Category Archives: dining out

Beer Cheese Soup (Lightened Up)

Thanks for the accountability, folks. I pounded out a quick 5K before pouring a glass of Pinot Grigio last night. It was just one of those weeks, and the only thing getting me through Thursday and Friday was the thought of a happy hour drink come Friday. It’s the little things in life.

Mr. Prevention and I did a whole lot of NOTHING last night other than catching up with the DVR, and it was glorious. We were planning to go out to eat, but Mr. P has had some really early hours this week (hello, 4:30am…ew), and staying it just seemed like the right things to do 🙂 Of course, Mr. Prevention insisted on leftover pizza for dinner and I would have nothing of it. I had my mind set on bigger, better, and cheesier things. 😉

I had never heard of Beer Cheese Soup until a week ago. And since then, it’s all I’ve wanted. Beer? Please. Always. Cheese? Please. Always. I know I’m not alone here. Well, I wanted the soup, not the calories and fat. So, I remedied that and the result was glooorious.

I don’t know about you, but when my love for nutrition and great-tasting food can come together, it’s a beautiful, beautiful thing. Of course this soup isn’t the most nutritious thing ever, but it sure as heck is way lower in calories and fat than the original version or a dinner out, so there! I justify my guiltless indulgence in this most decadent soup!

Beer Cheese Soup adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

4 Tbsp butter Smart Balance Light
1 medium onion, chopped fine
2 carrots, peeled & chopped fine
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 12-ounce bottle beer (I used Great Lakes Pale Ale)
2 cups 2% milk
12 oz 75% reduced-fat Cabot cheddar cheese, shredded
4 oz American Gruyere cheese, shredded
2 tsp cornstarch
Table salt & ground black pepper


Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion and carrots until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in flour and cook until golden, about 1 minute. Slowly whisk in broth, beer, and milk. Bring mixture to simmer, then reduce heat to low and simmer gently (do not boil) until carrots are very soft, 20 to 25 minutes.

Toss shredded cheeses and cornstarch in large bowl until well combined. Puree soup in blender in 2 batches until completely smooth, return to saucepan, and simmer over medium-low heat. Whisk in cheese mixture, 1 cup at a time, until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information: 344 calories; 16 g. fat; 43 mg. cholesteorl; 652 mg. sodium; 19.3 g. carbohydrate; 1.2 g. fiber; 6.2 g. sugar; 28.2 g. protein

Result: Oh la la, this is AMAZING! 75% reduced fat, what? Doesn’t matter. Delicious, and way less guilt involved. Enjoy!

Question: What’s one word you always spell wrong?

I have trouble with “occasion” (don’t know why..) and “Hanukkah” — I always spell that wrong.

Happy weekend! Gift wrapping, hair cut, workout, Illinois basketball, and date night are on my calendar! 😀

Be well,



Filed under beer, dining out, dinner, exercise, garlic, pizza, recipe, reduced-calorie, saturated fat, vegetarian, wine, work

Spicy Black Bean Soup

Happy Thursday!

Gina and I had a blast yesterday — we shopped for Christmas gifts, went to Trader Joe’s, and ate lunch at an organic, vegan/vegetarian-focused restaurant called Northstar Cafe. It was excellent — I had a brown rice, vegetable, and tofu bowl with a tangy peanut sauce…yum! It’s always fun to meet with Gina because we have so much in common between being dietitians and bloggers. Our conversations are endless about work, nutrition, blogs, and everything in’s fun! Thanks, Gina! 😀

After a day of play, it’s hard to get back to work mid-week. Maybe a goofy Lily picture will make your Thursday a bit happier…it did mine!

Speaking of my Lily, I stopped by to check out a new doggy daycare that’s really close to our house. It’s ADORABLE! The dogs have little houses (think tree house-sized) and they have toddler beds with bedding, pillows and all. Each little house is decorated in its own theme, and the dogs have a “living room” where there’s a TV and couches for them to lay on. Lily has a date to go play next Thursday…I know she’ll have a blast 🙂 The things we do for our pets, right?

