Monthly Archives: July 2010

Guest Post: An expert in behavior change

We are in our new house and busy unpacking! I hope you all are enjoying your weekend!

Today, the beautiful Kara of My Wellnest is sharing with us her expertise on behavior change. Kara knows her stuff — she not only has a master’s degree in health but also wrote a thesis on the topic of behavior change. If you are in the health care field or interested in making healthy choices in your life…listen up to this lady!


Hello PreventionRD readers! It’s a pleasure to be guest blogging on PreventionRD, one of my favorite blogs! Thanks Nicole for the opportunity!  I’m Kara from the healthy living blog MyWellnest. I’m a 28 year old Vermonter on a on a quest to promote health and wellness in my own life, as well as the life of others.

Of all the health and wellness topics out there, one of my favorite topics is health behavior change, and specifically the attitudes and beliefs behind what makes us successful or unsuccessful in changing our health behavior long term.

I wanted to start a discussion about barriers to change, a concept taken from The Health Belief Model that helps explain the obstacles that come with changing a health behavior, for example exercising regularly or adapting healthy eating habits.  A few years ago I made a health behavior change, faced barriers, and overcame them. I thought I would share my story with you.

A few years ago I realized that my diet was almost entirely lacking in vegetables and I wanted to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. Even more than just add vegetables to my diet, I wanted to start enjoying vegetables as well. I soon realized I was up against two different barriers.

  1. I was afraid I wouldn’t like the taste and texture of the new vegetables I was trying.
  2. I didn’t know how to prepare vegetables in a way that made them appealing and enjoyable.

I approached the first barrier the only way I knew how; I hid and masked vegetables in foods that I already liked, green peppers on pizza, spinach in sandwiches and broccoli in a calzone just to name a few. This method worked for me, and slowly I began enjoy vegetables not only on pizza, but on their own as well.

The second barrier was a little bit trickier for me and to be honest I’m still learning how to cook and prepare certain vegetables. However, I’ve discovered that healthy living blogs, such as PreventionRD, provide a wealth of recipes, knowledge, and inspiration. Not long after I began reading healthy living blogs I discovered the genius that is the green monster, and that was life changing!

Question: What health behavior changes have you made or would you like to make? Did you come up against any barriers to change and if so how did you overcome them? Are you currently facing any barriers to change?


Thanks, Kara!

Eat your veggies,


Filed under fruits and vegetables, Green Monster, Guest Post

Guest Post: Shrimp in Vodka Cream Sauce


We are closing on our house today! I’ll have to post details on how I like the house as soon as I get a chance! It’s going to be a long weekend of unpacking and getting settled, because Monday… is a work day! First day on the job as a renal dietitian! 😀

But today, the beautiful and intelligent Georgie of Ask Georgie is sharing a delicious recipe! I know I can’t wait to give this one a try!! Georgie is a Registered Dietitian and bulldog owner — we have lots in common! Unlike myself, Georgie is the ultimate calorie cutter in the kitchen…without sacrificing taste. My favorite recipe of Georgie’s (so far) has been her Faux Fried Calamari. We make this stuff ALL THE TIME!! So, without further adieu…Georgie!


Shrimp in Vodka Cream Sauce

1 teaspoon olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup vodka OR ½ cup broth
1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained well
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
1/8 to ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
¾ cup fat free half and half
1½ teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined


  1. Place a medium pot of water over high heat. (This will be used to boil the shrimp in step 5.)
  2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add oil, shallot and garlic and cook 2 minutes to soften.
  3. Add vodka or broth to skillet and raise heat to bring to a boil. Boil 2 to 4 minutes or until reduced by about half. Stir in tomatoes, basil and hot pepper flakes and reduce heat to medium.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together half and half, cornstarch and baking soda until smooth. Whisk mixture into sauce, and cook 3 to 4 minutes, until slightly thickened. Season with salt and pepper to taste and turn heat to very low to keep warm.
  5. Add shrimp to boiling water for 5 to 7 minutes or until opaque. Drain and pat with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Toss shrimp with vodka sauce and serve.

Makes 2 servings.


Doesn’t that sound divine?! Mmmm!

Question: When making pasta sauces, do you typically purchase prepared sauces or opt for the homemade stuff? 🙂

Have a wonderful weekend,


Filed under dog, Guest Post, healthy cooking, recipe, reduced-calorie

Guest Post: NuVal – “Nu” to you?

