Food For Thought
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Staying Fit & Healthful this Thanksgiving

Did you know that at the Thanksgiving meal, the average adult eats approximately 2000-3000 calories! Try the following strategies to make your holiday meal more healthful:

Do not come to the Thanksgiving table starving! Make sure to have a healthful breakfast and lunch before arriving at dinner. When you are extremely hungry, you eat very fast and tend to overeat.

Make time for exercise, especially on Thanksgiving Day. Try starting a family routine like going for a bike ride, hike or for a long walk.

Fill your plate with salad and veggies first and then leave a small amount of space for higher calorie options like stuffing, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and etcetera. Do not deprive yourself of your favorite dishes, think in terms of moderation!

Distance yourself from the hors d’oeuvre table… munch on fresh fruits and vegetables (preferably organic) instead of high fat appetizers.

Drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated, many of the foods served on Thanksgiving are high in sodium.

Go skinless… most of the fat is in the turkey skin. Have your turkey breast, leg or thigh without the skin to trim major calories and fat.

Eat slowly… put your fork down every few bites and drink water. Your brain will have time to catch up with your stomach and you will find that you are satisfied with less food. This is a great time to begin mindful eating… enjoy the experience!

If you are the host, try making healthful alternatives such as steamed green beans with a drizzle of olive oil and almond slivers (instead of green bean casserole) and baked sweet potatoes (instead of baked yams with butter and marshmallows) to decrease calories and fat and increase nutrient density.

Most importantly… enjoy yourself. Be thankful and gracious to those around you…enjoy the spirit of the holiday and what it means to you.

It is a holiday about being thankful, not a holiday solely about food!!!

Curried Butternut Squash Soup:


-1 tbsp olive oil

-1 medium onion, chopped

-2 garlic cloves, minced

-2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes

-6 cups vegetable stock

1 tbsp plus 2 tsp curry powder

-2 tbsp honey

Directions: Heat oil over medium heat in a stockpot. Add onions and garlic and cook until soft but not browned. Add butternut squash, stock, curry and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until squash is tender. Remove from heat and stir in honey and puree with a hand help immersion blender until smooth. Season with salt to taste.

*This is a delicious addition to the Thanksgiving table. Try serving in hallowed out mini pumpkins and garnished with roasted pumpkin seeds.

– Nicole Meadow -Registered Dietitian


Interview with Nicole Meadow

I’ve had the pleasure of working with Nicole for many years!  She has worked as a consultant and volunteer on many projects.  Her expertise and passion has led to a thriving business in Los Angeles, and you may also recognize her as the Pediatric Dietitian on the yonanas infomercial.

Nicole has dedicated her life to helping children and families through healthy food.  As a busy mom of two young children, I’m inspired by her endless energy.  She volunteers in her community, and advocates for children with allergies while running her practice and working at the hospital.  It must be all the healthy food she is eating!

Nicole has an amazing presence, and is brilliant at boiling down complicated nutrition information into easy to understand steps that we can all take.  We are so excited to have her share her knowledge as a guest blogger!


1.      What is your health & wellness philosophy? 

I strongly believe in the principles of balance variety and moderation.  Being a pediatric nutrition specialist and a mom, I feel that it is extremely important to be good role models for our children in all aspects, especially when it comes to eating and being physically active.  By allowing all foods in moderation and emphasizing the importance of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins healthy fats and calcium containing foods and not having any “taboo” foods we can help future generations have a healthy philosophy of their own about eating and physical activity!

 2.      Is there a diet or fitness plan you don’t believe in and why?

I do not support any diet plan that is extremely restrictive meaning it limits entire foods groups without a medical justification or is extremely restrictive in terms of overall caloric intake.  These types of messages are very detrimental to children and adults and can create disordered eating patterns and usually result in weight gain, not weight loss!

3.      What motivates you?

I am extremely passionate about helping my patients and my clients… I LOVE what I do and that is the best motivation a person can have.  When I wake up in the morning, I am excited about what the day has in store for me.  My family is another motivating factor for me.  Thinking about going home to my 2 beautiful children and my loving husband after a long day puts a smile on my face at any time!

