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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Gluten-Free Halloween Candy Guide 2014

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Happy Tuesday to all of you! I don’t know what the weather feels like in your neck of the woods, but here in Alabama we are finally feeling the seasons change. With the arrival of this cold weather, I know that Halloween is just around the corner.

Halloween is always a fun time for neighborhood gatherings and hayrides, trick or treating, or perhaps an office Halloween party. However, Halloween can also be a high stress time for parents and children who battle multiple food allergies. Celiac disease and various levels of gluten-intolerance have now put gluten-containing foods and candies on the “watch out” list.

Thankfully, organizations like the Celiac Disease Foundation have worked hard to research candy companies and make extensive lists for folks to use when preparing for this ghoulish holiday. Below I have listed links for resources from the Celiac Disease Foundation as well as About Health. Please note that these resources are only a guide. Formulas and ingredients by the company can be changed at any time.

Wishing you all a safe and delicious Halloween season!

 


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.

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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 🙂

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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 🙂

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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!


{Nutracore Nutrition} Skinny Whey : A Quick Review

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HEAVENS TO BETSY! It has been once again been forever since my last post. It’s now time to grab the bull by the horns and post something so you don’t forget about me 🙂

There’s a business called Total Nutrition which is similar to a GNC in many ways. I’ve felt bombarded with the amount of sponsored ads for the store, including one for a Skinny Whey as seen below:

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What’s funny is that my main issue with it is that the flavor is called “Delicious Chocolate.” Being the curious girl that I am, I decided to try it out, especially since so many of my clients in Tuscaloosa have talked about Total Nutrition opening and that they’ve been wanting to try this protein powder since it’s only 100 calories per scoop.

Boasting 100 calories, 22 grams of protein, and only 1 gram of carbohydrate, according to Nutracore, it “supports a healthy low carb lifestyle.” In all honesty, I don’t have that big of an issue with most of the ingredients. I wish it had more carbohydrate, but then again you could always go with a different brand like EAS Lean 15 Chocolate flavor (which is delicious with almond milk, BTW).

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After purchasing it and tasting it, here is my verdict:

It tastes sour. At first I thought it was because I used almond milk, but I really think it’s the powder itself. When I first opened the product, I noticed that the protective Styrofoam was not properly sealed. It offers 22 grams of protein which I will recognize can help with feelings of fullness…however, for a person of my size and activity level, I only need about 45 grams of protein/day. I think that if this product was used with a liquid that contained carbohydrate or if you had additional carbohydrate with the product such as a banana, then this could be a viable choice. I totally get that this product is specifically geared for a low carbohydrate lifestyle, but if you’re not giving your body enough carbohydrate to actually have the energy to use all these massive amounts of protein you’re putting in yourself, then what’s the point? Some evidence suggests an extremely low carbohydrate diet can be maintained long-term for some, but if you are any bit of an active person, please don’t go extreme low carb.

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Would I purchase this again? I don’t think so. I’m still curious to see if the vanilla flavor is any better or if the container I got was a fluke, but this “delicious chocolate” flavor did not taste chocolate at all. I don’t mind it as a protein source to add to shakes, but I do believe that adequate carbohydrate should be supplemented throughout the day.

 

What do you think? Have you tried this product before? Let me know your thoughts and please share what protein powders you have (and haven’t) enjoyed in the past!


My {Not So} Green Smoothie

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Happy Thursday, friends! I don’t know about you, but I’m a little bit on the sore side. Last night me and a girlfriend tried Pure Barre for the first time. I hear my patients talk about it all the time and many of my friends and colleagues swear by it, including Chelsea from It’s a Wonderful Lifestyle. Other than it hurting to laugh, sit, lift, walk, and talk, I survived. I decided to sign up for their Breaking Down the Barre class later this week to get a better understanding about form and technique. With a monthly unlimited membership feeling like a car payment, I have yet to make a decision on continuing this fitness option. If you also swear by it, please let me know 🙂

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Skinny Girl Cosmo I had right after class…Please note I do not recommend this as a post-workout recovery beverage.