Well, it’s Thursday! I am driving from central Illinois straight to my interview in Columbus, OH! Which, by the way, is a 2 1/2 hour interview! I will spend 30 minutes with each of 5 different individuals or panels of dietitians. Talk about intense! After the interview, we’ll be checking into our hotel (which I’m sure will be super un-classy since they allow pets…when traveling with dogs, be prepared to rough it!) and then I’ll be seeing OUR NEW HOUSE for the first time! Believe it — Mr. Prevention purchased our new home without my approval. I am really hoping he did a good job!!

Anyways, Christina of Food.Fun.Fabulous is interning for NuVal this summer and offered to write today’s guest post! I am a huge, huge, huge fan of NuVal! I teach NuVal scoring to patients and have used it in classroom settings, as well. But I’ll let the very wise Christina tell you all about it!

Thanks, Christina! Enjoy!



How many times have you rushed into the grocery store wanting to pick out something healthy for your family and just didn’t have time to look at the Nutrition Facts Panel or the ingredients list? Maybe if you do have a second, you only concentrate on one thing – Fat? Salt? Sugar?  It can all be a confusing.  If you are looking for a little help, the NuVal™ Nutritional Scoring System is here.

NuVal is a nutritional scoring system developed by a dozen top health and nutrition experts, including Dr. David Katz.  The Overall Nutritional Quality Index™ (ONQI) algorithm factors in more than 30 different nutrients making it the most comprehensive algorithm to date.  Generally favorable nutrients such as fiber and omega-3 fatty acids are placed in the numerator while generally unfavorable nutrients like saturated and trans fatty acids are placed in the denominator and voila! – a score from 1 to 100 is generated; the higher the number, the higher the nutrition.  Now you can see at a glance how nutritious a food is.

I’m starting to sound like an infomercial now aren’t I? But NuVal is not a hoax.  It is based on pure science and it is independent! NuVal was funded by Griffin Hospital and not developed in association with manufacturers or others interested in specific outcomes.  Scores are based on national dietary guidelines and current research.  NuVal even considers how certain nutrients impact disease risk including heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.  Want proof? A Harvard Study conducted by Dr. Walt Willett determined that the higher the NuVal scores in an individual’s diet, the lower the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Currently, NuVal is in place at Price Chopper, Hy-Vee, Meijer, Brookshire, Festival Foods (WI), and United Supermarkets across the country as well as in Kroger stores in Lexington, Kentucky.  It’s also being established in several other retailers throughout the year.  Not in a store near you?  Go to and suggest a store!  You can also see sample scores on the website, link to our NuVal blogs, and play our Nutrition by the Numbers game.

I have had the extremely fortunate experience of interning at NuVal this summer.  In fact I have less than a month left and I’m so sad to be leaving!  I’ve had the pleasure to be under the wing of NuVal’s Senior Director of Nutrition, Annette Maggi, as well as NuVal’s Nutrition Communications Manager, Rachel Rodek.  I swear I must have grown 3 feet (figuratively of course!) in the past few weeks from everything they have taught me.  So I’m sending out a big THANK YOU to both of them.

If there is one thing you can take away from NuVal, it’s that there is always an opportunity for a “trade-up.” It doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite snacks for an eating plan consisting only of fruits and veggies.  If you love cookies try switching from one that is lower scoring to one that is higher scoring.  The highest scoring cookie is Kashi TLC Tasty Little Cookies Chewy Oatmeal Raisin Flax with a score of 40. That is awesome for that category because the average cookie score is a 7.  Even Oreos score above average with a 24!  Another somewhat surprising score?  Annie’s Homegrown Cinnamon Bunny Grahams score less than half as much as Oreos with an 11. Sorry but being organic doesn’t automatically mean it is high scoring.

So keep in mind that little changes add up over time and can have a big impact on your health.

NuVal. One number. One decision. One food at a time.


Question: Have you heard of NuVal? Is the NuVal scoring system active in your local grocery store?

NuVal love,


Filed under grocery store, Guest Post, NuVal, Uncategorized

Guest Post: Body Image after ED’s

Hi everyone! We are in Illinois! We got in REALLY late last night! We are sad to be no longer be Okies…but excited to begin a new chapter of life. I realized as our home was packed and moving to a new place, home is where the heart is. As much as I loved our home in Tulsa, it wasn’t the same with all of our valuables and special touches removed. 😦 Enough sappiness…off to enjoy family time!

