Healthy Mac and Cheese, a Maqui powder mistake, and Pregnancy Cravings

At the risk of sounding like a 4th grader’s diary entry- soo much has happened since I last wrote!

I’ve had a few months of brain-space-otherwise-occupied. Here are the highlights:

  1. We got pregnant.
  2. I got laid off.
  3. I started another full time dietitian  job (first day was today!)
  4. I began a part-time private practice.
  5. I chopped my hair off into a Michelle Williams-esque pixie (not a cause for not writing but awesome nonetheless).

I’ll have to break these events up into a couple posts. First and foremost-Dr. P and I are beyond excited about the new family addition! Continue reading Healthy Mac and Cheese, a Maqui powder mistake, and Pregnancy Cravings

What to do about cellulite: The Health at Every Size mentality

I think we should all like our booties.

I didn’t always appreciate mine due to it’s…size, but why shouldn’t we like what we’re workin’ with? We have what we have, after all.

Not too long ago, I was thinking out loud about the appropriateness and stylishness of my workout pant collection. Shorts have never really fit me too well- with the bigger rear and all- I enjoy a good pair of snug workout tights. Continue reading What to do about cellulite: The Health at Every Size mentality

Awesome and healthy, high protein pancakes

I voted today!

This morning at 6:55 am to be precise. Dr. P announced last night that he would be slithering out of bed at 5:45 to make it to the polls when they opened.

I am not an early riser, and I figured Lady and I would just stay in bed until 7:30, my usual time, and hit up the polls after work. No worries, extra time to sleep…

I mean, who wouldn’t want to just keep snugglin’ with this Lady Bird if they could?

Lady Bird

But then the alarm went off. Dr. P slid out, Lady squirmed and barked, and my eyes excitedly popped open.

It’s voting day, baby. I had underestimated my enthusiasm to see this election come to a (successful) close. I couldn’t resist throwing on my beanie, boots and new Chinese Laundry puffy coat and joining my man for our civic duty. Walking up, we took wagers on how long it would take to get through the line. I said an hour, and Dr. P guessed “just around the corner”. Here’s the scene as we approached the local firehouse polling station: Continue reading Awesome and healthy, high protein pancakes

Quick Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Looking for a terrific add-on to your typical lunch options?

I’m obsessed with the one I scarfed down today. It had everything I look for in a quick lunch:

  1. Delicious
  2. Healthy
  3. Fast
  4. Did I say delicious?

I was in between walking the dog, making patient calls, and mentally prepping for my friend’s birthday party tonight when the clock struck noon.

My stomach growled. My dog stared at me.

I’ve barely been to the grocery. We spent last week in New York and the weekend before that in Baltimore. And there was an event almost every night this week…What is a girl to do when there’s no obvious lunch choice?

Luckily, I opened my fridge, and this is what I saw: Red Pepper Sauce ingredients

I can work with this, I thought. There is no ailment a good sauce can’t cure!

And this was certainly no schlep of a sauce- it was delicious! Sometimes we surprise ourselves.

It’s also low sodium and high in protein. Double win.

The tomato and red pepper also packs a good amount of lycopene- a strong antioxidant- so this is one healthy sauce. No need to heat it, either, which means the miconutrient content will be well preserved.

It blended up in a minute, and I poured it over leftover quinoa, precut broccoli, carrot/cabbage slaw, and kimchi that I mixed and quickly heated up on the stove beforehand.

I topped it with slivered almonds and enjoyed while typing patient notes and making my dog insanely jealous.


Other ideas for use: Add to pasta, use as salad dressing, use as a dip for crackers or fresh veggies, top baked fish and rice…endless options.

This stuff rocks.

Easy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Prep Time: PT2 M

Total Time: 2 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

Easy Roasted Red Pepper Sauce


  • 2 heaping tbsp. Greek or Siggi's yogurt
  • One ginormous or two regular sized store-bought Roasted Red Peppers
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. hot sauce (I used sriacha but use based on preference)
  • 1 tsp sesame oil


  • Add all ingredients to blender. Press button. Rock on.
  • No need to heat it up! But you can if you like. I ate it raw over hot quinoa, kimchi and veggies, and it BLEW MY MIND.
  • Enjoy!



Common mistakes in the gym

Sometimes it’s easy to have a solidly good workout, and other times? A bit more challenging.

For example, there are days where I can’t wait, I’m dying to, I’m literally craving cardio and kettlebell swings (yes, I’m really serious!). And there are times I’d rather throw myself down the stairs than haul my tired booty out the door. It’s on these days that I really have to focus.

