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Showing posts from February, 2011

Common Challenges: Dreaded Dinner Decisions

Making good decisions for meals starts with what I have on hand in my pantry and kitchen.Basically, if I don’t have the food or the organization, I struggle with ideas and get stressed with the little time I have to make dinner for my family.Between the end of the work day and daycare pickup, all of a sudden I’m ordering out again which is an added expense and an added frustration.
In my house both me and my husband work with commutes, and struggle daily with the tag team event of who’s picking up the kids and getting dinner started.It is imperative that I have food in the house and have an organized menu put together to prevent going into crisis mode and calling for delivery or running to get something quick before bath and bedtime is upon us.For those of you who have homework and team sports, I can imagine dinner time is an even more stressful event.
I’ve found the following tactics work for me and my family.If we sway too far from the plan we end up off track, so it’s important th…

Common Challenges: Eating on the Go

I am a very organized individual. I plan ahead and get things done, however since I am on the road for long periods of time, I have to admit there are days where I forgot to pack my lunch, didn’t have time to pack my lunch, or realized my lunch was spoiled because I forgot to put the ice pack in it.
Most of my clients will tell you I am a realistic dietitian. So if any of you are like me and need to eat on the go, I think it’s pretty realistic that you may need to drive through a fast food restaurant at times.Of course subway would be a better option, well depending on what you get, but until they get a drive through I don’t have the time for it. I’ve got places to be and people that depend on me.
A lot of the fast food restaurants have started to display nutritional information right in house, but if you can't find the information you are looking for in the restaurant, the web is also a great resource.Here are some options I pick when I am in crisis mode and need to eat. Remembe…

Food Trends: EGGnificant!

This weekend I was so excited to get some farm fresh eggs.I always mean to purchase them at the farmer’s market but they are always sold out before I get there.I was lucky enough to receive eggs from both my cousin who has chickens in New York and my neighbor who’s mom has chickens right here in Maryland.I received both brown and white and let me tell you I could definitely tell the difference between fresh and commercial.The yolks were bright yellow, almost a deep orange, and the consistency of the egg was much fluffier as compared to the commercial eggs I usually get from my grocery store.
Eggs have gotten a bad rap in the past but I have to tell you I am a big fan of them.An egg is about 70-80 calories a pop and about one half to one third of a protein serving.Speaking of protein, egg is one of the highest biological available proteins out there, meaning it is hard to find another source, besides milk, that your body will absorb and utilize the most efficiently.
When I did some fu…

Food Trends: Can’t Stop Poppin'!

I am a registered dietitian, but I have a major secret.My favorite foods in the whole world are fried chicken and potato chips.Yes it’s true. If I have either in my house, I’m likely to hear them both talking to me.
I don’t have a hard time controlling my portions with the fried chicken as it tends to fill me up quite quickly, but the potato chips, oh boy that is a different story.I am always excited to find new potato chips that taste good and aren’t so horrific from a nutrition composition.
Boy was I glad to find all natural pop chips!Their slogan states never fried never baked and I am here to tell you; they are very tasty, crispy, and do not have that fatty oil after taste that just makes me feel guilty all over. Twenty three chips, or one ounce, of pop chips original only provide 120 calories and 4 grams of fat.Compare this to other potato chips and it’s amazing.

Brand Name Serving Size Calories Fat Lays Original 1 oz/15 chips 150 10 Utz Original 1 oz/20 chips 150 10 Ruffles 1 oz/1…

Food Trends: To Be Organic Or Not To Be, That Is The Question

I recently purchased Netflix and have been watching all the food documentaries.If you’ve watched any of them and are like me, you may have felt quite nauseas by the end of most of the movies.Shortly after watching all movies I have been known to say “that’s it we’re eating all organic.” Honestly, I do not purchase all organic right now.It becomes quite expensive and also research can still not prove that organic is healthier from a nutrient composition. So, I pick my battles. Being a registered dietitian has its upsides when reading food labels, but when I speak to clients, friends, or even my husband, the labels can be quite confusing.
The term organic references the way farmers grow and process dairy, meat, fruit, vegetable, and grain products.Instead of farming the conventional way, utilizing pesticides, and such or regulating where livestock lives and matures, organic farmers utilize crop rotations, mulch, manure, compost and such to prevent disease.Animals are given organic feed…

