Omega Key Lime Martini: A Recipe Inspired by Barlean’s Omega Swirl

The Natural Product Market Place (Natural Marketplace Show) was held last weekend at the Sands Expo convention hall at the Venetian Hotel. I had the pure joy of tasting and testing many of the products showcased. I’m looking forward to detailing several of the products with you in the future; but, this one I had to share ASAP! There are several reasons that Barlean’s Organic oils (Barlean’s) have become a quick favorite of this dietitian. First of all, omega-3 fatty acids are an important ingredient of a balanced diet. Second, the Omega Swirl (Barlean’s Omega Swirl ) has a great taste and texture with absolutely no added sugars (Xylitol, a naturally occurring sugar alcohol is used for a little sweetness). Lastly, I immediately thought it would be great as an ingredient in a cocktail!

Our bodies cannot make their own omega-3s, so we need to consume them. Omega-3s are found in fatty fish such as cod, salmon, tuna and halibut. They are also found in plant sources such as algae and the flax and chia seeds. Two or more servings of fish are recommended per week because of the heart protective factors of this unsaturated fat (1). One tablespoon of the Swirl offers 1,500 mg of a mixture of the omega-3 fatty acids alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).  The flavors that are currently available are Key Lime, Lemon Zest, Mango Peach, Pina Colada, Orange Cream, strawberry- banana *, blackberry* and blueberry pomegranate*.

We work hard, we play hard, and we only have one body to complete the task, so enjoy this cocktail to relax and get your daily omega dose.

Omega Key Lime MartiniImage


  • 1 tbsp Barlean’s Swirl in Key Lime  (Barlean’s Key Lime)
  • 1 ½ ounces cake-flavored vodka (I use UV)
  • ½ ounce triple sec
  • ½ ounce low fat coconut milk
  • ¼ ounce sweetened lime juice


Combine all ingredients with ice in a cocktail shaker

Shake vigorously

Rim a martini glass with graham cracker crumbs and garnish with nutmeg and lime rind.

Shake again and strain into the martini glass.

  1. American Diabetes Association, Bantle JP, Wylie-Rosett J, et al. Nutrition recommendations and interventions for diabetes: a position statement of the American Diabetes Association. Diabetes Care [serial online]. 2008;31(suppl 1):S61-S78. Available at: Accessed June 17, 2012.


(Find the article at )

Health and Wellness Tips for Living in Las Vegas (with the Las Vegas Informer)

(Free images from

As you head to the pool this morning, check out my latest in the Las Vegas Informer:

Health and Wellness Tips for Living in Las Vegas

I’ve been living in Las Vegas for a little over two years now, and what a whirlwind it has been! Adopting the “Vegas lifestyle” has been exciting, expensive and exhausting. While the dust settles on my sundrenched Scandinavian skin, I have learned how to both thrive and save in this 24-hour city. As a Dietitian, my main focus is with our health and wellness. As the Informer embarks on another year of UFC fights, big-time galas and networking events, so shall I. Here are my main health and wellness points about living in the Vegas Valley with vitality and vibrancy so others will want to live vicariously through you:

1) Alcohol

2) Sleep

3) Fluids

4) Exercise

5) Sun and Fun

6) Allergies

7) Karma and Tipping

Alcohol: I have found that my alcohol intake has increased while living here. My gaming has also increased. For me, the two came hand in hand. Just because the cocktail waitresses seem to come to the table faster and faster doesn’t mean you need to order a drink every time! Sip and savor the complimentary cocktails. Try alternating your drinks with a bottle of water or seltzer. And don’t forget to tip!

Sleep: Living in a 24-hour city doesn’t mean you need to adopt a party-all-the-time lifestyle. It doesn’t matter how you do it, you need to get your sleep. Put up “blackout” curtains in your bedroom to keep your sleep environment darker for longer. Like a true Las Vegan’ I seem to sleep best after arriving home while the sun is coming up!

