Products/Foods I Love

You guys, I write this blog because I am a real life person, with a real schedule, real stress, and real needs and desires for fast convenient food options.  

I also LOVE going to the grocery store, and trying new foods/products.  Now might be a good time to point out that all of these opinions are in fact my own, I purchased all of these products with my own cash money!  

Granted, a lot of times we (I) do food prep for the week, and make sure we stuff ready to go for 4-5 dinners each week.  However, we have weekends that get away from us and our food prep doesn’t really get done, which leaves us scrambling around a bit for the work week.  These are things that have helped not only as snacks, but also as meals/sides!

Also some of these, are just products I really really love, and have made either my life easier, have awesome nutritional value, and most importantly taste super yummy!!!

Riced Cauliflower 

Brands: Green Giant (Kroger) Boulder Canyon (Whole Foods) 

You can find either fresh (in produce area), or frozen – the brands listed above can be found in the frozen section!  Price wise it does tend be cheaper to make your own.  BUT, when you’re in a pinch, you’re in a pinch.  Both brands are respectable sodium wise, but the only downside is that I can eat an entire bag for one dinner (whereas if I make my own with 2-3 heads of cauliflower it will last me the whole week).  On top is a brand I like, on bottom is my own homemade rices cauliflower. 



Coconut Water 

Brands: Zico, Simple Truth Organic, Coco Five, Core

The key here is that it is unsweetened, the ones that have flavoring have more added sugar.  I stock up on these when I am logging more miles than normal, because they are a good source of potassium, and I hate bananas.  Sorry, but it’s true.  

I get all of the above at Kroger, or Target; Simple Truth Organic is Kroger’s organic line.  

Sweet Potato “Noodles” 

Where to find: Whole Foods, produce section
These have saved my butt a few times where I’ve been gone all weekend and food prep time slips from my hands and I don’t have time to make my own. I fully admit it’s cheaper to make your own. However, Pat and I both agree we would rather use something like this in a pinch as opposed to going out and buying dinner. 




Frozen/Steamed Vegetables

If frozen vegetables didn’t exist, I’m not sure how Pat and I would survive. We would probably not eat a lot of vegetables to be completely honest. 

Frozen vegetables are essentially our sides for every night of the week. We typically always steam them, sometimes we thaw them and add them into a soup or stew, or roast them. 


Unsweetened Applesauce

So, I think I’ve talked enough on this blog that I like to run. I’ve spent the last year trying to find real foods to eat prior to runs. A situation I find myself in a lot is that I am having my pre-run snack in the car. Applesauce pouches are something I’ve been trying more recently, and I am feeling pretty dumb I haven’t tried this before. Personally I prefer the unsweetened variety, but I also ate all of mine so I had to take a picture of Pat’s cinnamon ones.

We get these at Kroger, no I don’t care that they are organic or on-GMO, but I also care about the fact that there is not any added sugar. 


Siggi’s Yogurt

Hands down this is my favorite brand of yogurt. These encompass the very meaning of PFC (the ones that aren’t fat free), as they have carb, fat, and protein!!! I love how creamy these are, and there is so much protein in them, which is a total game changer for me and my lunches/snacks. 

In Lansing, I can only find the higher fat variety at Whole Foods, but I also get them at Horrocks and Kroger as well! 

“I Love Beets” Beets

I am so pumped that my Kroger started carrying these!! I am fully aware I can make these. However, I am willing to pay a bit extra so that my kitchen doesn’t look like a beet (blood) bath every Sunday. These also taste amazing, and have an awesome smoky flavor and go great on sales.


Pre-Made Salad Blends

Another way we get ourselves to eat a lot of veggies are pre-made blends. Pat enjoys adding in the crunchy extras to his salad, whereas I typically don’t and just add a little avocado and some dressing. But again it’s a really simple week night go to, as well as lunches for me!


Snack Bars

Now I’m not just talking about any old snack bar. I’m talking about ones that are going to have fairly simple ingredients, and be a decent source of fat or protein (bonus if it’s both). I say fat and protein because “bars” are always going to contain carbohydrates. My “go-to” choices are: Rx Bars, Macro Bars, and Larabars. 

