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Summer Salad from Diary of a Dietitian
Salad Recipes, Uncategorized

Avocado, Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad

Dear Diary,

School is out and so are the fresh fruits and vegetables! Summer is the best time to eat perfectly ripened, juicy berries loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Many years ago, I was with my friend Pam in Las Vegas and we went to the crepe place in Paris (the casino that looks like the Eiffel Tower). We ordered triple berry crepes and as we ate she said, “Oh man, this tastes like summer in my mouth!” It was winter in Michigan at the time and a little taste of summer in Vegas was something we both needed.

Over the years, I have thought of her saying that and how much food is a part of our seasons. Apples, pumpkins, and cinnamon are as much a part of Fall as the leaves changing on the trees. Winter makes me crave veggie laden soups and stews that have cooked all day in the slow cooker. Summer is reserved for salads, berries, and refreshing iced tea. This salad bursts with freshness, crunch and creaminess that is a virtual summer party in my mouth.

Bolthouse Farms makes an exceptional line of yogurt based salad dressings that have become my go to when I don’t have time to whip up something homemade. Their Mango Chipotle, at 40 calories for 2 tablespoons, is the perfect compliment to any fruit based salad. Bolthouse Farms dressings are found in most major grocery stores in the refrigerator section.

Avocado, Strawberry & Goat Cheese Salad

  • Mixed Salad Greens (Spinach, Romaine, Kale, Arugula)
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Strawberries, quartered
  • Turkey Breast, chopped
  • Walnuts, chopped
  • Almonds, chopped
  • Goat Cheese, crumbled
  • Mango Chipotle Bolthouse Farms Salad Dressing

Directions: Built your salad and enjoy with a tall glass of unsweetened iced green tea! Mango, blueberries, and apples would be great add-ins to this salad.

Click here for more information about the health benefits of berries including weight loss and metabolism boost!

Fresh herbs can turn a so-so dish into a wow dish!
Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

Fresh Herb Polenta with Mushrooms

Dear Diary,

Today I feel like the luckiest person in the world. I am writing to you from my new favorite spot in our little atrium herb and vegetable garden. When we moved in, the atrium was a dry dirt plot filled with overgrown plants. It was not an inviting place and had not been given any love for a long time. I knew it had so much potential and pictured fresh herbs, tomato and bell pepper plants, and beautiful flowers thriving. Now, with some sweat equity, help from my super handy Dad, and Pinterest, I am enjoying watching it grow.

One of my boys has been keeping a very close eye on the daily changes with our heirloom and yellow pear tomatoes as well as our orange and red bell peppers. We have picked leaves off of every fresh herb to smell them and he can now identify basil, mint, oregano, lemon thyme, and cilantro. I think it’s so important for children to learn about how food grows and to be able to prepare their own meals.

Herbs don’t just look and smell good. They also have a wealth of health benefits including protective polyphenols. Polyphenols are plant compounds with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. With all these wonderful fresh herbs available, I decided to make a fresh herb polenta dish using other vegetables I had in the fridge. The herbs paired perfectly with polenta (also known as corn grits), goat cheese, zucchini and mushrooms. This recipe is versatile and a combination of fresh and dried herbs could easily be used depending on what is available. Bon Appetit!

Fresh Herb Polenta with Mushrooms

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup polenta (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 ounces Goat Cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated parmesan cheese
  • Fresh herbs such as oregano, thyme, garlic chives, and basil
  • 2-3 cups Cremini Mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 small zucchini, cut slightly larger than mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons sweet marsala wine
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions: Cook polenta according the package directions for making “cereal.” Bring water to a boil, add polenta and salt. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5-6 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove polenta from heat, cover, and let stand for a couple of minutes. Stir in butter, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, and chopped fresh herbs. Cover polenta to keep warm while prepping the vegetables. In a small skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, garlic, mushrooms, and zucchini. Saute for 5-6 minutes and add wine and black pepper. Continue to saute until vegetables are tender. Serve vegetable mixture over the polenta and top with more fresh herbs, goat cheese salt and pepper if desired.