Today, Dana of Happiness Is Within will be talking about body image. Dana’s blog is so honest and raw — she makes me “get” eating disorders which have always been difficult for me to understand, even as a nutrition professional. You will appreciate Dana’s candid writing and super sweetness! 🙂

Take it away, Dana! 😀


Hi everyone, I’m the writer behind Happiness is Within. I started the blog on a whim as a way to get and give support during my recovery from my Eating Disorder. It has turned into a great treasury of recovery tools for me and I couldn’t be more thankful!

I talk about body image a lot on my blog. I struggle with accepting my body on a daily basis. Everyday is a new challenge on learning to love my body the way it is. It was suggested to me at some point that I start a movement. This is when the ‘Love Your Body’ posts began!

These post have helped me more then I can put into words. Each post is from a guest writer, they tell their story and how they have come to love their own body.

I’ve realized through hearing from so many different women of different shapes and sizes that its not really about our size. You can hate your body at a size 0 or you can hate it at a size 14. In the end it’s the same, you still hate your body.

We live in a culture that is obsessed with size. We think the smaller our size, the healthier we are. Somehow weight loss became partners with health. This couldn’t be any further from the truth. What should matter is that we are eating a balanced diet and our body is in good health.

At my smaller sizes I was nothing but unhealthy. I was exhausted, cold, and my body stopped working properly. I couldn’t think straight and I felt nothing but hatred towards my body. I originally started recovery for my eating disorder to gain weight and health. At some point though, I decided I had enough of hating my body.

Learning to love your body is something that happens within. It doesn’t happen when you can fit into a smaller pant size or when you finally tone up your stomach. It happens when you decide your worth it and your beautiful just the way you are.

Loving your body happens when your sick of everyone telling you how you should look and you realize that we are all different, that’s what makes us beautiful.

Do you know how many women in their 40’s have told me they wish they recognized how great of a body they had when they were younger? Numerous women have told me they spent 20+ years wishing their body was different only to look back half a decade later and realize how beautiful they truly were. They wished they could have seen it they and didn’t spend so much time criticizing it because now its gone for them.

I encourage you to not be one of those people. Don’t waste your life hating your body. Don’t be one of those people who look back years from now and wish they would have appreciated their body more. Decide to make the change now to love the way your look and love your body for everything it enables you to do.

Imagine how much happier your life could be.


Question: What helps you keep positive body image? What is something you could work on to improve your body image?



Filed under Guest Post, health at every size, Uncategorized, weight gain, weight loss

Guest Post: Around the World (Ghana)

We are pretty much packed up, except for our bed. The movers left that up so we could get a good nights sleep. 😀  Thank you, movers! They will load the truck today and we are likely heading to Illinois this afternoon and will drive through the night so we can spend tomorrow with Mr. Prevention’s family and Lily’s “uncle”, Jake (their dog!). I whipped out an AWESOME 4-mile run last night (my first 2 miles were 9:50 pace in the 102 degree heat…at 7pm!). I won’t miss the southern heat, that’s for sure! Off I go…! Another busy day! But first, a few photos…

This is when it hit…we are moving!

What does a kitchen look like when it’s all packed up? See above. Oops 🙂

Moving tip: When you move your fridge, place a few scoops of coffee grounds in a paper towel and tie off with a rubber band. Place several coffee ground bundles in your fridge and freezer to avoid mildew build up as it cools and travels.

ANYWAYS, the wonderful Katie of Katie Healthy Heddleston has written a wonderful post on Ghana that I am sure you’ll enjoy…I know I did! I am fairly new to Katie’s blog, but am really enjoying it! Plus, we have a TON in common — Registered Dietitians, newlyweds, bloggers, and living in Ohio! Katie doesn’t know this, but I almost went to Case Western to complete my master’s and dietetic internship. Crazy to think we could’ve been real life friends before bloggy friends! Katie is gluten-intolerant, so her blog is a great resource for those needing to eliminate gluten in the diet! Check her out!

Take it away, Katie!



The Republic of Ghana is a country located in West Africa bordering the Ivory Coast to the west, Burkina Faso to the north, Togo to the east and the Gulf of Guinea to the south. Below you will find a small interview regarding healthy food in Ghana. Thank you to my friend Jenny N. for supplying the answers to these questions as she is such the world traveler!!

Jenny N:

Q: Most healthy/nutritious food experienced while in Ghana and where eaten?

A: “All the fresh fruits and veggies – especially mangos and pineapples – from street vendors or the market.” ~Jenny N.

Q: What would you eat in Ghana if the healthy/nutritious factor did not matter?

A: “Everything we ate was pretty fresh. There was access to processed food but we tried to stay away from it. Most people ate a lot of heavy starch and corn in the morning and then didn’t eat much during the day – partially due to not being able to afford other things.” ~Jenny N.