Ohio has been bitter cold and there is no end in sight. All I want is soup — warm, comforting soup. Mmmm for the BRRR!!

Please note I took about 983 photos of this soup and they were all terrible. It is not pretty, but it is GOOD!

Spicy Black Bean Soup as seen on The Novice Chef, adapted from Little Miss Foodie Two Shoes &

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 2 fresh jalapeño, seeded and minced
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
2 (15-ounces) cans black beans, 1 drained and rinsed, 1 with liquid
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
1 bay leaf
4 green onions, chopped, for garnish


Heat oil in a 4-to 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat, then sauté onion, garlic, and jalapeño with chili powder, cumin, and oregano until onion is beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Add beans, stock/broth, and bay leaf and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until soup has thickened slightly, about 15 minutes.

Transfer about 1 cup soup to a blender and purée (use caution when blending hot liquids). Return to pot and reheat over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Discard bay leaf. Season with salt if desired. Add green onion for garnish. Yields 4 entree-sized servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 244 calories; 4.1 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 495 mg. sodium; 39.7 g. carbohydrate; 13.8 g. fiber; 2 g. sugar; 14 g. protein

Result: This soup was fabulous — if you love black beans, that is! I loved the spicy kick and am glad I opted to rev up the recipe with an additional jalapeno pepper. It was spicy, but not unbearable for those who aren’t into super spicy. It was also a dinner that can be prepped ahead of time and come together in 20 minutes or less. Even if you don’t prep ahead of time, you’re looking at 25-30 minutes — definitely reasonable, and the leftovers are perfect for lunch! I love the fiber content of the soup — 14 grams per serving!! It’s also low in calories and fat, and the sodium content is skimmed down by draining and rinsing 1 of the cans of beans and using low-sodium broth/stock. The recipe can also be made vegan and vegetarian by using vegetable broth in place of chicken. Enjoy!

Trivia Question: What percentage cocoa solids must chocolate contain to be legally called chocolate?

a. 99%
b. 50%
c. 35%
Keep warm and eat your fiber!


Filed under blog, dietitians, dining out, dinner, fiber, friends, garlic, healthy cooking, recipe, restaurant, sodium, vegan, vegetarian, work

Kale Gratin and a Q&A

Hello new readers and thank you for your comments! Lots of you lately…thanks for stopping by! 😀

Confession: I don’t LOVE kale. I like the flavor a lot, but the texture is one that likes to tickle the inside of my mouth and tends to be a bit sharp going down, and kinda makes me gag (if I’m being truthful). But because kale is so incredibly healthy and affordable, I love to find creative ways to eat it that are both delicious and nutritious! And in the form of cheesy goodness, I figured Mr. Prevention would be a taker, too.

Right I was. Unfortunately, he turned my beautiful gratin into a chip ‘n’ dip delight. What am I going to do with him?

One cup of kale provides 1328% your daily value of Vitamin K and almost 200% the daily value for Vitamin A. It is also high in Vitamin C, fiber, and omega 3’s. Containing over 45 flavanoids, kale is an anti-cancer vegetable topping the charts, and here’s just one delicious way to enjoy it…two ways if “on a chip” counts. According to Mr. P, it most certainly does.

Kale Gratin from An Edible Mosaic

1 Tbsp canola oil
2 large cloves garlic, minced
6-7 oz kale, washed, stem removed, and chopped (about 8 cups chopped)
1 1/2 Tbsp butter, plus more to grease the pan
1 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 oz Gruyère cheese, finely shredded
1 2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, finely shredded
Salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375° F; grease a medium-sized gratin dish (I used a casserole dish) with butter.

In a large, deep-sided pan with a lid, heat oil over medium heat; once hot, add garlic and sauté 30 seconds.  Add 1 cup water, turn heat up to between medium-high and high, and add kale.  Add 1/3 tsp salt and 1/8 tsp pepper; cover pan and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Drain greens to remove water; put greens back into the pan they were cooked in.