I pick these up everywhere from Amazon, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc 

There you have it. I could probably add more, but then this post was just go on forever! Again our goal is to make our own food for the week and do meal prep, but as I pointed out sometimes time gets away from us. I think it’s helpful to know you can get some of these items at the store in a pinch and still throw together a meal at the last minute as opposed to only feeling like your only option is to dine out. 

Hey guys just another friendly reminder that these are things I currently and personally love. I purchased these myself and my opinions on these tasty treats are all my own. 

Travel Nutrition

A year ago I started a new job, and one of the most exciting years of my life.  2016 was a year of change, new job, new engagement, planning a wedding, house hunting.  A LOT HAS BEEN GOING ON!!!!

While I do have a “home office” I spend A LOT of time in my car, and in general being a road warrior.  The only thing I find challenging or difficult about this is, what do I eat?  

I could spend a lot of money, and eat out everyday. This would mean I would have a lot less control over what I am eating as well. So that being said, I really try to limit how often I buy lunch and really try to take my lunch with me. 

To add to this half the time I actually do eat I am in fact driving, so what I take with me needs to be easy to eat. 

I try to make my lunches vegetable focused, and while I do take sandwiches with me, I don’t do that every week (I enjoy variety) So I have been working not only finding meals that work well, but also just general tips that help not only me, but can help others.  

Meal prep 

Pretty much every Sunday for a solid couple of hours you can find me in our kitchen getting my lunches, and components of our dinners ready or the coming week.  Even though my office is at home, trying to throw a lunch together before I actually head out each day doesn’t work out.  I’ve tried it, it is not for me, what does work for me is having everything ready heading into the week.  

Logging with MyFitnessPal

I preface this with: I know logging is NOT for everyone, as a dietitian I fully recognize that.  However, it does work for me, and it really helps keep me in check, and eat more intuitively (which I know may sound counterintuitive) but it helps me have the conversation with myself in the middle of the day: “do I really actually want those chips” 9 times out of 10 the answer is no.  Logging also helps me with my next point and that is staying on track with well rounded eating, and a focus on PFCs.  Also, I hate to sound like a negative dietitian, but we tend to really overestimate activity, and underestimate portion sizes, and nutrient density.  

Focusing on PFC 

So PFC: Protein, Fat, Carbohydrate.  I try to really make sure I focus on getting a fruit and vegetable serving (or more) at each lunch.  I also focus on getting a fat serving as well, avocados obviously work well, and I also use things like avocado, or nut oils on vegetables.  Or I’ll just pack some almonds.  I have been on a “bento box” kick lately where I just do small portions of different things: 1 oz almonds, 1 oz cheese, 1/2 cup berries, 1 cup vegetables, 2 hard boiled eggs.  

Bell peppers, hard boiled Jumbo eggs, carrots, white cheddar cheese. Not pictured: small apple, 1 oz portions of almonds



Incorporating “Treats”

So, I spend enough time on the road, and I am enough of a foodie, that there is NO point in me being “restrictive” (along with anyone else in my opinion), instead I try to focus on balance.  A really good friend of mine once shared with me a rule she uses for indulging, and it is one I have since adopted. This rule is pretty simple: I just make sure I eat at least 5 servings for fruits and vegetables, then if I want a doughnut, or a peanut butter cup, I will indulge.  I also try to plan my indulgences too, I know where I am going to be at each week, and where my favorite restaurants are, therefore I typically know when I will be indulging.  If I know that I can place a big emphasis on mindfulness for the rest of the day.  


Pack snacks

When I am away from home for an extended period (I.e. A work trip), I generally know what my food choices will be, and can still follow my PFC guideline.  I also know, I’ll be sitting a lot more, drinking a lot more, and probably snacking a lot more.  It helps if I pack my own snacks that way I won’t be as tempted to just grab whatever.  I also try to be a lot more mindful and ask myself if I am actually hungry, or just currently interested in having food. There is a pretty big difference, and I think we have all been there.  So I pack my own.  I pack fiber one bars, pistachios, Larabars, I pick up fresh fruit to have available.   


