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.


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 nutrients that help to lower high blood pressure such as potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Furthermore, the DASH dietary guidelines are also known to help prevent or reduce the risk of osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, stroke and diabetes.  Key emphasis is on consumption of veggies, fruits and low-fat dairy with moderate intake of whole grains, fish, poultry and nuts. 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  

photo credit: derrickbrutel Muesli with strawberries via photopin (license)

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 small whole wheat tortilla + scrambled egg + veggies
  • 1 Oatmeal muffin + 1 medium apple + 8 ounces soymilk or skim milk

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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:

photo credit: Rusty Clark ~ 100K Photos Thrifty Market, Palm Bay FL via photopin (license)


Both the stalks and florets of broccoli are nutritious and edible.  When broccoli is cooked, some of its health-promoting nutrients (such as carotenoids) are concentrated.  To get the most benefit from broccoli, it should be steamed or microwaved instead of boiled.




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Super Bowl Party, Dietitian Style

IMG_0370I 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.

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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….. Continue reading

Cooking Classes with the Town of Cary

AND_Mediterranean_PhotoI 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 Farro Salad
  • Broiled Mango
  • Recipe will be given for Cilantro Chicken


Tuscan Mediterranean: July 21, 2016

A delightfully cool and refreshing White Bean Artichoke Salad made with quinoa is a perfect side dish for meats grilled during the hot days of summer. Complete your meal with healthy Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars and you will have the perfect Tuscan Mediterranean meal that is delicious, healthy and satisfying.

  • White Bean Artichoke with Quinoa Salad
  • Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bars
  • Mediterranean marinade recipes will be given to use with chicken, pork, or fish


Mediterranean by the Sea: August 11, 2016

Explore the benefits of bulgur as a staple in the Mediterranean diet with a delicious Mediterranean Bulgur Salad.  This hearty salad pairs well with fish and other seafood favorites. Learn how to make a Balsamic Tropical Fruit Salad to protect your skin from the sunny days of summer.

  • Mediterranean Bulgur Salad
  • Balsamic Fruit Salad (featuring grapes, kiwi, and if in season, strawberries and watermelon)
  • Recipes for Shrimp Scampi and Colorful Salmon will be given

If you would like to sign up for the classes, please follow the link below for more information.   I hope to see you there!


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

Meatless Monday Challenge

IMG_2081Ah, yes, it is another Monday.  Have you heard about the Meatless Monday movement?  It is a challenge to make Monday’s meals meatless. So how can one go about providing wholesome complete vegetarian meals for their family?  By using beans or lentils of course!

Did you know that beans and lentils average 7 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup cooked serving?  That is why for this week of National Nutrition Month®, I am going to talk a bit about beans and lentils to help inspire you to break out of your comfort zone and give these wholesome high protein, high fiber staples a try. Continue reading

Got Veggies?

HalloweenVeggieSkeletonGot veggies?  How fun would it be to see a campaign promoting this question?  Instead of milk mustaches, perhaps we would see kids creating funny faces using veggies.  During National Nutrition Month® I find it fun to inspire people to look at food in a new light.  This year, I hope to help people look at fiber in a new light. Fiber is not just some powder mixed in a drink or a brown twiggy type of breakfast cereal.  Rather, fiber comes in many forms and flavors such as fruits, veggies, beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds.  A high fiber diet is filled with vibrant colors, satisfying flavors and a variety of textures.  The possibilities are endless! Continue reading

Creative Fruit Fiber Ideas

Fruits_Berries_AvocadosSo you want to start to increase your fiber intake and that of your family’s? But where to begin?

Adding fiber is actually easy and very flavorful.  A creative beginning is to start with fruit.  Most whole fruits supply at least 1 to 2 grams of fiber per serving.  However, there are some fruits that stand out above the rest when it comes to increasing fiber intake.  Below are some of my favorite creative fruit ideas to help you boost your fiber intake. Continue reading