Category Archives: vitamins

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

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

Q&A: ginseng, hidden sodium, and raw milk

Quick update: Home inspection did NOT go well…at all (you can’t judge a book…or a home…by its cover!). Back to square one. Oh the joys of buying a home…I’ll keep you guys posted. Thanks tons for all of your support and well wishes on our big move. Despite the hurdles and big changes, I need to stay positive while we’re in transition!!

As for the job-hunt, I am trying to keep an open mind but I want to still keep my paws in diabetes…some how…some way. I am nearly 50% complete with my 1,000 diabetic education hours needed to sit for the exam and I am not giving up that easily on pursuing my CDE. Diabetes is my passion!

And on to a most excellent line-up of Q&A!

Jodie of Jodie Pilates: I would like to know your opinion on ginseng, specifically for energy. Are there any other supplements you can suggest for energy?

Prevention RD: Caffeine and ginseng are the two most natural stimulants that come to mind. I recently started taking ginseng for my blood glucose and have noticed no increase in energy*. However, ginseng is most commonly found in large doses in energy drinks, such as Red Bull and Monster and is most “famous” for its stimulant-effects. I feel both caffeine and ginseng can be a part of a healthy diet, but I think a good night’s sleep is the best energy boost of all! 😉 Note: If you do utilize ginseng or caffeine, do so earlier in the day to help avoid sleep disturbances.

*Ginseng is working beautifully in lowering my fasting blood glucose, however! My fasting blood sugars have gone from 95-103 mg/dl into a much preferred 83-90 mg/dl range. In less than a week, I am SO pleased with the results!

Liz in Dallas: My grandmother and my dad have both recently been put on low-salt diets. It is easy for them to deal with at home, since my grandmother and my mom cook all their own food and very rarely eat anything processed. The problem seems to be out at restaurants. Both of them eat out for lunch pretty much every day, and my grandmother also goes out to eat for dinner quite frequently. What should they be ordering to avoid sodium overload? Are there dishes that they should always avoid? What do you think are the most sneaky sources of sodium?

Prevention RD: Low-sodium “diets” are tough…really, really tough. Restaurants are notorious for using exorbitant amounts of salt. If it’s possible, your grandmother and dad could decrease the frequency of meals out, or dine at restaurants with published nutrition information (e.g. Chili’s, Applebees, Subway, etc.) so they are sure to make a salt-friendly meal selection. If meals out are a must, there is plenty to know, however! Anything breaded or fried is going to have more salt, so looking for key words on menus such as baked, broiled, steamed, and grilled can be helpful in reducing salt. Chips, fries, and other side dishes such as potato salad are also high in sodium, as are sauces, dressings, and other condiments. Because sodium is hidden in just about everything, the best thing to do at restaurants is to exercise portion control, especially since the portion sizes are generally rather large. When ordering food at a restaurant, they can ask the server to put dressings and sauces on the side so they can control how much they consume. And it’s always an option to take home half their meal and have a small snack before and/or after dining out. Sharing meals is another great option. Best of luck to them! Great question 🙂

Lena of LMC in the World: I read an article in a recent Economist magazine about the trend of raw milk. It was saying there are some nutritional benefits which are eliminated in the pasteurization process and some people are selling/buying raw milk. Had you heard of this trend? It also said the FDA has not identified any nutritional benefits and there are still a number of laws to restrict the sale of raw milk because it can be dangerous. I would love to hear your thoughts.