Make time for your workout

My rationale for this is simple, if I have the time to pick up a glass of wine, I can make time to work out, even if it means getting up early.  That is the deal I make with myself when I travel, and when I am having a busy work week.  If I can find time to unwind to a tv show, I can find time to put in 30 minutes of physical activity.  

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Hydration is really important for general health and wellness, let alone an important aspect of physical activity.  Water is the cornerstone of pretty much all of our bodily functions.  Water actually comprises ~ 60% of body weight.  Fun fact, sometimes mild dehydration manifests as hunger, so making sure you have water on hand, and are adequately hydrated are KEY!!!
These are things I have found work best for me.  Just because I am a dietitian does not mean I don’t have to plan, and stay really mindful of what I’m eating, and how I am planning.  

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Egg Drop Soup, Recipe

Hello, my name is Sarah, and I.LOVE.EGGS.  

I eat them a lot, we typically buy 1-1 1/2 dozen each week sometimes, two dozen if I know I’ll be baking, or depending on a recipe.  

Most mornings I do have at least 1 egg for breakfast, but usually 2.  I grew up eating eggs all my life, and came from a family who never really bought into the “need” to limit eggs because they “raise cholesterol” (insert eye roll here).  Since moving back to Michigan it is significantly easier for me to get my hands on farm fresh eggs, which is so so nice!  

In case you didn’t know eggs are just a powerhouse of nutrition, for a large egg you’re looking at 70 calories, 6 g of protein, 5 g of fat.  Also, please don’t toss the yolks, all of the glorious nutrition is located there!  In fact eggs contain 13 essential vitamins and minerals such as: selenium, choline, Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, phosphorus and riboflavin, as well as all 9 essential amino acids-specifically leucine.  One large egg provides ~ 600 mg of leucine, which plays a unique role in stimulating muscle synthesis! 

Throwing out the yolk results in an ~40% loss of the nutrients mentioned above!  ​

Eggs aren’t only an incredible nutrition powerhouse, but they are so versatile, and they are incredibly easy to prepare!  

Egg Drop Soup

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

3 Large Eggs

3 Cups Broth (Vegetable, Chicken, or bone)

Fish Sauce (if desired for taste) 

Directions


Bring your three cups of broth to a rolling boil; add fish sauce as desired (it will add a savory/umami flavor)

Meanwhile whisk your eggs together, make sure to whisk very well so that you don’t have “chunks” (you can add a drop or two of fish sauce right into the eggs too if you like the flavor it adds)

Once your broth comes to a rolling boil, remove the pot from heat, and slowly start pouring in your whisked eggs, and stir with a heat proof spatula

As you’re pouring the eggs in, they should be cooking on contact with the boiling liquid, and the result should be whispy, and almost creamy looking- not chunky!  

You can eat as is, I had some shredded pork, in the fridge, so I added a little smidge of that, you can even squirt on some sriracha, or top with jalapeños and/or cilantro (that idea, as well as the fish sauce are from “Nom Nom Paleo“.  

 

Egg Drop Soup is something that at first thought intimidated me to make. It seemed “hard”, boy was I ever wrong!!! 

It’s one of my favorite things to order when we go out for Chinese, honestly because I love the flavor, but it also allows me to get filled up without eating a thousand calories. 

As I mentioned above too in the recipe this is something that is so versatile. I got the idea from Nom Nom Paleo to throw some shredded leftover meat in (which was delicious).


Here’s the other amazing thing about this soup- it seriously tastes so creamy, but there is no cream. None. 

The recipe makes about two servings, one serving breaks down to:

Calories: 146

Fat: 9 g

Total Carb: 2 g

Protein: 12.5 g

It’s also a good source of Vitamin A and Choline, as well as iron and calcium. 

It’s so easy to prep a big batch of this, if you want it more broth-y you can increase the amount of broth you use (I did a 1:1 ratio, 1 cup broth to 1 egg) but you can always do a cup and a half of broth to 1 egg. It reheats well, and it’s also so hearty, and is perfect for a quick dinner especially after a run in the cold! 