Do hard things!
Exercise & Fitness, Motivation & Inspiration, Uncategorized

Cue Hot Yoga Mantra

Dear Diary,

Those two little words, hot yoga, have become my new mantra in times of discomfort. I used to hold strong to the illusion that life is supposed to be comfortable. It’s not. In fact, life is mostly uncomfortable with glorious bits of comfort sprinkled in. This may sound like a negative outlook, I assure you it’s not. Allow me to explain my view of life, health, and wellness in relationship to hot yoga.

Hot yoga is just how it sounds. The temperature of the room is between 101 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit with around 40% humidity. It’s designed to induce sweating while moving through and holding poses for 60 to 90 minutes. For years, I told my husband I would NEVER take a hot yoga class. I don’t tolerate high temperatures during the summer months in Southern California or the humidity of July in Michigan. He took an 8 week Bikram yoga class and I told him he was nuts but I was glad he found something that he liked. Good luck to ya!

Never say NEVER. I have been wanting (needing?) to get back into yoga for several years. Since our move last summer, I have been eyeing a yoga studio that is walking distance from our house. I mean eyeing in the fact that I would look longing at it as we walked into our favorite pastry shop next door. Then a Groupon came across my email and I decided it was time. Too many signs were pulling me towards yoga to ignore. “Step away from pastry heaven and step into hot yoga hell,” is what I think I heard fate whisper that day.

Stay with me Diary, the build-up is important…you will soon see. So, I scan the class times and descriptions for several days looking for the perfect “starter” class. Not too difficult and certainly not hot yoga! I successfully complete two level 1 basic yoga classes with normal heat and humidity. Sounds perfect, right? Well, unfortunately those classes, along with a couple of other beginner type classes, are not offered when I am kid free. MMMmmm…hot yoga is offered at the perfect time after the kids are dropped off at school. Dare I do the exact thing I swore I would not do?

So, there I am in the middle of a hot yoga class and my LEGS are sweating profusely. Yes, I said my LEGS. How in the hell did I get here? I have never, ever had leg sweat. In fact, I sweat very little when I exercise. I’m more of a beet-red-face-might-explode kind of person and certainly not a sweat dripping (gross!) sort of girl. As I drip sweat, I look down to see my mat is getting slippery and I don’t have a large towel, just my tiny little workout hand towel. I look in the mirror and my warrior pose looks so awkward that I can’t believe the instructor has not come over to adjust me. Balance of any sort is not happening and my brain is screaming, “Why did you not stick with I’m NEVER doing hot yoga and go eat buttery pastries instead?!?”

In the midst of all this sweaty off-balance discomfort, I realize something. I have the power to shut off the negative never-ever voice that is telling me this is too hard. What if I just listen to the instructors voice and bring myself back to center like he suggests every couple of minutes? What will happen if I live in the moment I’m in instead living in the past (why did I do this to myself?) or the future (I will not make this huge mistake again)? The second half of my very first hot yoga class was spent in the present with my brain focused only on breathing. Interesting…I stopped falling over.

A few things happened after I completed that class. First, I took one of the best cold showers of my life and washed away all that sweat. Second, I reveled in the knowledge that I had just done something I never thought I could do. Third, I started thinking about how I needed to prepare better for the next class…like bring several towels. In short, class #2 required my “A” game.

I go to my second class and almost forget a large towel to cover my mat so I grab an old towel from the garage as I rush out. My second class consisted of more sweat with the added torture of a smelly towel. Awesome. I was the girl in the back of the class not only struggling through 60 minutes of hot torture, but I was also the girl that had a lovely bouquet of funkiness surrounding me. Not exactly my “A” game but I never allowed myself to think about quitting and walking out. Instead, I went home and washed that stinky towel in bleach so it would be ready for class number 3. I can do difficult things, even with a smelly mildew scented towel under me. I’m a little grossed out and a lot proud of myself.

