Food for Thought


Halloween Candy: Trick…or Treat?

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With Halloween right around the corner many parents are wondering – how much candy is okay for your little ones to be gobblin’ up? Well, as the Guilt-Free RD, and a mom, AND a candy-lover - I’d like to share some tips for sweet success.   [Read more]


A “Fresh” Perspective on Hunger

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PROLOGUE: It’s back-to-school time and summer is winding down, but Farmer’s Markets are still in full swing. Since September is Hunger Action Month, it’s a great time to tell you about how my daughter Sarah and I help feed those in need by picking up fresh produce donations from our local farmer’s market. And it’s a great opportunity for Sarah to write a guest post! [Read more]


What’s in a Name?

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What Exactly IS a Dietitian, Anyway?

Have you worked hard to get to where you are in your career? School, internship, practical experience, continuing education? Do people understand what your job entails on a day-to-day basis? Or do you sometimes feel like Rodney Dangerfield when he said “I don’t get no respect!”? [Read more]


My Top 5 Reasons You Have Permission to Love Dairy

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I believe that most people enjoy dairy products and want to feel good about enjoying them. So whenever I hear something negative about dairy in the news, I can’t help but think that it makes some people question whether dairy is really good for them or not. Which makes this topic a perfect fit for my Guilt-Free RD philosophy.
It’s no secret – I’m a big fan of dairy. Sure, you say, after all I worked for the dairy council for 8 years (2003-2011). But my love of dairy started long before then. Like so many others, I grew up enjoying the taste of dairy products and later on learned about their nutritional benefits. But I can say something that most people can’t: [Read more]


My Guilt-Free RD Philosophy (Hakuna Matata)

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I’m the Guilt-Free RD.

Because food shouldn’t make you feel bad.

Since 1993, I’ve worked as a dietitian in many different settings (ranging from treatment to prevention) with many different types of patients and clients (including weight management, diabetes, eating disorders, heart health, maternal and child nutrition, and more). The common thread throughout my career, and in fact, the primary reason I became a dietitian, was to help people: [Read more]


Food, Farming, and…Faith

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Wow, it seems like I can’t go anywhere these days without hearing something about how messed up the food industry is – even church.  Yesterday’s sermon was one in a series on the environment based on a book by Bishop Sally Dyck called A Hopeful Earth.  The sermon touched on food insecurity, modern farming and the environment. [Read more]


“Food is Fashion!” Putting Your Best Fork Forward

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PROLOGUE:
Are you familiar with the NPD Group, Inc.?  It’s a leading global market research company.  It was founded in 1967 and provides market information and advisory services to help companies make better business decisions. Using actual sales data from retailers and distributors as well as consumer-reported purchasing behavior, NPD offers consumer panel and retail sales tracking services, special reports, analytic solutions, and advisory services.  Harry Balzer is NPD’s Chief Industry Analyst and Vice President.

Harry Balzer
Chief Industry Analyst

I have had the good fortune, and the distinct pleasure, to be in the audience for several of Harry’s presentations on behalf of NPD.  He is a phenomenal speaker, and he loves his material.  He loves his data.  In my opinion, he does for food what Freakonomics does for economics.  Shows us the “hidden side” (of what people really eat).  As a registered dietitian, I’m always fascinated by what Harry has to say.  Or I should say, what the data says and how Harry explains it.  For example, take his video about the #1 food on Super Bowl Sunday. [Read more]


Food with Integrity or Advertising with Duplicity?

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If you've seen the Chipotle Scarecrow video (no, I'm not hyperlinking to it) that recently went viral, then you may agree with me that it is 3 minutes and 23 seconds of your life you'll never get back....Okay, maybe that's a bit too harsh.  I mean, it's not as bad as the Miley Cyrus VMA performance, right?  No, I'm not hyperlinking to that, either.  But I digress.  If you've seen the Chiptole Scarecrow video, you really should invest another 2 minutes and 11 seconds to watch the Funny or Die parody video. [Read more]


Food for Thought – Setting the Stage

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Now that this blog is almost one year old, I feel like I’m getting some “blog muscles”!  I’ve received such positive feedback on my “They Blinded Me with Science” post and I really want to continue that conversation.  We are all inundated with conflicting, cryptic and confusing nutrition information in the news every day.  But I want to help people to be more thoughtful and critical about the nutrition news they see and hear.  To better explain this, I’m serving up a healthy portion of “Food for Thought.” [Read more]


Nutrition in the News: Science Fact or Science Fiction?

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They Blinded Me With Science!

Does it seem like you’re always hearing about a new study that reports the opposite of what another study recently reported?  When you hear where the research was conducted, or who funded it, does it influence you one way or the other?  Where can you turn to make sense of what might seem like a lot of nonsense?

You’re not alone.   The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ “Nutrition and You” public opinion surveys  show that the percentage of people who actively seek information about nutrition and healthful eating has more than doubled since 2000 from 19 percent to 46 percent in 2011.  But at the same time, nutrition, and the science behind it, seems to be getting more complicated from farm to fork.

The devil is in the details.  Let’s take a deeper dive into some challenges and solutions. [Read more]