The Anti-Resolution*(er)

Hi everyone, Happy New Year, and welcome to 2017!  If you’re in the same boat as me, you’re still recovering from the Holidays, both mentally and physically.  Some of you have started your resolutions or, if you’re like me you’re the anti-resolution(er), and literally either nothing has changed, or rather same things change incrementally each day, week, and month.  

The first of any year is always a that should be used (in my opinion) for reflection, instead, in most cases it used to set vague goals.  Don’t get me wrong, I love goals, but goals should be SMART (Specific, Measureable, Acheiveable, Realistic, Time Specific) when we say “I’m going start running”, “I’m going to get fit”, “I’m going to lose weight” – nothing about those goals is “SMART”.  


I hate to be cliche, but  if you fail to plan, you’re essentially planning to fail.  
I hate to also be a negative Nancy, but if you have a gym membership, you tend to notice a significant uptake in membership/business in January, and you see that taper off by February-March.  So why is that?  

To be honest: life, and typically lack of planning/lack of setting SMART goals.  Life gets in the way sometimes, I’ll admit it life gets in the way for me sometimes, and I am not only someone who helps people set goals, I constantly set goals myself.  

I think what is key, here is the act o reflecting at the first of the year (and many times throughout the year), start with: what did you “resolve to do” last year, now: did you accomplish it?  If not, why? If you are a chronic resolutioner that doesn’t produce results you need to look at why this is happening, and come up with a “SMARTer” approach.  

I say I am an anti-resolutioner, but I actually kind of make resolutions all of the time, or rather- I set a lot of goals, both personally and professionally, but they key is: I set them all of the time.  With running you get direct honest feedback on how you’re progressing towards you’re goals, sometimes you’re making gains, and other times, you’re heading back to the drawing board.  Heading back to the drawing board, by the way, does not equate to failure.  When you stop trying, that is when you have failed.

Goals are like engagements/proposals: it should not take a “grand gesture” to make you realize something I.e. “New year, new you”.  If you want to run, start walking; if you want to buy something, start saving your money.  Don’t just do those things, start evaluating and asking yourself “how am I doing?” When you set out to do this- set specific time periods of when you will “check” your progress.  

With any goal or lifestyle change, if it works out perfectly on your first go, then good for you! Seriously.  It happens, but it is rare, most people end up having to go back and re-tooling their game plan to get there, or what happens all too often is that people just give up.  


I honestly have just a few tips for the New Year, and/ or achieving goals in general:

  1. Obviously, set SMART goals, whether that means, writing them out, and thinking about “how” to get there, then do that.  
  2. Put your money where your mouth is.  I have a wonderful friend who says she refuses to feel guilty over spending money on health/working out.  Obviously the moral is to not live beyond your means, but also if you have the money spend it on running shoes, a race, a fitness class you want to try.  If your goal is to run a half marathon, but you’ve never ran before, I would suggest a) signing up for one that way you have it looming over you, and b) sign up for a shorter distance race a maybe 6-8 weeks beforehand to gauge how your training has gone.  
  3. Be accountable, a good place to start is with your friends and family, but ultimately we want to learn to be accountable to ourselves, and sometimes that can be really tough.  That is why above I yapped so much about reflection above; in order to be accountable to ourselves, it is paramount we reflect on how we have succeeded, and where/when our weanknesses tripped us up.  
  4. Don’t quit.  Readjusting isn’t quitting, but sometimes things in life happen: injuries, new jobs, etc The only constant is change, so instead of having an attitude of “I’ll get to it another time”, embrace an attitude of: “maybe I can do this instead of that tonight, and that instead of this tomorrow morning”.  Personally, training for marathons have been some of the best lessons on how to manage my time, and go back to the drawing board to readjust my plan.  

As you can probably gather, I am more into just adopting a few small changes over time to create a healthier lifestyle as a opposed to one big goal.  This isn’t to say that big goals don’t work- I think there is a time for big goals, that being said, big goals require big plans.  

So at the end of the day my last little nugget of advice would be, to go the anti-resolution route, and consistently work, day in and day out to get closer to what you want to achieve.  

