Give Dark Chocolate on Valentine’s Day for Health?

People love to give chocolate on Valentine’s Day. But can it be healthy for you too?  In the recent years cocoa and dark chocolate, have been studied for their potential health benefits.  It is believed that cocoa and dark chocolate could reduce the risk for heart disease.  This is largely due to the special antioxidants found in cocoa and dark chocolate, called flavanols.  Research has shown that flavanols can help lower blood pressure, decrease the stickiness of platelets (potentially decreasing clotting ability) and improve blood flow to the brain and heart. Do these positive findings mean that a supersized chocolate bar is good for you?  No. … Continue reading

Make Super Bowl Menus Healthy

Super Bowl Sunday is one of my favorite Sundays of the year!  Looking for ideas on how to make your menu healthy? Follow some of my tips below so that your food spread will be one that pleases everyone and keeps your waistline happy too! Display the Colors of the Rainbow:  Set out big trays of fresh fruits and veggies and pair them with protein rich hummus or my Peanut Butter Honey Yogurt Dip.  These trays not only add a splash of color to your table, but they are the supreme “power snacks” combining high fiber complex carbs with protein and heart healthy fats.  The combo of fiber, protein and fat help you to feel more full on less calories. … Continue reading

Enjoy Family Meals Together

“My kids and hubby are meat lovers, but I prefer fish, tofu or beans with my meals.”  Sound familiar? It is really hard to enjoy family meals together?  I come across this situation many times with my clients, friends and peers. This situation is very common and often it is also complicated by the fact that many families are busy during the week and it is hard to eat together as a family.  When you do eat together as a family you want everyone to be happy and to enjoy a peaceful dinner.  How can you solve the dilemma of serving healthy meals that appeal to everyone? Batch cooking. Batch cooking is the practice of cooking large quantities of foods ahead of time so that during the week you can easily assemble and reheat meals.  Once you get used to … Continue reading

2018’s Top Three Diets

Last week, US News and World Report listed their picks for the best diets for 2018.  The #1 spot was a tie between the DASH Diet and the Mediterranean Diet.  3rd place went to the Flexatarian Diet.   All  top three diets listed by US News and World Report are lifestyle diets.  The top three diets challenge people to plan ahead their meals, cook more at home, and increase their intake of fruits and veggies.  Let’s take a closer look at each of the top three diets. DASH Diet The DASH diet stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.   It is a lifelong approach to healthy eating that is designed to help treat and prevent high blood pressure.   It encourages people to reduce their sodium intake by eating more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables and other foods that are rich in … Continue reading

Easy Nutrition Resolutions for 2018

Happy New Year! If you are looking for easy nutrition resolutions for 2018, I have some tips below to get you started. Remember that change takes time and small consistent steps.  Start each week with trying out at least 1 new tip and build from there.  By the end of February, you will have gained new healthy habits that can last you for the rest of 2018 and beyond. Eat a healthy breakfast every day   Breakfast IS the most important meal of the day.  It can also be simple too.  A quick combo of a high fiber carbs (think whole grains and fruits/veggies) + lean protein (low-fat dairy, eggs, lean meats) is key.  The combos are endless too: ¼ cup steel-cut oats + ½ cup frozen fruit + 2/3 cup of low-fat plain Greek yogurt + 4 walnut halves 1 … Continue reading

Happy St. Patty’s Day: Going for the Green!

Its true, when people say “Happy St. Patty’s Day!” many people think of green, shamrocks, and leprechauns.  This St. Patrick’s Day, I challenge you to go for the green and load up on cruciferous veggies! Many people may know of cruciferous veggies as kale, cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower, but in actuality they include many more green veggies than you may think.  What better way to “go for the greens” on St. Patty’s Day, then to learn a bit more about these wonderful, diverse and flavorful veggies. Overall cruciferous veggies are good sources of fiber, and many contain vitamins K, C, and E, folate, potassium, calcium and many cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory carotenoids. Let’s take a look at some of my favorite green veggies and a new recipe featuring some yummy greens: Broccoli Both the stalks and florets of broccoli are nutritious … Continue reading

Super Bowl Party, Dietitian Style

I am looking forward to this weekend’s Super Bowl.  While my beloved Steelers will not be playing on Sunday, I thought I would still give you some insight as to what a Super Bowl Party, dietitian style, would look like for Sunday’s big game. My menu’s overall goal is to provide good sources of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, heart healthy fats, incredible taste and eye-catching color. … Continue reading

Quick Healthy Meal Prep for 2017

Happy 2017!  What were some of your New Year’s Resolutions?  Did any of them include healthy eating?  The key to healthy eating is quick healthy meal prep.  What does that mean? Make sure that your kitchen is stocked with healthy foods and that you have a plan in place to make meal preparation easy. If you are curious as to some of the things a registered dietitian, like me, does to prep meals for a busy week, read on…..

Cooking Classes with the Town of Cary

I am very pleased to announce that I will be hosting three cooking classes this summer for the Town of Cary!  I will teach students how to make healthy and satisfying dishes with various fruits and veggies to help protect their skin from the sun and provide them with bountiful energy for the long days of summer.  Classes will be interactive and provide plenty of opportunity for hands on experience in cooking these fabulous recipes. Below are the classes that I am offering: Mediterranean Tex-Mex:  June 30, 2016 Tex-Mex can have a bold taste with the addition of farro to a classic Black Bean Salad. Get ready to broil mango as a twist to your typical summer dessert.  Learn how to prepare fruits, veggies and meats with spices to boost your energy during the long days of summer. Black Bean … Continue reading

Whole Grains, Nuts and Seeds, Oh My!

For the 4th and final week of National Nutrition Month, I challenge you to savor the flavor of whole grains, nuts, and seeds.  These wonderful foods are important staples in any meal plan to boost fiber intake. Not only do whole grains, nuts, and seeds provide fiber, but they are good sources for B vitamins (think spark plugs for the body), protein, and heart healthy fats.  Whole grains, nuts, and seeds add flavor and pizzazz to meals while satisfying your palate. … Continue reading