4.      Do you eat yonanas?  When?  Favorite recipe or flavor?

I LOVE Yonanas and so do my children.  Actually our favorite recipe is to use frozen mango as the base and add either raspberries or strawberries… mmmmm, can I have some now?

5.      Favorite Super Hero & Why?

My favorite superhero has to be Wonderwoman because she is, well… WONDERWOMAN!  (We also have an inside family joke about her- my son will laugh when he reads this!



Nicole Meadow, MPN, RD, is a Registered Dietitian with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Michigan and a Masters degree in Preventive Nutrition from the University of Southern California.  She specializes in working with infants, children and young adults who have a variety of nutritional concerns such as overweight/obesity, failure to thrive, food allergies, eating disorders, Celiac Disease, selective eating, and many others.  She works with clients and their families privately in her office in Encino or in their homes and teaches classes in the community.  In addition to seeing clients in her private practice, NutritionWise (, she also works part time as a clinical dietitian at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.  Visit her blog for more information or follow her on twitter @nutritionwise.  Nicole’s most meaningful job is being a mom and a wife.   She has a 6 1/2 year old son, Andrew, and an 18 month old daughter, Emily, (and 3 dogs)!  Family is the fuel behind Nicole’s fire.


Interview with Melissa Costello

I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Melissa Costello for almost 15 years!  When we met I was immediately drawn to her because she exudes positive and happy energy whenever you are around her.  Even in difficult times, Melissa is always upbeat, and has a way of making you feel like you are the most important person in the room.  It is no surprise to me that she has successfully dedicated her life to health and wellness launching her own company, Karma Chow, and serving as personal chef to fitness guru, Tony Horton.  I’m not sure if it is her golden locks, beaming smile, or her vegan diet, but she literally glows!

Keep an eye out for Melissa’s blog here on Food For Thought for the next few months!  Her first post is Wednesday, November 9.  Below is an interview with Melissa and her bio to help you become familiar with this wonderful woman!

Enjoy -Eileen

1. What is your health & wellness philosophy?

My health and wellness philosophy is to eat a plant-based diet consisting of 90% whole unprocessed foods and to exercise at least 4-6 times per week doing something different every day that your body will feel challenged.

 2. Is there a diet or fitness plan you don’t believe in and why?

I don’t believe in quick fix diets or starvation cleanses or any fitness gadget that promises you perfect health and long term weight loss. A healthy diet and exercise are the only real keys to a strong, vital life. Most of the diets out there do not teach you how to eat properly, they only teach you how to count calories and lose weight, which turns our food into an object instead of what it really is, fuel. Our bodies need consistent exercise that is challenging and different every day in order to change and grow. Doing the same thing over and over on one machine will give you immediate results but then your body will plateau and stop changing.

3. What motivates you?

Seeing colorful, delicious fruits and veggies at a farmers market that I get to turn into healthy & tasty dishes in my kitchen!

4. Who motivates you?

I would have to say, Tony Horton, the creator of P90x. His workout system and he have changed my life more than I could’ve ever imagined!

5. Do you eat yonanas?  When?  Favorite recipe or flavor?

BUT OF COURSE!! I like just plain with some grain sweetened chocolate chips. I usually have for a little dessert after dinner..and sometimes even mid-day when I want a pick me up!

6. Favorite Super Hero & Why?

I know this is boring, but I really don’t have one. I guess Superman and that’s mostly because I LOVED Christopher Reeve and his steel blue eyes.


About Melissa Costello


Melissa Costello, founder of Karma Chow has always had a passion for healthy, delicious food and nutrition. As a child, Melissa would spend hours in the kitchen with her Italian father making homemade tomato sauce and pasta.  When she became a vegetarian at age 19 she began experimenting with healthier versions of everyday recipes, which led her to her passion for vegetarian cooking. Her collection of simple yet delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes and desserts, has become popular among many top names in the film & music industry.