Ironically, my Nutribullet Pro had arrived by the time I got home from Pure Barre last night. I would not consider myself to be a smoothie aficionado but after watching a little too many infomercials lately, I thought I’d “bite the bullet” (pun intended) and get one. Since I’m not hardcore in the smoothie arena, I thought I’d wait before considering a Vitamix or Blendec blender. Speaking Blendec, have you ever seen their videos, Will It Blend? If something can blend an Iphone, well then surely it can blend anything else in my house including produce. 
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I was planning on making a smoothie for both me and my husband this morning but since he’s fairly adamant about his fiber cereal routine in the morning, I had the big cup all to myself. My mix had about 1 1/2-2 cups of spinach, one frozen banana, a half cup of frozen blueberries, two tablespoons ground flaxseed,two tablespoons chia seeds, and water.

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So….not exactly the beautiful green smoothies you’d find other people making. However, it did taste pretty good!

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As the day has progressed it has started to turn more green. Again, not a gorgeous pretty lime green, but I’ll attribute the army green color to the blueberries and black chia seeds involved. And honestly, I think I needed to blend it a little bit longer now that I think about it in hindsight. I will try again and keep you lovely folks posted!!

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I really am hoping to make a habit of using my Nutribullet often.  I don’t consider this to be a replacement for my fruit and veggie intake throughout the day; so many of the recipes I share with you all feature veggies as the superstar 🙂 For now, I’ll be looking to my friend Cindy at Newlywed Nutrition for all of her fabulous smoothie recipes— this girl is an expert in the smoothie arena!  If you’re feeling like joining the green smoothie bandwagon, July 1st is your chance!

Alas, now, it’s time for my lunch and as much as I’d love another smoothie, I’m pretty pumped about my Greek chicken salad from Zoe’s Kitchen. Yum! Bottoms up and Bon Appetit!

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Nutrition and Oral Health

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Last week I went in for a long overdue teeth cleaning. As a dietitian, I’m always thinking about how important good dentition affects our food intake. However, I think it’s important to remember how good nutrition affects our dentition. This can be especially important when teaching your kids good eating and dental hygiene habits. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has a great info graphic on nutrition and oral health…check it out!

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Catch up Monday

news-and-events__home-alone-632Forgive me readers for I have sinned, it has been almost 2 months since my last post. Needless to say, I have quite a bit to catch up on here with the blog. Over the next week I’m hoping to catch up on several things including my cruise, trip to a beautiful B&B in Tennessee, and other shenanigans.

For now, I figured I would catch up on more recent things such as Father’s Day. I hope all of you enjoyed some quality time with the father figures in your life this past weekend. This year, my mother’s birthday actually fell on Father’s Day. My husband and I ended up meeting my parents and brother at a restaurant in Birmingham…Seasons 52. I really like this restaurant and had it for the first time for my brother’s college graduation dinner. As a dietitian, I appreciate their concept of every menu item being 475 calories or less. We ended up sharing a few appetizers including a Grilled Garlic Pesto Chicken Flatbread and a Ahi Tuna Tartare with a wasabi-avocado mousse, tropical salsa, and Hawaiian sea salt crisps.

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photo 2 (2)I enjoyed the barbecue salad so much the last time I was here that I decided to get it again. Their menus are seasonal and our server let us know that they would soon be able to transition to their summer menu.

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It wouldn’t be a complete family get together without some (SEVERAL) pictures. And honestly, I don’t mind it because sometimes I forget how quickly life progresses, and it’s nice to have pictures to remember memories.

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Other than the blessing and pleasure of getting to see my wonderful family (we even got to see my in-laws while we were in Bham), my parents were wonderful enough to bring me a hard copy of the Women’s Health Philippines magazine I was mentioned in as well as one of my dad’s older DSLR cameras for me to play around with. Needless to say, my sweet doggie Lou is going to be my model for the next couple of weeks.

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photo (19)And last but not least…here’s a picture of my Lou. I haven’t taken the time yet to understand how to work this SLR but we can consider this my “before” picture with no skill whatsoever.