Family Nutrition: What's the Story with Food Allergies

The CDC reports that pediatric food allergies increased by eighteen percent from 1997 to 2007.Although the cause of increase is unknown, it is hypothesized that this increase could be second to the ‘Hygiene Hypothesis’ which is a hypothesis that suspects our children have an underdeveloped immune system cause by being raised in more sterile conditions.The hygiene hypothesis is thought to increase allergies to mold, dust, and food.
There are two types of food allergies, fixed and cyclic.Fixed food allergies are those that stimulate an immediate response upon eating.The symptom is very apparent with lip swelling, throat swelling, difficulty breathing, or immediate hives.The cyclic allergy is more common but less understood and this allergy can have a delayed reaction of up to three days.The child has a hypersensitivity to a particular food, the body creates antibodies against the food, and as soon as the threshold of intake is hit, your child exhibits allergy symptoms.
Symptoms of food…

Miraculous Misconceptions: A Reflection on “Heavy” on A&E

I watched Heavy for the first time this Monday and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. Heavy chronicles two individuals every week airing their life struggles, depression, anxiety, and how they got to their current weight.Each individual is given a complete medical exam where the physician talks about their health and discusses the dangers that are associated with their obesity.After first meeting with a physician, each individual is assigned to a personal trainer and shares a dietitian. The goal is to lose a significant amount of weight in six months.The first month is in a controlled environment and the last five months is in a “less controlled” environment.
Being a dietitian, I was very happy that they spoke and aired a dietitian on the show but I have some concerns with the way the dietitian’s involvement was edited for the show.I was happy that they showed a dietitian providing a grocery tour and felt they accurately portrayed how much this can be an ah-ha moment…

Family Nutrition: Picky Toddler - Dinner Ideas

Feeding my toddlers feels like an additional full time job.  My son, who is three, has been very picky since he was an infant and coming up with new ideas to introduce nutritious foods is exhausting.  If you have or have had toddlers you know most are picky specifically to textures which can ultimately decrease protein, fruit, and vegetable intake.  I try to mix as many vegetables and proteins as I possibly can into dinners such as meatloaf and chicken pot pie.  Sometimes I get away with it and sometimes this brings on meltdown 911 but to my surprise, last night I made my homemade "garbage bread" and it was a great success!  Here's the recipe:

1 "package" of Whole Wheat Dough (from your local grocery store)
8 oz Crushed Tomatoes
4 oz part skim mozzerella cheese
1 cup of frozen spinach
4 oz Ham Cold Cut
1/2 cup chopped red peppers
1/2 cup chopped onions

Roll your dough until it is flexible and about 1 inch thin.  Spread Sauce in middle third of the dough. Sprea…

Spotlight: Dietitian or Nutritionist What’s the Difference?

Both terms are used interchangeably but can mean very different things. I for one do not have a preference of what I am called: nutritionist, dietitian, and food lady what have you but there is a point of differentiation that is worth discussing to help an individual decide who is best to work with.
A dietitian must have a bachelor of science in nutrition or dietetics from an accredited school and enter a post graduate internship program that usually lasts nine months to a year.In the internship program the individual will work in a hospital, medical institution, government, or community focusing on medical nutrition therapy.After completing the required hours in the internship, that individual is then able to sit for the national registration exam governed by the American Dietetic Association.Once passed most states require licensure and the dietitian is required to take at least fifteen continuing education credits a year to maintain their registration and licensure.
A nutritionist…

Family Nutrition: Iron –A Good Mineral to be Familiar With

The World Health Organization states that an iron deficiency is the number one nutrition disorder in the world and that eighty percent of people are iron deficient, with thirty percent having Iron deficiency anemia, an advanced state of deficiency.
Females at child bearing age, pregnant woman, preterm and low birth weight babies, infants, toddlers, and teenage girls are all at risk for iron deficiency second to an increased need but it is also proven that low intake of iron rich foods, inadequate absorption of iron, or excessive blood loss, such as during a menstrual period can result in iron deficiency.
If you are an athlete who runs intensely, swims, or cycles your need for iron supplementation may be increased as well as gastrointestinal blood loss can be greater after events or training and it is thought that red blood cell turnover can be thirty percent higher than the normal individual.
Iron is derived from two sources in the diet, heme and non heme products.Heme products are p…

Family Nutrition: Decoding the Dietary Guidelines for 2010

Since 1980, the USDA has published dietary guidelines every five years based on previous research. Yesterday, January 31, 2011, the USDA and Health and Human Services (HHS) published their dietary guidelines for 2010.
After reading the document there is a common denominator that is the foundation of all recommendations and that is the epidemic increase in overweight and obese individuals in the United States.Incidence of obesity in children has doubled from ages two to eleven since the early 1970’s and it is thought that adults from the ages of twenty to sixty gain a pound a year.
The guidelines focus on mindful or conscious eating focusing on portion control, and a variety of nutrients to get you to your goal.It is recommended to focus on appropriate calorie consumption, decreasing solid fats and added sugars, and reducing sodium to less than 1500 mg/day.It is also recommended to continue physical activity as it helps balance calorie expenditure. Americans have sustained physical ac…