Now, with several hot yoga classes under my belt, I am feeling more confident. The health benefits are more than obvious as I move through my days. Those 3 hours each week spent being uncomfortable, have given my body strength and my mind more focus. Hot yoga has become my really hard thing that reminds me to live in the moment because if I don’t…I will most likely fall over.

Mantras like “only kindness today” and “hot yoga” help bring me back to center and focus on what is in front of me. I am only temporarily uncomfortable and when this passes something less uncomfortable will most likely sit in it’s place. A 45 minute battle of wills with one of my kids…dial in hot yoga mindset. Stuck on a plane waiting to be cleared for take off…only kindness and hot yoga. An accident on the 405 that leaves me sitting in my car instead of at a friends house…channel hot yoga. Live in the moment or risk falling over…sometimes literally but more often figuratively.

The thing I didn’t embrace until recently is that life as a human being is sure to be uncomfortable. Once I stopped expecting life to be easy, comfortable, and tolerable…I was able to start embracing being uncomfortable. Then once uncomfortable becomes tolerable, comfort can be appreciated for the gift that it is. Did hot yoga do all this for me? No. But it did give me clarity, a bit of brevity and a brand new mantra.

Healthy living and eating are also a lot like hot yoga. They are not easy, comfortable or tolerable until we find a way to embrace them in our everyday lives. It’s really scary to change what we normally do. The trade off of feeling uncomfortable momentarily is to improve health and wellness in the long run. Running works for some people, swimming for others…for me it’s hot yoga. Alternate Day Fasting works for some people, a high protein low-carb diet works for others…for me it’s been tracking what I eat to hold myself accountable with My Fitness Pal app. The not-so-secret secret is to find what works and DO THAT! The secret is to never stop the pursuit of finding what works.

Stay focused!

Stay focused!
Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

Black Bean Spaghetti Squash Bowls

Dear Diary,

What could be better than a healthy meal served in it’s own straight-from-the-earth bowl? Um, nothing that’s what! This dish is an easy, vegetarian, low carb go-to meal that packs lots of fiber and flavor to keep me satisfied. It’s also one of those meals that tastes even better the next day for lunch after all of the ingredients have had a chance to sit around in the fridge and get to know one another.

Spaghetti Squash is my favorite when it comes to the squash family. It’s low in calories, versatile, delicious, and easy to make. Whether I use it as a pasta replacement, a side dish or a main dish, this squash never disappoints. There are several ways to cook it but I prefer to slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, rub it with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake it. This method gives the squash a little bit of that roasted, slightly charred flavor that I love.

Squash can be a bit intimidating with all the varieties, shapes, colors, and an outer shell that hides it’s goodies inside. It all seems too mysterious to take a chance. Spaghetti squash is a good “beginner” squash that has a mild enough flavor to take on whatever spice or sauce it’s cooked with. Never fear, a great spaghetti squash recipe is here!

Black Bean Spaghetti Squash Bowls

YIELD: 4 large servings (each served in half of a spaghetti squash shell)


2 medium spaghetti squash

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 medium red onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 jalapeno peppers, minced (leave seeds in for added heat)

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1/2 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup frozen corn, thawed

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

1 cup shredded colby jack cheese

1 medium avocado

2-3 green onions, thinly sliced


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Slice each squash in half lengthwise, remove seeds with a large spoon, and place cut side down on a baking sheet sprayed with olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes or until easily pierced with a knife. Scrape out the spaghetti squash from the shell with a fork, creating the “spaghetti.” Set aside the squash in it’s shell for later use.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add red onion, garlic, jalapeno and red bell pepper. Sauté 2-3 minutes. Stir in cumin, oregano, chili powder, salt and pepper. Sauté 1 more minute. Stir in beans, corn, lime juice and half the cilantro until well combined. Add the “spaghetti” from each squash to the vegetable mixture and stir to combine. Taste and season as desired.

