Monday, November 30, 2009

Airport Terminal

As I sat in my terminal awaiting the arrival of my plane, I was surrounded by the temptations of all sorts of food and beverage. To engage myself in something other than FOOD, I picked up my magazine (which okay, I admit, it was food/health related). A couple of pages in...I noticed I still had about an hour until departure...being a smart snacker and health junky I figured I would spend this extra time walking up and down the terminal; why sit while I can burn some extra calories before my Thanksgiving break which let's be honest...holy temptation!

On another note...I must admit I was rushed out of the house to get to the airport and did not plan or pack anything to eat so I stopped at Subway on the way and grabbed some lunch. I had a Turkey 6’’on wheat with no cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, olives, onion and cucumbers with a drizzle of their fat free honey mustard. It was a satisfying lunch and just under 300 calories!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Traveling for the Holidays

When traveling, whether in the airport or on the road, I seem to always get questions about snacks to pack…so let me tell you what I pack!

-Fiber one bars; the key is to watch the sugar in your bars. You don’t want more than 12 grams of total sugars otherwise you might as well pack a snickers bar!

-Larabars; this is one of my new favorite bars! It is an exception to the sugar rule but ONLY because it’s 100% all natural. The great thing is--you can actually read and understand what all the ingredients are…no hidden secrets like trans fat, saturated fats or added sugars.

-Nuts; particularly almonds. 15 almonds=100 calories. Make yourself a little trail mix but no M&Ms, or just make them dark chocolate.

-Rice cakes; apple cinnamon is my favorite! I can eat 3 and it’s only 150 calories!

-Fresh or dried fruits; the dried might travel better; it may look like it has a lot of sugar but its usually natural...just remember moderation.

-Dried cereals; something with more than 4 grams of fiber per serving, Kashi is always a good pick at only ~110 calories for 3/4 cup.

-Graham crackers; add 2 tbsp of peanut butter for some protein!

-A fat-free latte and a piece of fruit; if you must stop or forgot to plan!

-6-8 ounce container of low-fat or fat-free yogurt; watch your sugar here too. My personal favorite? light and fit, 80 calories of satisfying goodness!

Snacking won’t sabotage your diet or make you gain weight (if you follow the tips below) it’s actually a good thing. According to the American Dietetic Association, eating small meals throughout the day is a good way to control your weight while keeping your food cravings under control; This will keep you energized for your voyage and keep you lively once you have hit your destination!

*Remember to snack sensibly. Be mindful of how much you’re eating, don’t over do it.
*Watch your calories. Some snacks can get so out of hand you end up eating the equivalence in calories in that of a meal.
*Plan ahead. Pack snacks so you’re not making a detour for the vending machine or fast food joints on the road.
*I like to keep my snacks under 250 calories.

Happy and Healthy Travels

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Stuff the tomatoes then your face!

Hello everyone! I know some of you out there are trying to stay within your daily allowance of points on the Weight Watchers program, which by the way I think is a great program to follow. Most veggies have no points which encourages us to eat more of those! Here's a recipe that I love- it's super quick and easy (I cannot remember where I first got this recipe so I am not taking credit for it). It tastes great, includes healthy fat, it's filling and best of all it is only 2 points per serving (according to the Weight Watchers recipe calculator). If you want to spice it up a little add 1 jalapeno to the veggie mixture!

Stuffed Tomatoes (serves 6, each tomato=2 points)
6 Large tomatoes
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
2 tsp Olive oil
1 clove fresh garlic
3 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper

  • Set your oven to 350
  • Start by cooking 2 cups of brown rice according to the package
  • Rinse tomatoes and cut off tops (kind of like cutting off the top of a pumpkin for carving). Scoop out all the insides and set aside in a small bowl. Arrange empty tomato shells in a glass baking dish filled with 1/2" of water. Chop tomato insides and throw away the seeds.
  • Finely chop zucchini and squash into 1/4" cubes
  • In a large frying pan add 2 tsp olive oil and garlic. After 5 minutes add the tomato insides, zucchini and squash. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Cook until the veggies are tender. Add the cooked brown rice into the mixture and heat through.
  • Stuff each tomato with the rice and veggie mixture and sprinkle on some Parmesan cheese!
  • Bake uncovered for 25 minutes then broil to allow cheese to melt

I hope you enjoy this recipe! I like to serve it with grilled chicken or fish!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

…So I ate the Birthday Cake!

Every dog has his day and every dietitian has hers! You know…we are only human, WE HAVE CRAVINGS TOO! It all boils down to that one word we always hear…”Moderation!” As much as you might not trust it…it’s so TRUE!

Yes, I ate a piece of my confetti birthday cake but I didn’t let it make me feel guilty, instead I just knew that the next day I would just need to ‘pay the price’ by running an extra 15 minutes on the treadmill/ elliptical, taking the stairs a couple more times in the office or even park further away in the parking lot.

We can have treats if we know how to limit our portion size and just get back on track with our healthy habits. After all, there are studies that show if you are craving something, go ahead and eat it because if you don’t you’ll just eat everything in sight until you finally get your hands on it…and unfortunately, by then, you’ve eaten an extra 500 calories instead of that 350 calories of cake...opps, too late!

Looking for other ways to keep your calories down and ward off weight gain? Some simple changes you can make…don’t add the cheese to your sandwich, hold the mayo, can the soda, eat on smaller plates and/or choose fat-free dairy products.

