Alabama Dietitians Leading Out Loud

 

 

Happy June friends! I don’t know what it’s like in your neck of the woods but it’s definitely hot down south in Alabama. I’ve been on hiatus with the blog recently updating graphics and layout. It’s been a busy summer with cooking demos, conferences, and other trips, but I thought I’d launch the new look sharing a wonderful montage video of the awesome RDNs in the state of Alabama! Back in March, our state association had the pleasure of enjoying Joan Horbiak, dietitian and media specialist. She made a great video showcasing a handful of our wonderful dietitians, and I am honored to be a part of the video! This month I was lucky enough to collaborate with Joan again for a culinary media training in New Orleans (upcoming post soon!!!).

Check it out!

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A Filipino Foodie goes to A Filipino Party!

Hello friends! I hope you’ve all had a wonderful weekend doing something fun and delicious. This past weekend I had the pleasure of coming back to my hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama to celebrate my aunt’s 70th birthday. Many friends and family including my mom and dad worked hard to create a special surprise event for a landmark occasion. Though I only live two hours away from my family, I’ve found that I don’t get to visit as often as I’d like so having an opportunity to see so many friends and family PLUS chow down on some Filipino favorites was incredibly exciting. The color theme for this party was white and khaki:women in all white, men in khaki and white…we had a black and white party a year ago for my other aunt during her 50th birthday (our family LOVES birthdays!). My mom had been working diligently to create the perfect centerpieces and overall decor for the party. Below is one of her creations using coffee filters, painted branches, and a revamped vase. What do you think?

vase

My aunt was definitely surprised upon entering the house full of old friends and family!

photo by Jesar Quizon photography

photo by Jesar Quizon PhotographyWe thought an “07” would look much cuter on the cake than “70” 🙂

On top of the excitement of my husband and I getting to see so many of our Filipino friends and relatives, we got to enjoy some of my favorite childhood dishes. Between an hors d’oeuvres table, a dessert table, and a buffet of various Filipino delicacies, we had quite the spread. My photographer cousin Jesar Quizon took some gorgeous pictures of our food selection…check it out!

Photo by Jesar Quizon PhotographyAh fruit!

10538064_10152678281337927_8790287291428846717_oA creamy Alfredo pasta with sun-dried tomatoes and roasted chicken

10838259_10152678279522927_3551597531357317356_oMy cousin Happy made these puto flan cakes…OH MY LANTA…delicious.

10854465_10152678278422927_5509912970962003008_oMy talented Aunt Gayle who also made my delicious wedding cake created these delectable caramel maracons.

10927862_10152678279367927_4851310331995055826_o

10955015_10152678280942927_2214983393392635779_oGorgeous butter lettuce leaves for lettuce wraps with the ground chicken and mushrooms seen below.

11046413_10152678280282927_9189659358924992141_o

11008813_10152678280757927_8524095545649533705_oIt’s not a party without fried rice!

11016793_10152678279087927_1957488489216933595_oMy Aunt Gayle’s famous carrot cake

11021330_10152678281742927_8597322713573752558_o

11033069_10152678277932927_4336291857299983686_oMy cousin Ashley made some incredibly tasty white chocolate bars (worth every calorie!)

11034321_10152678279752927_8626966579090001676_o

11038109_10152678280042927_4715430861833728115_oOne of my favorite Filipino dishes…ASADO!!

11038696_10152678280327927_4586791690413506870_oBaby cucumbers in a rice wine vinegar and sesame seed mix.

11041925_10152678278922927_6127576121760501219_oUbe cake!

11043135_10152678281847927_7913378980796966555_o

11043412_10152678282397927_9103019565826316596_o

11043433_10152678277817927_818920416459381166_o

11044584_10152678278792927_5991039727298948241_o

10955015_10152678280457927_784410524930748753_oAnd last but not least…pancit: the pinnacle and definition of all Filipino get together foods.

 As you can see, we’re all about food in my family. It’s actually inspired me to make some pancit and asado here in Tuscaloosa soon (future post ALERT!).  However, no Filipino party is complete without some singing and line dancing!

11016130_10152678299047927_2539784957184882014_oMy dad rocking out!

11063809_10203278859885969_72576554953388386_oA little cha-cha slide

Until next time!

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Me and my hubby with my mom, dad, and little brother


Recent Happenings including a few restaurant reviews and community events!