Set oven to broil. Stuff each squash half shell with the squash/vegetable mixture from the skillet and top with 1/4 cup cheese. Broil until cheese melts and gets brown and bubbly, 1-2 minutes.

Top with remaining cilantro, slices of avocado and green onion. Serve warm and with wedges of fresh limes or salsa if desired.

Kung Poa Chicken Zoodles from Diary of a Dietitian inspired by Skinnytaste
Motivation & Inspiration, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

Just Do It Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles

Dear Diary,

After our one year anniversary, I did a fabulous disappearing act. POOF! What happened and where did I disappear to? Well, long story made short, I temporarily misplaced my motivation AND my inspiration. Yikes! I moved in for an extended stay at the Desperationville hotel. Maybe it was Exasperationville, located right next door. Whichever “ville” I was in, I spent my time there prioritizing anything and everything above my health and wellness. I forgot to lean into the things that improve my well being and help carry me through tough times.

Trips to the gym were sporadic at best, meals became less planned and more on the fly, eating became less intentional, and I stopped holding myself accountable by faithfully writing blog entries. I closed my eyes to all the inspiring people and gifts of motivation around me. Here I am, half way through April, needing to rip off the proverbial band-aid. JUST DO IT! No more excuses, no more telling myself lies about exercise, no more eating my feelings, and no more allowing myself to be sucked down into a chasm of negativity.

Life is full of peaks and valleys. March, along with a good chunk of April, was a giant valley for me. I have decided to join Nike (and all those gorgeous, fit looking people in their advertisements) and move back to Justdoit Town. By the way, people from Desperationville despise people from Justdoit Town. Don’t say I didn’t warn ya! Motivation and inspiration are something I’m rediscovering. It’s quite a treasure hunt but I can assure you that neither one is found at the bottom of a bag of chips or a glass of wine while plopped on the couch. Believe me, I checked…several times. If only binge watching The Mindy Project and House of Cards while eating chips burned calories!

A few key people and events have helped me to locate my mojo again. I started this blog so people could have a bird’s eye view into a Dietitians life so here is what helped me.  Step 1: I reread some of my past blog entries to hear my own voice telling me how to find my way back. My blog has truly become my diary, in which I can flip back through and use tools that have already helped me. Step 2: Get a little help from my friends. It’s so important to surround yourself with people who inspire you to be your best you. I am lucky enough to have several key people that help lift me up. Step 3: Give motivation to receive motivation. I have restarted counseling a friend on nutrition and I am in the planning steps of creating an exercise group in my neighborhood (motivated by my friend Jennifer O). Step 4: Read a life changing book written by an author that somehow has put many of my own thoughts into words. My friend Whitney sent me “Carry on, Warrior – The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life” by Glenndon Doyle Melton. I love her style of writing almost as much as what she has to say about navigating life. Step 5: Tell the people who inspire me how much they inspire and motivate me. I’m sticking with the “get and give” and “send and receive” policy. Step 6: Be kind to myself as I keep taking baby steps towards a happier and healthier me. In the wise words of a former client, “This shit ain’t easy.” Nope, nothin’ easy about it.

Today I successfully completed my first yoga class in a very long time. I finally started using My Fitness Pal app to log and track my food intake. I am about to complete my first blog post after an almost two month hiatus. My herb and vegetable garden sanctuary is well under way with actual herbs growing. Many thanks to my Dad who worked tirelessly on it while he was supposed to be on vacation. The sight of plants growing and thriving is such a positive thing for my soul. Finally, I bring you another delicious recipe called Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles for Two by Skinnytaste.

