broccoli-cheese-soup
Recipes, Soup Recipes, Uncategorized

Love at First Bite

Dear Diary,

It’s getting chilly in Southern California…the upper 30’s at night are upon us. After 12 years of living in SoCal, I am allowed to call that COLD! I know my Michigan peeps are laughing out loud about that statement. It’s all good. No matter where I call home, this time of year makes me crave soup. Besides, I did my time during the first two-thirds of my life enduring 10 degree mornings. No thanks!

Many soup recipes are loaded with sodium, fat, and processed ingredients like Velveeta or canned cream of something. A lot of my ingredient “swaps” add more veggies, ditch the cream or half n half for milk, reduce the butter/oil, and increase the spices while decreasing the salt. Some changes are minor and the result does not alter the recipe to leave it falling flat on flavor and texture. Major changes occasionally morph a recipe into a whole new food category…which can also be interesting. My family has started calling my chicken noodle soup, chicken noodle stew.

A common food myth is that you have to give up your comfort foods to be healthy or lose weight. A good recipe makeover can take a heavy dish and turn it into a lighter, possibly more flavorful version that gives your soul a smile along with your belly. I love the challenge of making healthy food that begs comments like, “This must not be something you’re adding to your blog!”

My favorite soups are french onion, minestrone, chicken noodle, and broccoli cheese…in no particular order. Every one of these soups have good memories attached to them. French onion is deeply attached to my grandmother, whom I once took to a restaurant and discussed the virtues of a good bowl of soup. Minestrone brings me back to one of my many jobs waiting tables where I ate a bowl of it for lunch every day. I learned to make chicken noodle soup in a sub shop I worked at while I attended college. My first broccoli cheese soup was served in a bread bowl and it was love at first bite.

Food is a HUGE part of our lives. My advice, as your friendly neighborhood Dietitian, is to embrace the foods that provide these wonderful memories. Most people are in a constant war with food. Food does not have to be the enemy. Find a way to balance it out and you will find the path that leads you to the person, body and mind, you want to be.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 celery stalks, chopped
  • 5 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 medium heads of broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup unbleached flour
  • 2 cups vegetable or chicken broth/stock
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded 3 cheese blend
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a large pot, over medium heat, melt butter and saute onion, celery and carrots for 10-12 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.
  2.  Whisk in flour and slowly add warmed vegetable or chicken broth while continuing to whisk.
  3. Bring to a gentle boil and add broccoli. Cook for 8-10 minutes and add milk, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Turn down to low heat and DO NOT BOIL after adding the milk as it scorches easily.
  4. Allow the soup to heat through, approximately 8-10 minutes and whisk in shredded cheese.
  5. ENJOY without guilt!

 

 

Deviled Eggs
One hard boiled egg...remove yolk and mix with 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard, a pinch of dried or fresh dill, salt and pepper to taste, and topped with chopped green onions.
Intermittent Day Eating, Recipes, Uncategorized, Vegetable Recipes

10 Unique 100 Calorie Snacks that Satisfy

Dear Diary,

It’s 3:00 pm and I feel that familiar rumble in my belly telling me it’s snack time. I open the fridge, I open the freezer, I look in the pantry…then I head back to the fridge. Hmmm…I see cheese. I love cheese. I can eat a lot of cheese. I saw some crackers in the pantry. I can eat a lot of cheese and crackers. Yikes, better not get that started. What else, what else? Apples, melon, sliced red bell peppers, carrots, greek yogurt? Argh! None of these snacks are appealing all on their own. I need something more satisfying, pronto!

If I could reverse time, a good plan would have been…to have a plan. A little planning ahead, before cravings and hunger strike, helps to not eat a snack that is as calorie dense as a meal. Snacks can mean trouble. A lot of planning goes into meals, but little planning or thought goes into snacks. I must avoid panic snacking or risk taking a full cracker box to an empty cracker box!

