Monthly Archives: December 2009

2010 has big shoes to fill!

I am amazed by the responses from my last post. You are all so abundantly sweet and in-tune with the importance of health over numbers. I appreciate the support of me being not only a dietitian, but an imperfect person who struggles with weight, as well. Of all posts and responses, my last is most memorable. THANK YOU!

I have to say that 2009 was such a joyous, blessed year for me, and that while I have high hopes for 2010, the new year has some mongo shoes to fill. Recap of 2009…

  • graduated grad school!
  • wrote and published a thesis!
  • passed the RD exam!
  • got my first job as an RD, which I love!
  • got married and had a fairytale wedding!
  • honeymooned in beautiful Puerto Vallarta!
  • bought our first home!
  • moved from Chicago to Tulsa safely and without haphazard!
  • my husband and I are together on the same continent — no more Italy-to-Chicago love!
  • earned 280 hours towards my CDE credential!
  • we had our first baby — Lily the bulldog!
  • became the owner of a treadmill!
  • I started a blog which has quickly gained readers!

Whew! I think I got it all. It’s been a busy, wonderful year! What I have NOT done this year is continued to put a heavy emphasis on myself, which is my “resolution” for 2010. In 2010 I want to…

  • fit in exercise AT LEAST 4 days a week, every week
  • continue trying new, healthy recipes (one recipe a week!)
  • run a half marathon
  • obtain a weight that I feel energized at
  • continue blogging about nutrition
  • earn 500 hours towards the CDE credential

I was feeling adamantly against putting my 2010 resolutions for the world to see, but what could BE better accountability!? New years resolutions are not made only to be broken this year!

This evening, our NYE plans consist of PJ’s and making some fun appetizers! I haven’t been cooking at all as we’ve been traveling for nearly the past 2 weeks! Needless to say, I’m looking forward to trying some new appetizer recipes and enjoying a bottle of champagne with hubby!

For those procrastinators, or those new to Prevention RD, your recipe submissions to the Prevention Cookbook MUST be received by midnight tonight! Those who participate with receive an electronic copy of the cookbook, as well as a chance to win a cookbook (authored by a dietitian and blogger!) and a mega prize giveaway! All recipe entries should be sent to Go here for more details!

I leave you with a Lily video. This is she and her “dog uncle”, Jake.

And Sarah is having a cookbook giveaway on her blog! Check it out!

Question: What was your biggest accomplishment in 2009? Do you have any big blog plans for 2010?

Happy 2010, everyone! Be safe!


Filed under blog, diabetes, diet, dietitians, dog, exercise, fit over fat, Giveaway, healthy cooking, holiday, hors d'oeuvres, pets, recipe, travel, weight loss, work

Flash from the past!

When I was home for Christmas I decided to dig through the masses of old family photos, in search of some of my most flattering and unflattering of times. Note to self: belly-shirts look good on NO one, even those who have just dropped bunches of weight!

For those of you who have read my “About Me” section — new since moving over to my own domain earlier this month — know that I lost weight in high school on Weight Watchers. When I at my lowest weight, I decided to apply to be a Weight Watchers Success Story. Fast forward, I was chosen!

My mother-in-law must have thought something of me nearly 7 years ago to save the print-out ;). And with a little web address action, I come to find out it’s still online! Check it out here!

Weight Watchers Success Story

I later discovered that 117-lbs was not a maintainable weight for my 5’3 stature, so I am comfortably no longer a size 0. To the contrary, I’m looking forward to shedding a few pounds come 2010. Desk work and marriage have caused an unwanted scale climb, but I’m not worried. Just ready to get crack-a-lackin’!

I think I’ve gained (no pun intended!) insight between then and now; not only through weight-loss and weight-gain, but also through being a dietitian. Looking back to my Weight Watchers days, I didn’t eat dinner with my family…I ate turkey dogs and low-calorie bread pumped with preservatives.  I racked up my Weekly Points Allowance to completely let loose on the weekends. I avoided social situations so that I did not exceed my Points. I exercised so that I could eat more…lots more. Quite frankly, I was obsessive*.

Today I would shun any diet requiring you to “give up” or omit ANY food from your arsenal, or jeopardizing your family and friends so that you can reach your goals. Weight maintenance will never end, and so losing weight must also be adapted to fit the person and not the other way around.

