Grilling Tips for Labor Day


Labor Day is fast approaching and the technically the mark of the “end of summer”. This is the weekend to get those last pool days in, BBQs and grilling out, and spending time with friends and family.  I’m planning on grilling and eating some delicious food.  I have compiled some my favorite tips and tricks to make your grilling and BBQs a breeze.

  1. Aluminum foil.


One of the best grilling hacks is using aluminum foil. You can wrap vegetables in foil to steam them, lay foil down on the grill to avoid veggies sticking to the grill, and keeping your grill mess-free by throwing everything in to a foil packet. I’m planning on making this recipe from café Healthy recipe hacks: choose olive oil mayonnaise, and low fat sour cream or Greek yogurt.

  1. Cut evenly.


When cutting vegetables, pieces of meat, or any food cut or chop them so they are the same size. I am terrible at this and need to work on it. I will have veggies that are 2 inches thick, then ½ inch and will burn some veggies and under cook others.  Cutting food about the same size will cut down on cooking time and help you not overcook or under-cook your food.

  1. Kebabs


Kebabs are great ways to provide a mix of vegetables and meat in an easy way. However cooking these can be tricky. Vegetables can be done before the meat and vice versa and one can end up burned. Next time you set up your kebabs put the meat on one kebab stick and the vegetable on another. Your food will cook more evenly, decrease the risk of burning food, and food will be cooked to the proper temperature.

Check out this recipe:Beef and Vegetable kebabs

  1. BBQ sauce


* images from Microsoft office.

I love BBQ sauce but when I look at labels of the BBQ I don’t love it quite as much. I ran across this BBQ sauce recipe awhile ago and absolutely love it. It’s lower in sugar and salt than a lot of store bought BBQ sauce.

The other thing to watch out for is when you apply the sauce to your meat. Add the sauce when you are almost done cooking not at the beginning. Adding sauce too early causes the sauce to cook faster than the meat resulting in burnt, black, crackling coating on your meat. When you have one or two minutes left, add the sauce flip and sauce the other side over a low to moderate flame/heat. This will add the texture and taste you want without burning it.

What are your grilling tips and tricks and what are you planning on grilling this weekend?





So you’re a dietitian, you must eat healthy

“Oh, you’re a dietitian? Don’t look at what I’m eating, you probably NEVER eat anything like this”.

Oh how far from the truth that is.   Happy belated National RD day to all my fellow RD and RDNs! Yes it was yesterday, but why not dwell our day for another day.  Being a dietitian is awesome. Our profession revolves around food. Because of this, I get asked, told, or have had statements made that I must eat super healthy, don’t eat junk food, or drink things that I shouldn’t. Now I can’t speak for all but for me, that is farthest from the truth. I love sweets.


In fact, I rarely turn down dessert. I also have an obsession with Chick-fil-A, so much so I don’t even wait to take a pic with my food. It’s SO good. I also will have cereal for dinner  when I don’t feel like cooking. Oh and during Lent, you bet I hit up fish frys like its my job.

My point is this, dietitians diets aren’t perfect and neither is anyone else’s diet. It’s all about finding balance and what works for you. Don’t expect yourself to eat healthy or correctly 100% of the time, you’re going to set yourself up for failure. Try more like a 70% healthy  30% less healthy or 80% healthy 20% less healthy. I promise a “cheat” meal or whatever you call them will not be bad or ruin your goals.


found here.

You’ll be more successful in the long run if you do 🙂

That’s all of my ramblings for a Thursday.

How do you treat yo self?



Smoothies in November??

So I have not gone crazy, but you can still drink smoothies when it’s cold out! Earlier this week, on Fox2, we discussed how to keep your smoothie healthy and made a delicious smoothie. Take a look:

Fox 2 smoothie segment


They are excellent snacks and meal replacements during the busy on the go days during fall. Whenever we heard the word smoothie, we typically think, oh healthy food, sign me up. However, we may be thinking we are making a healthy smoothie, when in actuality we have made a sugary, fat laden, high calorie drink that can have a negative impact on your health.

Take a look at these tips to help keep your smoothie a healthy treat and not a high calorie dessert.

Start with a good base:

    • Greek yogurt excellent source of: calcium, potassium, protein, zinc, and vitamins B6 and B12. It is also thicker than your other yogurts and will provide a nice creamy base.
    • Cow’s milk: excellent source of calcium, vitamin D, and protein. Increase calcium intake can increase bone and teeth health as well as keep you hydrated.
    • almond milk:  rich in nutrients, including fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc, potassium, iron, copper and calcium it also has fewer calories than cow or soy milk, meaning that it is usually lower in fat, carbohydrates, and protein. If you are planning to add spinach or dark green leafy vegetables, this is a good choice as the calcium will not interfere with iron absorption.
    • Fruit juice: use with caution, as it is higher in sugar and calories. If you are adding fruit, let the fruit sweeten the smoothie not the fruit juice.

