Category Archives: age

Up and at’em! (+ 5-Hour Energy Confession)

The drive in last night was long and sleepy. It was quite the week, even if only 4 days. There was a full week and then some crammed into Monday through Thursday and I found myself having trouble staying away one hour into my 5 1/2-hour drive back to Chicago. Of course, Mr. Prevention’s suggestion was 5-Hour Energy.

Well, friends, desperate times call for desperate measures. I stopped at some scary gas station in Indiana and picked up a 5-Hour Energy (pomegranate flavor…which was tolerable, by the way). I’ll tell you, the stuff really did the trick. It PAINS me to admit that, but it really did. I still don’t advocate for he MEGADOSE of B-vitamins (or 8333% the daily value of anything!), but my sleepiness was to the point I was going to have to pull over and grab a hotel room if something didn’t wake me up. And 6 hours later, I conked out the second I hit the pillow and slept through the night a full 8 hours. Hmmm?

I had told my parents last night that I wanted to sleep in. What a joke. I was up well before anyone else. I can attribute some of that to being on EST in a CST zone, but this is just another sign that I’m getting old(er). A sign I am totally okay with, so long as I get my 8 hours of beauty rest! 😀

When I got into town last night, my mom showed me a few recipes she had printed off that Taste of Home had sent this week. Of course, I had saved the very same recipes to try. Great minds think alike 😀 Sign up for Taste of Home email recipes if you haven’t already — they have healthy options, quick options, budget-friendly…it’s great!

Plans today include visiting family & friends, working out, and going out to eat at the restaurant my little brother works at 🙂

I won’t leave you guys recipe-less, however. I made this recipe before teaching on Monday night. It took all of 15 minutes and was absolutely wonderful. I turned my co-worker onto one of my favorite blogs, My Bizzy Kitchen, and she raved about this soup. So of course, I had to make it, too. Tomato soup takes me back to the days of living in my sorority house: everyone was always at lunch when tomato soup and grilled cheese were on the menu! 😉

Simple Tomato Soup slightly adapted from My Bizzy Kitchen

2-28 oz canned no-salt added tomatoes (one can diced, one can fire roasted)
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 Tbsp Italian parsley, freshly chopped
1 serving Hot Sauce, Tabasco
1 cloves garlic, minced


Gently heat the olive oil over medium heat and add garlic, taking care not to brown the garlic.

Stir in the canned tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.

Remove from stove, let cool slightly. Using a (stick) blender puree soup. Add in cream. Serves 4 (2 cups each).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 196 calories; 10 g. fat; 27 mg. cholesterol; 130 mg. sodium; 18.5 g. carbohydrate; 3.5 g. fiber; 5 g. protein

Result: This was delicious! Don’t freak out about the heavy cream…a little bit goes a long way! I used no-salt added tomatoes to knock the sodium content down and the recipe didn’t need any salt added…the cream, garlic, and oil season it beautifully. The portion is BIG and pairs so well with some homemade bread. The soup reheated great for lunches, and can be stretched to 6 servings or more as a side dish. Enjoy!

I think it’s time to get out of bed and get some coffee. I heard my mom pitter-patter down the stairs not too long ago. 😉

Question: Do you like tomato soup? Do you pair it with grilled cheese?




Filed under age, caffeine, coffee, exercise, fruits and vegetables, garlic, healthy cooking, low-carb, recipe, sleep, sodium, travel, vegetarian, vitamins

Pumpkin Bread & Mr. P’s birthday!

Happy Birthday to my Mr. Prevention! He is turning the BIG 3-0 today!!! That’s a big birthday! I got him headphones and candy, haha. I’m practical! We went out to a new Mexican restaurant last night and then out to see Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps…which we both agreed, was really, really bad! And now Mr. P is sleeping in…probably his #1 birthday wish. As for today, I have no idea what we’ll do…whatever Birthday Boy wishes! 😀 And it is looking to be a stunning fall day in Mid Ohio!

