Recipes, Thoughts of a Dietitian

Cowboy Caviar

Alright, I just finished eating dinner and was scrolling on Facebook when I saw this meme!


And it’s very fitting because tonight’s dinner is definitely for all the avocado lovers out there. We went furniture shopping and didn’t get home until pretty late, but luckily this dinner came together so quickly. We had chicken marinating all day in some store bought mojo mix. But the start of this show was this delicious Cowboy  Caviar! 


Can you say COLORFUL?!? 

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 can corn, rinsed
  • 1/2 can black beans, rinsed
  • 2 small Roma tomatoes, diced 
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 TBS vingegar
  • Juice from half a lemon (or lime)
  • Salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients together and add more oil/vinegar/ seasoning to taste. Serve with chips, on top of chicken, or as a salad! So yummy! 

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Hints & Tips, Thoughts of a Dietitian

Kind Fruit Bites 

I think it’s a requirement that if you’re a registered dietitian you LOVE food, and especially free food! We love signing up for give aways and promos related to food; I was fortunate enough to be able to sign up with the company Kind to receive a trial of their new product, Kind Fruit Bites.


The concept of this product is AMAZING! The fruit bites, are essentially just fruit snacks, but purely made with fruit- nothing else! As you can see on the packaging, there is no added sugar, no GMOs, and no preservatives. 

The product comes packaged just like your typical lunch box snack, and actually that was Kind’s mission: to take one step in reducing the amount of sugar kids consume. Kind created this really cool display in Time Square showing just how much sugar kids consume every day. Check out the video here


For anyone interested in the nutrition of this product, it checks out pretty good. (Did you read my last post about the new food label?!) I especially love the ingredients– talk about real food. Which brings me to my next point…. don’t open the package expecting to see your typical artificial, dyed fruit snacks. 


Think of it more like dried fruit! The appearance threw me off a bit at first, but once I tasted it I didn’t mind the appearance because it truly is just dried fruit. They were nice and chewy and sweet. They work great for me to take on the go, and actually give you a ‘full’ feeling because of the fiber. 

I am interested to hear kids perspective on this product. The taste was great, but we all know people eat with their eyes first. If anyone else has tried these let me know your thoughts in the comments below! 

Hints & Tips, Thoughts of a Dietitian

Change is Coming… to the Nutrition Label

How many of you actually stop to read the food labels when you’re grocery shopping? One thing I find myself repeating over and over again to my patients is “check the nutrition label!” Dietitians can educate patients and clients on what to look for when making healthy meal selections, but understanding the food label is fundamental to being able to make informed choices. 

What prompted me to write this post is that starting soon (sometime in 2018) our nutrition facts panel is getting a facelift. There’s different regulations and extensions that determine when companies must actually switch over, but what I’ve been noticing is that many products have already made the switch. 


Left is old, right is new. Did you know the old food label hasn’t changed in 20 years?! 

In my opinion, the 3 most prevalent changes are:

  1. Larger Font to display calories 
  2. Inclusion of Added Sugar
  3. Inclusion of Vitamin D content


Something else really interesting is that companies are supposed to make serving sizes more realistic now. How many times have you gone to eat your favorite snack, only to realize you’ve eaten a double portion without even realizing it?! It’s still important to be mindful, however realistic serving sizes can help consumers make more informed choices. 

Start taking note of the new food labels. Are you noticing a lot of companies already made the switch? For more information check out the FDA website. 

Recipes, Thoughts of a Dietitian

Stop What You’re Doing Right Now… 

…AND MAKE THIS PIZZA FOR DINNER TONIGHT! 

Holy cow have you ever made pizza on the grill? It takes your typical pizza to the next level of goodness. 


Now you might be wondering why a dietitian is telling you to eat pizza, so let’s answer that question first. I’ve been trying to incorporate more meatless meals into my diet, and with this pizza I was able to load the crust up with veggies and herbs (tomatoes, onion, mushrooms, spinach, and basil) and not miss the meat at all. 

I did not use whole wheat crust because it wasn’t available at my grocery store, but I have seen it at some, so if you’re planning on giving this a try, see what is available at your store. 

The concept of this pizza is so easy; the technique was a little hard to master. 