Why “Clean” is a Dirty Adjective for Food

I’m immediately looking at you Panera.

And every Instagram “fitspo” account.

But this is more about the term “clean”, and using this word to describe food outside of providing a description of a food’s literal cleanliness.  

The term “clean”, or “eat clean” is extremely popular, and also extremely irritating.  Full disclosure, when it first started gaining popularity I initially liked it.  To me as a dietitian, it made sense, as I tend to  group foods as “nutrition providing”, or “nutrition lacking”.  For me it actually took a  perspective of a dietetic intern and a client to see how silly this phrase is, and actually how damaging it can be.   

Photo cred: Build Up Dietitians https://m.facebook.com/BuildupDietitians

Damaging in the sense of- if a food is “clean” that indicates that if some foods are “clean” other foods are “dirty”, or “bad”.  Giving foods this level of distinction, or even this level of power is not helpful or healthy- in a mental or physical   sense.  

People who are trying to lose weight, or adapt a healthier lifestyle tend to have a hard encough time as it is.  Discerning between foods that are “good”, or “clean” versus “bad” or “dirty” can send individuals with little nutrition knowledge down a rabbit hole that it hard to get out of.  

Except now individuals aren’t being exposed to this type of “marketing” on social media by some inept health coach, or fits pro fanatic, now that term clean is getting really mainstream.  

Restaurants like Panera (you too, Chipotle) have taken this vague term and birthed an entire marketing campaign out of it.  Which is why I really enjoyed this article.  

Full disclosure, I am a huge fan of the “Sassy Scientist” movement happening by the likes of Kavin Senapthy, Sci Babe, Chow Babe, & Farm Babe (to name a few).  I don’t say sassy in a demeaning way, I mean it in a way of they are all super smart, professionals that present evidence in a badass way, and will pull someone’s card in a heartbeat and using actual evidence as opposed to anecdotes to back up their “argument”.  

So when I saw this article title I was already intrigued, and then when I saw who wrote it, I was excited.  

Another point I will happily disclose- I probably eat at Panera once a week- at least.  I spend a lot of time in my car, and traveling, and I use them a lot to cater lunches.  I did this prior to Panera launching their most recent campaign, that as pointed out by Kavin, if fraught with pseudoscience.  Despite the fact that I don’t like their campaign I still frequent them quite a bit, albeit somewhat begrudgingly.  

I like Panera, because if you know what/how to order, you can actually have a pretty nutritious meal, maybe a bit a heavy on salt, but it beats a Big Mac when you’re trying to make the more nutritious choice.  

Where the confusion comes in is, with this current marketing, it lays really good groundwork for people to just make assumptions that whatever they choose is a “healthy” or nutritious choice because of “everything is clean”.  Well, I’m sorry, but I am here to tell you that 700 calories for a sandwich is still 700 flipping calories for a sandwich.  

My point here is to not let clever marketing get in the way of making nutritious choices.  Clean doesn’t necessarily equate to nutritious, sorry but it’s true.  Just because they’re using “real” ingredients doesn’t mean that portion sizes no longer matter- because hey, they definitely still do!!!  If you really pay attention to the nutrition information (and portion sizes) you will find in many cases that a lot of their entree options are quite high in calories and all macronutrients (as well as sodium) because the portion sizes are so large.  


My issue is not with the food Panera makes, but rather their marketing strategy to make foods seem “better” than other foods, while what they are serving is still in an unacceptable portion sizes.  My other issue is that they kind of seem to be turning their backs on science/evidence.  While I appreciate that they are using more herbs I just don’t appreciate ambiguous marketings that masks portion sizes that are still too large , and in doing so doesn’t exactly support science. 

Just some food for thought while you indulge in 900 calories and 2000 mg of sodium from your broccoli and cheddar soup in a bread bowl….

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Fruit & Oat Bars- Recipe

So this started about two weeks ago when I stopped in at Whole Foods.

You guys, I was and still am to this day: pissed.

Picture it: I walk in, ready to get some snacks (I’m a girl who loves Macro Bars or Lunabars as her afternoon/pre-run snack).  So I pop in, and make haste to the snack aisle.  I toss my usual selections into the basket, when I see a new product.