Lastly, I think it’s important to understand that weight is not an absolute number. Most people do fluctuate weight. Going into 2010, don’t obsess about a number…obsess about YOU!

On a completely unrelated note, we had Christmas with Mark’s family last night and Mark surprised me with a NEW LAPTOP! So much for not exchanging presents after “giving one another” our new treadmill, huh? 😉 Not complaining…

My new prized possession has 4x the memory and 3x the speed of my current Dell. It also has the HD output thing. I’m excited, my ‘puter needs to be put to rest.

My new and improved laptop from hubby!

*Weight Watchers is an excellent, successful weight-loss program when followed appropriately. These comments are not indicative of the quality or methodology of Weight Watchers.

Question: Do you focus on weight or health? If you think “health”…do you know your cholesterol levels and blood pressure?

P.S. Have you entered your recipe(s) for the Prevention Cookbook? I am taking submissions through January 1st! Please check out the details here! You can not only win lots of loot, but also a cookbook written by this bloggie and dietitian! Oh, and all participants receive the cookbook filled with over 75 (and climbing!) bloggie-inspired recipes!


Filed under diet, dietitians, dog, exercise, fit over fat, friends, Giveaway, health at every size, holiday, travel, weight gain, weight loss, weight maintentance

Family, Friends, and Falling Snow

Can you make out some of the Chicago skyline through the falling snow? 😉

And the snow continues to fall…and fall. I love the snowy December weather, it makes Christmas Christmas.

I had an scary moment I’d like to share. My parent’s neighbor/my “grandpa”/boyfriend of my Grannie x27 years did not look good on Christmas. He had lost weight, had extreme fatigue, poor appetite, and was gulping down water. Knowing he’s a diabetic, I feared his blood glucose was elevated. A mere 24 hours later, he collapsed and is in the hospital with glucose levels around 600 mg/dl. Let this be a lesson to us all: When something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. DO something about it. I wish I would’ve insisted on him going to the hospital Christmas Day as he could’ve easily slipped into a diabetic coma.

Yesterday, mom made her infamous homemade donuts. Unfortunately, they were as fabulous as I remember…

homemade donuts

Yesterday I met up with 3 old college roommates — 2 at Rock Bottom in the ‘burbs and one later in the evening at a cute English pub in the city called English! Fancy that!

When in a brewery.......sample beers!

I got chili at Rock Bottom and last night I got one crab cake slider and a bowl of seafood bisque. While I am exercising portion control, my body is craving nutrition!!

Lily and my parents are getting along better than I could’ve imagined. Grandma is not only allowing Lily on the furniture ::blink:: (we don’t allow this in our house, nor has she ever with our previous dogs!), but in her lap on the Lay-Z Boys!

Maybe too big for the chair...

Lily went sledding with the neighbor kids

Morgan is in LA and I have a guest post up over there right now on nutritional yeast. If you’re interested, check it out!

Don’t forget to submit a recipe to the Prevention Cookbook! Only 4 days left!

Question: My camera and photog is embarrassing and takes horrible pictures! What kind of camera do you use?


Filed under beer, blog, blood glucose, breakfast, diabetes, dining out, dog, fried food, friends, Giveaway, holiday, lunch, nutritional yeast, pets, restaurant

Prevention Christmas Review…and a reminder!

Firstly, I have to praise you guys for such insightful, meaningful responses to my last post. You amaze me! It appears most all of us could stand to improve our intuitive eating and foodship. I was thinking of you ALL when I wanted another coconut bite last night! I held off for 10 minutes, drank some water, conversated, and I did still want that coconut bite…so I had one! My Christmas dinner is pictured below + a green salad (not pictured). I did pretty well, I think!

Question: Did you exercise intuitive eating after that friendly reminder? Did you improve your holiday “foodship” from last year?

Anyways, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas holiday! It is certainly white in Chicago!

It was a white Christmas in Chicago!

Our Christmas was wonderful, and filled with…

Check out that asparagus cookin’ away!

Mom wanted to know if her Italian Christmas dinner was blog-worthy. Answer: HECK YES! It was wonderful, mama!