Happy Thursday, folks! I’m gearing up for FNCE (Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo) with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that will be going on this coming Saturday – Tuesday. So much to do before I leave! However, I was happy to see that some of the local publications I contribute to came out this week! My friend Cindy from NewlyWed Nutrition recently recruited me to help her with restaurant review for The Planet Weekly. Below is my first review of a local pizza place in Tuscaloosa.

broadway review

I also had my articles from Druid City Living pop up this week. Instead of focusing mainly on food, I was asked to help with some awesome community events happening this month and next…including a delicious Bacon and Brewfest and a fun Monster Makeover! Check out this month’s digital issue of Druid City Living to read the publication in its entirety.

 

baconandbrewfestDCL

monstermakeover DCL

 

What are you up to this weekend? Let’s swap some ideas!


Weekend Wrap-up: What did the dietitian eat this weekend?

Happy Monday, friends! I hope you had a wonderful weekend full of fun, food, and football. Though I didn’t document what I had for every meal this weekend, I thought I’d at least share a snapshot of a few meals and snacks from Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

friday night dinner -

Friday night dinner consisted of oven-roasted brussel sprouts and asparagus (asparagus was cooked a little too long…oops! #ithappens), baked sweet potato, and lentils made with chicken broth and bay leaf (YUM!). I really wanted to find some end of season okra at the grocery store, but I should have known better. The brussel sprouts were a nice compromise and mighty delicious 🙂

saturday night dinner

Saturday night dinner (although not pictured very pretty) consisted of homemade burgers with smoked Gouda and caramelized onions with a horseradish sauce. The monstrosity beside it is an extremely large blue cheese baked potato all compliments of the husband. I ended up only eating about an 1/8 of it due to the size. Since I was already planning on eating the bun from the burger, I decided not to eat as much of the potato since I typically like having only 3-4 carbohydrate exchanges/servings at dinner. In hindsight, my hubs and I should have split the potatoes but they were on sale 2/$1 so my hubs took advantage of the deal 🙂

sunday lunch

Sunday lunch was eaten at a function at church that afternoon. The food you see above is from Taco Mama here in Tuscaloosa. It is absolutely delicious 🙂 I ended up with a handful of chips, lettuce, chicken, black beans, cheese, tomatoes, and jalapenos. I should have taken a picture of my actual plate, but I was a little too hungry to remember 🙂

sunday snack

Sunday snack happened around 5:15 p.m. while catching up on some work in my office. It was a little too early for dinner, and I needed something to hold me over until later that evening. I am absolutely in love with the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough flavored Quest Bars. However, I wish they were less expensive. Depending on where you purchase them, price can range anywhere from $2-3 per bar. Yikes!

Well there you have it friends- a little hodgepodge of eating over the weekend. What did you have to eat this weekend? Let’s share together!


Summer is over and I’m turning 30 soon

 

So once again I’ve had a little hiatus from the blog. Despite it being the summer time, it’s been busy for me in a few different ways. I am hoping to play catch up soon with some new recipes I’ve tried over the summer. This may not come to a shocker to my regular readers, but I have been obsessed with squash and okra this summer. I told someone earlier this week that I could live off of okra and ice cream (odd combination I know).  And speaking of food and recipes, at the beginning of last week, my husband and I decided to forgo bread/pastas as part of our 21 days of prayer at church. I have realized how much bread is part of my every day munching. However, I will be very candid and say that the one comical thing that I’ve noticed during this time period is that I’ve been gravitating to every single source of carbohydrate possible to “make up” for the fact that I haven’t been eating bread. Way to go, Ms. Dietitian, huh?  I think I’ve finally gotten comfortable with the whole no bread thing,  so maybe I’ll be okay after all 😉

30

On a side note,  I turn 30 in about two and a half months. I have mixed feelings about it, but I’ve planned a trip to say adios to my 20s and bienvenidos to my 30s that my hubs and I will be doing later this fall. [EXPECT A FULL REVIEW OF THE VACATION SITE!!! 🙂 🙂 ] Since I’d like to make the start of my 30’s as good as possible, I am publicly declaring I’m on a mission to try to get in a little more exercise this fall. This summer I’ve been on multiple medications for some health issues which have had some weight gain as a side effect. When you’re 5’1 like me, little fluctuations can be noticed 🙂 With all that said, I’m sure I’ll be chronicling some of my efforts with this in conjunction with my regular recipe shares, nutrition tips, and the like. Stay tuned readers…we’ve got a lot coming up this fall!