Because once we make it to the gym, and we’re standing at the double doors, we’ve surpassed all the obstacles and time delays. We owe it to ourselves to truly be present.

I wanted to share some gym mistakes I see often. They drive me bonkers, because I know they derail us from our goals.

dropping the kettlebell

Bringing our cell phone on the floor. We have so many distractions in our life. There is always something buzzing, ringing, chiming, flashing pretty pictures…The gym is a place where you should be focused on you. It is a great time to meditate on the day’s concerns, how your body is responding to your stressful lifestyle, or how you are physically feeling overall. Whoever is calling can wait.

Wearing clothes we aren’t comfortable in. This is important for a couple reasons. First, we need to be focused on our form and routine, and wearing something a bit too tight, too flashy or anything that makes us feel self-conscious may drag our attention away from our workout. Also, some exercises may require bending, squatting, fast movements, or flexibility, and being able to work through each movement comfortably is pivotal.

Resting for more than a few minutes between sets. If you heart rate is very, very high (and you will know if it is), then it is just fine to wait until it comes back down a bit before jumping into your next set or cardio session. And research shows resting for a few minutes can be beneficial, but when you feel solid to begin again, please do. I know the gym can be a social outlet for many, but standing around for too long can derail the progress toward your fitness goals. Higher intensity, better results. Using your weight lifting workout as a cardio session by decreasing the time in between sets.

hands on bar

Doing exercises too fast. I noticed there was a whole row of people on the abdominal crunch machines the other day. All of them were racing toward the imaginary finish line. 1,3,5,7,11… I doubt they realized they weren’t really making any strength gains. When it comes to lifting, slow and steady wins the race. It can be pointless or even dangerous to lift too quickly, and by slowing down and working through the entire range of motion, you are giving your muscles a chance to increase endurance and fully activate maximum muscle fibers to fatigue. Translation? Greater gains.

Doing exercises with too little weight. I see this too, too much. Especially in the women’s weight room.  Our bodies are made to adapt to what we ask of them.  In order to increase our tone or muscle mass, we need to challenge ourselves. By lifting weight that we can easily rep for greater than 20 reps, we are only wasting our time. Lifting 5 lbs 15 times is better than staying home and watching television, but if you put the effort into going to the gym, why not maximize your time? We are all busy, and none of us like wasting our efforts. Muscle mass has high energy requirements, and the more you have, the more calories you burn. Pick up heavier weights, increase your strength, increase your metabolic rate, lose weight.

Doing exercises with too much weight. This is typically a man’s issue, and my concern here relates to poor form. Imagine a bicep curl with a heavy dumbbell, and the lifter is swinging his entire body to reach the top of the movement. This action utilizes much more than the bicep muscle it was meant to isolate, and the momentum is assisting far too much. This decreases gains as well as puts the lifter at risk for damaging connective tissue and smaller, weaker muscles (such as your shoulder girdle) that are not meant to accommodate such a heavy load. It is important to lift the proper weight. Put down the 300 lb dumbbell.

Never leaving the cardio room. In the perfect world, cardio workout outs would target fat tissue. For me, because I am pear-shaped, I would ideally like an hour on the elliptical to focus its fat-burning capacity on or around my lower half. Unfortunately, cardio burns indiscriminately. We can’t target areas of our body just as we cannot target one type of tissue. By only sticking to the treadmill and avoiding the weights, we are burning muscle tissue which will inevitably slow down our metabolism. While we sleep, our muscle mass burns 25% more calories for us. Do cardio, but don’t skip on the weights, burn more calories.

girl doing crunches

Practicing poor form. I’ve had three ACL surgeries, so it really concerns me when I see someone performing an incorrect lunge or squat. We only have one body, and we need to take care of it. Take time to learn how to protect your joints, tendons, and ligaments by asking the personal trainer at your gym how to properly perform your exercises. Hire them for a day, and you might even make a new friend.

Not warming up or stretching. Our cardiovascular and pulmonary systems need a moment to catch up with what we are asking of them, and our muscles need to increase blood flow to decrease the risk of injury. Warming up may protect us from injury as well as make our workout more effective. Some professionals say we don’t need to stretch or warm up, and I am sure we have all gone without from time to time. But if you start stretching, doing yoga or Pilates, and giving your body a bit more room to breathe, you will notice the difference. I have found using a foam roller to push out excess lactic acid improves performance and decreases aches and pains as well. If we are asking our bodies to sit for hours at work, jog, lift, hunch over a desk…take care of it. Stretch it out, take a mindful breath.