If I restart an Intermittent Day Fasting Plan such as 5:2 or 4:3, these snack ideas could also help me get through those rough days. The recommendation is 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men on low calorie days. If I put five of these snacks together, a 500 calorie day is looking a lot less intimidating. This is a huge revelation, Diary, HUGE!

Pickled Veggie Spring Rolls  Simply thin slice carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber and soak in the juice of a jar of pickles, jalapenos, or yellow banana peppers overnight to "pickle" them. Take a spring roll wrapper and run it under water. Fill the middle of the wrapper with a romaine lettuce leaf and the pickled veggies. Tightly fold over one side of the wrapper, fold in both edges, and roll up the rest. Cut in half and make a second one the same way. For extra kick, tuck in a few jalapenos!

Pickled Veggie Spring Rolls
Simply thin slice carrots, bell peppers, and cucumber and soak in the juice of a jar of pickles, jalapenos, or yellow banana peppers overnight to “pickle” them. Take a spring roll wrapper and run it under water. Fill the middle of the wrapper with a romaine lettuce leaf and the pickled veggies. Tightly fold over one side of the wrapper, fold in both edges, and roll up the rest. Cut in half and make a second one the same way. For extra kick, tuck in a few jalapenos!

Apple Slices with Pumpkin Pie Dip Slice half of a medium sized apple. To make the dip mix 1/2 tablespoon light cream cheese, 1/8 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon honey, and sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Apple Slices with Pumpkin Pie Dip
Slice half of a medium sized apple. To make the dip mix 1/2 tablespoon light cream cheese, 1/8 cup canned pumpkin, 1/2 teaspoon honey, and sprinkle in cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Mini Pepperoni Pizza Half an Oroweat Sandwich Thin, 1 tablespoon pizza sauce, 1 laughing cow cheese wedge, 3 Hormel Turkey Pepperoni slices, mild banana pepper rings, and sprinkled with dried oregano. Pop it in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes and voila...you just got your pizza fix!

Mini Pepperoni Pizza
Half an Oroweat Sandwich Thin, 1 tablespoon pizza sauce, 1 laughing cow cheese wedge, 3 Hormel Turkey Pepperoni slices, mild banana pepper rings, and sprinkled with dried oregano. Pop it in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes and voila…you just got your pizza fix!

Deviled Eggs One hard boiled egg...remove yolk and mix with 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard, a pinch of dried or fresh dill, salt and pepper to taste, and topped with chopped green onions.

Deviled Eggs
One hard boiled egg – remove yolk and mix with 1 Tablespoon plain Greek yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard, a pinch of dried or fresh dill, salt and pepper to taste. Add yolk mixture back inside the white and top with chopped green onions and a little dill.

Turkey Roll-ups Two slices of turkey wrapped around a laughing cow cheese wedge, a sliced Persian cucumber, and sliced bell peppers. A very satisfying 100 calories!

Turkey Roll-ups
Two slices of turkey wrapped around a laughing cow cheese wedge, a sliced Persian cucumber, and sliced bell peppers. A very satisfying 100 calories!

Light Babybel Cheese & Rice Crackers One mini light Babybel with 7 Simply Balanced brown rice crackers. A quick fix for crunchy, salty goodness!

Light Babybel Cheese & Rice Crackers
One mini light Babybel with 7 Simply Balanced brown rice crackers. A quick fix for crunchy, salty goodness!

Cottage Cheese with Chopped Veggies 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with chopped veggies (carrots, celery, bell peppers) and a little black pepper.

Cottage Cheese with Chopped Veggies
1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with chopped veggies (carrots, celery, bell peppers) and a little black pepper.

Organic Rustic Bean & Vegetable Soup One piping hot cup topped with freshly sliced green onions will warm you up and fill you up.

Organic Rustic Bean & Vegetable Soup
One piping hot cup topped with freshly sliced green onions will warm you up and fill you up.