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Until next time! Hopefully sooner rather than later 🙂


Ingredient Substitutions

Happy Monday, folks! I don’t know how it is in your neck of the woods today, but in my area of west Alabama, it is an extremely rainy Monday. One thing that I hate about rain is that it doesn’t exactly get me in the mood to run to the grocery store to get the ingredients I may need for a particular recipe. Clients always ask me about recipe substitutions not only for a healthier alternative but sometimes because they just don’t have certain staple ingredients in the pantry. Have no fear, friends! The good folks at MyRecipes.com is here to save the day. You may remember me mentioning the site’s nutrition search last summer which is another very helpful tool.

recipe substitutionsAs you can see, this site has quite the variety of ingredient substitution possibilities for those days you just don’t have time to run to the store. Check out this resource for yourself and let me know what you think. What are the most common things that you substitute when cooking your favorite recipes? Let’s chat!

 


A {Quick} Trip to Earth Fare

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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).

 

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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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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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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.

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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 🙂


Tips for Using Spices and Herbs for Low Sodium Cooking

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Hello lovelies!

In honor of the last day of National Nutrition Month, I thought we’d send off this year’s theme of “Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right” with some tips for using spices and herbs. Early in my career, I worked in a hospital setting and frequently provided diet counseling for those with congestive heart failure (CHF). With CHF and other heart-related conditions such as hypertension, reducing sodium intake is a must. Thankfully, we’ve been blessed with taste buds that can adapt to a tapering of salt/sodium. Check out my tips below!

 

  • Conversion: 1 tbsp fresh herb =  ½ tsp dry = ¼ tsp powdered.
  • Use sparingly – ¼ teaspoon per pound of meat or pint of sauce. You can always add more.
  • When doubling a recipe, add only 50 percent more seasoning.
  • “Freshen” herbs by crushing or rubbing between your fingers before adding to recipe.
  • In dishes requiring long cooking times such as stews, add herbs toward the end of cooking.
  • In chilled foods such as dips, salads and dressings, add herbs several hours ahead.
  • For maximum freshness, purchase in small quantities, keep in airtight containers.

Seasoning suggestions for Meat 

Beef                 Bay leaf, dry mustard, marjoram, nutmeg, onion, pepper, sage, thyme

Chicken           Dill, mushrooms, paprika, parsley, sage, thyme

Fish                 Bay leaf, curry, dry mustard, lemon juice, paprika

Lamb               Mint, mint jelly, garlic, rosemary

Pork                Garlic, onion, sage

 

Vegetables

Asparagus       Lemon juice, toasted sesame seeds

Broccoli           Lemon juice, oregano

Cabbage          Dill, caraway seeds, savory

Carrots            Mint, nutmeg, parsley

Cauliflower     Nutmeg, tarragon

Corn                Chives, green pepper, tomatoes

Green Beans   Dill, lemon juice, marjoram, nutmeg, unsalted French dressing

Potatoes          Chopped green pepper, mace, onion, parsley

Squash             Ginger, mace, nutmeg

Tomatoes         Basil, green pepper, onion, oregano, sage

 

Ethnic dishes

Indian              Cardamom, cayenne, coriander, cumin, curry, garlic, ginger,mustard seeds, turmeric

Italian              Basil, bay leaf, cayenne, garlic, onions, oregano, thyme

Mexican           Cayenne, chili powder, chorizo, coriander, cumin, fresh chilies – green and red, garlic, oregano

Oriental           Cayenne, cumin, garlic, ginger, green pepper, sesame, sherry

 

Soups

Creamed         Bay leaf, dill, marjoram, paprika, peppercorns, tarragon

Vegetable        Basil, bay leaf, curry, dill, garlic, onion, oregano, thyme, wine

 NOTE: Tomatoes and mushrooms used for seasonings should be fresh or unsalted canned. Also always make sure to use something listed as a powder versus a salt such as garlic powder instead of garlic salt.

What are your favorite herb/food combinations? Let’s chat!