Prevention RD: What a great question! This is a HOT trend right now, you betcha! Raw milk and dairy simply not been pasteurized, as you stated. Unpasteurized dairy can contain harmful and potentially fatal bacteria including E. coli, Listeria, and Salmonella. The National Dairy Council, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control, American Medical Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics, among others, endorse pasteurized milk and dairy. According to the National Dairy Council there is no scientific evidence to suggest that there is any nutritional benefit to raw milk and dairy of that which has been pasteurized. In fact, pasteurized milk is fortified with vitamin D, making is a more nutritionally desirable product over raw milk. And did you know that it is actually illegal to sell raw milk in some US states? Check out your local raw milk and dairy laws if you choose to consume raw dairy. While raw milk and dairy carries some risk of bacterial contamination, I think the larger issue is knowing where the products come from and the cleanliness of the site. I know there are many raw milk and dairy advocates out there, but I tend to side with the majority on this one. Would I try raw milk or dairy from a dairy I trusted? Probably. Is it recommended for the young, old, or uninsured? Probably not. 😉

I’ll leave you with a picture of my sleepy girl after her day at camp. She snored ALL night!

Question: What supplements do you take and why?

Happy half-way to Friday!


Filed under blog topic request, blood glucose, coffee, complimentary and alternative nutrition, condiments, diabetes, dietitians, dining out, enriched/fortified, farming, fast food, food safety, hypertension, minerals, raw food/rawism, restaurant, sleep, sodium, supplements, vitamins

Coconut Water: Health Food or Health Fad?


Good news, coconut water lovers! Unlike the questionable coconut oil, I give coconut water 2 thumbs straight up!

As I was trying to stay awake on the red eye to Columbus last night, I found myself purusing the pages of my ADA Times. Highlighted as a consumer trend, coconut water was discussed. And appropriately so. I would go so far as to argue that coconut water is one of the biggest trends in nutrition today.


Coconut water, unlike coconut milk, is found inside young, green coconuts. The water is thin and filmy with a distinct flavor and mild sweetness. Comercially-sold coconut waters are pasteurized to prevent from food borne illness. However, DO NOT keep coconut water for more than a day in the refrigerator once opened.

Coconut water contains plentiful amounts of electrolytes and minerals making it a most desirable form of all-natural hydration and nutrient replenishment for athletes and exercisers. One cup of coconut water contains 46 calories, less than 0.5 grams of fat, and is a good source of fiber (3 grams), magnesium (60 milligrams), potassium (600 milligrams), and vitamin C. A single cup also provides 252 milligrams of sodium and 9 grams of carbohydrate. A preferred list of stats compared to a cup of Gatorade offering 50 calories, 110 milligrams of sodium, a mere 30 milligrams of potassium, 14 grams of carbohydrate, and no fiber.

Added bonus: taste! Mmmm!

Off to have diner and drinks with fellow dietitian and blogger, GINA! I’m excited!

I hope to catch up with everyone soon, but we are busy busy busy while in Columbus! Lots going on, but more details on major life changes soon!

Question: Have you ever tried coconut water? Did you know its health benefits before now?

Nearly Friday,


Filed under blog, carbohydrates, dietitians, dinner, exercise, fiber, food safety, friends, minerals, physical activity, sodium, supplements, vitamins

Goitrogenic Foods

Hypothyroidism is one of those whispered-about diagnoses out there that people commonly misunderstand. If a person is struggling with their weight, you’ll commonly hear, “Maybe I have a thyroid problem”. Sure, maybe so. But trust me, hypothyroidism is much more complex than that.

A recent email from a reader, Liz (Hi Liz!) spurred this topic today. When she put in the blog topic request I had a “Doh!” moment. What a great topic to blog about…thank you, Liz!

Hypothyroidism is an very common endocrine disorder which results from underactive thyroid hormone. This thyroid hormone deficiency can be the result of several happenings. But I’m not a physician, so I won’t even go there 🙂 However, you can read all about the pathophysiology. While hypothyroidism is common, mortality rates are incredibly rare. The highest rates of hypothyroidism are found among Caucasian, elderly females.

Symptoms of hypothyroidism include: fatigues, loss of energy, lethargy, weight gain, decreased appetite, sensitivity to cold, dry skin, hair loss, muscle and joint pain, depression, forgetfulness, menstrual irregularities, decreased perspiration, blurred vision, auditory loss, hoarseness, neck and throat pain, thyroid enlargement, fever, goiter, jaundice, bradycardia, and pitting edema. Other biometric symptoms of hypothyroidism include: anemia, dilutional hyponatremia, hyperlipidemia, and elevated creatinine. Phew.

