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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Extra! Extra!

I’m a published author! In the nutrition world that is.

During the food service rotation of my dietetic internship we were asked to write a blog post regarding food safety, putting into practice all that we’ve been learning about proper sanitation procedure and how to prevent foodborne illness. Our professor sent in our posts to Food and Nutrition magazine, a publication from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and if your post was selected by their editors it would be featured on the AND’s Stone Soup blog. I am proud to say that my post was chosen and I’ve made my first official contribution to the Stone Soup!

My blog post, 5 Tips for Safer Slow Cooking, focuses on how to cook safely using your slow cooker, and as the temperatures settle into the 60’s and 50’s, I am warming up to the idea of breaking out this trusty appliance myself. If you want to bone up on your food safety and get excited to cook all your favorite crock pot favorites, find my first published work right here on the Stone Soup!

Updates from the desk of Mrs. Casey Luber, MS RDN

It’s been five years of dating the most wonderful man, three years of studying macronutrient metabolism and designing lesson plans for nutrition and gardening programs, and one year spent working (for free) at a hospital, clinic, and community nutrition sites, but I wouldn’t trade that journey for anything because today I can happily introduce myself as Mrs. Casey Luber (almost Seiden), MS RDN!

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Crunchy Matcha Banana Bread

I love banana bread. I love it clean and classic, studded with chocolate chips, swirled with cinnamon, “healthified” with dried fruit and nuts…the list goes on! I like to enjoy it in the morning with a smear of warm butter for breakfast or even as dessert in place of a heavier and more sinful slice of cake. I can really find any opportunity to make banana bread and St. Patty’s Day was no exception!

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Potato, Potahto. Yucca, Yautia.

You know the song. “You like potato and I like potahto, You like tomato and I like tomahto
Potato, potahto, Tomato, tomahto, Let’s call the whole thing off.” This Louis Armstrong classic is not only a catchy tune, but it speaks the truth when it comes to interchangeable words. Some people refer to that starchy tuber as a potato, while others may say potahto (although I’ve never met anyone who does). The fact of the matter is there can be many words used to describe the same thing, and that is what sets the stage for this very overdue blog post.

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Dietetic Internship Ramblings and Meal Planning

My dietetic internship (DI) is in full swing, folks! It’s been a wonderful change of pace to be practicing all that I’ve learned for the past 6 or so years, and to feel like a professional in my field. While I do miss my leisure mornings where I drink coffee out of my favorite mug instead of a travel thermos, it is wonderfuly nice to be on a schedule again and I truly look forward to going to work each day where I am learning, observing, and practicing what I love.

My first internship placement is at the Institute for Family Health, a group of health clinics throughout Manhattan, the Bronx, and upstate New York. We provide care to the most underseved populations of New York and I have been a grateful witness to the triumph of so many people who face real adversity every day of their life. The role of a dietitian at the Institute is to provide nutrition therapy and counseling for a number of issues, including weight loss, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney disease, disordered eating, pediatric weight management, prenatal nutrition, food assistance, and many more. Patients often come to the Institute for primary care, psychiatric, gynecology, or dental visits and are then referred to see a nutritionist/certified diabetes educator if the doctor thinks it would be beneficial, or sometimes patients request an appointment with us on their own, which is great!

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