want to maximize my workouts and my recovery.  Are there special foods or supplements that can help me perform best and recover quickly?

A: This is an excellent question and can best be answered by understanding what happens to our bodies when we exercise.

Exercise causes the depletion of the glycogen stores (which are carbohydrates that are stored in muscles) and the breakdown of muscle protein.

Immediately after exercise is the ideal time to replete these stores of carbohydrates and proteins. It is critical that you eat at least six hours post exercise in order to provide the raw materials that are needed for muscle recovery.  If you fail to eat post exercise, you diminish the chance to promote full recovery of your muscles.

Muscles are the most efficient at carbohydrate and energy uptake during these six hours, so the bulk of the day’s calorie intake should ideally come during this time.

Since muscles typically need 24-48 hours to repair and rebuild, the idea is to consume enough carbohydrates in the 6-hour time frame to promote the release of a hormone called insulin which helps to shuttle carbohydrates and amino acids (the building blocks for protein repair) into the muscles.  Elevated insulin levels promote the storage of glycogen which helps to promote protein repair.  The ideal amount of carbohydrate intake is 0.8-1.2 grams per kilogram of body weight which maximizes glycogen syntheses and accelerates protein repair. The ideal amount of protein that should be consumed is 0.2-0.4 grams per kilogram of body weight. You can calculate your weight in kilograms by taking your body weight in pounds and dividing that by 2.2.

It’s best to avoid fats post workout as fats slows digestion and transit time of nutrients through the gastrointestinal tract.  Liquid supplements are ideal, especially ones that contain whey proteins and carbohydrates. Solid foods tend to be harder to digest post exercise, but if you do choose to consume solid foods, then focus on items such as fruits, yogurt, cottage cheese or even chocolate milk.

So, after your work out, maximize your recovery by consuming the ideal amounts of proteins and carbohydrates and staying well hydrated.  Our bodies perform best if we give them the proper substrates needed to rebuild.

Until, keep working out with your Total Gym and sculpting your physique!!

Elizabeth Salada, MD


Dr. Salada is board certified in Internal Medicine and has been in practice in San Diego since 1996. She attended medical school at Wake Forest University where she received high honors in Family Practice and Internal Medicine. Her final training was obtained from Pennsylvania State University where she completed her residency in Internal Medicine. Visit Dr. Salada’s website for more information:



Tara’s Friday Bite – Navigating the Grocery Store

No matter what your health goals may be, healthy eating starts at the grocery store. Have you ever gone into the store, spent a ton of money and then returned home only to realize you have nothing significant to eat? It happens to the best of us.

Watch this video to learn my tips on how to tackle grocery shopping while saving money AND eating healthy.

And remember, a few small steps can lead to big changes!

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at



Tara’s Friday Bite: Heart Healthy Meals for Lovers

February kicks off American Heart Month and right smack in the middle of the month is Valentine’s Day! In honor of both events, I wanted to share 3 of my favorite Heart Healthy Recipes that not only show your sweetheart that you love them, but that you also want to help keep them around for years to come!

Chicken Tikka Masala

Heart Healthy Ingredient: Tumeric

Tumeric is found in most Indian curries and is what gives American mustard that yellow hue. It has also been shown to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and a great addition to your heart healthy lifestyle. Moreover, tumeric’s absorption is greatly increased when paired with black pepper. Try the recipe below that contains both!

Grilled Salmon with Soy & Brown Sugar Glaze

Heart Healthy Ingredient: Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids, found in salmon, have been show to lower blood triglycerides, reduce inflammation and decrease cardiac arrest. They can also help repair heart damage and strengthen heart muscles. Check out the recipe below where you can get all the benefits of salmon AND the sweet taste of brown sugar!

Zesty Wheat Berry Black Bean Chili

Heart Healthy Ingredient: Fiber

The reason that high cholesterol is such a big deal is because it decreases the size of your arteries and puts more burden on your heart to push blood through your body. Increasing your fiber intake is the single best way to reduce cholesterol and make it so your heart doesn’t have to work as hard. Now, if you feel that the old adage “Beans, beans they’re good for your heart…” is a little less than romantic, feel free to try this recipe out on Super Bowl Sunday instead!

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Tara Coleman

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at









Tara’s Friday Bite – Juicing: Healthy or Hype?

