Besides festive family gatherings, there is another big reason to be excited for the holiday season: sweet seasonal treats! It can be easy to lose sight of the most important nutrition mantra (everything in moderation!) when we’re passing around the pumpkin pie or digging into our Christmas stockings. Luckily, we have ways to help us enjoy our sweet treats while moderating our sugar and calorie intake.
It’s hard to believe, but Thanksgiving is right around the corner. That means it’s time for some of my favorite fall foods including pumpkin pie! Not only is it a delicious treat, it packs a powerful nutritional punch of Vitamin A (in the form of beta carotene, providing 311% of the Daily Value per ½ cup). It’s also a great treat to “hack” for American Diabetes Month, as you can cut the carbs and sugar content of the recipe using low-calorie sweeteners (recipe below).
I have to admit, I’m not someone who regularly reaches for caffeine in the morning to get me going – but I certainly do use some to boost my training for endurance runs and triathlons. It definitely helps me focus better, swim/bike/run faster, and feel better during and after my workout. And I’m not alone. Marathon season is upon us, and I know many of my friends who are runners rely on small doses of caffeine to boost their performance.
My family recently spent the day at an amusement park. When my son asked for a snack, we found a restaurant that offered a variety of choices and stood in line. The woman in front of us had a son about the same age as mine and struck up a conversation with me. When she found out I was a dietitian, she told me that she had put her son on a gluten-free diet because he is overweight and other “diets” hadn’t seemed to help.
Were you at FNCE in Nashville? If so, you may have attended my session: Claim the Spotlight! Beyond Traditional Media: Videos, Podcasts & Self-Publishing. I presented with Julie Beyer and we had so much fun inspiring our audience to get their voices out there! You may have heard about the “Queen Karaoke” we did at the end! The media landscape is evolving, providing YOU, the RDN, with new opportunities you can use to highlight your expertise while promoting RDNs as THE nutrition experts. Videos, podcasts, and self-published books are three exciting alternatives to traditional media that allow you to embrace your inner “celebrity” and gain valuable exposure. Check out the video “starter kit” and some RDN YouTube Channels and Podcasts here!
Can we please talk about the elephant in the room? Or rather the elephant in the coffee cup? The recent media buzz about some stores adding real pumpkin to their coffee drinks, and/or removing caramel coloring has instantly reminded me why I became a dietitian over 20 years ago. I cannot stand it when fear, hype, and pseudoscience dominate the nutrition headlines, instead of sound science and strong evidence.
PROLOGUE: Although Jessica and I have yet to meet in person (we have plans to do so at FNCE in Nashville this year), I feel like I already know her and like her. As a nutrition communications consultant with a focus on culinary nutrition and the founder of Nutritioulicious, Jessica has a phenomenal brand and social media presence. I love the work she’s doing to promote dietitians and credible nutrition information to the public. I’m excited to share my interview with her and hope you enjoy reading it.
Picture this: You and your family are attending a celebration such as a child’s birthday party, a graduation or a holiday event. Someone leans over to you and says, “Look at these kids just bouncing off the walls! They are on a sugar high!” This is one of the most common misperceptions I hear about food – especially when it comes to children. Both sugar and food colors have, undeservedly, become common scapegoats for hyperactivity (and sometimes just energetic behavior) in kids.
I was having lunch with a friend last week and she told me she was avoiding MSG. When I asked her why, she mentioned that she had read about it on the Internet. That was a big red flag. Obviously, not all information on the web is accurate or science-based. I’m always trying to stay current with the latest science on food and nutrition topics, so I went home and looked for info on MSG from credible sources, like the FDA. That’s when I learned some surprising, and sometimes overlooked, facts about MSG.
July may be “National Ice Cream Month,” but in my house, every month is Ice Cream Month! It is my family’s all-time favorite treat. I think it must be genetic. It is our “go-to” dessert every chance we get. Concerns about adding extra sugar and fat to the diet keep some people from enjoying their ice cream. Combine those with some of the food ingredient fears I’ve been seeing on the Internet, and ice cream could (undeservedly) be placed off-limits. Don’t get me wrong, I won’t lose any sleep if some people choose not to eat ice cream. But I do get upset when I think that people are making food and nutrition decisions based on fear, not facts.
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I’m the Guilt-Free RD® – “Because food shouldn’t make you feel bad!™”;. So, on my Food for Thought blog I’m exploring the secret ingredients needed to enjoy your food with health in mind. I’m also a “Dietitian Enthusiast” so I’m showcasing interviews with dietitians. My “How To” Series shares practical advice to help boost communication skills and gain more visibility, influence and success.
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