The primary causes of hypothyroidism include iodine deficiency and in developed countries, autoimmune disorder.

As for the diet, there are several recommendations those with hypothyroidism should consider, including:

  • Limiting goitrogenic foods (i.e. brussel’s sprouts, kohlrabi, turnips, rutabaga, radishes, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower). If you choose to consume these foods, do so in moderation and preferably after being cooked.
  • Taking a multivitamin supplement
  • Take vitamins, minerals (e.g. iron, calcium, and vitamin D) 4 hours before or after thyroid medication
  • Consider adopting a low-residue (low-fiber) diet if your medical provider feels your medication is not being properly absorbed
  • Find an endocrinologist you love. A good endocrinologist is worth their weight in gold. Endocrine disorders, such as hypothyroidism, should be treated by an endocrinologist.
  • Limit or avoid soy as it can act as a hormone mnemic.


And one last recipe tribute to PAPRIKA, Blogger Secret Ingredient for the week!

Grilled Halibut Cod with Peach and Pepper Salsa adapted from Cooking Light June 2010

2 1/2  cups  coarsely chopped peeled yellow peaches (about 1 1/4 pounds)
1 1/3  cups  chopped red bell pepper (about 1 large)
1/2  cup  thinly sliced green onions
1/2  cup  chopped fresh arugula
1/3  cup  fresh lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
2  tablespoons  chopped fresh oregano
1/4  teaspoon  salt
1  habanero pepper, seeded and minced
1  garlic clove, minced

2  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
2  tablespoons olive oil
1  teaspoon smoked paprika
2  garlic cloves, minced
6  (6-ounce) skinless halibut cod fillets
1/2  teaspoon  salt
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray


To prepare salsa, combine first 9 ingredients; toss gently. Let stand 30 minutes before serving.
Prepare grill to medium-high heat.

To prepare fish, combine 2 tablespoons juice, oil, paprika, and 2 garlic cloves in a large, shallow glass baking dish, stirring with a whisk. Add fish to juice mixture; turn to coat. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.

Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade. Sprinkle fish evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Place fish on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Serve fish with salsa. Serves 6 (1 fish filet and 2/3 cup salsa per serving).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 267 calories; 8.6 g. fat (1.2 g. saturated fat, 4.6 monounsaturated, 1.8 g. polyunsaturated); 35.5 g. protein; 11.8 g. carbohydrate; 2.3 g. fiber; 52 mg. cholesterol; 389 mg. sodium

Result: This was really good! The habanero gives a fun zing to the citrus of the salsa. Very light and again, featured not only paprika, but also the grill. I am LOVING the easy clean-up that accompanies cooking on the grill 😀

And a Lily (or should I say Lily’s tongue?) appearance, per Mari’s request 😉

Off to work 😦 I am typically off on Fridays but since Monday was a holiday…off I go…after stopping by Panera for bagels to appease my co-workers 😉

Question: Had you previously heard of goitrogenic foods? Any fun weekend plans? 😀

P.S. Don’t forget to submit BSI entries by Sunday at 5pm CT!

Brainstorming my happy hour selection,


Filed under alcohol, blog topic request, breakfast, challenge, Cooking Light, diet, dietitians, dinner, doctors, dog, fruits and vegetables, garlic, grilling, guilt-free, healthy cooking, hormones, low-carb, minerals, MUFAs and PUFAs, pets, recipe, US health care, vitamins, weight gain, work

Loose Flexie

I find dietary preferences fascinating, especially those that differ from my own.

I received an email this week from a reader, who will remain anonymous. The reader wanted me to analyze her intake. I did. I made a lot of recommendations, including eating more calories, healthy fats, and fiber, as well as getting 2+ servings of calcium-rich foods each day.