Case in Point: Once you have baked your cake and eaten it too…from time to time the gut-feeling will hit and you realize that it might not be worth second guess that sweet indulgence…do we really need it?
Well, except if it’s your birthday cake…right?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Calling all You Self-Proclaimed Starbucks Junkies!

Afraid you may be busting more than your wallet during your weekly or daily Starbucks run?

Try our newest favorite java combination at the coffee shop...

Sugar-free Cinnamon Dolce Latte with Skim milk, hold the whip!
This tasty blend has only 90 calories and 9 grams of protein in a tall size (or small)! This makes a great snack or afternoon pick-me-up, believe us...we've tried it! With 9 grams of protein you will be more than just satisfied…your sweet tooth will even thank you!


For a detailed nutrition description visit: Starbucks Nutrition Information

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Trans Fat's the way to be!

Many of us use convenience products in our daily life whether it's a frozen meal for lunch , perhaps a granola bar on the way to the office, or a bag of chips from the vending machine for an afternoon pick-me-up. The truth is life is busy and this does not leave much time for us to think about what we're eating let alone stop and criticize the ingredients. Well, maybe it's time to take a closer look at those trusty little food labels! Food companies sometimes add in things to our on-the-go meals and snacks that may be hurting our health. Lindsay and I are constantly checking ingredients on labels....I guess you might call us detectives! We're uncovering the truth about those ingredients starting with a little thing called Trans Fat.
Trans fats found their way into our food supply because they prolong the shelf life of foods made with oils. You may think you are in the clear because you only eat oatmeal and granola bars for breakfast, but guess're not. Trans fats can be found in everything from granola bars, microwaveable popcorn, and peanut butter. It can clog our arteries all the same as Saturated fats (those found mainly in meats and cheese). Packaged foods can often times be misleading saying "Trans fat free". The truth is if you see the word "Hydrogenated" in the ingredients there is trans fat in that food item. So, the next time you in the grocery check out those ingredients. I guarantee you will be surprised!
This may also give incentive to choose to bring your own snacks from home that you know are clear of this type of fat. As always, the more natural the food the better. Fresh fruits and vegetables have always been and will always be trans fat hidden truth!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

"Skinny Jeans"

Everyone needs a little push to get up off the couch, go to the gym or to adjust their eating habits. We had a client recently that wanted to lose weight (what a surprise…right?), well really, she just wanted to fit back into her clothes. We discussed weight loss goals, 24 hour recall/food record and exercise regimen. After countless attempts to explain the role of diet and exercise to lower cholesterol, this client was more concerned about her pant size numbers than her lipid panel numbers…yikes!

Case in point: Our dreaded pant size controls our life! No matter what’s happening to the inside of our bodies- to our arteries, kidneys, heart, liver, stomach, to name a few... We just want to make sure we can fit into our “skinny jeans” right? I mean, of course you can’t even see what’s going on inside your body so what we can’t see won’t hurt us, right?

Well, we’d say…wrong! You better find some more motivation to exercise and eat healthy than just fitting back into “skinny jeans!” Yes, it hurts, emotionally, when you can’t squeeze and wiggle around enough in the dressing room to fit into that “skinny size” but let’s face it… would you rather be skinny with health problems or a healthy weight with no health problems!? I guess what we are getting at here is…even those skinny people out there, if they’re not watching what they eat…their bodies will be crying out for help just like that of an overweight counterpart who may be 20-30 lbs heavier.

Everyday people are driven by vanity, in regards to reasons for weight loss. Since when did vanity take the front seat over health? Next time you grab for that fried chicken or your favorite sodium filled Chinese dish (just to name a few) think about what could be happening to your arteries as well as, your waist line and hips!

Go fruits and veggies! Go try a new fruit or vegetable today!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Hello and welcome to our blog. We'll start by introducing ourselves. Megan is a Registered Dietitian. She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University and her internship through East Carolina University. She currently works as an outpatient dietitian specializing in bariatric surgery and diabetes. Lindsay is currently a Dietetic Intern at East Carolina University where she also received her bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is orginally from Maryland.
We have been working together now for 3 months at a hospital in North Carolina. Since we both grew up in the north working here in the south has been a challenge to learn the Southern ways of cooking...fat back, ham hocks, biscuits, and fried chicken were not foods that we grew up eating. We quickly caught on and are using this to help our clients make better choices.

Speaking of better choices...our nutrition thought of the day: Nutritionally dense foods.
Today on our daily commute in Lindsay's car she was munching on some dried cherry granola cookies. Now, your first thought may be "A Dietitian eating cookies for breakfast?!?!" Well, think again. Although, they were in the shape of cookies, they actually had much to offer...nutritionally. These four cookies had 220 calories, 3g saturated fat, 12g unsaturated fats, and 8g fiber which makes these cookies nutrient dense and satisfying. Megan, on the other hand, ate Cheerios with light soy milk for breakfast which offered only 150 calories (1 cup cheerios and 1/2 cup soy milk) and 3g fiber. Needless to say guess which one of us ended up eating a 250 calorie snack at 10am? It was Megan!
The moral of this story is that although some foods might have more calories, they may be more satisying and help you keep your daily caloric intake under control. Essentially, Lindsay's food choice most likely offered her body more vitamins. Choosing more natural foods with high fiber have proven to be more satisfying... at least for us! (BTW...we are both similiar in weight and activity level)
Now we're off to lunch!