Add some fruit or vegetables:

  • Spinach: adding spinach or greens to your smoothie is an easy way to increase vegetable intake as well as increasing how much iron you consume.
  • Fruits: can be delicious, but keep in mind, the more you add the more calories you are packing into your smoothie. Tip: Stick to 3 or less types of fruit; also use frozen fruit, that way you don’t have to add ice.
  • For a fall treat, add pumpkin! Pumpkin is higher in fiber which can improve your digestive health, boost your immunity from added vitamins and minerals, and help your eyesight.
  • For a fall treat, can add pumpkin to the recipe

If needed add protein.

  • If you need to increase your protein intake, protein powders, nut butters, and nuts and seeds are good choices.

Watch the extras:

Extra protein powder, nut and nut butters, avocado, chia or flax seeds and other healthy ingredients can increase calories. For example adding 1 tablespoon of peanut butter adds an extra 100 calories.

Finally do a calorie count:

In your mind rough calculate how much of each food you have added. If your smoothie is replacing a meal around 400 calories is a good goal. If your smoothie is a snack keep the calories around 200. An easy to do a quick calorie count is to measure.

For a tasty fall treat, try a Pumpkin spice smoothie. It’s absolutely delicious!!!




❓Question of the day: what’s your favorite smoothie?⁉️

Pumpkin spice smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie


1/2 cup pumpkin (canned or freshly cooked)

1/2 Banana

6 ounces Total 0% Nonfat Greek Yogurt

1/2 cup almond milk

15g Vanilla Protein Powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice


Blend all ingredients together

Nutrition facts:

Calories: 323

Total Fat: 3.0g

Total carbohydrate: 39g

Protein: 37.8g


TBT to when I blogged

Remember when I used to blog more often, typed out insightful witty nutrition info, and would post delicious recipes?? Yeah I’m having a hard time remembering as well. Whoops well guess what… I’mmm baaackkk 🙂 And for this first post back, we’re going to talk about something that is important in the month of August, hydration. I admit I do a horrible job of drinking enough water.  There are days when I have to force myself to drink water. Well, what if I told you you can get hydrated by foods you eat. Kind of a crazy thought, but if you think about it, some foods are kind of a no brainer like watermelon. It literally has water in the name. As shocking as this is, I have had a patient who did not realize that the watermelon he was eating was causing him to go over his fluid restriction. #palmtoforehead #dietitianfail

Anyways you can eat your way to hydration!!! Here’s how!!!

The deets: The old adage of drinking 8 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated resonates in many minds, however this myth has been debunked. The Institute of medicine recommends that general fluid intake for men be 15+ cups a day, women 11+ cups a day, children aged 9 to 13 7 to 8 cups of fluid per day, and teenagers aged 14 to 18 8 and 11 cups.

About 80% of our water intake comes from what we drink, while the other 20% comes from what we eat. Choosing foods that are higher in water content can help increase fluid consumption keeping you hydrated and happy.


Foods to eat:

  • Watermelon

Not surprisingly watermelon is high in water, containing 91.5% water. This fruit also contains lycopene a cancer fighting antioxidant.

  • Cucumbers

This vegetable has the highest water content of any vegetable at 96.7%. in a half of cup of cucumbers ½ of this is water (1/4 cup) and only has 8 calories per ½ cup. Cucumbers also provide vitamin A that helps with eyesight.

  • Celery

Celery is often thought to be the negative calorie food, which isn’t true however it is very low in calories and high in water. It contains 95.4% water and only 6 calories per stalk. Not only is it high in water, it also contains fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, and K.

  • Cantaloupe

Cantaloupe is one of the juiciest melons containing 90.2% water. One 6 ounce serving contains 50 calories and provides your daily needs of vitamin A and C.

  • Various vegetables: bell peppers, cauliflower, broccoli, and carrots

These colorful vegetables each provide >90% water content. Choose green peppers which contain a little bit more water and just as much vitamins and minerals as the other peppers. Cauliflower is full of water and vitamins and nutrients to help fight cancer and lower cholesterol. Broccoli fives the 2 punch of fiber and water, to keep you full and hydrated.

start eating those fruits and veggies!!



What to Eat Wednesday II

We made it to Wednesday!!!

I have had an extremely busy last 5-6 days and have lots of recipes and events to share with you! But first, let’s talk about What to Eat Wednesday! This week we are talking about cucumbers!!


image found here

Cucumbers are a great vegetable to have on hand at all times. It is full nutrients, very low in calories,  and can help with weight and heart health.

Heart Healthy: contain no saturated fat or cholesterol. Cucumbers are a good source of plant sterols which help decrease cholesterol, as well as containing potassium, magnesium, and fiber which help regulate your blood pressure.

Weight managament: The peel of the cucumber is chalk full of fiber, keeps you full longer as well as helps relieve constipation. It also acts as a diuretic helping get rid of excess fluid as well as helping get rid of toxins from the GI system.