Chocolate PB2 on Ezekiel Bread Toasted Ezekiel bread topped with 1 Tablespoon PB2 Premium Chocolate mixed with 1/2 Tablespoon water.

Chocolate PB2 on Ezekiel Bread
Toasted Ezekiel bread topped with 1 Tablespoon PB2 Premium Chocolate mixed with 1/2 Tablespoon water.

Spicy Hummus with Celery & Bell Peppers 4 tablespoons of HOPE Organic Spicy Avocado Hummus (Costco) with celery and bell peppers.

Spicy Hummus with Celery & Bell Peppers
4 tablespoons of HOPE Organic Spicy Avocado Hummus (Costco) with celery and bell peppers.

Thanksgiving Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole
Holiday Recipes, Recipes, Uncategorized

Thanksgiving & Sweet Potato Casserole

Dear Diary,

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday and it’s only four days away! This holiday is a perfect combination of comfort food, good friends, and family with freedom from the gift giving frenzy. The main attraction of this glorious holiday is usually the turkey. This year could be different with Cooking Light’s Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole. Could sweet potatoes really steal the limelight? You bet they could! Especially when you combine them with yummy ingredients like real maple syrup, vanilla, and pecans.

My childhood Thanksgiving feast did not have sweet potatoes present. I do have very fond memories of making dressing over the years with my Dad. One year we completely ruined the dressing by adding too much dried sage. We both thought the other had not added it and we both thought it needed a little more than the “recipe” (a loose word for our creations) called for. We laugh about that today and have not repeated that particular error since. That is the joy of cooking and creating wonderful memories around food and holidays.

I am so thankful for so many things during this holiday season. One of the things I am thankful for is knowing I will create wonderful memories for my own children around food and the holidays. I wish for all children to have the benefit of having people in their lives that show them how much they love them by providing healthy food. It not only nourishes the body, it also feeds the soul.

recipe

Streuseled Sweet Potato Casserole

Sprinkle a buttery, brown sugar and pecan mixture over the top of the creamy potatoes in this sweet potato casserole that’s sweet enough to be dessert.
  • Yield: 18 servings (serving size: about 1/2 cup)

Ingredients

  • 14 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato (about 5 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chilled butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preparation

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place potato in a Dutch oven, and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 12 minutes or until tender. Drain.

Combine the half-and-half and next 4 ingredients (half-and-half through egg) in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add potato to egg mixture; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Spoon potato mixture into a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.

Combine flour and sugar in a food processor; pulse to combine. Add chilled butter; pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in pecans; sprinkle over potato mixture.

Cover and bake at 375° for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 25 minutes or until the topping is browned and the potatoes are thoroughly heated.

Nutritional Information

Amount per serving

  • Calories 250
  • Caloriesfromfat 23 %
  • Fat 6.3 g
  • Satfat 2.4 g
  • Monofat 2.5 g
  • Polyfat 1 g
  • Protein 3.3 g
  • Carbohydrate 46.1 g
  • Fiber 2.7 g
  • Cholesterol 22 mg
  • Iron 1.2 mg
  • Sodium 149 mg
  • Calcium 49 mg
Spaghetti Squash with Sausage and Mushrooms from Diary of a Dietitian
Recipes, Uncategorized

Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Chicken Sausage

Dear Diary,

Fall is my favorite food season! The markets right now are full of the years best offerings of winter squash, apples, pears, potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Spaghetti squash is one of the most versatile of the winter squash options to cook with. Spaghetti squash can be used to replace pasta or rice and easily takes on the flavor of the herbs and spices it’s cooked with.

Cooking with winter squash can be intimidating if you have never done it before. The outer shell is difficult to cut through in it’s raw state. Having a good sharp knife is essential to any kitchen, but when cutting winter squash it’s an absolute must. If you still fear cutting off an appendage while trying to get to the good stuff inside, never fear, there are ways to cook squash whole.