Christmas Dinner — Chicken Marsala, spinach lasagna, and proscuito-wrapped asparagus
Lily helped unwrap gifts..
Hubby teaching Lily how to become a skate-boarding bulldog

One of my favorite gifts was something I stole from a good game of Dirty Santa — Christmas mini dishes and bowls. The mini dishes look like boobs!

My Christmas boobs! 😉

We also received custom wedding ornaments (so cute!), University of Illinois ornaments, games, and the down comforter we’ve wanted for our bed.

And I think most of you recall, Mark and I got one another a treadmill for Christmas. Love it! I haven’t gotten a workout in since Tuesday evening, but my brother and I are headed to the tennis club after lunch!

The deadline for the Prevention Cookbook is quickly approaching now! The Prevention Cookbook is currently packed with over 70 bloggie-inspired recipes!! You submit a recipe (email to, and you receive a cookbook AND a chance to win this giveaway package!


So here’s what I’m thinkin’ for the Prevention Cookbook…

  1. If you submit at least 1 recipe, you will receive a copy of the “cookbook”.
  2. If you submit at least 1 recipe, you will win 1 entry into a giveaway drawing (TBD as to what the prize will be, but I ASSURE you, it will be worth copying, pasting, and emailing me a favorite recipe!).
  3. If you submit a recipe to one of several “categories”, you win additional entries into the giveaway. Two recipes….2 entries…three recipes…3 entries, and so on*. And, of course, our recipe book grows.
  4. Your blog site/name will be associated with your recipe(s) — hello, blog traffic! (Side note: Heretofore, don’t pick a horrible recipe!)
  5. Recipes should be relatively healthy (i.e. lard is bad, canola oil is good). If you have the nutritional information for your recipe, each recipe you enter wins you an ADDITIONAL entry for a total of 2 entries each and a total of 12 entries!
  6. Email me your recipe(s) by January 1, 2010 (WEIRD, 2010!) to

Recipe categories will be:

  • salad
  • soup
  • appetizer and hors d’oeuvres
  • entree and main dishes
  • casseroles and side dishes
  • desserts and sweets

On January 1st, participants can expect a cookbook filled with delicious recipes delivered straight to their inbox, helping to start the new year right! Get to sendin’!

Thank you for such a great response to the cookbook, I am so excited to get to cookin’!

Who’s heading out to SHOP today??!

Not me. Be safe!


Filed under blog, diet, dinner, dog, entertaining, exercise, Giveaway, holiday, pets, recipe, salad, self-control, travel

A friendly reminder of “foodship” before you eat to oblivion

Is anyone else sick of the talk surrounding how to “manage” the holidays? Even if I racked my brain ALL day, I’d struggle to come up with a new suggestion that would alleviate any stress surrounding the holidays, weight, and healthful eating. We all know what to do…so why don’t we (always) do it?

I had one of those most insightful sessions with a patient the other day. Our entire session was spent discussing the psychology and dysfunction behind why we do what we do when it comes to food. She recalled sitting at a luncheon and plowing heaps of food into her mouth despite being uncomfortably full. She said she felt as though food was going to lurch from her stomach it was so full – filled to capacity, literally. And yet when she realized there was a dish she hadn’t tried, she got up to help herself. She described eating to the point of exhaustion – mentally and physically. She had over-consumed to the point of being ill. And yet, 20 minutes later, she gives in to the ice cream and pie that she wanted to taste. She proceeded to consume large portions of dessert, despite having already been physically ill from eating too much. And she left the luncheon feeling completely confused by her actions, and moreover, the constant cycle of this behavior. WHY do we do this?

I don’t feel there’s any physical explanation as to why this happens; I feel this is wholly mental. Rather than focusing on calories, or journaling intake, or exercise, or adequate hydration, or food choices, I’ve decided to approach this behavior by confronting the behavior and not the food. My suggestion to my patient was to keep a log of her hunger cues and to listen to her body’s needs.

For example…

If you’re reaching for an apple…


Question: Are you HUNGRY? Yes or no.

If no, WHY are you going to eat? (circle one: everyone else is, looks good, bored, sad, excited, tired, celebrating, meal time)

If you’re not hungry, do NOT eat the apple.

Wait 10 minutes.