Mix shredded cheeses together; set aside 1/2 1/3 cup to use as topping.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter; whisk in flour and cook 1 minute.  Whisk in milk and a pinch freshly grated nutmeg; bring up to a boil, then turn heat down and simmer 1 minute.  Turn off heat and whisk in shredded cheeses, except reserved 1/2 1/3 cup for topping.  Taste cheese sauce and add salt and pepper as desired.

Pour cheese sauce onto greens and stir to combine.  Transfer greens and sauce to prepared gratin dish and spread out in an even layer; top with reserved 1/2 1/3 cup cheese.  Bake 20 minutes until cheese bubbles.  Preheat broiler and broil a couple minutes until cheese is browned in spots.

To Reheat: Preheat oven to 350F.  Cover gratin with aluminum foil and bake until warmed throughout and bubbling on the edges. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 203 calories; 12.2 g. fat; 18 mg. cholesterol; 200 mg. sodium; 13.8 g. carbohydrate; 3.5 g. fiber; 12.2 g. protein

Result: Yum! This was über rich and delicious! It’s hard to believe there are 8 CUPS of kale in the recipe…it cooked down to nothing! Next time, I think I’ll add an additional 3-4 cups of kale just to increase the nutrition with all the cheese…there was plenty to go around! Another HUGE thumbs up for Faith’s recipes!


(Over-due) Q&A!

Renee of My Kitchen Adventures: My question is about vitamin D — how much do we really need and is it true most people are deficient? This is a hot topic right now!

Prevention RD: Hot topic, indeed! Increasing amounts of research are surfacing in support of vitamin D and its anti-cancer and anti-diabetic properties, among other things (MS, for one). The tolerable upper limit (UL) is 2,000 IU for people over the age of 14. Unless you are consuming a TON of cod liver oil, sockeye salmon, mackerel, or Vitamin D-fortified milk, one is not at great risk for too much vitamin D. However, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin meaning it can be consumed in excess and cause toxicity. My recommendation for milk drinkers (in any form) is to find a milk or milk substitute which is vitamin D-fortified. For most individuals consuming a diet that is not exceptionally high in vitamin D (foods noted above), a supplement of 200 IU’s (up to 400 IU’s for vegetarians and vegans) is safe and appropriate*. The Adequate Intake (AI) for vitamin D is 200 IU’s for those 19-50 years of age, 400 IU’s for those 51-70 years of age, and 600 IU’s for those 71+ years of age. While diagnosed deficiency is not common (think rickets), vitamin D plays an integral role in bone health and research is showing more and more that more vitamin D (up to the UL) can provide potential health benefits without associated risks. For what it’s worth, I take a 200 IU vitamin D supplement daily. *This is a broad, general recommendation appropriate for adults eating an “average” diet consisting of 200-ish IU’s of vitamin D.

Samantha of Bikini Birthday: I’m not sure if you read “Weighty Matters”, a Canadian based blog about obesity. In a recent post on Weighty Matters, Dr. Freedhoff questions whether the Heart and Stroke Foundation’s endorsement of certain fast food restaurant meals through their Health Check program is hypocritical or beneficial to the restaurant-going public. I was wondering what your thoughts are on the matter.