Lifestyle comments:

“What you eat really depends on how much money you have. There are certain traditional things (corn, ken key, jol lof rice) and nutritionally fortified foods, but there is also fast food or ‘western’ grocery stores if you want imported goods.” ~Jenny N.

Upon some further research, I found out that Ghanaians enjoy a flavorful cuisine, cooking with many spices including: curry, ginger, garlic, onions, cayenne, and chili peppers. Certain foods of the Ghanaian diet vary depending on which region of the country one lives in. However, staple foods consist of rice, yams, corn, cassava, plantains, and stews such as “okra, fish, bean leaf (or other greens), forowe (a fishy tomato stew), plava sauce (spinach stew with either fish or chicken), and groundnut (peanut), one of the country’s national dishes.” ~Source

Question: Ever visit Ghana or West Africa? Post your comments and add to the discussion now 🙂

If you’d like to be a part of the Around the World mini series please find out how here. Also, remember the Around the World series is for entertainment purposes only, view the disclaimer.


Thanks, Katie!

Be well,


Filed under Guest Post, travel, Uncategorized

Guest Post: Quinoa Party Salad

Hey everyone! We are busy packing away! Mellissa of A Fit and Spicy Life is sharing a recipe today! I’ve been following Mellissa’s blog for nearly a year! Time flies! She and I are lovers of all things wine and Italy! A girl after my own heart!

Take it away, Mellissa!


Quinoa being one of those great superfoods makes a great salad base with a great protein and carbohydrate ratio. Adding in black beans, corn, and peppers give it a nice pop of flavor while the dressing in jalapeno gives it some spice.

Quinoa Party Salad

2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
2 peppers –1 red and 1 orange
2 cans black beans
2 cans corn (or fresh)
1 cup of cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 Lime
1 tbsp cumin
Pinch of Red Pepper Flakes


Cook quinoa in 4 cups of boiling water, covered, for about 20 minutes. Let cool.

Chop pepper, cilantro, jalapeño and add to corn and beans.

Whisk olive oil, lime juice, salt/pepper. cumin and red pepper flakes.

Add quinoa to bean and veggie mixture and top with dressing and salt/pepper. Serve at room temperature or cold.

I love taking healthy salads that have unique ingredients and what is even better is that even picky eaters will eat this salad. It is my signature dish!


Thanks, Mellissa!

Question: Do you enjoy quinoa?

Have a great night,


Filed under entertaining, Guest Post, recipe

I am living out of my bath tub!

Well, not really…but that’s where all of my stuff is that I’ll be needing until next (potentially) Monday. Our delivery in Ohio is scheduled between the 30th and the 2nd. PLEASE let it be the 30th!

I love those little pop-up hamper things…so much easier than a suitcase when you’re not flying!

Yesterday morning I made a delicious baked oatmeal breakfast. We had all the ingredients on hand and I used up the last of a HUGE container of oats. Mr. Prevention was happy to see that be tossed on this end. It was kinda really large! Plus I figured this would travel well and be a better option than McD’s Sausage Egg McMuffin during our 2 days or driving. 😉

Baked Oatmeal slightly adapted from Taste of Home

3 cups oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup skim milk
1/2 cup butter Smart Balance Light, melted
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Additional milk*


In a large bowl, combine the oats, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. In a small bowl, combine the milk, butter, vanilla, and eggs. Stir into oat mixture until blended.

Spoon into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until set. Serve warm with milk. Yield: 9 servings.

*not accounted for in nutritional information.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 245 calories; 7.4 g. fat; 48 mg. cholesterol; 363 mg. sodium; 41.2 g. carbohydrate; 2.8 g. fiber; 5.6 g. protein

Result: This was delicious! If you try this, serve it with milk right in the bowl…mmm mmm! The original recipe, as you can see, called for butter. By using Smart Balance Light I shaved the recipe to 245 calories, versus the original 318 calories. It’s also lower in sodium with the substitution, as well!

Well, the movers should be here soon and I’m sure there’s something I should be doing in order to be productive towards this move! This week, you will see lots of guest posts! They are all wonderful, informative, and fun…and I hope you like them! I will give a little daily update of our progress, but other than that, I will be unplugged until next week…or until I have internet access! Have a wonderful week! Thanks for reading!

“See” ya in Ohio! 😀


Filed under breakfast, healthy cooking, recipe, reduced-calorie, sodium, travel, Uncategorized