Supports bone health: Cucumbers contain high amounts of vitamin K which aids in bone strength by promoting the continued building of bones.

Hydration helper: It is 95% water , so eating a cucumber will help rehydrate you as well as decreasing puffiness in skin, keeping your skin looking smooth and hydrated.

Cancer fighter: Cucumbers have antioxidants called lignans that can help decrease the risk of breast cancer, ovarian cancer, and prostate cancer. It also contains beta carotene, vitamin C, and Vitamin A which help stop free radicals from damaging healthy cells and progression of disease processes.

Here are a few  recipes on how i plan to use cucumbers this week:

Cucumber sandwiches 

Cucumber and watermelon Salad

Cucumber Salsa





What to Eat Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!

Today starts a new posting series called What to Eat Wednesday. Each Wednesday a new food will be highlighted as well as how I’m going to use it in a recipe.

This week we are talking about watermelons.


image found here

Watermelon is 92% water. Eating watermelon not only fills us up but also hydrates us, two birds one fruit :).  Watermelon is also full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, which is quite a lot packed into the remaining 8% of the fruit.

Watermelon contains a large amount of lycopene, ranking with tomatoes on the lycopene content list. Lycopene helps decrease blood pressure through vasodilation as well as inhibits oxidative stress that can affect the work of bone cells. Allowing these cells to work makes your bones stronger.

Another benefit for your bones is the potassium content in watermelon. Potassium helps your body retain calcium which then can be used to keep your bones strong.  The potassium also keeps with hydration and cramping and in the summer staying hydrated and avoiding muscle cramps is essential.

The vitamin A in watermelon helps your eye sight and helps keep your immune strong by strengthening your white blood cells. Vitamin B6 also aids in keeping your immune system strong by enhancing antibody production, nerve cell function and the formation of red blood cells. Finally vitamin C has long been known as the immune system booster in defense again infections and viruses.

Here’s how I am going to use watermelon this week with 2 stellar recipes:

Watermelon Salad

and the Watermelon Margarita

How are you going to use watermelon this week?

Stay tuned to see how I adapted these recipes to make them even better, until then, enjoy a slice of watermelon!




To Eat or Not to Eat, That is the Question

Three weeks in to my marathon training and have somewhat, kinda sort of conquered running in the morning. When I say conquered I mean I have woken up twice this week to run before work. This is a HUGE feat for me. As someone who was up at the crack of dawn a good portion of her life, diving into a freezing cold pool at an ungodly hour, before the sun was up; it is safe to say that morning workouts and I have seen better days. The thought of waking up before 5 and jumping in a pool has me laughing in the face of that thought. I digress. Morning runs/ workouts are great. You get them done when it’s not so hot and humid and your day is now sweaty free and open to do what you want or need to get done.


Besides tackling the weather, another topic that has been on my mind is food, and fueling before my morning run. As someone who sleeps til the last possible moment, rolling out of bed and out the door in 10 minutes, fueling for a run can pose a bit of a challenge. I am also someone who cannot workout without eating. I feel awful if I don’t eat. The reason for this awful feeling is that your body has used up its energy reserve called glycogen.

The graph below demonstrates our bodies use of glycogen and can be found here.

glycogen time curve

Our stores are out our lowest in the morning because we use these to fuel our brain at night. Our brain still needs energy when we sleep. So while our stores our low, these  glycogen stores are not empty . This is why some people can work out for for 30-60 minutes in the morning without eating. They still have some reserve. However eventually that person will hit the wall and start feeling fatigued,  tired, hungry, etc.  An easy way to fix this is to eat a protein bar, or a gu, or even have a sports drink. Personally the 90 calorie Luna Bars have been working for me.


Image found here

These are made to be easily digestible.  If this still doesn’t sound appetizing to you, about 20-30 minutes into your run, eat something little like a Gu, energy ball, a block, etc. Also make sure you eat a good meal the night before.  If you have a smaller dinner, you are more likely to be hungry on your run or hit that wall quicker due to less stored energy.

Now let’s say you are going for a longer run and want to be properly fueled for this run. The general rule of thumb is to eat 0.5 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight and then multiply that by the number of hours before you are going for a run.

So my friend who weighs 140 pounds is going to go for a morning run. She is planning on waking up 1 hour before her run to eat.

140 pounds  x 0.5 grams = 70 grams

70 grams x 1 hour= 70 g of carbohydrate.

Unfortunately for my friend she overslept her alarm and now she only has a 30 minutes before she goes running.

40 pounds  x 0.5 grams = 70 grams

70 grams x 1/2 hour= 35 grams of carbohydrate before she runs.

Now this is a GENERAL rule of thumb. This may work for you and it may not. You might a person who needs more or less food before they work out. However try it out. I never recommend anyone not eating and then working out for more than 30 minutes. Your workout will suffer, as will you.

So before you head out for that early morning workout, what will you be eating?