Spaghetti Squash with Mushrooms and Chicken Sausage   

  • 1 medium spaghetti squashSpaghetti Squash
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms
  • 5 links chicken sausage (I used Aidells Chicken & Apple)
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese

1. Cut the spaghetti squash lengthwise, spray the inside with olive oil in anIMAG4700_1 oil mister (Misto makes a good one). Turn the squash cut side down on a baking sheet with edges or a 9×13 glass baking dish. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Spaghetti squash can also be cooked whole by piercing the squash several times with a skewer and baking at 375 degrees for 1 hour. By baking it whole, it will not have a roasted flavor like when it’s cut in half.

2. While the squash is baking, chop onion, slice mushrooms and thin slice sausage. In a 12 inch skillet, over medium heat, add olive oil and saute onions and mushrooms for 5-6 minutes. Add sausage and dried thyme (use fresh thyme if you have it) and continue sauteing for another 8-10 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and turn heat down to low until squash is ready to be added.

3. After the squash is removed from the oven, flip it over to cool just enough so you can remove it from the shell. Use a fork to shred the inside so that it looks like spaghetti. Add squash to the mushroom and sausage mixture and turn heat up to medium. Fold in squash and heat 4-5 minutes or until heated through.

4. Recipe makes 5 servings. Top each portion with 1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese. Use any left over portions for lunch the next day!

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DiaryImage2
Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Check In #9 – Motivation and Sticky Situations

Dear Diary,

I’m sure you feel as if I have abandoned you. It’s been over a month of silence from me. My brain has been otherwise occupied as it wraps itself around this new life in a new city. I have to admit, I have been looking for my motivation for several weeks as I come up with one excuse after another to not devote time to writing to you. Then it hit me…that’s exactly what my clients do when they don’t commit to changing their diet. I HAD TO BREAK THE SILENCE!

Although I have not been writing to you, I have not lost ALL sight of my health and wellness. Over the summer, I injured my back the day before a 3-day cross country drive. Needless to say, after I returned to California, shooting pain continued to hamper my physical activity. I started seeing a wonderful physical therapist to help get my body back to the point of being able to exercise without pain. The first couple of weeks were PURE TORTURE as she began to release some of the adhesions that were preventing me from moving in the proper way.

So many events in our lives cause our body to begin to function in a very dysfunctional way. Stressful events, surgeries, and injuries all “stick” with us and cause issues until we find a way to get “unstuck.” It’s not our bodies fault, all it’s trying to do is find the path of least resistance. First it’s just a little shoulder slump, then your hips rotate a weird way…then BAM…you’re all jacked up! As my therapist commences to “un-stick” my body weekly, I have realized that my brain is following my bodies lead.

Happy Healthy Halloween! #diaryofadietitian

Happy Healthy Halloween! #diaryofadietitian

The pain of exercise was one factor, but mental motivation to get back into the routine of physical activity is a whole nother thang! Ease off spellcheck, I can pull out some slang if I want to. It’s all about making that first step. A little walk, some stretching…realizing how good it feels and all of sudden you have found your motivation again. Suddenly, you are also making better choices when it comes to eating as well. Yes, getting rid of being all stuck together in one way or another is truly the key to opening the door of progress.

I’m planning to kick off November with a whole new positive outlook on taking care of my body and mind. My happy carrot pumpkin creation for my sons after-school program is a good reminder of how to balance healthy eating in the midst of tons of unhealthy choices. Cheers to a Happy Healthy Halloween!