Fluids: Drink water! Lots of water! I have had many clients tell me they are sick of water. If you feel the same, I recommend making your own caffeine-free iced-tea. Purchase some loose-leaf tea (I have found that Tevana at Town Square and/or Fashion Show Mall have the best variety), boil water, add the tea to steep, remove leaves, and cool the pitcher in the fridge. Try adding a little pinch of Stevia or sugar to sweeten up your glass.

Exercise: Find your favorite physical activities that are within your time and financial budget. Lifting weights and cardio machines can do the trick; but, you don’t necessarily need a gym membership! Try hiking at Red Rock, climbing Lone Mountain, or just running down the Strip a few days a week. Just get your body moving! The extra physical exertion throughout the week will build your stamina to allow you to dance longer on the weekends.

Sun and Fun: We Las Vegans love a pool, sun, liquor, and bare skin. I have learned that floppy hats and cabanas can be good for your health! Take breaks from the sun to recycle yourself. It’s so easy to dehydrate while in the sun with an alcoholic beverage. Take the downtime to refresh yourself, rehydrate with water, and reapply the SPF. Facials are expensive and skin cancer is no joke. Take care of yourself while you have fun!

Allergies: I thought my allergies were bad while living in the Midwest! Here in Vegas they are 10-times worse! I have adapted through a method I never realized would be as effective as it has been. One trip to an aroma therapist for a Raindrop session has stopped my allergy-induced asthma in its tracks. This has truly changed my life! I still carry antihistamines in my purse at all times in case other issues occur, but no more breathing treatments 1-3 times a day!

Tipping: We live in a city where the main industry is service oriented. Please tip. Over tip! Leaving 15% on a food bill isn’t the standard anymore (20% is the new average). There’s a big difference between pouring a regular coffee and concocting a double-decaffeinated mocha latte, extra hot, with extra whip and sprinkles. Sure, the latter might cost more, but the barista didn’t set the prices. They sure worked a lot harder to make the drink though! If you can’t tip more out of compassion for others, then think of it as you personally helping boost our local economy. Just remember, what goes around comes around (i.e. dont piss Karma off!).

We may only have one life to party hard, but we also only have one body to make the journey. Party in moderation and enjoy it all to the fullest!


VOTE for Crystal Clear Wellness and Nutrition

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FREE Weightloss Program with Nutritionist and Personal Trainer

Fat, broke, and feel nearly dead? Then we want to help YOU!

Why: You are driven to change your life but are broke and lost

When: Applications due by May 25th at 5pm

Where: PFI Training Institute at 6375 South Pecos Road Suite 119 Las Vegas, NV 89120

Cost: $0 and everything you got!

Two Las Vegas fitness professionals are teaming up to help Las Vegas obese adults. Iyan Breese is a Certified Personal Trainer and the owner of IBTraining. Crystal Petrello is an expert in nutrition (dietitian) and healthy yet cheap nutrition. They are looking for 4 people, over the age of 18 and want to lose weight and keep it off for good. Specifically, we want to help 2 men and 2 women who are willing to make a commitment to wellness. The time-commitment will vary on weekly bases, but will be about 5 days a week of training with Iyan and at least once monthly with Crystal. Your progress will be highlighted with The Informer along with Crystal’s blog, .

Email to Crystal Petrello MS, RD at and she will email you the application.

See link below for complete press- release:

My Pinterest account

Crystal Clear Nutrition Pinterest 

Check out nutrition, recipe, and inspiring sites that are my favorite go-to’s ! 

Fat, Broke, and Feel nearly dead?!

PR for Iyan Breese and Crystal Petrello helping broke Las Vegan’s lose weight

The Informer


My interview!

Check out my radio interview with Donna Feldman for Radio Nutrition !