Bobo’s Oat Bars.

They looked delicious.  I threw three in my basket and away I went.  I was even more excited by they soft texture, (I’m not a savage, I squished the bar to see if it was firm or soft), this is excitement escalated exponentially (say that 10 times fast) when the lady at the checkout said that customers were saying good things about these oat bars.

So I prance out to my car, and tear into a Peach oat bar.

It was delicious.  It was magic.  It was soft.  It tasted amazing.

IT WAS FULL OF SUGAR! And some oats, and some peach extract.

The macronutrient break down was atrocious- half a bar was a serving!!!  The second ingredient was brown rice syrup (SUGAR).

And that was when I looked to the sky, shook my fist, and told Bobo I could make an oat bar just as good.

Sidebar:

This is a really important teachable moment.  I let my guard down because I was in a store that markets everything as healthy.  I let Whole Foods and their faux quality standards (I say faux because there is nothing really “quality” about this bar in terms of nutrition) undo my sense.

I got had.  By a man named Bobo, and a food retailer.

So remember to check your labels, read your serving sizes, and ingredient lists.

Back to oat bars.

This is my third generation of these bars.

The first recipe was a debacle, the second generation turned out better, and these are the best I have gotten so far.  All I did was take the ingredient list for the original oat bar, then use more fruit, and less added sugar, oh and butter, I definitely used butter.

Macros for 1 bar: 111 kcal, 4 g fat, 17.5 g carb, 2g protein

Sarah's Fruit & Oat Bars

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 2-3 hours
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 bag frozen fruit of choice (fresh works too)
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 2-3 Tbsp Honey
  • 2-3 Tbsp Chia (optional)

Directions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350, and take your frozen fruit place in a strainer and run cold water over fruit to thaw
  2. In a food processor blend your whole oats until they are a flour-y powder, set oats aside
  3. In a skillet, heat your butter, add your fruit and honey, and let the fruit get nice and soft
  4. When your fruit is fork tender dump your fruit into the food process, and puree
  5. Then fold everything together, spoon into a baking dish, and bake for 20 minutes at 350
  6. Once you remove the bars from the oven, wait for your dish to cool, then pop them in the refrigerator for a few hours this helps get them nice and firm, and you’re able to cut your bars in firm solid squares (no crumbling)    

I made a few mistakes before, not grinding up the oats prior to use- this lead to oat bars that had very coarse oats, and weren’t all that easy to eat, they also didn’t have that nice cake-like texture which is what I was trying to imitate.  Same goes for the immediate refrigeration, once they are cool enough to handle the baking dish pop them in the refrigerator.  I noticed that this helps improve how well they hold together immensely.

They will also keep for about week or so. 

Overall I think this recipe is the best I’ve made so far, I still want to keep working on it though, and see if I can’t get them “cakier” and maybe got a bit more protein in there as well! 

Why was there pop at a “Dietitian Conference”?

Again, I am incredibly behind the times on my blogging, but still feel compelled to finish this post.

Every year in October Dietitians both nationwide and internationally flock to a central meeting location for FNCE.  FNCE stands for Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo.

While I did not attend FNCE this year, I have attended two times out of the last six years: once as a “RD 2 BE”, and then as a practicing RD.  I enjoyed both experiences, and have not attended other years due to a variety of reasons (the main one being how closely it falls to the Chicago Marathon-which I have done for the last 3 years) .  While I did not attend this year I noted a fair amount of backlash in various press outlets, discussing food items that were/”were not” present during the expo.  Reminder this backlash was occurring just before the election, so for the last 6 weeks my social media was blowing up with  this then immediately followed by the election.  Awesome.

I have pasted below the main offending article- the issue I found with it was it was pretty one-sided, the article either did not mention/quickly skated over the fact that there were various fruit, vegetable, bean, and whole grain products located at the expo.  So feel free to take a read.

There is an unspoken rule that dietitians are able to make recommendations on a wide variety of foods, and be knowledgeable about various foods on the market, whether they (dietitians) eat them or not.  So it seems to me that RDs are damned if they do, and damned if they don’t in this scenario.