Goal Reality Grade Change Needed for Next Week
Sleep 8 hours Getting 7-8 hours of zzz’s every night A Still on track
Eat Breakfast & No Night Snacking Add back protein at the first meal (now a late breakfast). Throw out the tortilla chips! B Haven’t made egg muffins in a very long time. Make them ASAP!
Exercise Walking 3 times a week has been restarted. Get to the gym in my new city. B No more Rose Bowl…hello lagoon loop and the gym.
Write Down What I Eat I figure out my calorie intake in my head throughout the day so for me, writing down is not as key as it is for others N/A Nope, can’t do it. I do recommend to others though.
Weigh Weekly Restarted weekly weigh in and new start weight established B Down to 8 lbs to lose from my original 10 lb weight loss goal
Get & Give Support After a bout with depression and a couple of months of no diary entries…it’s time to up this area and find new sources to give and get support C Get a friend to walk with me at least 1 day per week. Start blogging weekly again.
Stress Management I still need yoga in my life but I have added physical therapy and massage which is helping to manage stress. B- Got back to the gym yesterday for a spin on the elliptical and Monday PiYo here I come…

 

Salad Hater Approved Taco Salad
Recipes, Salad Recipes, Uncategorized

Salad Hater Approved Taco Salad

Dear Diary,

I love salad. Huge surprise, right? Registered Dietitians need two things to be official, a license from the American Dietetic Association and a love of salad. The problem is, I like my salads the way I like my baked potatoes…toppings, toppings, and more toppings. I rarely eat baked potatoes since I can’t help but smother them in butter, sour cream, and salt. When it comes to salad though, I like to play around with a variety of healthy toppings and dressings to create a masterpiece that tastes as good as the calorie dense ones found in restaurants. Not an easy task.

If I ordered taco salad at a fast food place or mexican restaurant, it would most likely be the only thing I needed (energy wise) to eat for the whole day…okay, maybe two days. The problem with eating high calorie, high fat foods (aside from weight gain) is that they leave you feeling stuffed, bloated, and ready for a nap. Creating my own super satisfying version has helped me to not crave the full fat, full salt, too-full-feeling restaurant version.

Not everyone shares my love of the a good salad. My husbands face looks like he stepped on a Lego whenever I announce that it’s “Big Salad Night” in our household. He is the resident salad hater and is not shy about saying it. My taco salad, however, has become a staple in our dinner menu rotation and he has come to love it. I load it with turkey taco meat, black beans, veggies, a super simple low-cal dressing and a small amount of tortilla chips for that salty crunch. I made it one night when we had company and our cheese-loving relative said, “Wow, I just realized it doesn’t have any cheese and it I don’t even miss it.” In it’s infant stages, my taco salad did have cheese until I realized it really did taste amazing with or without it.

As with many of my recipes, I add a secret ingredient to the taco meat. Zucchini keeps the ground turkey from becoming dry as it cooks and provides an additional veggie. If the kids are not salad eaters, it’s easy to make hard or soft shell tacos with what you already have prepped for the salad. Just be sure to lock up the tortilla chips after your create your masterpiece!

Lite Taco Salad with Salsa Ranch Dressing

DIY Taco Seasoning (large batch)

  • 1/2 cup chili powder
  • 1/4 cup ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes20150909172707532
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 3 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons ground black pepper

Turkey

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated or finely chopped
  • Cooking Spray

Salad

  • Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • Yellow, Red, Orange Bell Peppers, chopped
  • Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • Black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Avocado, sliced
  • Tortilla chips

Dressing

  • Light Ranch Dressing (I like Hidden Valley or Bolthouse)
  • Salsa

Directions:

In an air tight container, mix DIY taco seasoning spices. This is a large batch recipe and can be used as a seasoning for future salads, tacos or fajitas. Many variations of homemade taco seasoning can be found on Pinterest and have less sodium and more flavor than store bought packets.

Over medium-high heat, spray a large skillet with cooking spray and add ground turkey, onion, zucchini, and 3-4 tablespoons of the DIY taco seasoning. Brown the turkey mixture until fully cooked, approximately 8-10 minutes. Turn heat to low when the turkey is fully cooked and keep warm while you prep the salad and dressing.

On a large plate, layer vegetables and top with 1/2 cup turkey taco meat, 1/4 cup black beans, 1/4 avocado, and 6-8 tortilla chips per serving. Toppings that are low in calories can be added in any amount but high calorie toppings should be limited. Mix 1 tablespoon of light Ranch dressing with 2 tablespoons of salsa per serving. ENJOY!