The reader responded saying she borders on veganism and would prefer to get her dairy from animal-free sources. I recommended calcium citrate supplements.

I get why people shy away from meat and dairy. I do, I really, really do. So much involving meat and dairy is unclean, unethical, costly, and not always so healthy. Yet, as we cut out major food groups, we run into nutritional deficiencies. If our body requires these nutrients, why do we cut out the most concentrated sources in which they’re found? Seems…odd, no?

I try and support all lifestyles, especially those surrounding food, but I do find this curious and somewhat ironic. As a blanket statement, many vegetarians and vegans eat the way they do for health reasons…many of which I agree with (strongly plant-based diets rock!). And yet these restrictions result in laborious micromanagement of the diet to ensure nutritional needs are being met…and more times than not, supplementation (talk about unethical, costly, and often unsafe). Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, and the 3rd party tested supplements cost a small fortune — certainly more than the difference between feed lot and ethical, organic meat and dairy, anyways.

Funny story.

Last week during my employee taste test at work, I served the Pork Carnitas recipe I raved about recently (employees loved it, too!). One of our doctors who usually participates in the taste tests opted out of this taste test because she abstains from eating pork. One of our nurses asked, “Doc, can I ask why you don’t eat pork?” The doctor recited some facts about the cleanliness (or lack thereof) of pigs and how they were inferior sanitary-wise to other animals. The nurse politely thanked the doctor for explaining and after a few moments, the doctor had left the break room. The nurse wasted no time in turning to me to say, “Apparently she’s never seen a chicken.” 😉 True or not, I found it amusing. And valid.

I think my “take” on food lifestyles is scientifically biased because I see the health benefits in all food groups and they way they impact everything from weight loss to chronic disease management. And this is why I am an Flexitarian-Everythingatarian (a “Loose Flexie” as I lovingly refer to my eating preferences).

Question: Are you an Everythingatarian? Vegetarian? Vegan? Raw vegan? Pescatarian? Flexitarian? Loose Flexie? Any why?

…And how about those DO what you DON’T challenge goals? Still holding strong? Nearly one week in!

Happy Hump Day!


Filed under challenge, chronic disease, diet, dietitians, doctors, enriched/fortified, farming, Flexitarian Diet, meat consumption, minerals, protein, recipe, supplements, US Pharmacopeia, vegan, vitamins, weight loss, work

Yay, nay, and a Q&A

…TGIF! 😀

My garden is doing well, as you can see! March snow fall and monsoons are yet to kill off my veggies! Warriors! 😉

I used my Back to Basics Blender Express Plus from Kristen for the first time yesterday! Loved it! I made a delicious smoothie with cherries, strawberries, papaya, blueberries, and pineapple blended with Lemonade from our Soda Stream! Yumm! Thanks, Kristen! 🙂

And granola bars turned granola…

This recipe as granola bars…was a flop. They didn’t hold together AT ALL. So, I turned it into granola after baking it a bit…

No Bake Peanut Butter Granola Bars adapted from fANNEtastic Food

1 & 3/4 cup rolled oats
1 cup crisp puffed brown rice cereal
3/4 cup seeds (I used 1/4 c. pepitas, 1/4 c. pumpkin seeds, and 1/4 cup wheat berries)
1/4 cup finely ground flaxseed
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut
1/2 1/3 cup brown rice maple syrup
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350º F.

Add all the dry ingredients to a large bowl. Mix them together.

Whisk together wet ingredients in a separate dish. If they are not combining with ease, microwave the bowl of wet ingredients for 20-30 seconds.

Pour wet ingredients into dry and mix until well combined. Put the mixture into a shallow pan and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350º F, stirring halfway through. Yield: 10 servings (1/2 cup each)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 223 calories; 11.5 g. fat; 26.3 g. carbohydrate; 4.6 g. fiber; 7 g. protein

Result: Good, but not my favorite granola taste-wise or nutrition-wise. I won’t be making this again, but I figured I’d share anyways! I would recommend the Coconut Cherry Granola or Power Granola I’ve made in the past, however! Yum! And if your heart is set one granola bars, these BIG Muesli Granola Bars are excellent…and really easy!