Illinois has a bye week this week, so the chili contest will resume next weekend with Entry #4!

As for today’s recipe, I bring you more of fall…a recipe per Mr. P’s request: Pumpkin Bread. Have I mentioned how much I I am loving fall this year?! I opened a 6 1/2 POUND can of pumpkin to make Pumpkin Lasagna and this Pumpkin Bread used another 1/5th of the can…if that. Next is pumpkin breakfast for the week and some pumpkin butter at some point. Stay tuned!!

Pumpkin Bread by Prevention RD

1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola oil
2 eggs, lightly bean
16 oz canned unsweetened pumpkin puree
1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves


Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour a 9in x 5in loaf pan. Stir together sugar and oil. Stir in eggs and pumpkin. Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Blend dry ingredients into wet mixture, mixing until just combined. Pour batter into loaf pan and spread evenly. Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool. Yield: 8 slices.

Nutrition Information (per slice): 345 calories; 15.9 g. fat; 54 mg. cholesterol; 349 mg. sodium; 48 g. carbohydrate; 5.5 g. fiber; 2.5 g. protein

Result: Deeeeeeeeeeeelicious! I studied several recipes and went for it…making some healthy modifications along the way. To reduce the calories and fat more so, sub in 1/4 cup applesauce + 1/4 cup canola oil for the 1/2 cup of canola oil. I think a big’ol slice of delicious, warm pumpkin bread is well worth the 345 calories, though 😉


Miss Lily had a vet appointment yesterday. She’s going to need eye surgery for her entropion — her eye lids roll inward and rub her eye. It’s caused her eye ulcers in the past and now she’s just uncomfortable and has gunk in her eyes all the time. As for her health, the vet said he was okay with her 64-pound physique, but it’s best she maintains her weight instead of continuing any upward climb. He asked what we feed her and I shared her diet. He asked about treats and I said she gets 1/2 of a Milk Bones when she goes in her crate. He said Milk Bones are high-calorie treats for dogs…which I didn’t know. But, I should’ve known…or at least thought to research into! I AM A BAD DOGGY DIETITIAN!!! So Miss Lily will be put on a baby carrot treat diet and maybe not get quite to many bowls to lick when I’m through with them. No wonder she likes to “help” in the kitchen so much…

Oops! 😉

Trivia Question: What 5 spices make up “Pumpkin Pie Spice”?

Happy days,


Filed under age, pets, recipe, Uncategorized

The beginning of the end…

At 1:08pm yesterday I was sitting in my office crying. Not bawling, but just little tears and sniffles. I hate goodbyes. But I really hate feeling like I’m letting people–my patients–down. I am not vain enough to think I’ve made an irreplaceable stamp on their lives, but I have formed close, meaningful, and productive relationships to produce lifestyle changes with hundreds of people over the past 13 months. It’s been hard to hear, “I don’t know how I can keep going without our appointments” and “I don’t want to see another dietitian”. All I can do at this point is reflect on the time I’ve spent with my patients and leave knowing that I gave them 100%, and have hopefully armed them with the tools and skills to make life-long healthy choices. Ahh…I hate goodbyes! I guess now is a good time to mention my last day is next Thursday, the 15th.

Any who, Mr. Prevention is, yet again, gone this week working in Ohio so I made a big’ol batch of pasta salad to enjoy for lunch and dinner this week. I did not use whole wheat pasta because Giada’s cute curly-Q pasta caught my eye at Target (oops!), but I calculated the nutrition information with whole wheat pasta, as that’s what I would normally use.

Prevention Pasta Salad

15 ounces whole wheat pasta
2 heads broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
34 slices turkey pepperoni
2 green bell peppers, sliced
½ cup olives (I used kalamata)
8 ounces 2% cheddar cheese, cubed
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 vidalia or red onion, sliced


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp ground mustard
1 tsp salt
Black pepper, to taste


Cook pasta according to directions. In the last 2 minutes of boiling the pasta, add the broccoli to blanch. Drain noodles and broccoli and transfer to a large bowl.