Question: Are you HUNGRY? Yes or no.

If no, do you still WANT that apple?

If yes, eat the apple.

If no, do not eat. Ponder your reasoning behind wanting to eat in the first place? What can you do to change this?

If this sounds crazy, chances are you’ve never struggled with your weight or over-eating. Consciously or not, this type of behavior happens day-in and day-out for most all of us. This type of behavior is mainly subconscious, but destructive and dangerous to health and body weight.

Most anyone who knows me or reads my blog knows that I am a HUGE supporter of the “Fit-Over-Fat” theory. And familiar with the “Health At Every Size” (HAES) concept, have probably heard of Linda Bacon, professor of nutrition at City College of San Francisco and author of “Health at Every Size: The Surprising Truth About Your Weight [1].”

Linda Bacon supports “intuitive eating” – a means of consuming food that is in tune with hunger signaling (i.e. eating when you’re hungry and quitting when you’re satisfied). There are few individuals out there who can deem their diets flawless. Anyone and everyone should aim to incorporate healthy eating and lifestyle patterns to consume the right amount of the good and work to eliminate the bad. As a nation, we are so hyper-sensitive about weight status, clothing sizes, and weight loss…it’s nearly impossible to get excited about simply making a change because it’s the right move for your health and relationship with food and exercise. Maybe you’re like myself and just wish to escape from food from time-to-time to improve your “foodship” – your relationship with food.

The above scenario I would consider a classic case of poor foodship. The exercise detailed above is meant to hone in on signals for eating and to initiate a pattern of intuitive eating rather than the constant, mindless eating so many partake in.

While food, nutrition, and weight comprise my job each day, I would also consider food and nutrition a hobby. I guess you could say food is a HUUUUGE component of my life whether I’m shopping, preparing, eating, or thinking about food…everything seems to come back to food.

Some individuals place little emphasis on food; my mother doesn’t think about food, “crave” food, over-indulge in food, or talk about food. It’s just not a focal point of her life, unlike mine. Which leads me to my next thought — those with little emphasis on food have not only good “foodship” but also healthier weight statuses. I think this also ties in to Linda Bacon’s “intuitive eating,” don’t you?

I’m sure others have heard the saying, “Eat to live, don’t live to eat.” As an RD, I feel over-consumed by food from all angles of my life, and I can’t help but feel over-whelmed sometimes. And I can’t imagine others don’t feel the same – weight loss gimmicks smothered across magazines in the check-out lane, commercials and advertisements in all of our media, TV shows devoted to weight-loss…it’s every where. Every day. All day long.

So, question…do you feel there’s just TOO much exposure and emphasis surrounding weight-loss, dieting, food, etc.? Do you think your “foodship” could use a make-over? Do you think much of our country’s obesity can be attributed to poor relationships with food and lack of “intuitive eating”?

Can make this holiday season more healthful by utilizing intuitive eating? Will your holiday season really be less fulfilling and special if you don’t leave your celebration with unbuttoned pants? Probably not. 😉

Merry Christmas to all and to all a healthful holiday!

[1]. Jameson, Marnell. Do Extra Pounds Always Equal Extra Risk? The Los Angeles Times. October 12, 2009.


Filed under diet, fit over fat, food journal, health at every size, holiday, hunger, Linda Bacon, obesity epidemic, self-control, stress, weight gain, weight maintentance

Lily, Pinky, and a Chobani Winner!

Our kids are loved spoiled rotten.  Well, Lily is spoiled. If you recall last week, Lily had a little toenail operation (requiring morphine, it was no small boo-boo!). Today I was opening the mail and found this…

Mail addressed to "Miss Lily M." -- a Get Well Soon card from Grandma H
Mail for “Miss Lily M.” — a Get Well Soon card from Grandma H
a hand-written get well note for Lil…

What a little princess, huh? I miss that little booger…can’t wait to see her this afternoon!

Thank you, Grandma H!

Can you tell what these are???
Can you tell what these are???

Pinky had a feeding last night as we’ll be gone for 10 days…2 mice for the big guy!

One down and one to go…

I would’ve gotten a shot of him actually EATING the mouse (super cool!), but I really wanted him to eat since he won’t get another opportunity for 10 days. And he eats best in the dark and in peace (he’s very finicky about his eating conditions!).