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Intermittent Day Eating, Recipes, Salad Recipes, Uncategorized

Thai Spiced Cucumber Salad

Dear Diary,

Thai food, hands down, is one of my favorite cuisines. Just thinking about Pad See Ewe, dripping with black bean sauce and cozied up to giant broccoli florets, has my mouth watering. Don’t even get me started on Yellow Chicken Curry and Pad Thai! It has become my go to comfort food in Southern California and I am known to scour Yelp and other review sights for top restaurant picks. As with all cultural food, some of the dishes can be high calorie and portion control is an absolute must when monitoring your calorie intake.

I started seeing some Thai Salad recipes pop up on Pinterest and decided I needed to create my own version. This salad is a great side for my pork tenderloin recipe or as a main dish on a low calorie day…hint, hint for my fellow 5:2 Intermittent Day Eating crew. I also needed to perfect using my handheld spiralizer, which is a bit of a daunting kitchen gadget if you haven’t used one before. Zoodles and Coodles are great ways to replace high calorie pasta with Zucchini and Cucumber “noodles.”

I have not cooked in a couple of weeks while traveling and hanging my hat in Michigan for the summer. I have to admit, it has been nice to step away from meal planning and preparation. While I appreciate the break, I am now starting to feel the pull of my kitchen back in California. For now, I will take inspiration from friends and family that are kind enough to feed my body and soul.

Thai Spiced Cucumber Salad

  • 2 large English Cucumbers, spiralized
  • 1/2 to 2/3 each Red, Yellow, Orange Bell Peppers, thinly sliced
  • 3 large carrots, spiralized
  • 5 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cold, shelled edamame
  • 3 tablespoons Island Soyaki
  • 2 tablespoons Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Peanut Oil
  • 2-3 fresh limes, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon black sesame seeds, optional

Directions: In a large bowl, combine cucumbers, bell peppers, carrots, green onions, cilantro and edamame. For instructions on how to use a handheld spiralizer, watch the video from Raw Nutrition Kitchen below. In a small bowl, combine Island Soyaki (I buy mine at Trader Joe’s but it is also available in most local supermarkets), honey, peanut oil, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and crushed red pepper. Toss the sauce in with the vegetables and sprinkle with black sesame seeds. Garish with sprigs of fresh cilantro.

Tips: Peanuts can also be sprinkled in just before serving for added crunch. Before spiralizing the cucumbers and carrots, slice half way through the vegetables, lengthwise, to create shorter and easier to eat “noodles.” Peanut oil can be replaced with sesame oil. Delete or increase the amount of crushed red pepper flakes to control the spice level.

 

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Exercise & Fitness, Uncategorized, Weekly Diary Entry

Check In #8 – Road Less Traveled

Dear Diary –

Sometimes you end up back at square one, pondering how you got there. It happens to the best of us and this time eating healthy and continuing towards my 10 lb weight loss goal has eluded me for over 3 weeks. Between moving, planning a cross country road trip, leaving my job and scrambling to schedule appointments prior to all of those events, there was not time to focus on my health. Consistent exercise, eating healthy, and changing your body are all very intentional goals. It takes a special mix of time, planning and commitment to truly make changes in health occur. A taste of success, followed by a downward spiral, can lead to only one thing; stretchy, big-girl pants. NOOOOOOO!

As a result, the 3-4 lbs I had worked so hard to shed, quickly scrambled back to my middle area. Now I’m on vacation in my home state of Michigan for the next 3 weeks and I have come to a crossroads. I could either spend the next few weeks continuing with a vacation-like lifestyle (have a few cans of “pop” and park my behind in the sand of Lake Michigan) OR I could challenge myself to spend the next 3-4 weeks doubling up my efforts to get fit and eat healthy before my return to California. I chose door #2 and decided to start today with a 30 day health and fitness challenge. No time like the present…carpe diem…#itsgotime.