My friend Jennifer O was the driving force in making this recipe as we love to cook together and “talk the journey.” She needed to have a go-to zoodle (zucchini noodle) recipe and her comfort level was low before yesterday. She brought the zucchini, red bell peppers and her positive energy, while I supplied the rest. It turned out fantastic with a few minor tweaks. We used fresh grated ginger instead of the dried ginger, Siracha instead of chili paste, doubled the recipe so we would have plenty of leftovers for lunch, and squeezed fresh lime juice over the finished product. With only 277 calories for 2 cups, this will definitely be a future meal in both of our homes.

To make the recipe from click below

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles for Two

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles for Two from skinnytaste

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles for Two from skinnytaste

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles fresh from the kitchen of Diary of a Dietitian

Kung Pao Chicken Zoodles fresh from the kitchen of Diary of a Dietitian


Kamara Viau, RD
Self Care, Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Diary of a Dietitian – ONE YEAR BLOG-IVERSARY!

Dear Diary,

Today is the one year anniversary of Diary of a Dietitian! One year ago, I entered the worlds of Blogging, FaceBook, and Twitter in an effort to not only share nutrition information but to also feed a part of me that was slowly dying. In honor of this special day, I am going to write about how I let that happen and I continue to escape it. Sounds a bit morbid to write about a dying dream on your one year birthday Diary, but it needs to be shared. I think a lot of people let their dreams and aspirations slowly die. Not intentionally, of course, but more in an unnoticed, slowly seeping kind of way.

In 2003, I made a BIG move from Michigan to California. It was very cliche as I was moving mainly to be with a guy. That guy is now my husband, but it’s still unbelievable to think that I have lived in California for over 12 years. Before I moved, I had already secured a job with the growing dialysis company, DaVita. Coming from being a hospital Dietitian, I was excited to enter the complex world of dialysis. For 11 years, I thoroughly enjoyed my work along with getting married, having a couple of kids, and attempting to navigate finding balance within all of that.

Then something happened. I woke up one day in early 2015 and thought to myself, “This is not what I want to do any longer with my career.” Mmphf. If I no longer want to be a Renal RD, then what the heck do I want to be? Over the next 6 months, I thought about that quite a bit in the moments I would steal away for myself. When you have 2 small children, quiet moments of reflection and deep thought can be few and far between. I do my best thinking in the shower. It’s quiet (unless a child is pounding on the door), it’s excusable (everyone needs a shower), and it’s private (unless you live in a one bathroom place where everyone has to use the toilet as soon as your baby toe hits the shower mat). The point is, for many of us, there are not an abundance of moments to focus on dreams and aspirations. When there are, you’e tired as hell and all your brain can focus on is your pillow.

In February of 2015, I knew I wanted to change things up and I needed an outlet to figure out over time what that would morph into. Ta-da, Diary of a Dietitian was born with the help of my friend Sheryl. No big job change but a blog seemed like a great way to express my thoughts while I continued on the journey to my next career. This was a BIG step for me. I finally had something of my own that I created and was JUST FOR ME!

I knew that I wanted Diary of a Dietitian to have one main goal…to share my journey as a Registered Dietitian down the bumpy, imperfect road of health, wellness, and nutrition. I am passionate about being a champion of wellness for women, starting from teenagers right up to menopause. Women are the backbone of most families and in an effort to care for everyone else, they often forget to take care of themselves. Just because I am a Dietitian does not make me exempt from the pitfalls of womanhood. I am CONSTANTLY giving myself a proverbial slap in the face, followed by a self pep talk and then getting back on track.

I also want other people to understand that they are not alone in the struggle. Mental and physical wellness are not an easy feat for the majority of us and one has huge effects on the other. Once hormones, lack of support, stigmas, illness, lack of sleep, stress, caring for others (the list could literally go on and on) are added into the equation, these seem to be an impossible goals.

The key for each of us is to find what sustains us and RUN with it. There is no singular grand plan that will work for everyone. When I counsel people on weight loss and diet changes, I focus a lot on they feel. I am unconcerned about your current weight or how many pounds your doctor told you to lose or threats other health care professionals have made. I care about how you feel. Can you play with your kids or grand kids like you want to? Do you feel guilty when you eat and then eat more? Are you able to go to the beach with the rest of your family and dip your toes in the water? These are the goals that I am interested in helping my clients achieve.