To make the dressing, combine the vinegar and spices. Slowly drizzle oil into the vinegar mixture as you whisk to combine. Pour dressing over pasta and toss to combine.

Stir in pepperoni, bell pepper, olives, cheese, tomatoes, and onion. Serves 12.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 284 calories; 14.8 g. fat; 13.3 mg. cholesterol; 483 mg. sodium; 33 g. carbohydrate; 6.3 g. fiber; 10.3 g. protein

Result: This is your basic backyard BBQ pasta salad…and I’m a fan! Mmmm mmm!


And as for the garden…

Several of you (lots of you, really!) pointed out that I’ll be leaving my garden I worked so hard to build. And while that is true, it has yielded so much fresh produce and more to come through the month. Just this week green peppers and cucumbers are making an appearance! If I get jalapenos, the only thing that didn’t produce will have been broccoli!! I’ve already enjoyed cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, onions, spinach, kale, romaine, squash, and potatoes!

A quick little shout out to my little brother, Rob, who is turning the big 2-1 today!! Happy birthday, Bubbie! Ladies, he is single, handsome, and quite the catch! Email if interested 😉 And I’m just SURE he’ll be behaving on his big day!! Probably doesn’t help his big sissy sent a GIANT bottle of Grey Goose for the big day 😉

Question: Pasta salad or potato salad? What did YOU do on your 21st birthday?

Short story: One of my best friends and I have the same birthday, so on our 21st we rented Bruce Springstein’s suite at the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown Chicago. It was AWESOME! We invited all of our friends to pre-party (you know, light apps) and then headed out to Sound Bar in the city. So. Much. Fun! Best part? No hangover. Still to this day, I have no idea how that didn’t happen!

P.S. Hi to new readers! There’s lots of you lately! 😀

Happy day,


Filed under age, alcohol, dietitians, fruits and vegetables, garden, recipe, salad, travel, work

childhood beverages

Study finds that girls consuming two or more 8-ounce servings of sweetened beverages a day at the age of five were “more likely to be overweight than were girls classified with lower intake over the study period.” Those drinking more than two servings of sweetened beverages at age five had a 53.9% chance of being overweight by the age of 11 [1].
The authors did not, however, find a link between milk or fruit juice consumption and weight status over this ten year data collection period [1].
Possibly of most importance was the finding of increased sweetened beverage intake over time. Those girls at the highest intake of sweetened beverages at the age of five had significantly higher intakes from age 7 to 15 compared to those drinking one serving of sweetened beverages a day or less. Consumption remained the same for those girls consuming one to two servings a day of sweetened beverages [1].
What to take away from this study is most certainly pushing water and low-calorie beverages with children. Habits and food preferences are instilled at a young age – don’t set your children up for a lifetime of weight struggles. Consider also the caffeine and sugar content of beverages as well, and how those contents can affect sleep, dental hygiene, attention span, and learning opportunities.
Did you drink soda as a kid? Juice? KoolAid? Whole milk after the age of 2? 
I think my mom did well with this, actually. We rarely drank soda, as it was not kept in the house. Dinner was typically milk (2% and later to skim), water, or Crystal Light. Possibly some juice, but it wasn’t a staple from my recollection. 

Even programs such as WIC no longer support juice consumption for children and opt to provide access to the whole fruit, providing both the nutrients AND volume, thus increasing the satiety of the calories consumed.

Dinner tonight: 1/2 acorn squash with 1 1/2 Tbsp melted Smart Balance Light, 2 tsp Splenda Brown Sugar, 1/2 tsp turbinado, and 1/2 ounce pecans….mmmm!! Talk about fall comfort food! Mama N used to make these babies sans the healthy butter and reduced-calorie 
sugars…and way more pecans! She was trouble, that mama of mine!!!

P.S. It tastes WAY better than it looks!
P.P.S. My diet yesterday looked a lot like the day before so I am sparing myself and you from writing and reading it!
[1]. Thomas, Caroline. Kids’ Soft Drink Habits Predict Teenage Weight: Study. Vol. 90, No. 4, 935-942. October 12, 2009.