Prevention RD: Firstly, I love this question and you for introducing me to that amazing blog. If you have time, please check out the original blog post and the humorous re-do of the post altered to the tune of heroin used as a metaphor for pizza (oh my). Of course I want to agree that in a perfect world, people would cook from scratch, eat 5-9 fruits and vegetables a day, eat only whole grains, and buy 100% organic, low-fat, free-range, grass-fed proteins. In a perfect world. Would I personally, as a Registered Dietitian, endorse “healthier” pizza claiming to improve health outcomes “one pizza at a time”? Heck no. Not from Pizzaville, anyways. Do I think what the dietitian did is WRONG? No. You have to meet people where they’re at. As a dietitian, if you walk up to a fast food junky/Hamburger Helper-aholic and tell them that unless they’re going to eat PERFECTLY it’s not good enough, you’ve lost all credibility and rapport with that person. Eating healthfully is like exercise – you can always do more…but is more always better? Just because 30 minutes of walking isn’t ideal, it’s sure better than sitting on the couch eating, and it’s making strides in the right direction. While posting nutrition facts on menus has yielded less than ideal results, ignorance should not be bliss. While most options are not the BEST options while dining out, you can easily shave THOUSANDS of calories and HUNDREDS of grams of fat from a single meal by making healthier choices. Final thought: Where does the concept of balance in the diet come into play? Eating is not an all or nothing and the sooner we recognize the importance and feasibility of a balanced diet, everyone will be healthier and happier. P.S. I am now subscribed to that blog – what a great one! 🙂

Tiffany of We Are Wedes: Can you explain to me Kefir, what exactly it is, and what it is used for. So far I’ve used it in smoothies (it’s delicious!) but a friend of mine says I can use it as a buttermilk substitute in cakes and other yummy treats. Is this true? Or will I destroy my yummy edible Christmas confections?

Prevention RD: Mmm…Kefir! Kefir is cultured milk made from the introduction of kefir grains into raw milk. Kefir has added fiber (inulin) and is described as a cultured probiotic milk smoothie. Kefir is known for its probiotic benefits, containing 12 live and active strains of bacterium (most yogurts contain 2-3 strains) at 7-10 billion CFU’s (colony forming units) per serving. Pribiotics are found to keep the gut and intestinal tract healthy and functioning properly, as well as help prevent infection and illness. Generally speaking, Kefir can be substituted for buttermilk without issues. If the pH of the Kefir differs from that of buttermilk, the leavening in baked good will flop. Good question!

Question: Do you feel that it is hypocritical for a dietitian to endorse restaurant dining, albeit healthier options?

I promise you won’t hurt my feelings 🙂

Is it Friday yet?


Filed under blog topic request, butter, cancer, diet, dietitians, dining out, dinner, exercise, fast food, fiber, fish oil/omega-3's, fruits and vegetables, garlic, pizza, recipe, restaurant, vegan, vegetarian, vitamins

Chili Contest: Entry 6

Gooood morning! I hope you are enjoying a wonderful weekend!

Friday night with Gina and Nick was a blast! We went to Gina’s work at Market District in Columbus and It. Was. Packed! I settled on a salad and a spicy coconut chicken curry that I think Mr. Prevention ended up eating most of ;). It was good but VERY spicy, even for me! I didn’t take any pictures, sorry! But if you’re in the Columbus area, be sure to check Market District out. I’m not even sure how to describe it any better than a foodie’s dream come true. They have just about everything and anything in one location and it’s all so fresh!!

Our Saturday was status quo – chili and college football! I wouldn’t have it any other way. Our beloved Illini pulled out a nice win, so we were happy to see that! We went for a walk with Lily, meal planned for the week, and Mr. Prevention surprised me with a reservation to a restaurant I’ve been wanting to try. It was delicious! 😀 …and très romantique! Ooo la la! 😉

I strongly considered struggling through a workout yesterday, but decided against it. I pushed through a run on Friday and I am still SO sore from my upper body routine. I plan to do lower body + my hockey game tomorrow. I never would’ve imagined getting back into a strength groove would be this painful! Oy!

The Best Turkey Chili from Bella’s Bistro

1.5 lb. ground turkey
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cans reduced-sodium tomato soup
1 can pink beans (I used pinto)
2 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
Sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions, etc. for toppings*


Finely dice peppers and onion.  Add to a large pot with olive oil.  Saute until just cooked – about 6 minutes.

Add turkey and brown completely.  Drain off any excess fat.

Add garlic and stir to combine.

Next, add the soup, seasonings and beans along with 2 cans of water.  Stir to combine completely.