 



Calling All Cruise Veterans

enchantment

Hi friends! I apologize for my lack of posts in the past week or so. It’s been a little hectic around the office, and I’ve been gearing up for my little brother’s college graduation this Saturday as well as a cruise with 3 girlfriends next week (also lovingly known as LADYPALOOZA 2014), AND my 2 year anniversary with my husband. As a first time cruiser and someone who does get significantly affected by motion sickness, I’m open to any suggestions from my followers. I’ve read the tips for First Time Cruisers on Cruise Critic but I’d love to know if you have any recommendations from personal experiences. We’ll be on Royal Caribbean’s Enchantment of the Seas leaving from Port Canaveral for a 3 night trip to the Bahamas so I’ll be excited to share pictures with everyone when I return. So with that said, fire away with any recommendations you may have whether it’s food selections, wardrobe, or anything in between!

 


A {Quick} Trip to Earth Fare

earthfare

Happy Tuesday, friends! I hope you all had a lovely weekend. In some ways I feel like I had an extended weekend due to being out from work on Monday for a few appointments with my husband in Birmingham. On the way home, we decided to stop by Earth Fare since our little town of Tuscaloosa doesn’t have one. We decided to go after a late lunch just so we wouldn’t compulsively shop based on our hunger level (very smart for us).

 

photo

What I really appreciate about this grocery store is the commitment to properly label “local” items. I’ve been on a “local” kick lately after working on a piece for a publication about restaurants in Tuscaloosa that use local vendors. I’m also a big fan of a grocery store that focuses on “wholesome” eating whether it’s avoiding artificial colors/flavorings or avoiding synthetic growth hormones.

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photo 1

 

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One of the things that I wish we had gotten but didn’t due to extreme fullness was the pasta. It all looked so delicious!!

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photo 2

 

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We did come away with a few goodies including beer and dessert. If it’s any redeeming factor, we opted to get one single beer to try and I just got individual macarons instead of a whole lovely dozen 🙂 The beer ended up being a little too strong in the coffee department but still tasty nonetheless.

beer

These are salted caramel, pistachio, and chocolate macarons. The long day of appointments warranted something sweet. Definitely #winning macaron

 

Do you love Earth Fare? If so, what are your favorite products? How about favorite grocery store? As far as every day groceries, we really love Publix, but that may be because it’s right by my house. However, if we had an Earth Fare down the street, I’d shop there every day. Let’s talk and let me know what you think 🙂


Movie Theater Popcorn and Pizza Hut Personal Pan Pizzas

A happy Friday to all of you! I hope everyone has some great things planned for the weekend. Last night I had the opportunity to watch Divergent with my book club. If you’re a fan of young adult fiction, I do believe you’d really like this series. I could go on endlessly about how I feel about the third book and the way the series ended, but I’ll refrain. As not to spoil anything about differences between the movie and the book, I’ll refrain from any details other than saying that I really enjoyed the movie last night 🙂

divergent_poster_hq

Due to a busy schedule before getting to meet my friends, I was a little panicked about what to eat. I knew I wanted movie theater popcorn but wasn’t sure how much I wanted it as my full-fledged dinner, especially since we weren’t watching the movie until 8 p.m. I had to give a presentation to a student group at 6:30 p.m. and had run out of packed snacks in my purse. The building that I was speaking in had a small food court, including a Pizza Hut Express. Now mind you, when you reach Defcon 1 overt hunger, you pretty much pick foods based on what smells good versus thinking things through and making a healthful choice. Enter the supreme personal pan pizza. I would have taken a picture right when I picked it up, but I was so hungry I forgot. After I ate one of the four individual slices, I decided to stop. I knew that popcorn and a personal pan pizza would not make the most pleasant situation in my stomach. I didn’t want to waste the pizza either, so after flattening the whole thing with a napkin to get the grease out, I stuck the pizza box in a brown paper bag and into my purse, making my way to my lecture. One of the students said I smelled like really good pizza. GREAT!

This the pizza AFTER it had been to the movie theater with me stuffed in my purse and AFTER I gave the dog part of one of the slices. Doesn't really look so appetizing 5 hours after I bought it....

