Thoughts of a Dietitian

What’s the deal with… organic?

Have you ever wondered if buying organic in the produce isle is worth it? Unless you live under a rock, I am quite certain most people are aware of the substantial price difference between organic and conventional foods. So, is the price justifiable?

As with most things in nutrition, there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong answer to this question. You need to use what works for you, and your family. If you’re already buying a fully or partially organic diet, then by no means am I here to tell you to stop. However, is it necessary to buy all organic fruits and vegetables? Probably not.

My recommendation is to just eat more fruits and vegetables whenever possible! However you have to get there (organic, conventional, frozen, low sodium canned, or garden grown) is all fine by me, and mixing it up is completely acceptable as well.  As long as half your plate is filled with a variety of colors of produce, it’s really not necessary to eat organic.

By giving your produce a thorough wash, you can remove any pesticides that may have been used during the growing process. The nutrition content is going to be the same regardless. (Although, please note, there are differences between fresh vs frozen vs canned.)

Now, if you are interested in purchasing anything organic, or if you are currently purchasing some organic foods, then something I recommend you consider is the “dirty dozen.”

These are items where you are eating the skin (or the part that comes in contact with the earth/fertilizer.) It can be difficult to remove all the pesticides and residue from these items, so some people believe if you are going to buy organic, then these are the best ones to start with. The dirty dozen are:

  1. Apples
  2. Nectarines
  3. Peaches
  4. Grapes
  5. Strawberries
  6. Blueberries
  7. Spinach
  8. Lettuce
  9. Kale and Collards
  10. Potatoes
  11. Celery
  12. Bell Peppers

What are your thoughts on organic? Are there things besides fruits and vegetables that you consider buying organic? Leave any questions or comments in the comment section below!

 

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Happy Posts

Officially Official!

I’m a Registered Dietitan y’all!! I am happy to announce I passed my RD exam today and cannot send enough thanks my family, friends, boyfriend, classmates and fellow RD’s for letting me complain relentlessly for the past 5 years! I can’t believe I’m finally a REGISTERED DIETITIAN and can’t wait to start working in the field!

For anyone who’s waiting to take their RD exam, I wanted to briefly share my experience with you! The two study materials I used were the Jean Inman Study Guide and RD in a Flash flashcard set. I studied for about two months; but I wasn’t studying everyday so if you are more diligent than me you might require less study time. The Inman study guide is nice because it breaks up material into different domains which can help you plan your study sessions; the flashcards were great because I could take them with me and have other’s quiz me. The exam was absolutely challenging, but the biggest thing you have to remember is that you are absolutely ready for it. This is what you went to school for, this is what you practiced daily at your internship, and this is what you’re passionate about!

Hints & Tips, Thoughts of a Dietitian

March is National Nutrition Month

That’s right, a whole month, dedicated to eating healthier! This year’s theme is PUT YOUR BEST FORK FORWARD. I’ll be sure to post extra healthy tips and healthy recipes all month long.

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Today I wanted to quickly share an article sent to my email this morning. What do you all think about ‘healthy fast food?’ To be honest, I am a bit skeptical because even when you think you are ordering a nice, healthy salad, there are often secret ingredients you didn’t even realize are there.

While I will always promote home-cooked meals over take out, I recognize some people’s lifestyles require them to eat on the go much more frequently. If that’s you, check out this article on Fox News for some guidance on eating at fast food restaurants!

Let’s make March a nutritious month… fuel your body… set goals and take small steps to get there… don’t give up… you got this!!!

Thoughts of a Dietitian

Portion Distorion

If you are trying to lose weight, one of the biggest mistakes people often make is estimating their portion sizes. First off, portions at restaurants are getting bigger and bigger every day– you’re often not meant to eat the entire meal (even if you can!) Then, when we are used to seeing these bigger portions in restaurants and on TV it makes it difficult to estimate the correct portions at home. I went to school for this and it’s still something I even struggle with in my day-to-day life.

Let me give you an example of something I tested out in my kitchen:

Example #1: The Standard Serving of Orange Juice is 4oz

~ 51 calories per serving (around 10g sugar)

 

Example #2: The Typical Portion of Orange Juice is 12oz 

~153 calories per serving (around 30g sugar)

 

So if you are pouring yourself your morning glass of OJ, it probably looks more like that bottom picture. If you walk 40 minutes you will burn approximately 100 calories (*Based off a 130lb woman.) While 100 calories isn’t a huge difference, note the difference in grams of sugar. (YIKES!!!!)

But now imagine for each food you measure and prepare for yourself you are underestimating by 100 calories. Think about how many foods you measure for yourself in a day… that could add up very quickly to a ton of extra calories that you really have no clue about!

Here are 3 tips to help combat this problem:

  1. When ordering at a restaurant, ask for a to-go box at the start of your meal. Package up half your meal and save it for lunch the next day. If you put the food in the to-go box before you begin eating you won’t even miss it from your plate!
  2. Use measuring cups. Read the nutrition label to see what a serving is and take note of the calories. Decide how many servings you plan on having, measure it out, and then put the bag/box away. 
  3. If necessary, but pre-packaged items. Sometimes this can be more expensive, but not always- so make sure to compare prices! For example, a serving of cheese is only 1 ounce, and if you are cutting it from a block this isn’t much. A cheese stick is already portioned for you so you don’t run the risk of consuming extra calories.