Simmer on low for 45 minutes with the cover on. Remove cover and cook an additional 20-30 minutes to thicken. Serves 6.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 333 calories; 3.8 g. fat; 70 mg. cholesterol; 1013 mg. sodium; 43 g. carbohydrate; 8.2 g. fiber; 35.2 g. protein

*Toppings not included in nutrition information

Result: Mr. Prevention and I both really liked this chili…it hit the spot! If I were to make it again, I would omit the water and just add 2 cans of soup…it was more like a chili soup and I do prefer a heartier soup. Plus, that would help lower the sodium content quite a bit. Overall, it was good, had some spice with the cayenne, and it was healthy, albeit high in sodium (all chili recipes thus far are…it’s hard to reduce)!

Question: What brand of gym shoes do you wear?

Just curious! I am loyal to Asics…they fit my fat feet like a glove! 😉


Filed under dining out, exercise, friends, fruits and vegetables, garlic, grocery store, recipe, restaurant, salad

dine-in with your favorites

Did I mention I hate strength training? I think so, but I am confirming that hatred. Brushing my teeth and washing my face feel like Olympic events after that upper body workout…yowza! And some say they like this feeling? Lunatics 🙂

It’s not news to most of you: Mr. Prevention LOVES pizza. And I like it, but I LOVE California Pizza Kitchen and specifically, the BBQ chicken pizza. BBQ chicken pizza is the quintessential Italy meets American delight, or at least that’s my take. When Faith posted her recipe for California Pizza Kitchen-inspired BBQ Chicken Pizza, it went in my “must make” recipe stack. It’s a shame it took me this long to get around to!

Cast Iron Skillet BBQ Chicken Pizza (Inspired by California Pizza Kitchen) from An Edible Mosaic

1 whole wheat pizza dough (recipe below)
1/4 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
6 oz part-skim mozzarella, shredded
4 oz smoked Gouda, shredded
1 1/2 small onion, diced
5 8 oz cooked chicken breast, diced or shredded
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
olive oil (to oil the skillet)
12-inch cast iron skillet


Preheat the oven to 500° 450° F. Roll pizza dough to desired thickness and transfer to a pizza stone or pizza sheet. Toss together the 2 cheeses and the minced cilantro.  Spread the BBQ sauce on top of the dough (leaving about a 1-inch border around the whole pizza) and sprinkle on half of the cheese.  Spread the onion and chicken on top of the cheese, then top with the remaining cheese.  Bake for 12-15 minutes. Yield: 1/5th of the pizza.

Nutrition Information (for 1/5th of pizza, including dough): 495 calories; 20.8 g. fat; 60 mg. cholesterol; 989 mg. sodium; 49 g. carbohydrate; 3.2 g. fiber; 8 g. sugar; 32.2 g. protein

Result: Just like the real thing…amazing! I searched HIGH AND LOW for a cast iron skillet last weekend, but found none :(. I’m trying to curb my online shopping habits, but I think I’ll have to cave since I couldn’t find one in stores. I improvised and just made a standard pizza and it turned out great. The cooking temperature and times are adjusted accordingly and there were no issues. I do think red onion would be really good in place of the yellow/white onion, but either is fine. Because my pizza was more like 16″ vs. 12″ I did need more BBQ sauce, and the nutrition information is also adjusted accordingly. Enjoy! So yummy!

Thick-Crust Pizza Dough from An Edible Mosaic, adopted from

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp sea salt
2 ¼ tsp instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
~1 cup water
2 Tbsp olive oil
Cooking spray


In a food processor, pulse together the flours, salt, instant yeast, and sugar; once combined, stream the olive oil in through the feed tube (while still pulsing), then slowly stream in as much water as needed for the dough to form a ball (the dough might not need all of the water).  Spray a large bowl with cooking spray and transfer the ball of dough to the oiled bowl.  Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let it rise for an hour in a warm, draft-free place (the ball should double in size).  Punch the dough down, cover it, and let it rise for another 30 minutes.  Roll the dough out to the size of your pan, using flour as needed. Yield: 1/5th of pizza dough.