After I moved with my husband and 2 kids an hour South of where we previously lived, I left the world of dialysis. That world gave me so much and I know I will always have it to go back to. I am now looking forward to what the next year brings in my career and it’s very exciting!


So, I leave you with this, Diary, on our one year anniversary (which was several days ago but I am just now able to finish this post). My goals for the next year to come are simple; support at least 10 people in achieving improved mental and physical wellness, educate myself on how hormones affect weight in women through their life stages, and sample 5 different diet/lifestyle programs. My goal is my dream with a 1 year deadline!

Diary of a Dietitian – A goal is a dream with a deadline


Avocado Caprese Baked Chicken
Recipes, Uncategorized

Pinterest Dinner Party

Dear Diary,

I pin a lot of recipes from Pinterest. Actually making the recipes is a whole other story. This past Sunday a few of my friends and I were planning one of our usual gatherings that includes good food, good conservation, good cocktails, and our children entertaining each other. I have longed to have a “Pinterest Party” which entails preparing several favorite “pinned” recipes. Once I threw the idea out there, my friends were totally game and allowed me to pick an appetizer, main dish, side dish, and dessert.

First up was the appetizers. I am slightly obsessed with goat cheese, especially when it’s in the form of an appetizer or on a salad. I have eyed the Sundried Tomato Polenta Bites from Recipe Girl for quite some time. My friend Melissa stuck to the recipe except she used prepared polenta (comes in a tube) from Trader Joe’s. These cute little bites are the a perfect marriage of savory flavors and were an instant hit with all of us.

The main dish was Avocado Caprese BAKED Chicken which I prepared. To cook the chicken I used Gimme Some Oven’s Perfect Baked Chicken recipe. This recipe kept the chicken breasts moist and tender without having to watch it too closely. After the chicken was ready, I followed the Avocado Caprese Skillet Chicken recipe from Cooking Classy. The result was gorgeous layers of avocado, fresh mozzarella slices, and tomato sprinkled with fresh chopped basil and Balsamic Glaze from Trader Joe’s. Magnifigue!

Andrea took on the Summer Vegetable Tian despite the somewhat labor intensive slicing of vegetables. The store was out of yellow summer squash, so she replaced them with sliced carrots. Having never tried it with the yellow squash, I can easily say I would stick with the carrots. The slightly caramelized onions on the bottom and cheese on top of beautifully layered veggies made this recipe a keeper. When I make it in the future, I will definitely use my mandolin to slice all those veggies!

Most recipes I have tried from Skinnytaste are fantastic and are crafted very similar to my own kitchen creations. The Amazing Flour-less Brownies, made with sneaky healthy ingredients like black beans, are something I had to try. Our friend Yi confirmed that this recipe was simple to make but she was more than a little skeptical about how they would taste. The adults gave them the thumbs up and the kids gave a double thumbs up. My little chocolate loving children could not wait to find out if there would be any left for second servings.

All of these delicious dishes were washed down by our resident bartenders Moscow Mules…thanks Laurie! Hoping I can talk all of them into another Pinterest Dinner Party but I have a feeling that won’t take too much effort!


The Menu

Sundried Tomato Polenta Bites

Avocado Caprese Skillet Chicken

Baked Chicken Breast

Summer Vegetable Tian

Amazing Flour-less Brownies

Chicken Egg Noodle Soup
Recipes, Soup Recipes, Uncategorized

Chicken Soup for My Soul

Dear Diary,

Do you remember the Chicken Soup for the Soul books? The original one was published in 1993 so that people could help each other by sharing stories about their lives. This idea is not far off from what motivated me to start sharing nutrition information via my blog. I want to help people by sharing my knowledge, thoughts, struggles, and insights about food and nutrition. The benefits of a healthy diet are not always measured in pounds and inches, sometimes they are measured in how we fill up our soul, not our stomach.