This the pizza AFTER it had been to the movie theater with me stuffed in my purse and AFTER I gave the dog part of one of the slices. Doesn’t really look so appetizing 5 hours after I bought it…. (Excuse the photo quality or lack thereof!)

pizza hut

Moving on to the movie theater popcorn. Have you ever wondered what makes movie theater popcorn so delicious? It might be the fact that they cook it in coconut oil. After doing some research on the internet, I found that a lot of movie chains are going cheap on this end and going back to canola oil. I decided to call the corporate office of the theater chain I was attending to see what they use. The lady on the phone told me that they did indeed use coconut oil. There’s been a lot of concern about movie theater popcorn but honestly, if you haven’t had it in forever, then go ahead and enjoy it. I’ve been in a bad habit the past few years of woofing down a small popcorn, adding the pseudo butter topping, and then sprinkling some regular and peanut butter M&M’s in the bag (oh good golly it’s delicious). I decided to be a little more healthful in my decision and went with a medium diet coke and a small popcorn sans candy. Now granted I still had the pizza stuffed in my purse (yes gross, I know). When I got home from the theater, I realized I was so engrossed in the movie (and perhaps a particular movie character…) that I only ate about 1/4 of this bag. The only thing that’s a bummer is that “unfresh” movie theater popcorn kinda tastes gross.
photo 1
To put a little more perspective on how many calories, fat, and saturated fat (often from coconut oil used to pop corn which gives a better mouthfeel) in your golden buckets of pleasure, check out the graph from City Girl Bites
***Popcorn Size ↓ Calories Total Fat Saturated Fat
Kid’s with butter 470 37 22
Kid’s without butter (5 cups) 300 20 14
Large with butter 1640 126 73
Large without butter (20 cups) 1160 77 55
Medium with butter 910 71 41
Medium with butter 1220 97 56
Medium without butter (11 cups) 650 43 31
Medium without butter (16 cups) 900 60 43
Small with butter 630 50 29
Small without butter (7 cups) 400 27 19

Are you a movie theater popcorn lover or a personal pan pizza lover? What about a Divergent reader? Let’s sound off here boys and girls! 🙂


Potatoes and a little Happy St. Patty’s Day!

a little saltyHello friends! I hope you all had a lovely St. Patty’s Day! Last night I had the pleasure of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with my church small group. Our small group centers around food (of course) while we enjoy our book this semester, A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet by Alabama resident, Sophie Hudson. Since our gathering fell on St. Patty’s Day, we thought we’d go with a potato bar theme….no toppings left behind, especially pulled pork barbecue (we’re in the South for goodness sakes). Here’s a little schooling on our Irish Potato connection.

Our group is all about some appetizers, main course, and dessert :D

Our group is all about some appetizers, main course, and dessert 😀

Now I will say that potatoes do tend to get a bad rap when it comes to weight loss, weight management, etc. The truth is, potatoes are a wonderful bundle of nutrition but are often the medium of added fat and salt from how they are prepared.

January-01-08-New-Potato-Label1

If you keep the skin on your delicious potato, you’ll be consuming a good 2 grams of fiber. The skin is also packed with B vitamins, vitamin C, iron, calcium, and potassium. Eating an entire potato with skin gives you about 620 milligrams of potassium depending on the size.  Usually we like to add copious amounts of butter, salt, sour cream and cheese to our potatoes or just toss them in a deep fryer.  If you’re looking for potatoes on the lighter side, I invite you to try one of my favorite potato recipes from Cooking Light Magazine. Check it out and let me know what you think. I’ve included a delicious photo from MyRecipes.com.

Roasted Potato Salad with Creamy Dijon Vinaigrette

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Stylist: Cindy Barr

Photo: Iain Bagwell; Stylist: Cindy Barr

Ingredients
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cut into wedges
3 Tb extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 Tb sliced garlic
1 tsp minced fresh thyme
3/4 tsp kosher salt, divided
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 1/2 Tb white wine vinegar
2 Tb minced shallots
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon

Preparation

1. Place a large heavy baking sheet in oven. Preheat the oven to 400° (keep the baking sheet in oven as it preheats).

2. Combine potatoes, 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, garlic, and thyme in a medium bowl; toss to coat. Arrange the potato mixture on preheated baking sheet, and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until browned and tender, turning after 20 minutes.

3. Combine remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, vinegar, shallots, Dijon mustard, and tarragon in a small bowl, stirring well with a whisk. Drizzle dressing over potatoes.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 145
  • Fat: 5.1g
  • Saturated fat: 0.7g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 3.7g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.5g
  • Protein: 2.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 21.6g
  • Fiber: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
  • Iron: 1.1mg
  • Sodium: 218mg
  • Calcium: 7mg