The Story of the Late Night Snacker

When I meet with patients who are looking to lose weight for reasons X, Y, or Z  one of my most valuable tools as an RD is conducting a thorough diet recall. Essentially I’ll start by asking them to tell me at what time they wake up, when and what is the first thing they eat, and so on and so forth. They’ll proceed to walk me through a typical day, uninterrupted, telling me about their meals and wrap up their story by saying, “See, I don’t eat that much” or “I feel like my meals are healthy, I just don’t get why I’m not losing weight”.

As an RD I know that asking them to walk me through their day once is never the end of their eating story. I’ll carefully revisit their day, asking for elaboration on brands, portion size, and timing, which usually reveals a bit more. Towards the end, almost as a sneak attack tactic, I ask about their drink and snack habits, which have conveniently been left out of their original telling of their story. At long last, I usually uncover their “zinger”, the answers to why weight loss has been so difficult!
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Workout Wednesday: Is afterburn legit?

Welcome to the second installment of Workout Wednesday!

Last week’s query focused on calorie “budgeting” for weight loss and how that fits in with increased hunger levels post-workout. While going to the gym for a workout is a huge boost for your metabolic health, you would be mistaken in thinking that the fridge is completely free reign for the afternoon or that becoming a couch potato for the rest of the day is a valid reward for your hard work. In other words, relying on the “afterburn” effect of your hour workout to magically erase any calories over-consumed later in the day would be an ill-advised strategy.

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Rainbow Collard Green Wrap

Of his own choosing my husband requested a recipe with collard greens and portobello mushrooms this week- seriously! If you knew Mr. CN five years ago your eyes would be popping out of your head right now. This is the guy whose vegetable intake was basically limited to guacamole and a tomato pasta sauce when I met him. Now, after years of gentle nudging and a few fancy dinners to expand his culinary horizons, my husband pages through Eating Well magazine in a manner similar to which I delve into newly published nutrition studies. Oh how my dietitian heart sings!

The point of this post is not the fact that we enjoyed delicious Collards and Portobello Grilled Cheese Sandwiches, but rather that I have collard greens for days and created a delicious and refreshing lunch for myself this week.

Collard green wraps are a great low-carb lunch option and a cool answer your cooking woes during this oppressive NYC heat. The best part is their versatility. I chose to prepare mine in more of a Mediterranean style (still reeling about my recent travels to Spain I suppose), but you could roll up a Mexican or Asian variety by changing the fillings (corn/black bean/bell peppers or tofu/kimchi/scallions, respectively) and perhaps serving it with a spicy or soy-based sauce.

Now, if you’re looking at that thick stem running through the leafy green thinking, “this is WAY too much crunch and will taste like I’m eating a twig”, trust me when I say it’s delicious! I was rolling my wrap with a little trepidation, but within my first few bites I was glad I didn’t break down the integrity of the collard by cutting it out- keep those leaves intact!

Collards are a Southern staple that are ripe with good nutrition- some of the standout nutrients are vitamins A & K, folate, and calcium. Plus, you get so much bang for your buck- my massive bunch, which will easily feed me/us for 3-4 meals, only cost $1.50. When you get big nutrition for a low cost it’s a win-win!

Rainbow Collard Green Wrap- serves 1

Ingredients

  • 1 collard green leaf, washed and pat dry
  • 4 Tbsp hummus- I have found this Brooklyn-based company that I LOVE! Find it at Fairway.
  • 2 Honey and Ginger Love Beets, sliced
  • 3/4 bell pepper, sliced
  • sliced red onion
  • crumbled feta cheese

Directions

Layer

Roll- via a twitter video ’cause i’m new to this whole video thing :)

 

Caramelized Fennel Pasta

Do you have a back pocket pasta recipe? You know, one that’s easy to pull off for a weeknight dinner when your meal planning efforts fail, but pleases everyone in your house? With the arrival of spring and carbo-loading for the half marathon in full effect, I may have just discovered my new favorite back pocket pasta recipe featuring caramelized fennel, tender spinach, bright lemon zest, and creamy goat cheese.

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A Savory “Pie” for Pi Day

Today is March 14th, so math nerds, rejoice- it’s 3.14 or Pi Day! I’m celebrating today, not because I am a math nerd (I actually HATED math as kid), but because it’s also a snow day here in NYC and I’m spending the day in the kitchen whipping up some yummy recipes.

While I may not be very fond of math, I am very, very fond of pie. Of the sweet variety, I would have to say some of my favorites are strawberry rhubarb, peach, or blueberry, but I will certainly not turn down a chocolate mousse or peanut butter pie! However, seeing as it’s just me and my husband, and we don’t feel like scarffing down a whole sweet pie by ourselves (sadly, I don’t think it’s in the half marathon training meal plan either), I made a savory “pie” today in the form of a Swiss Chard and Leek Frittata.

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National Nutrition Month

To my fellow RD’s, foodies, and health nuts- Happy National Nutrition Month!

Each year during the month of March, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics  celebrates all things good food and nutrition, and encourages the public to adopt a healthier lifestyle according to specified theme. This year the theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward”, which is meant to serve as a reminder to start with making small changes in your habits, which will more likely lead to lasting and enjoyable eating practices.

I absolutely love this theme, because it’s something I actually discuss with patients and they do see results! When we declutter our minds from the overwhelming number of guidelines and “do’s and don’ts” of nutrition, and focus instead on choosing one behavior that is going to be easiest to change and sustain for ourselves personally, then we are much more likely to succeed and feel motivated to change other behaviors going forward!

Feeling inspired, I decided to share my advice on the topic of making small and realistic changes in one’s diet on the Stone Soup, a blog by dietitians that runs as a companion to the Academy’s Food and Nutrition Magazine. My tips are centered around shifting your healthy habits during spring vacation travels, so I hope you will find them useful.

I’m proud and excited that this is my second time being published on the blog, and you can find my current article right here– enjoy!

Training for My First Half Marathon

Every time I stand on the sidelines and cheer friends and family on as they race towards the finish line of half or full marathons, I feel exhilarated and inspired. I think, “if they can do this, so could I!” And so, after using my internship year, nuptials, and new job as convenient scapegoats, I have finally run out of excuses, and figured it was time for me to run my first half marathon! I’ve been training for the past 5 weeks, with 7 more to go, and I’ve learned a lot about my physical capabilities, mental toughness, eating intuitively, and enjoying running! Today I’m sharing with you my biggest lessons learned so far on my road to 13.1

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Better Breakfasts with Steel Cut Oats

My readers and patients alike have frequently heard me talk about quick and easy meal ideas, especially breakfasts. After all, breakfast really is found to be one of the most important meals of the day as it is associated with reduced risk of overweight and obesity (Szajewska & Ruszczynski 2010); better glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, which is especially critical for individuals with type II diabetes (Versteeg et al 2015); and improved satiety that leads to less overconsumption at subsequent meals (de Castro J 2007).

For the most part, I am a fan of breakfasts that require minimal effort during the week- Siggi’s yogurt with fresh fruit and nuts, hard boiled eggs over homemade bread, or a mason jar of delicious overnight oats. Lately, however, I have fallen in love with steel cut oats.

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