Nutrition Information (for 1/5th of dough): 216 calories; 6 g. fat; 0 mg. cholesterol; 460 mg. sodium; 36 g. carbohydrate; 2.8 g. fiber; 0.8 g. sugar; 6.4 g. protein

Result: I LOVED this dough! It was so easy to work, unlike a lot of pizza doughs. I think this is now my favorite pizza dough recipe! YUM!


I am off today, working on stuff for my business, taking Lily to the dog park, and then enjoying some delicious food with my fellow RD and friend, Gina (+ her sweetie and mine)! I’m excited to catch up with her…she has been one busy chick, too!

Speaking of Lily, it’s been eons since I posted a picture of her. Now that she has her stitches out and she’s all healed up, her eyes are looking soooo booti-ful! 😀

Pardon the drool 😉

Question: What’s on your perfect pizza? Any fun weekend plans?



Filed under dietitians, dining out, dinner, dog, exercise, Italy, pets, physical activity, pizza, recipe

Fancy, effortless chicken & my strength routine

Before the week got busy (it’s an insanely busy week for me work-wise), I made this chicken dish that caught my eye. Don’t let the photo fool’s divine. Apple + goat cheese = perfect combination! This is a show-stopper recipe with minimal effort, ingredients, and time. My kinda cookin’! You too? Try this!! 😀

Goat Cheese and Apple Chicken slightly adapted from Confessions of a City Eater

2-3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts (~10 oz), halved to thin
3/4 1 1/3 cup Saltine cracker crumbs
1/2 1 tsp garlic salt
1 egg
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 4 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
1/2 1 apple, skinned, cored, and diced
salt, to season
pepper, to season
maple syrup


Preheat oven to 250° 300° F. Line a baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick spray.

Season chicken with salt and pepper. In a small bowl combine the cracker crumbs and garlic salt. In another small bowl whisk the egg with a fork. Dip the seasoned chicken into the egg and then the cracker mixture.

Over medium heat, add the oil and then cook the chicken until brown and crispy and cooked through. Place the chicken on the baking dish.

In another small bowl combine the goat cheese and the apples. Spread mixture evenly over the chicken breasts. Drizzle with maple syrup.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until cheese is warm and browned. Remove from oven. Drizzle with more maple syrup. Serve and enjoy! Serves 4.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 300 calories; 18.3 g. fat; 108 mg. cholesterol; 609 mg. sodium; 16.8 g. carbohydrate; 1.3 g. fiber; 5.3 g. sugar; 22.3 g. protein

Result: This was really, really delicious. I absolutely LOVE goat cheese, and the combination with apple was divine! I’ve never used saltine cracker crumbs to bread chicken and it worked beautifully…the chicken got crispy and browned so easily…and more importantly, without gobs of oil. Mr. P loved this dish, too…it is very “fancy”…but effortless, a very simple dish that comes together quickly and doesn’t require many ingredients. I omitted the maple syrup because I didn’t feel it added any taste and was just as good without. So, why not save the calories, right? 😉


Yesterday I shared my recording & accountability system in the form of charts for my new strength training endeavors. And, as promised, here are the details of my efforts:

Upper Body

bicep curls w/ resistance band (2 sets of 12)
90° angle bicep curls w/ 8# weights (2 sets of 12)
tricep extensions w/ 8# weights (2 sets of 12)
tricep kick-backs w/ 8# weights (2 sets of 12)
chest press w/ resistance band (2 sets of 12)
pyramid push-ups (15-14-13…etc.)
lateral row, bent at waist w/ resistance bands (2 sets of 12)
shoulder row w/ resistance bands (2 sets of 12)
shoulder raise, side lateral, w/ resistance bands (2 sets of 12)
60 second plank
60 second plank, right and left, bent elbow
crunches w/ mini stability ball, side-to-side (2 sets of 25)