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Filed under age, obesity epidemic, research study, soda

Day 2 and more

I dropped Lily off at “Camp Bow Wow” this morning for her “interview” (we’re boarding her during our Thanksgiving trip to Chicago). Needless to say, she’s having a blast right now at camp. How do I know this? I’m WATCHING her online! Yep, that’s right! Camp Bow Wow has cameras installed in the facility so you can watch your dog play indoors, outdoors, sleep, eat, and more! Since she’s going to be one POOPED little puppy tonight, I’ve asked my husband to take me out on a date tonight! So, here’s my day so far…

1 cappuccino with sugar-free International Delight (0 carbs)
1 slice wheat toast (1 carb)
1/2 Tbsp Smart Balance Light (0 carbs)
1 egg, large (0 carbs)
1 Fiber One bar (2 carbs)
     Total: 3 carbs

1/4th Spinach Calzone from last night (3 1/2 carbs)
1/2 c. roasted vegetables: potatoes, carrots, and squash (1/2 carbs)
     Total: 4 carbs

1 large chocolate chip cookie (2 carbs)

Dinner and PM snack: TBD

While that afternoon cookie isn’t the best choice, my co-worker always stops for cookies from an Amish Bakery before our RD meetings each month. So, I know cookies will be there (and she always gets chocolate chip), I will want one, and I need to limit myself to ONE to not go over my carbs.

Anyways, Chicago finds out today whether or not the 2016 Olympics will be held there! I’m really hoping they are, but that’s easy to say as I don’t live there anymore and will have my parent’s home to crash at during the events if we decide to attend. Oh, and the taxes…I won’t be paying Illinois taxes 🙂 Either way, an exciting time for Chicago and the Olympics in Chicago supporters (there’s a lot against it, and their reasoning is justified). We shall see!

The Chicago Tribune put out an article yesterday stating that life expectancy is still rising in “rich” countries and that many babies born after 2000 may live to be 100 years old. Even more shocking is that this upward trend in life expectancy is not showing a plateau in sight [1]. How old was Moses when he died? 120? Kidding, kidding.

The article states, “While illnesses affecting the elderly like heart disease, cancer and diabetes are rising, advances in medical treatment are also making it possible for them to remain active for longer. The obesity epidemic, however, may complicate matters. Extra weight makes people more susceptible to diseases and may increase their risk of dying. In the U.S., data from 1982 to 2000 showed a major drop in illness and disability among the elderly, though that has now begun to reverse, probably linked to the rise in obesity [1].”

Moving on….ginger. Ginger is by far a favorite ingredient of mine. While nothing tops garlic in my heart, ginger MAY take the silver. For hundreds of years, ginger has been used to ease nausea. A number of studies have been assessed to find that ginger does cure nausea caused from sea-sickness, morning-sickness, and chemotherapy. While the mechanism of action is yet to be determined, the proposed active ingredient in ginger is 6-gingerol, which helps relax intestinal muscles. How much ginger to ease nausea? Studies suggest 0.5 grams to be effective and it’s available as powder in capsule form, as well as it’s natural root state. Simply shave off several slices of ginger to chew and swallow, or enjoy it blended in water or a smoothie [2]. 

And did anyone else hear that Coke is putting calories on all their products? Read more here. I have to say, however, it would be MOST useful to do one of two things with say, 20 ounce bottles of soda – 1) list the TOTAL calories and carbohydrates in the whole bottle (people won’t look at servings per container!) or 2) do away with anything other than 1-serving containers for individual sale (which won’t happen). Unfortunately, even consumers who are trying to follow labels and make better decisions are unclear on how to read nutrition labels. So many of my patients fail to realize that while there are 26 grams of carbohydrate in an 8-ounce serving of soda….there are 65 grams of carbohydrate in the 20-ounce bottles they drink!!! Without knowing how to read the labels, however, most go on thinking they’re consuming 26 grams, or “2 carbs”. As soon as I point out the math (i.e. “You’re drinking more carbohydrates than you’re supposed to eat in a MEAL”), that soda loses a lot of appeal. So, I do wish labeling were a bit more straight forward for consumers to utilize appropriately. Off soap box.

