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Your Nutritionist, Mischa

Mischa selfie for blog

Hi everyone!  I am Mischa Travis, the Nutritionist at Dr. Liu’s office. I absolutely love working here and doing what I do. I will be posting blogs on Dr. Liu’s website on a weekly basis.  There are many things on my mind that I wanted to share with you, about nutrition, weight-loss, and healthy living.  I look forward to hearing your feedback as well.

A little history on myself. I have a long background in nutrition, starting when I was 16 years old.  I was a Sophomore in high school at the time and I was about 20 pounds overweight.  I loved school and I had a lot of friends, but I always felt uncomfortable with my weight.  I was probably the heaviest of my friends, and at that age I had no self-esteem.  I finally talked to my mom about my insecurities and she suggested that I go to Jenny Craig for help with losing weight, and she promised to do the program with me.   So we did! A week later I started Jenny Craig.  I followed the program almost perfectly and lost 20 pounds in 16 weeks.  Those 16 weeks were a turning point in my life.  I took it very seriously.  I started measuring my foods, reading labels, counting calories,  and I learned how to cook.  I noticed how much I really enjoyed cooking and being in charge of what I put in my mouth, and I was seeing results which made it even better!  Pretty soon I started watching cooking shows on Food Network TV such as Rachel Ray, and then cooking shows became the pretty much the ONLY thing that I watched on TV.  I started planning wonderful, healthy dinners for my mom and I to cook together.   This is where my love of cooking and nutrition was born, and it never went away.  Cooking and eating healthy became the new normal for my family and I.  I never gained back the weight that I lost, even after having my first child.  This is due to the fact that I consider healthy eating a lifelong commitment!  I never went back to the old bad eating habits that I had when I was a kid.

I’ve always loved Mexican food, so my first recipe that I remember making all the time when I was losing weight  was a really healthy, simple tostada for about 375 calories.  I found this recipe to be very satisfying and extremely easy to make.  Here’s the recipe:

1 medium sized flour tortilla (about 120 calories)

3 tablespoons refried beans (about 45 calories)

4oz 97% lean ground turkey (Can use chicken or very lean beef at about 130 calories/serving)

Seasonings such as salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, cumin, garlic, cayenne (to taste)

2 TB low fat mexican shredded cheese (40 calories)

Lettuce, tomato, cilantro, onion, radish, salsa (As much as you want, which averages around 50 calories)

Optional: 1 TB light sour cream (add 20 calories), ¼ avocado (add 60 calories)

Lightly spray tortilla on both sides with cooking spray and bake for about 5 minutes in a 400 degree oven until lightly browned and crispy, flipping once half-way through (watch it closely).

baked tortilla 2The tortilla should look like this when it’s done.


Meanwhile, cook your ground turkey (or other protein) with the seasonings in non-stick skillet under medium-high heat until browned. Add a couple TB water while cooking if it seems dry.   Leave a little room on the pan to heat up your refried beans, or heat separately in the microwave.  Spread the refried beans on the crispy baked tortilla, then top with the ground turkey.  Layer on vegetables and sprinkle with cheese.  Top with salsa,  sour cream and/or avocado (if using).  This recipe serves 1.

chicken toastada


That’s it!  Very simple and tasty!  I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I have throughout the years!