Although juicing has been around for ages, it has gained in popularity over the past year as an “elixir of health.” As with everything, this is part truth and part trend.

Here are the facts so you can determine if juicing is right for you:

The concept behind juicing is that you can quickly and easily get the vitamins and minerals from a ton of fruits and vegetables in one nutrient-dense package! You also remove the fiber so, in theory, the nutrients are absorbed more quickly. Not to mention the juices can taste amazing and you can sneak in some veggies that you would normally turn up your nose at!

The downside to juicing is it’s fairly time consuming to both juice and clean up, and it can create a lot of waste with the leftover skins and pulp. Some people do a great job of turning this “waste” into compost or using it for baking. But I find that, for the average person, these two factors are usually the reason that their juicer ends up in the cabinet collecting dust.

The removal of fiber can speed up the nutrient absorbance but it can also speed up the absorbance of sugar. What you may feel is a rush of energy and then a crash, similar to having a sugary drink but with a lot more vitamins & minerals. This can be dangerous if you are diabetic or have any blood sugar sensitivity. For this reason, I prefer blending my fruits & vegetables in a high-power blender like a Vita-mix. Although they can be much more pricy than a juicer, you will get all of the nutrients as well as the fiber. Alternatively, you can add psyllium husk or another fiber supplement to your juice to lessen the impact of the sugar.

My recommendation is if you want to try juicing is to ask around and see if anyone has a juicer you can borrow. You’d be surprised how many people will have one hiding in their basement. Try it out for a few weeks and see how it goes! Pay attention to how you feel and again, consider adding fiber to your juices to slow the sugar absorption and keep you full a bit longer. As with everything, you are the best judge of how things impact you so if you love it and feel great go out and buy your own.

Happy juicing!

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Tara Coleman

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at 


Tara’s Friday Bite – 4 Foods to Avoid at all Costs

There was an excellent article in the November issue of Prevention Magazine discussing the 7 Foods That Should Never Cross Your Lips. I’ve actually narrowed that list down to 4 (because 7 may be too hard to remember) and weighed in with my own opinion about some excellent alternatives!

Canned Tomatoes – I’m actually going to expand this to all canned vegetables. The main danger of canned vegetables (specifically the acidic ones like tomatoes) is that the cans contain a synthetic estrogen called BPA, which can leach into the food. BPA has been linked to all sorts of major diseases but specifically those related to your reproductive system. In addition to BPA, as the vegetables sit in the can, most of the important vitamins and minerals are leached out into the surrounding water. So unless you are drinking the juice (gross), you’re missing a lot of the essential nutrients.

Instead: Try vegetables packaged in glass or even frozen vegetables. A vegetable is most nutritious the second it is harvested. Frozen vegetables are flash frozen immediately after harvesting so in some cases they can contain more nutrients than their fresh alternatives.

Nonorganic Apples – This year the apple skyrocketed to the top of the “Dirty Dozen” list, an honor that no produce wants. This means that nonorganic apples have the highest amount of pesticides.

Instead: Buy organic. If you can’t afford organic, make sure to wash, wash, wash your apples before eating.

Corn/Soy-Fed Beef – Close your eyes and picture a cow in a meadow. What’s he doing? Eating grass, right? That’s what they were designed to do, however, factory farmed cows are fed corn and soy because it’s cheaper and fattens them up faster. Unfortunately, it also decreases their nutrient profile making them lower in O-3’s and vitamins and minerals and higher in saturated fat. 

Instead: Opt for grass-fed beef. As the damage of corn-fed beef becomes more apparent grass-fed options have been popping up at more and more grocery stores. It tends to be more expensive, but if you are going to spend your money on one thing, this will have the greatest impact. You can also visit and find a local farmer to buy from directly.

Microwave Popcorn – This one actually makes me the saddest because popcorn is one of my favorite treats! However, microwave popcorn bags contain chemicals that have been linked to infertility and cancer. They will actually be phasing out these chemicals by 2015, but I suggest you phase them out by 2012!

Instead:  Pop your own! It is way cheaper and actually tastes better. Don’t have an air-popper? What a perfect time to ask Santa…or Amazon!

Tara Coleman is a Clinical Nutritionist and Salada Tea Spokesperson living in San Diego, CA. She blogs twice a month with “Tara’s Friday Bite.” Leave your comments with ideas for future topics or email Tara directly at 

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