In reading a fellow RD’s blog this week, I found this YouTube view — a snipet from The View on an episode hosting Paula Dean and her new cook book for children and specifically, children’s lunches. Listen for Barbara Walters calling out Paula, it’s great!

I hope it’s as beautiful where ever you are as it is here today! TGIF and have a WONDERFUL weekend!

[1]. Cheng, Maria. Happy 100th Birthday! Most babies born since 2000 will hit 100, life expectancy still rising. Chicago Tribune. October 1, 2009.
[2]. O’Connor, Anahad. The Alternative Medicine Cabinet: Ginger. The New York Times. October 1, 2009.

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Filed under age, chronic disease, complimentary and alternative nutrition, obesity epidemic

100+: the fastest growing age segment!

That’s right! The US and Japan lead the world in populations of centenarians as a population growing 20x the rate of the total population by 2050. In 1950, there were only a few thousand over the age of 100 while today there are an estimated 340,000 worldwide [1].

Why is this?

Demographers declare medical advancements and improved diets are to thank. How’bout it, nutrition!? Genetics, lifestyle factors, and doctors willing to treat chronic diseases aggressively are also key contributors to the climb in age [1]. There’s so such thing as “too late” in today’s medical field to reverse the progression of disease. Nope, nope, nope!

While Japan leads the projected number of centenarians at 627,000 by the year 2050, the US is not far behind. We come in second with an estimated 600,000 come 2050, which is up from the current 75,000 in the 100+ age segment [1].

What does this mean for Medicare and Social Security? Well, it means something better if we each do our part in preserving our health. The cost of chronic disease management is perverse…obscene, even. The reality is, the younger generations may be SOL when it comes to government assistance come post-retirement age. 401k anyone?

Though the average American lives to be 78, most Americans would like to live to 89. Twenty percent of Americans would like to live to 90 with 8% wishing to live to see 100 [1]. With those goals and aspirations, we’d better aim to better our health or else it could certainly feel like a really long life.

Well, I’ll have you know, I take my health very seriously and I intend to preserve it to the best of my abilities. It’s a personal aspiration of mine to live to be 100+. When I was growing up, every Sunday at church there was the cutest little old lady who used to handout candy to kids as they exited the sanctuary. Every week she was there. While I appreciated the candy, I had come to appreciate her over the years. It wasn’t until after her passing that I learned she was nearly 103 years of age. She was mentally sharp as a tack, and physically well enough to never require mobile assistance. She even posed in a Harley Davidson photo shoot on her 100th birthday I later found out. Seriously though, what a woman!

I see much of the same in my own 86-year-old Grannie. I’m sure you recall my boasting of her dance moves at my recent wedding reception…but here’s a new story for you. On my way home from work last Friday I gave her a ring. I figured she would be heading downstairs to have dinner shortly (she lives in an independent living facility), but I tried her anyways. Turns out, she invited her “friend” Bill over (I use the term “friend” loosely. Grannie likes gentlemen, and has forever required several leading “friends” in her life. Bill just happens to be geographically desirable, however). They ordered in a pizza and were listening to music together. Maybe she was planning on showing off her dance moves, I’m just not quite sure. She did mention he was handsome. But, my point is…besides some short-term memory loss, the use of a walker (by choice), and some controlled hypertension, the woman is kickin’ strong. You go, Grannie!

Aging can be a beautiful process, and I look forward to it…because I plan to do what it takes to do so gracefully. Kudos to those over 100 or well on your way…you’re my inspiration!

[1]. Yen, Hope. Starting to Get Crowded in 10o-Year-Olds’ Club. The Washington Post. July 20, 2009.

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Filed under age, chronic disease, US health care