Lower Body

squats w/ 13# weights (2 sets of 12)
lunges, right and left w/ 8# weights (2 sets of 12)
side lunges, right and left w/ 8# weights (2 sets of 12)
wall sits w/ stability ball (set of 20)
calf raises w/ stability ball (set of 20)
quad walking w/ ankle cuffs, right and left (30 seconds)
glute raise w/ ankle cuffs, right and left (2 sets of 10)
abductor raises w/ ankle cuffs, right and left (2 sets of 8)
cyclic crunches w/ medicine ball (set of 50)
crunches w/ mini stability ball (set of 50)

Again, I will do 1 day a week of upper body strength training, 1 day a week of lower body strength training, and 1 day of full-body strength training. Baby steps! My first workout will be TONIGHT in the form of upper body! I have a Sensipar® dinner/presentation to go to tonight, so I’m going to take a rest from cardio and just stick with weights for today. Grumble…

Question: What is your favorite food combination? Doesn’t have to be creative…just YUM! No shame in PB & J! 😉

Be well,


Filed under dining out, dinner, exercise, low-carb, physical activity, protein, recipe, restaurant, work

keeping a salad healthy & flu shots: yay or nay?

I was talking with a new patient at our clinic yesterday and when I started asking his food preferences he immediately confessed that he didn’t like salads, or most vegetables outside of corn, potatoes, and peas…and I hadn’t mentioned a peep about anything fruit or vegetable-related…yet. I could sense that he was slightly defensive and definitely preparing himself mentally for the “Vegetable Police” to start raking him over the coals. Fortunately for him (and myself and others), I am far from the anything police and I definitely take the approach of meeting people where they are in order to make small, meaningful, and lasting changes in their diet.

Same goes for myself, promise. It’s funny to me how many people think dietitian = salad fiend. To the contrary, salads are an item I rarely “crave” and if given an option between a salad and another entree at a restaurant, I’d likely prefer the other entree. In addition, many restaurant salads are loaded with calories and fat. My general rule of thumb for salads is to choose ONE of the following high-calorie salad toppings: nuts, seeds, cheese, or dried fruit. It’s not uncommon to see ALL of the above additions on many salads offered at dining establishments, making them a not-so-healthy option.

I had a perfect fall salad last night featuring some of my favorite in-season fresh fruits: figs, pomegranate, and honeycrisp apple…along with my high-calorie (nutrient-dense) sunflower seeds all atop a huge bed of arugula and drizzled with Girard’s Apple Poppyseed dressing.


And because Mr. Prevention passed along his cold before heading out of town for work, I also had half of a can of good’ol tomato soup…

Being sick in warm weather is the worst!! At least it was down to 70° last night when I ate my soup outside! And I must admit, not cooking a meal OR exercising last night made for a relaxing evening with Lily, TV, and then a great book 😀

Speaking of exercise (or lack thereof) and illness…

I get asked a lot if it’s “bad” to workout if you’re ill. In my opinion, unless you’re running a fever, it’s perfectly okay to workout so long as you listen to your body. However, taking a few days off to recuperate from an illness can be more beneficial than pushing through a workout that’s either too much physically or mentally. No one knows your symptoms and body better than yourself so I firmly believe that you have to give the body what it needs, and often times that is rest during illness.

Question: What’s your opinion of flu shots? Do you typically get one each year…why or why not?

Flu shot clinics are popping up EVERYWHERE here in central Ohio and I am not well-versed on the topic. I have personally only received one flu shot in my adult life. Why? Because I haven’t had the flu in my adulthood. *KNOCK ON WOOD* I (probably falsely) rationalize that I’ve fared well thus far during flu season, why jinx it? Impart on me your flu shot wisdom and opinions, please!

Be well,


Filed under condiments, dietitians, dining out, dinner, exercise, fruits and vegetables, physical activity, recipe, salad, vegetarian, wine