Ingredients/Tools:

  • Store made pizza dough
  • Home made tomatoe sauce, heated
  • Sun Dried Tomato Pesto (pic below)
  • Olive oil and pastry brush
  • Flour for dusting
  • Veggies of your choice
  • 2 Spatulas
  • A Grill

Technique:

  1. Heat your grill up, basically as high as it can go. Ours was hovering around 400•F.
  2. Roll out your crust onto a plate or cookie sheet. Don’t go crazy about the shape, it’s not worth your time. Ours was about 1/4 inch thick. The part that you’re looking at is the top of the crust. You need to bake the top, before flipping it over and adding ingredients. Lightly brush oil and flour onto the top of the crust. 
  3. I pinched the edges of my dough towards me to make a nice crust.  
  4. Get ready to move fast: Invert the dough onto the grill. You need to cook it on this side for 4-5 minutes. While the top is cooking, brush oil and flour onto the bottom of the dough so it’s ready to flip. 
  5. Once the crust is starting to char, use two spatulas (and maybe 2 sets of hands) to flip the dough onto its other side. 
  6. Quickly, start adding sauce, pesto, veggies, and cheese to your dough. Let the dough cook another 5-6 minutes, or until charred. 
  7. If your cheese or sauce needs to heat more, turn the grill off and let the pizza sit there for a few more minutes.
  8. Finally, using those 2 spatulas again, slide the pizza back off the grill, onto the plate, and enjoy immediately! 

The first time we made this, it was a little challenging to move so fast. But once we repeated the recipe the next week, we realized how simple it was. I love recipes that you can personalize to make your own– use whatever veggies and cheese you like. 


This is the pesto we used on our pizza, and we’ve been adding it to everything now! It gives it so much flavor!! 

Add a comment if you give this recipe a try and let me know what goodies ended up on your pizza! Enjoy! 

Happy Posts, Thoughts of a Dietitian

Why I LOVE Yoga!

Sometimes life gets a little crazy…and that’s alright!

If you’ve been following my blog you’ve probably noticed I’ve been M.I.A recently. Since moving to South Florida, and starting my new job, it’s been one thing after the next! My mom came down to visit mid-August, then my boyfriend and I were preparing to move for the first weekend in September, and then we were preparing for Hurricane Irma which just swept through our area. (Luckily Irma didn’t do nearly as much damage as expected.)

Needless to say, I don’t remember the last time I went to the gym. Regular physical activity is so important for our bodies for a number of reasons, but if you’re stressing yourself out so much just to squeeze in that gym time, then that’s not good either. 

Especially during stressful times (starting a new job, finals week, or moving) I find my go-to is yoga. For me, yoga is a win-win because it does good for my physical body and my mind. 

Recently, when my mom was down, we went to a aerial yoga class! Which was a total change from my normal yoga routine. It was doable and I would highly encouage everyone reading this to get some girlfriends together and give it a try. 


Challenging myself to aerial yoga was really scary leading up to the class, but once I got started all the fears, and stress, just left. 


There are so many styles of yoga, so if you’ve only tried it once or twice, try again because once you find the right style and teacher you’ll never look back.

 Yoga is great for the body and mind, it’s something you can spend 5 minutes or 60 minutes doing. You can do it alone or with friends. You can do it at home before work or in a class in your community. You can do it to stretch your muscles or strengthen them. How many of you enjoy yoga? Has anyone else tried aerial yoga? Let me know in the comments below!

P.S. Although not pictured, I actually did so much yoga this weekend during the hurricane. First off, I was bored out of my mind by the second morning. Not to mention my body was so tight and achy from all the stress of the hurricane. This is why I LOVE yoga, it’s the anywhere and anytime workout. 

Hints & Tips, Thoughts of a Dietitian

Is All Yogurt Created Equal

One food that I often recommend to my patients at the hospital is yogurt. Why? It often comes proportioned for calorie control, packs a punch of protein and calcium, and works well on-the-go, in school lunches, or as part of a meal. But the question is, is all yogurt created equal? 

Not really.


I tend to stick with Greek yogurt bc it is the highest protein content. Some people don’t like Greek yogurt, and that’s okay just make sure to keep reading. If you haven’t tried it, make sure to mix really really well to get a smooth consistency. (Greek Yogurt below with 12 grams of protein per serving.) 


In addition to protein, you want to check the sugar content. My Greek yogurt above has 16 grams of sugar, which is a little high! The unfortunate part about our current nutrition label is that it doesn’t differentiate ADDED sugar from NATURALLY occurring sugar (from the lactose in milk.) Regardless, a better choices would be to go with the plain (Greek) yogurt because it will have the same amount of protein, but significantly less sugar (and calories).

Now, if you don’t like Greek yogurt you are in luck because there are SO many other types of yogurts out there. In addition to “regular yogurt” they make light yogurt, Icelandic Yogurt, Australian Yogurt, and even French Yogurt.

I actually gave French yogurt a try the other day and was very pleased.


Notice in this picture I bought the plain style to save on my sugar/ calorie intake. When you’re purchasing yogurt other than Greek, you need to double check the fat content. Some of these fancy yogurts are pretty rich and creamy, which is fine to have if that’s what you like, but be mindful that more fat equals more calories. For some people, calories don’t matter, but if you’re watching your weight just make sure to check.


At the end of the day, you want to pick a style of yogurt that you’ll enjoy eating. Looking for products that are highest in protein, lowest in sugar, and contain a reasonable amount of fat. 

Happy Eating!