Food and Blood Pressure Also known as, how salt effects Hypertension

The lower your salt (also known as sodium) intake, the better it is for your blood pressure. According to the Institute of Medicine and Cleveland Clinic , a healthy amount of sodium for body function is 1,500-2,000 mg a day. Putting this into perspective, one slice of regular cheese pizzahas about 500 mg of sodium.  With that in mind, we have to make it an active goal to decrease sodium in our diet. As a general guideline, if it came from a living animal (ex: dairy), or it was in a package when you bought it, then it contains sodium. If it is fresh when you buy it, and you have to put it in a bag yourself in, say, the produce aisle, then it probably does not contain sodium. The most common reason we use so much sodium is because it is a cheap preservative and it typically makes things taste better. There are alternatives to salt when trying to add flavor. See R#3 below.

To decrease blood pressure by limiting your sodium intake, just remember the 4 R’s:

1. Restrict- Use less salt or none while cooking. Our taste buds acclimate to the amount of salt we eat. As we slowly remove salt from our diet the more sensitive we get to the taste. Thus, less salt will help our blood pressure and taste stronger.
2. Remove– Salt is not meant to be a center piece at the dinner table. The closer you have it to the food the more likely you are to use it. It is like having cookies on your night stand while trying to lose weight.
3. Replace- Use fresh herbs or salt-free dry herb/spice mixes such as Mrs. Dash. The fresh herbs add flavor and healthy antioxidants. The dry mixes are shelf stable. Both are easy to use. Check out these sites on tips for using:


Mrs. Dash   –   My personal favorite: Southwest Chipotle.

4. Rinse – I love canned vegetables, especially beans. When I was a kid, my parents would always have the frozen green beans, and for some reason, I never liked them. The canned green beans; however, were a true delight to me. I can still easily shovel an entire can in my belly. Unfortunately, canned foods have sodium in them as part of the preserving process. That does not mean they are bad for you. You just need to add a step in the preparation process. It’s a VERY simple step: just rinse the contents in fresh water. Put canned vegetables in a colander and rinse off the sodium liquid. If heating on the stove top, add a little bit of fresh water to the pot. If heating in microwave, no additional water is required.

Learning how to read food labels will also help to decrease sodium. 
For items that generally do not have a label, see the list developed by the Cleveland Clinic of the average sodium content in common foods below. Please note, the vegetarian options of beans, lentils, and fresh produce have negligible amounts of protein.  This is an abbreviated list; please go to the Cleveland Clinic website for a detailed list.
Comparison of Sodium in Foods


Food Serving Size Milligrams/Sodium
Bacon 1 medium slice 155
Chicken 3.5 oz roasted 77-87
Egg, scrambled with milk 1 medium slice 171
Dried beans, peas or lentils 1 cup 4
Fish 3 oz cooked 50-59
Ham (roasted) 3.5 oz 1300-1500
Hamburger (lean) 3.5 oz broiled medium 77
Hot dog (beef) 1 medium 585
Pork loin, roasted 3.5 oz 65
Shrimp 3 oz 190
Tuna, canned in spring water 3 oz chunk 300
Turkey 3.5 roasted 63-79

Dairy Products

Food Serving Size Milligrams/Sodium
American Cheese 1 oz 443
Cheddar cheese 1 oz 175
Cottage cheese, low fat 1 cup 918
Milk, whole, skim or 1% 1 cup 120
Yogurt, plain 1 cup 115

Vegetables and Vegetable Juice

Food Serving Size Milligrams/Sodium
Asparagus 6 spears 10
Avocado 1/2 medium 10
Beans, white, cooked 1 cup 4
Beans, green 1 cup 4
Broccoli, raw 1/2 cup 12
Broccoli, cooked 1/2 cup 20
Carrot, raw 1 medium 25
Celery 1 stalk raw 35
Corn boiled, (sweet, no butter/salt) 1/2 cup 14
Cucumber 1/2 sliced 1
Eggplant, raw 1 cup 2
Eggplant, cooked 1 cup 4
Lettuce 1 leaf 2
Lima beans 1 cup 5
Mushrooms 1/2 cup (raw or cooked) 1-2
Mustard greens 1/2 chopped 12
Onions, chopped 1/2 cup (raw or cooked) 2-3
Peas 1 cup 4
Potato 1 baked 7
Radishes 10 11
Spinach, raw 1/2 cup 22
Squash, acorn 1/2 cup 4
Sweet potato 1 small 12
Tomato 1 small 11

Please note: These are sodium content ranges—the sodium content in certain food items may vary. Please contact your dietitian for specific product information.