Aren’t you glad you 1) don’t eat mice, and 2) eat more than once every 10-14 days?!

Me too!

And the 2 lucky winners of Chobani yogurt are……..

1. Randomly selected: Michelle of Lucky Taste Buds

Michelle wrote:

As an aspiring dentist (going to dental school next year!! wahoo!!) I voted for Doctors without Borders!!! :)

Info: Doctors Without Borders is an international emergency medical organization that provides lifesaving medical care to those who are victims of war and disaster regardless of race, religion, or politics, in more than 60 countries.

2. Most insightful, nutrition-related post goes to Ashley of Food, Fotos, and Fun!

Ashley wrote:

For #3, greek yogurt is more healthy for many reasons. First it has twice the protein of regular yogurts, which is good for recovery after exercise and also for satiety. Chobani yogurt is also all natural with no preservatives or artificial flavors. This is great because why would you want artificial anything? This yogurt has REAL fruit! Their yogurt also includes 5 live & active cultures, including 3 probiotics. This is great for your digestive system, and I should know – I suffer from irritable bowl syndrome! And who can forget the importance of bone-building calcium! This is a great way to get your calcium even if you don’t like milk, etc. Calcium is especially important for kids building bones and older women who tend to loose bone mass. So pass me some greek yogurt please!!

Congratulations!!! Please send me your mailing addresses to ASAP and I will get them over the Shari at Chobani. Enjoy!!!!!!!!

Thank you ALL for participating! If you didn’t win the Chobani, please consider submitting a recipe to the Prevention Cookbook for a chance to win THIS prize giveaway! All recipe submissions can be emailed to and must be received by the 1st of January!

One lucky winner will win the giveaway and ALL participants will receive an electronic copy of the cookbook…at which time there are over 70 recipes!!!!

I am Chicago-bound in just a few here….

While I hope to remain blogolicious through the holidays, please bear with me in both posting and catching up with all you lovely writers! I have a more insightful post for tomorrow, but being kitchen-less and traveling may create some blog block…we shall see!

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas! Safe travels, and thank you for bringing me so much joy this holiday season, and I do mean that!

Merry Christmas!


Filed under Uncategorized

Free til 2010!

So I thought I was being clever in swapping my red and green scrub tops and bottoms for some Christmas cheer (and to celebrate it being my last day of work til 2010!!!!!). I mean really, who enjoys such obnoxiously loud attire other than me?  …And then I saw a reeeeeeeally old lady at the post office wearing something practically identical. I guess I have the Christmas cheer of a grannie ;). She and I were twins to a tee – green on top and red on bottom. 😉

A poor bathroom mirror attempt

OK, define the word “nosh” in your head and THEN scroll down (no cheating!!!!!!!!)…..










































Definition: munch. Example of use: “I was noshing on guacamole and chips.”

So, were you right? Close? Confused?

I recently learned of the word “nosh” and I thought it might be some fun trivia for you all.

Gina of Simply Life gave me this award today (thank you, Gina!)! Her blog is so much fun, be sure to check it out!

I would like to pass this award on to 5 blogs and bloggies I love to follow:

– Georgie of Ask Georgie

–  Grace of Food-Fitness-FreshAir

– Missy of Missy Maintains

– Biz of Biggest Diabetic Loser

– Diane of Fit to the Finish

Don’t forget to go enter to win some Chobani on yesterday’s post! Chobani delivered to your doorstep? SCORE! 3 easy ways to enter, don’t miss out! Entries will only be accepted until tomorrow morning at 8am!

And if you’re still lolly gagging over the Prevention Cookbook, get on it already! The recipe pool is nearly to 70, and I know everyone wants 70 new, awesome, bloggie-inspired recipes to try in 2010, riiiiiiiiight? What to do? Just send a recipe! Easy as that. Go here for all the details. You have until January 1st to submit!

Hot date with the treadmill and lots of packing to do tonight – Chicago-bound in the AM! Do you think a wine bottle opener would constitute as a “weapon”? I’m thinking so. Guess I’ll end up having to ship those…bummer!


Filed under blog award, exercise, Giveaway, recipe, reduced-calorie, running, travel