There are now 250 different versions of Chicken Soup for the Soul books and it connects people in a way the authors never dreamed that it would. For me, food is like that. Food connects me to people in a way nothing else can. I am fascinated by people’s food stories and how it affects so many different aspects of their lives. Is there a Chicken Soup for the Dietitian’s Soul available?

From Diary of a Dietitian

I live to hear the words, “Mmm…this tastes so good” regarding one of my dishes. I like these words because that’s what warm, toasty food memories are all about. You can imagine my joy when one night I made my Chicken Egg Noodle Soup and my son said, “Mom, this soup is so good. It’s even better than Panera!” Be still my heart. I make it again a few weeks later and hear him telling a friend, “You have to stay for dinner. My mom makes the best Chicken Noodle Soup!” I’m in heaven and can almost see the warm, toasty food memories forming in the recesses of his little brain.

That’s the chicken soup my soul needs. Is my recipe for Chicken Egg Noodle Soup low-fat, low-calorie, low-carb, low-anything? Nope. It’s just good old fashioned soup with big, fat egg noodles and big chunks of chicken. It’s made with love, for the people I love. Sometimes I cook with words like “healthy” and “good for our body” swimming in my head. When I make this soup, all I can think about is how good it is for my soul.

Chicken Egg Noodle Soup

  • 1 Whole 4-5lb Chicken Slow Cooker Chicken Instructions
  • Reames (or similar) 12 oz Homestyle Egg Noodles (frozen section)
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 5 celery stalks, sliced
  • 4-5 large carrots, unpeeled and slicedChixEggNoodleSoup
  • 1 Tablespoon Oil Olive
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons Organic Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base
  • 6 – 8 cups of water

Directions: Follow the slow cooker chicken instructions. In the last 1/2 hour of cooking the chicken, remove the noodles from the freezer (follow the package directions for thawing) and start prepping the vegetables. In a large pot, over medium heat, saute the onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil for 10 minutes. Add thyme, black pepper, and salt. Remove chicken from slow cooker and set aside. Discard foil balls and strain drippings from the chicken into the pot with the vegetables and spices. Add bouillon and 6 cups of water. Lightly boil for 20 minutes. In the meantime, discard skin from the chicken, remove chicken from the bone and chop into bite sized pieces. For a hearty soup, use all of the chicken or refrigerate 1-2 cups for another recipe. Bring soup to a boil, add egg noodles, and cook for 15-20 minutes. As the noodles cook you may need to add more water depending on how thick the soup becomes. Add the chopped chicken and taste. Add more seasonings, bouillon, or water as needed.

Organic Better than Bouillon

Organic Better than Bouillon


Note: Not all bouillon is the same! Some bouillon brands contain MSG, corn syrup, and other additives/preservatives that you don’t need. The non-organic Better than Bouillon contains some questionable ingredients and it’s easy to grab the wrong one since the label is very similar. Be sure to check the label and buy ORGANIC BETTER THAN BOUILLON.

Recipes, Salad Recipes, Uncategorized

Mayo Free Chicken Salad

Dear Diary,

I have always been intrigued by chicken salad. You can make up a big batch and eat it for days on crackers, bread, or lettuce. There’s just one problem with traditional chicken salad. MAYO. I grew up in a household that had both Hellman’s Mayo and Kraft Miracle Whip in the


Ingredients for No Mayo Chicken Salad from Diary of a Dietitian

refrigerator at all times. The smell and taste of both made me cringe and my family would often tease me by offering up a large spoonful of it. I, of course, obliged them with all the drama a young girl can muster when she does not like something. Cue the screaming and flailing of hands.

Going into my freshman year of college, I had not tasted anything that even looked like mayo. I came to like sour cream, cream cheese, and ranch dressing that year which aided me in gaining the dreaded “Freshman 15.” Mayo, however, has stayed on my hate list.