Doing the same workout over and over. If you can go through a lifting session and not feel delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) 24 to 48 hours after, it is likely that you are not properly training. Sticking to the same old routine for longer than 3 months allows your body to adjust to your demands, and you will not see the results you were hoping for. Try something new. Incorporate at least one exercise for all major muscle groups.  It could be as simple as switching up your weights and repetitions or using dumbbells instead of machines for a change. Whatever you do, try new exercises to keep your muscles guessing, and you will be surprised by the results.

Happy lifting!



Catastrophic Carb Confusion: Part 1

I just got back from a 10 day, blow-your-mind fantastic trip to Israel. First, go. Please, go. It was magical. Second, they had the most delicious looking/smelling/tasting breads.


Among a gazillion other amazingly tasty food stuffs. But their carb game was on point.



Are we hungry yet?

Or are we avoiding carbs this week?

Let’s talk about this because Catastrophic Carb Confusion (CCC) is rampant. So many of my patients are ultra-confused- what should we eat? And what should we merely snap pictures of and admire from afar? Continue reading Catastrophic Carb Confusion: Part 1

Food for (behavior changing) thought

What is the secret ingredient to a long + happy life? Good genes help. And good jeans help. But honestly? Quality friendships provide the biggest boost.

According to the Mayo Clinic, having people we can count on can:

  • Intensify belonging and purpose
  • Promote happiness and decrease stress
  • Improve self-confidence and self-efficacy
  • Help us better deal with bad events
  • Encourage change or helps us avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits

In Okinowa, the community with the most people over 100 worldwide, they keep small circles of friends- typically 4 or 5- that they have committed to for life. Continue reading Food for (behavior changing) thought

Wendy’s to remove antibiotic laden chickens from menu

I’m sure you guys have heard this oft-quoted, catchy Hippocrates saying: “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food”.

It seems that sometime before Google search, an animal agriculture executive must have sat down at the end of a hard day, had a few drinks and tried to recite this saying to his colleagues.

“I think it’s…let thy medicine be in thy food!” he likely exclaimed.

This folly would be more acceptable than the reality which is that there is now a TON of medicine deliberately dumped into our grub- about 70% of the antibiotics in the U.S. are pumped into our farm animals each year. This practice has increased 16% from 2009 to 2012.

With 99.9% of chickens sold in the U.S raised on factory farms, many of us are unknowingly consuming large amounts of antibiotics through the meat we eat. In order for big animal agriculture to change their junkie habits, wholesale buyers of these products must demand better quality meat.

Luckily, one wholesale market- fast food – is catching the winds of change.

Continue reading Wendy’s to remove antibiotic laden chickens from menu

8 ways to improve our diet…today

Hiii! Happy hump day! Wednesday, guys!

Which means we’re another day closer to the Suicide Squad release. Yes! This weekend also happens to be my 32nd birthday- how’d that happen?

To ensure another 32+ years of health for all of us, I wanted to share some quick tips on how to promptly improve our diets. This is a visual I put together for a lunch and learn talk with my Aunt’s company. I’ll let it speak for itself.


Continue reading 8 ways to improve our diet…today

Citizens of the Planet

When I was in graduate school, my dad took me to see Alanis Morissette at the Taft Theatre in Cincinnati on a cool, summer night. When we walked in, a bit late, the opening act was already on stage.

One guy, one guitar, and a haunting voice- I fell in love with Alexi Murdoch’s music that night. My favorite song, All My Days, always gets me in the mood to write- it is so peaceful and pensive. I even ran my first marathon listening to the album Time Without Consequence over and over.

I loved Alanis’ new album debuted at that concert, too. Flavors of Entanglement boasted quite a few heart-wrenching songs related to her then-recent breakup with Ryan Reynolds. There was one song, however, that was a noted juxtaposition with the other broken-hearted tracks. I thought Citizen of the Planet had a powerful message:

I come alive and I get giddy- I am taken and globally naturalized

I am a citizen of the planet

From simple roots through high vision

Her phrase- Citizen of the planet- stuck with me. We think of ourselves as citizens of our cities, our states, our countries…but often we lose sight of being, first and foremost, citizens of Earth. Native American culture stressed appreciation for nature and the world that supports our every breath. In our modern society, however, we have often lost this clarity. It’s so easy to be absorbed by technology and ease of access. Continue reading Citizens of the Planet

Exploring our best selves.