Caution: Salt Substitutes

Sodium chloride is the chemical makeup of the salt we eat.  Salt substitutes, on the other hand, are composed of potassium chloride. Although this may sound like a good idea, always ask your doctor before you try to use these. It may interact with any medication you may be taking.

Herb and Seasoning Recipes


Directions: Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and blend well. Spoon into shaker. Store in a cool, dark place.

Spicy blend

2 tbsp dried savory, crumbled

1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper

1 tbsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp ground cumin

2-1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp curry powder

Salt less Surprise

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp basil

1 tsp oregano

1 tsp powdered lemon rind or dehydrated lemon juice

Spicy seasoning

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp pepper

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp coriander seed (crushed)

1 tbsp rosemary

Mixed Herb

2 tbsp dried dill weed or basil leaves, crumbled

1 tsp celery seed

2 tbsp onion powder

1/4 tsp (pinch) dried oregano leaves, crumbled freshly ground pepper

Emerils Essence Sans Sodium

2 1/2 tablespoons paprika

2 tablespoons garlic powder

1 tablespoon black pepper

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon cayenne pepper

1 tablespoon dried leaf oregano

1 tablespoon dried thyme

Make your own: 
Combine some or all of the following:

garlic powder

onion powder

sweet paprika

smoked paprika

chili powder (mild, medium, or hot)

celery salt

black pepper







For more information check out the

Dash Diet  

and the

Guide to Lowering BP  

Blood Pressure Rinsing!

My heart is pounding!!! Both of my Alma Maters, Ohio University (MS) and The Ohio State University (BS) have made it to the Sweet 16! This is a perfect time to talk about blood pressure rising!!

Why is blood pressure (BP) important? This number is the pressure that the blood moving through your body puts on your blood vessels. Hence, the name blood pressure. We say that our “blood pressure is rising” when we are mad, stressed, anxious, or EXCITED (as I am right now). No matter which emotion we are experiencing, the rising blood pressure causes our vessels to be stressed. Just as a wellness professional would tell you to decrease the stress in your life, we also need to decrease the stress on our bodies for overall wellness.

High BP


Blood pressure is the amount of stress on the plumbing (vessels) for our blood. So, one can only imagine what happens when the plumbing bursts or gets clogged. Cardiac Ischemia occurs when the fatty matter in our arteries narrows the passageway to a point where it cannot supply enough oxygen-rich blood to meet your heart’s needs. Thus, clogged arteries cause Angina. To some, it may feel like heart burn or chest pain. Angina can be described as a heaviness/pressure, aching, burning, numbness, squeezing or just plain painful. Angina can be felt in the chest, left shoulder, arms, neck, back, or jaw.  High blood pressure (hypertension) speeds up damage to blood vessel walls and can cause aneurysm (when a blood vessel bursts). Can you see how high cholesterol and hypertension work together against your heart? Fat and cholesterol narrow the plumbing passage way, but the blood still needs to get though. Pressure is put on the arteries (pipes), and eventually they will either burst or insufficient amounts of blood will cause your body to malfunction.

Consistently high blood pressure is one of the risk factors for stroke, heart attack and failure, along with aneurysm. Think these issues are confined to the heart? No! Hypertension is the leading cause of renal failure. Both high systolic pressure and high blood pressure (the numerical difference between systolic and diastolic pressures) are risk factors for complications.

Summary of BP numbers









or 80–89

Stage 1



or 90–99

Stage 2 Hypertension


or 100–119

Hypertensive Crisis

≥ 180

or ≥ 120


For an overall  summary and what to look forward to, check out this Video.

Tomorrow we will talk about  how food affects blood pressure.

Also known as, how salt effects hypertension.

Nutrition Blog Network


Clever Girls Collective

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