After roasting a chicken for my sons favorite chicken noodle soup, I decided to keep some chicken aside to experiment with a chicken salad recipe I could love. Most of the ingredients I used are staples in my house here in Southern California. We eat avocados almost daily and a variety of Greek yogurt can be found on any given day. I chose mango flavored yogurt but any fruit flavor would make this salad sing.

Mayo Free Chicken Salad

  • 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken
  • 1 medium apple, chopped


    Ingredients for No Mayo Chicken Salad from Diary of a Dietitian

  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts
  • 3/4 cup red grapes, halved
  • 3 green onions, thin sliced
  • 2 celery stalks, thin sliced
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, fine chopped
  • 1 5.3 oz container of Greek yogurt, any fruit flavor
  • 1 small avocado, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • Romaine lettuce leafs

Directions: In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except romaine lettuce. Serve approximately 1/2 cup chicken salad in each romaine lettuce leaf and top with additional cilantro, green onion, or walnuts if desired.

Diary of a Dietitian Goodbye 2015, Hello 2016
Self Care, Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Be Kind to Yourself in 2016

Dear Diary,

Oh what a year 2015 was! As I sit here, on the first day of 2016, it is easy to think about all the things I did not accomplish in 2015. I decided to challenge myself and reflect on only the POSITIVE aspects of 2015. What do I want to move forward with and continue in 2016? What am I proud of? What do I want to remember and build on as I move into a new year?

Inspiration is everywhere if you are open to it. Inspiration for this diary entry came to me via a FaceBook post from Hands Free Revolution. I plan to read this in the future as a reminder of how “to be” in the moment rather than focus on the “to do.” I am on a constant quest of learning “to be” in the moment…my quest continues with the aid of many key people. Strangely enough, some of those key people I will only know through their insightful words online.

What’s standing in your way of living the life you’ve been wanting to live?

You might think it is those extra pounds
Or your temper
Or poor financial choices
Or inability to get organized
Or lack of discipline
Or some other fill-in-the-blank issue.

And each time a new year rolls around, you find yourself here—looking at yourself with critical eyes because, yet again, you are not the person you aspire to be.

Before you hop on the self-improvement bandwagon of 2016, I encourage you to sit with yourself for a moment and marvel.

For the past 365 days,
You worked
You tried
You loved

For the past 356 days,
You watched
You listened
You cheered
With every fiber in your body.

For the past 365 days,
You encouraged
You supported
You upheld
Without fail.

For the past 365 days,
You forgave
You sacrificed
You fixed
In ways no one else could.

For the past 365 days,
You cuddled
You tucked
You understood
Even when you didn’t think you had it in you.

For the past 365 days, you put one foot in front of the other despite that list of personal shortcomings and poor choices that surfaces year after year.

On this first day of 2016, I encourage you to look past that list and see yourself with kind, loving eyes. Your everyday triumphs simply cannot be overlooked. Not today. No, not today.

And if you must set a self-improvement goal for the year ahead, please consider something small, doable, and untrendy.

Don’t get so lofty, so demanding, and so unreasonable that your goal to become a “better” version of you is merely an obstacle in seeing all that you already are.

My mental list of personal shortcomings is long. I resolve to create a list of triumphs for 2015 that is longer. Topping the list would be creating my blog and committing to sharing my insights, challenges, and information as a Registered Dietitian. On February 18, 2015 I wrote my first blog post, entered the worlds of Facebook and Twitter, and began my journey as a writer. I also left my long time job as a Renal Dietitian, took a cross country trip, moved to a new community, and began working towards my dream job as a consulting RD in the world of weight management.

Being kind to myself is my greatest challenge but it’s one I want to focus on in 2016. Good enough, has never been good enough for me. I am a seeker of doing things “better” than I, or anyone, has done before. I’m not sure if it’s a small goal but it is doable and not trendy.

2016 Diary of a Dietitian Goal

2016 Diary of a Dietitian Goal