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!

Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas

Lately I’ve been challening myself to eat a mostly plant-based diet after reading the fascinating work of Dr. T. Colin Campbell in The China Study. While I am by no means a vegan and could absolutely NOT live without eggs, cheese, or yogurt, I do get bored of the same ol’ chicken breast, turkey burgers, and seafood dinners, so I am challenging myself- or rather, enjoying experimenting- with adding more beans and legumes in my meals.

These Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas were a quick and easy product of my forray into a plant-based diet, and lucky for me, the whole batch was all mine to enjoy (who else is living with a no bean eater?).

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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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Eating In and Around Cincinnati- The Queen City

Ever heard of some place being called a “queen city”? Well, for those of you know don’t know, the term “queen city” is used to describe a city which is the largest in a state , but is not the capital. I have been lucky enough to live in two of the, in my opinion, best Queen Cities in the country; Burlington, Vermont and Cincinnati, Ohio. A Midwestern girl at heart, Cincinnati will always be my home and I cherish going back for the holidays to be surrounded by my favorite familiar sights, but to also explore this every-changing city.

the Queen City courtesy of @cincygram

the Queen City courtesy of @cincygram

 
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Spicy Miso Honey Kabocha Squash

I have found my forever squash. Some people love butternut, others love acorn, and some don’t discriminate between fall gourds, but I have fallen in love with kabocha squash and declare it my forever squash. Don’t get me wrong, I have a soft spot for butternut and love a good spaghetti squash to replace noodles, but there is something about the easiness of not needing to peel a kabocha, the quickness in which it cooks, and the versatility of its uses that has made me fall in love with it.

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Maui Must-Do List

At different points throughout our Hawaiian getaway we would ask each other, “Would you feel okay if we had to go home tomorrow? Do you think we’ve seen and done enough to make our trip worthwhile?” And our answer to that question after one week adventuring in Kauai was a resounding “No!” because we knew there were so many more mountains to climb, more poke bowls to eat, and much more relaxing to be done on the island of Maui.
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Pass the Pumpkin, Please!

The Hawaii Diaries Part II can wait because I have some breaking news- IT’S PUMPKIN SEASON!!

But first, I have a confession- I’ve never used canned pumpkin before. As a lover of whole foods and scratch cooking, the only times I’ve ever had pumpkin puree in my kitchen was after scooping seeds, roasting, more scooping, and mashing pumpkin flesh from a whole pumpkin. Why buy canned when I can just as easily make it myself? Admitedly, I sometimes even scoffed at the “canned pumpkin in everything” crazies that would come out in full force every October, not fully understanding their obsession with super orange pumpkin puree.

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Top 6 Kauai Experiences

At first I thought, “Let’s go somewhere different, everyone goes to Hawaii for their honeymoon.” Boy is it a good thing I didn’t listen to myself- honeymooners go to Hawaii because it is, in a word, AMAZING, and I feel so lucky to have spent 12 days exploring two incredibly unique Hawaiian Islands, Kauai and Maui. Now, my husband loves to plan trips, and so even though this was our honeymoon and we would be coming from wedding craziness and a year-long absence of real vacation time from work, our trip was going to be chock full of day-trips, adventuring, and, of course, lots of eating.

We started on the island of Kauai and I’d love to share our top 6 experiences from this beautiful faraway piece of paradise.

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