Oh, I should back track a bit, Diary, as you may have missed a few things during my absence. My husband and I decided a couple of months ago that we would move closer to his job this summer. The LA commute had become unbearable for all of us. Moving would mean that I needed to quit my job or possibly transfer which is still to be decided. The impending move and joblessness provided me with a golden oppoIMAG3227rtunity to head back to Michigan for an extended vacation and give us more time with extended family. I decided a road trip from California to Michigan was in order and we would stop along the way at some of our countries most breathtaking spots.

I could not be more happy with my decision to pack up the kids and minivan, have my Dad join us, and travel to places like Bryce, Zion, Arches, and Denver. It was the trip of a lifetime and I am grateful for the opportunity to literally take some of the roads less traveled. I also welcomed the complete break we were able to make with our over-scheduled lives, most of which could not be avoided. A break in routine, however, does not come without a few consequences.

All of this travel, uprooting and planning meant “less important” things had to fall by the way side. This is when my 5:2 Intermittent Day Eating fell apart along with consistent exercise. Sometimes I can run head first into prioritizing my health despite the chaos of my life and sometimes I have to know when to fold ’em…know when to walk away. I walked away for a bit. Now I’m ready to regain that feeling I get when my body feels like it belongs to me and not someone else. I am craving that euphoric, happy place where my clothes fit well and I think “Uh-huh, I feel pretty good for a 40 year old with a couple of kids.”

To get back on track, I am restarting my 5:2 Eating Plan, enlisting my Michigan family members for support, and doing an “Abs & Squats Challenge” plus an “Arms Challenge.” Both can be found on my Diary of a Dietitian Pinterest board titled Build a Better Body. An 8 day road trip across the country was taking the road less traveled, but for me taking on this fitness challenge,while on vacation, is even more of a road less traveled. Sometimes doing the opposite of what is “normal” is the only path that makes sense.

 

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Uncategorized

Don’t Should on Me!

Dear Diary,

Last week I attended a 1 day training on motivational interviewing through the company I work for. I won’t lie, Diary, I fully expected it to be painfully boring. I was wrong. It proved to reinforce the concepts I have been learning on a personal level from many hours of therapy sessions. I have watched, first hand, a therapist that is truly gifted in motivational interviewing, pull information from someone that is fighting tooth and nail to hang on to it. It’s amazing to witness the words and emotions that spill forth when someone is given the proper space, comfort level, and support. Sometimes Karate Kid images come to my mind…wax on, wax off. If you are too young to understand that reference, than you are perfectly capable of googling Karate Kid references, Daniel-San.

During the training, the instructor opened up discussion about why our patients or clients might not provide us with valuable information. Is it because they are afraid? Maybe. Is it because they think they know everything already? Maybe. Is it because they have had too many people “should” all over them? Most likely.

We have all gone to appointments and had someone in the medical world say something like, “You know, you really should cut back on the amount of juice your kids drink.” My kids rarely drink juice. “You know, at your age you should exercise more.” Um, I go to the gym and sweat my ass off for an hour several times a week. And this one takes the cake, pun intended, since I am a Registered Dietitian…”You really should just eat more fruits and vegetables.” Thanks, I’ll work on that.

The point is, there are a lot of “shoulds” and “should nots” in our lives. Once those words come out, one common thing happens to the person that is getting “should” on. They stop sharing and shut down. They think, whatever, they don’t get me or my life or my problems, so what is the point of continuing this conversation. Done. Now you “should” on me and I am done-diddy-done with you. That’s one of my coined phrases, Diary, and you should know that as we move forward on this journey. When I am done with something or someone, I am DONE-DIDDY-DONE!

Like many other people, when I am done with someone “shoulding” on me, I’m not rude about it. I don’t get up and leave the room or tell them they are clueless…although that is tempting. No, like most others I sit there like a big old bobble head and politely say “Uh-huh, yeah, sure, uh-huh” as we civilized people are required to do.