And a short(ish) Q&A for the week: kidney stones & (probable) soy allergy…

Mary of A Merry Life: As you know, I have kidney stones right now. I have been reading online about preventing future kidney stones, since I already have a high risk to develop more. From what I’ve read I really need to change my diet. What I’ve been eating seemed pretty healthy and I’ve been losing weight, but a lot of the stuff I like to eat is recommended I eat less of it to prevent kidney stones. And because of that I’m really not sure what to eat at all now! So I need some help from someone, preferably a dietitian to help show me what I should be doing.

Prevention RD: Water is really important – up to a gallon a day and water throughout the night, as well (up to a 1/3rd of the recommended daily intake). Adequate calcium from diet and supplement is recommended – at least 1,000 milligrams a day. The UL (tolerable upper limit) for calcium is 2,500 milligrams a day. I would recommend an intake between 1,200 and 2,000 milligrams each day from food and supplements combined. If your stones are of calcium oxalate descent, limiting animal proteins, foods with oxalates, Vitamin C, and sodium may be helpful. Foods with oxalates include: rhubarb, spinach, beets, swiss chard, wheat germ, soybean crackers, peanuts, okra, chocolate, sweet potatoes (high content)…as well as, grits, grapes, celery, green peppers, raspberries, fruit cake, and strawberries (medium content). Sodium should be limited to 2,300 milligrams (1 teaspoon) or less each day. Because animal proteins can cause a build up of uric acid, decreasing meat and seafood intake helps prevent kidney stones many times (~15% of your calories from protein). This will probably result in an increased mono and polyunsaturated fat intake – nuts, seeds, nut butters, etc, and carbohydrates should comprise 50-55% of your intake. Adequate fiber intake (at least 25 grams a day for women) and potassium (2,800 milligrams or more – there is no set upper limit on potassium) are also recommended. Vitamin D may need to be decreased – but this is the least important change in most instances. Vitamin D-containing foods are antacids with a calcium base would be recommended to decrease. Mary, this is a LOT of things to keep in checks and balances each day. I would focus on the water and limiting the high oxalate foods. Opt for low-sodium everything and omit the salt shaker whenever possible. I hope this helps some…and good luck! Hope you get to feeling better SOON!

Julie of Pickley Pear: Have you ever researched the correlation between soy and acne? I googled it and noticed there are multiple reports, and many conflicting. The past month or so, I have been breaking out much more than usual. The past two weeks it has been really bad – not just a pimple here or there. I have not changed my makeup, face creams, washes or masks, or my routine in any way. The only thing I can think of is my intake of soymilk in the past month has increased. I have taken soymilk out of my diet for the week, so I will see what happens. This is really starting to bother me, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why!

Prevention RD: I’ve heard of this, but wanted to do some research. Soy is a common allergy in kids, and not as common to show up in adults. However, as children, we are often not exposed to soy milk unless we have a lactose allergy. When adults introduce soy into the diet, allergies can surface. The #1 symptom of a soy allergy is skin problems, including acne. If it is an allergy, removing soy from the diet should resolve the acne. If its does, bingo! If it doesn’t, I would make an appointment with a dermatologist or allergist. Great question!

Random question: If you could make a daily schedule/time line (money aside!), what would it look like? For instance, what time would you get up? Would you workout? And if so, when? What time would you go to bed? Would you work part-time? Full-time? What else would you want to do?

My ideal “schedule” would include waking up at 7am and bouncing around the house with a cup of joe til work at 9am. I would want to work part-time as a dietitian in the mornings and spend my afternoons working out, writing a book, and being wannabe healthy chef extraordinaire! I would head to bed around 10:30/11pm.  It’s nice to dream, right? 😉

Have a great weekend, everyone! Make it a healthy one!!


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