Melissa’s dedication to health, nutrition & wellness naturally led her to study nutrition at N.H.I in San Diego as well as become a Certified Wellness Coach through the Spencer Institute. Melissa has been coaching clients one-on-one, and in groups for the last 4 years, on how to live a healthier and happier life through nutrition, exercise and a whole foods diet.

As personal chef to celebrity fitness guru, Tony Horton, creator of the highly popular workout system, P90X, Melissa is constantly finding creative ways to keep Tony and her other clients happy, fit and healthy through a whole foods way of life.

She was featured in TV Guides, Secret of the Hollywood Body along with multiple radio interviews and cooking videos produced by Beachbody, a multi-million dollar fitness and wellness company. She currently has her own video series called Food & Flow, which blends healthy eating with Yoga.

Her mission is to educate the planet about healthy, whole food eating as well as how to keep our planet “green” for generations to come through vegetarianism and eco-conscious solutions.  She travels throughout the US with Tony leading nutritional lectures at his fitness camps. She also brings her wellness program into corporations to teach others how to implement a healthy way of life. Melissa also hosts hands-on cooking classes at local Whole Foods stores in Los Angeles, in private homes and across the US.



Healthy Holiday Desserts

All across nature it happens. As the days get shorter and the weather gets a little cooler, we find ourselves craving those heavier and richer foods. It is one of those yearly rituals we humans share with animals–preparing ourselves for the long, cold months ahead. Unlike a bear who can pack on the pounds and sleep it off in a cave, we unfortunately enter the holiday season where we reconnect with friends and family, many of whom we haven’t seen in a year. If you are anything like me, I might be more enthusiastic about these get togethers if I knew I could wear my skinny jeans!

Since we introduced yonanas this summer we have been able to satisfy our sweet tooth in a healthy way. As the holiday season approaches we want to continue to enjoy natural and healthy desserts. Home Shopping Network (HSN) recently challenged me to come up with some rich and delicious yonanas recipes for the Holiday Season and I got all excited. It was a lot of fun (and very rewarding) to come up with recipes like pistachio yonanas, and apple maple walnut yonanas. We’ll start sharing some of these holiday recipes on HSN October 20th (1 pm and 6 pm EST) and October 24th (7 am and 1 pm EST). Please tune in!

Also, check out our new Entertaining with Yonanas section on our website’s recipe page. We will begin adding holiday dessert ideas this month, so here is where you’ll find some inspiration for that upcoming party or get together. We also recently added Recipes from Friends & Fans to the site. Please take a moment to share your recipes and holiday creations (and photos) with our other Friends and Fans.

So put on those skinny jeans and get out of your cave! Enjoy yourself and some tasty yonanas this holiday season!






New Season New Site


Growing up, summer was always my favorite season. I lived in Ohio and experienced cold, gray winters and longed for the sunshine, heat, and even the humidity that summer would bring. It was the season to be physically active, playful, and renewed. Well, I could not have imagined the incredible summer we just experienced with yonanas! I felt like a child again running to keep up with the excitement and incredible reception yonanas has experienced.

We have the most amazing community on facebook and twitter! Thank you for sharing your stories about how yonanas has created an opportunity in your personal lives. I had hoped with the launch of yonanas we would provide a vehicle for those struggling with lactose intolerance, and I am humbled to learn how this has played a part in supporting your family’s food allergies, cancer recovery, diabetes, diet and weight loss.

With autumn upon us, we begin to harvest the energy you have given us by launching our new website! We heard you tell us you wanted a place for recipes, information regarding where to purchase, and instructions for use. You can also share your recipes with us here on the website!

The Food For Thought section will include favorite facebook and twitter comments, answers to general questions about yonanas, and reflections on topics like health, nutrition and fitness. We have also invited expert guests to blog on the site as well!

I no longer live in Ohio running to both the California and Florida coasts to stay warm year round. Today the change of seasons is enjoyed by the produce that is available and the different spices I cook with! Keep an eye out for fall recipes like pumpkin pie or chai spice! Hopefully it will inspire you to continue your healthy indulgence of yonanas year round.

To your health & well-being,