Possibly even worse than a health care professional “shoulding” on you, is someone in your personal life “shoulding” on you. “Argh, I’m so frustrated that none of my clothes fit me.” Answer from your spouse or partner? “Well, maybe you should go with me to the gym once on a while.” Yes, yes I should, but that does not allow my ass to fit in these jeans at this moment in time but thanks for reminding me that I need to go the gym! Done. Diddy. Done.

What I, and most other human beings, need is to be heard. The interesting thing, Diary, is that most people have no clue how to listen and support other human beings. We tend to point out the obvious versus just listening to what others have to say. We place our own experiences, wishes, hopes, disappointments, fears, and needs onto them. The bottom line is that we all need to be more thoughtful in both our professional and personal lives about listening and supporting the people around us, no matter what.

At said training, a You Tube video was played. The title is “It’s NOT about the Nail” and its pure genius. Some will watch it once and get the true meaning the first time around. Others, may need to watch it a few times to get past the humor of it and connect with the underlying message.

On this journey of health and wellness, I have realized that it is essential to continue to surround myself with people that honor, respect, and support my goals. There are some relationships that will not survive because of this and there are some relationships that will thrive. Just like all journeys in life, we make the best decisions we can along the way, with the ultimate goal of self fulfillment in mind.

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Recipes, Uncategorized

Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin on the Grill

Dear Diary,

Another wonderful weekend evening was spent in a beautiful backyard in Altadena with great friends, perfect weather, pool time for the kids, and of course delicious food! A summer potluck is a great reason to bust out my best recipes to share with friends and family. I decided it was high time to share our family recipe for Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin.

SweetKale-NewBag[1]The original recipe was passed along from my sister-in-law, Traci, and we have been enjoying it ever since. Each and every time I make it for friends, I have been asked for the recipe. I often serve it with Sweet Kale Salad from Costco that is filled with super healthy ingredients like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, chicory, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and a sweet poppy seed dressing. Possibly even better than it’s health factors, is the price and ease in which it comes together in about 2 minutes! Last night, Melinda’s Pineapple Cashew Rice was also a perfect match to this versatile main dish.

This post is for you Jennifer, Tina, Melinda, and Beth! My friend Sheryl, a person who has played a key role in making this blog happen, has added a subscribe feature to you Diary. She rocks and I am very excited that anyone who has enjoyed following me so far and future followers, can now subscribe and have recipes, blog entries and updates sent directly to their email inbox. Things are taking off, Diary, and I am very excited to share my nutrition expertise with as many people as possible. I can’t wait to have feedback and requests as I continue this journey and send ripples of good health and wellness as far as they can go!

Asian Marinated Pork Tenderloin

  • 2 Tablespoons Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons Dry Sherry
  • 1 Tablespoons Light Brown Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Peanut Oil
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • ½ teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Ginger
  • ½ teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 or 1 ¼ pounds Pork Tenderloin
  • Meat Tenderizer

Directions: Trim the silver skin (connective tissue that is silvery-white in appearance) from the pork tenderloin. Stab the tenderloin several times with a knife and lightly sprinkle with meat tenderizer; let sit while prepping marinade. In a gallon size Ziploc bag, combine all marinade ingredients; seal the bag and mix thoroughly.  Add the pork to the marinade and seal with as little air in the bag as possible.  Massage the pork to cover all sides and refrigerate over night or at least 8 hrs.  Grill the marinated pork tenderloin on a medium/hot barbeque grill for approximately 22 minutes (11 minutes each side) or until center is no longer pink.  Allow pork to rest (cover with foil on a clean plate) for 5 minutes before slicing.

Tips: Double the recipe and marinate two pork tenderloins for a large crowd or to plan for leftovers. If you are short on time, you can butterfly (create a long, length-wise slice down the middle of the tenderloin and flatten) to reduce cook time by several minutes.