When counseling patients there is an expectation that we are able to know about those “sweet potato chips”, regardless if we eat them or not.  Ultimately Dietitians are tasked with presenting the evidence to a patient and then helping that same patient/client work to decrease foods with less nutritional value, in place of foods with more nutritional value, but while still enjoying foods they love.

Here’s the thing, part of (a very important part of) a RD’s training is to separate personal preference from what is evidence based, and what your patients’ goals are, and also separate evidence from hype, and clever marketing.

PERSONALLY one of my favorite things to do, is try out new products.  I literally get excited when I see new products either in the store or featured in Food & Nutrition magazine, or from other Dietitians’ blogs.  I enjoy innovation and I enjoy trying knew things.  But this is personal, which is why I started this entire paragraph with “personally”.   Being knowledgeable about a wide variety of products helps in many scenarios, some examples being: patient’s with food sensitivities, patients on dietitian implemented elimination diets, patients trying to improve their diets and finding alternatives for less nutritious foods.

This was my “haul” of new foods I found at Target a few weeks ago. Trying out new foods is one of my favorite things!


Seriously I remember when I was still in college/internship  and Greek Yogurt was a fairly “new item”, now it’s one of the most widely accepted foods because it is a great source of fat, protein, and carbohydrate (depending on brand and type).  Sure, were there maybe some less than nutritious food options at FNCE?  Maybe.  BUT only pointing out items such as this, is only designed to sell, it only tells a partial truth- again at least from my experience, as I said I wasn’t there this year.

I can speak for myself, and very likely many other dietitians, we aren’t influenced by “Big Food”, we are in fact, typically influenced by EVIDENCE.

Listen I know I have made a lot of blanket statements in the sense of using terms like “we” “us” and speaking for a larger population of dietitians outside myself.  However, the RD’s I work with, have worked with, and are friends with are predominately foodies, that enjoy food, and use evidence and evidence based guidelines as parameters when working with clients/patients.

That being said, I stand by my statements.  Obviously.  This is my blog.

What I will also say is this, this article and ones similar took away from a lot of the fantastic things that happen at FNCE:

Undergrad students, and Dietetic Interns, and practicing RDs all being able to interact and network with one another, poster presentations (graduate students & interns are able to present research if they apply are invited to do).  By attending evidence based continuing education presentations (even ones that are sponsored by “Big Food” – I rolled my eyes as I wrote that- have to meet set evidence standards by AND), RD’s able to add strategies, tricks, and tips to their toolkits from other professionals when working with their clients/patients.  RD’s are also able to attend cooking demos, and go into the expo hall to sample new products, utensils, recipes, and coupons.

Guess what these are all things I have done.  Personally.  As I said the first time I went to FNCE, I was an understand Dietetics student, who was getting ready to apply for internship programs, along with the 5-10 other students I was there with.

There are so many things in this picture that are embarrassing (about me). But ultimately my first trip to FNCE with these other future RDs was a really good decision and a really fun trip!


In 2012 I was able to present my Masters Thesis at the FNCE poster session, which was an excellent opportunity to not only challenge myself about my own research, but ask about other DI’s/RD’s research.

This is me in 2012 presenting my Masters Thesis research at the poster session


On both occasions I went to the expo, I was able to try new foods, and also get on mailings lists to get product samples.  Oh, because guess what?! A lot of dietitians work with patients with low/lower income, and coupons along with budgeting and in some cases food assistance really help people GET FOOD THEY NEED!!!

But again some people are worried about “Big Food”…. Perspective people.  Perspective.

At the end of the day I’m not the one calling the shots at the Academy, so I don’t know the intricacies of putting on an event of this magnitude, and frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

I don’t give a damn because even though Coke, Pepsi, and whoever else is there, at the end of the day I am comfortable taking evidence, and presenting that to a patient, and helping foods of any variety, fit into their life, in a manner that is enjoyable, and nutritious.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/bfb7292ebb8645b6a7dc75683657e91d/spin-nabiscos-game-wheel-dietitians-get-lesson