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What I Ate Wednesday #242

Happy What I Ate Wednesday. Can you believe tomorrow is Thanksgiving? I feel like this whole fall has been a total blur. This time of year, a common worry I hear from a lot of clients and patients is overeating at holiday meals. To help put your mind at ease, I shared some keep-it-real tips on Now Cure Me so you can avoid that Thanksgiving food guilt trap.

I’m hitting the road soon to go see the folks, so I’m going to jump right in to this week’s “what I ate” style look into what a real-life dietitian (yours truly) eats on a normal day. We all have to find our own sense of moderation when it comes to balancing healthy food with occasional treats, so here’s a little peak at a recent example of mine. This was a Friday when I worked at the hospital and then met a friend for dinner.

Have a great day!

Desk Breakfast: Pumpkin Cranberry Oatmeal with peanut butter

pumpkin cranberry oatmeal

Lunch: Arugula with leftover veggies (mushrooms, roasted eggplant, zucchini, pepper, sundried tomato) and butter beans and boiled eggs.

salad with butter beans and egg

Snack: Greek yogurt with chia seeds

yogurt and chia shot

Dinner at The Milling Room: Cava rose to drink

cava rose milling room


and crispy skate with savoy cabbage (hiding under the fish) and spiced red wine sauce to eat

crispy skate milling room

Bedtime snack: Blackberries with cottage cheese and PB2 sauce—totally forgot to take a picture. Whoops!

What was your last restaurant meal? 

To see more WIAW from other bloggers, check out founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.


Curious About Coconut Flour?

Coconut flour is one of those foods that makes a regular appearance on my blog but that I don’t talk about that often. Though there was that first time when I was really excited about it. Anyway. For example, I put it in yogurt a lotyogurt with maple syrup

and even use it to make weird little cakes

Coconut Flour Mug Cake

and muffins:

pumpkin pie muffins


If you’re curious to learn more about what coconut flour is, I recently wrote a little guide for the Food & Nutrition Magazine’s Stone Soup blog, complete with  nutritional pros and cons and tips on how to use it in your own kitchen.

Have you ever tried coconut flour? If you have, what’s your favorite way to use it? 

Seasonal Fave: Cranberry Sauce

IMG_3627Every fall, I look forward to cranberries. I get way too excited for a grown-ass adult when I see the first bags show up at my local grocery store. Though I adore cranberries in oatmeal, cooked into breads, or even savory dishes, I have a weakness for cranberry sauce. I eat in on practically everything, from yogurt to hot cereal to freaking salad. This is my go-to recipe, which appeared on the blog many years ago but has since been updated a little. I love it extra-tart because I am an extremist that way, but feel free to up the sweet factor with a little extra maple syrup or honey.


  • 2 c cranberries, rinsed
  • 1 c water
  • 1/4 c maple syrup or honey


  1. Place ingredients in a sauce pot. Bring to a boil and lower heat.
  2. Simmer on low, stirring occasionally, until liquid is dissolved and cranberries are soft, about 35-45 minutes.
  3. Take off heat and serve or allow to cool before pouring into a storage container.

Serve warm or cold.

A Small Collection of Joyous Things

Happy Sunday! Hope you’re enjoying a nice weekend. I’ve been busy over here–a nice mix of work and not-work, so no complaints. In lieu of today’s regular little gratitude list post, I wanted to share my new silly coffee mug, because working an early weekend morning should come with a few giggles.

Silly coffee mug

While we’re on the topic of gratitude, though, today seems like a good time to share this Life Hacker post on how gratitude can boost your productivity.

Do you have have a favorite mug? What are you most grateful for this week? 

What to Make this Weekend: A Game Plan

Like it or loathe it, Thanksgiving is coming. For many of us in the US of A, that means travel, family, food—pros and cons. It’s completely normal to start stressing about the toll more frequent indulgent meals can take on our body. Having a plan in place can help you feel calmer. To give you a few ideas, here’s a piece I wrote for the Rise blog about how to maintain your weight this Thanksgiving. My personal favorites on the list are the morning workout and the protein-rich breakfast. Endorphins + stable blood sugar = happier you/better equipped to deal with stressors.
I like to schedule a yoga class or some other physical activity on Thanksgiving morning and always, always, always start my day with protein. That could be eggs, oats with peanut butter, or yogurt. I’m digging the Siggi’s whole milk variety lately, though my heart still belongs to the original plain. I generally hate flavored yogurt, but Siggi’s is the one exception. It’s flavorful without being like, “Hello, I’m a sweetened yogurt!”

Siggi's Whole Milk Yogurt

You can also do a healthier take on a breakfast sandwich: Start with a sprouted-grain or whole wheat English muffin, maybe a little cheese, an egg, and whatever veggies do it for you. Some of my favorites are sautéed spinach, roasted eggplant, and caramelized onion.

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Cancer Toast and Charlie Sheen: Thinking Out Loud

Wow, can you believe we’re only a week away from Thanksgiving? How the heck did that happen? I need to get on my side dish planning game…

In the spirit of today’s randomness as theme, here are a few links and things from the week so far.

*Tuesday night I went to a super-fun RD event hosted by Siggi’s at the beautiful Miette Culinary Studio, where we made a meal inspired by simple yet delicious Icelandic cuisine. I was on team salmon. Once upon a time (aka 5 years ago) I used to fear touching raw meat, but now I’m all, “Yes, I’d like to learn how to skin this fish—hand me the knife!” Typical Sagittarius behavior. Then I went to town with the tweezers to get the bones out. It was oddly satisfying. Anyway. dinner with Siggi

The meal was phenomenal. Each dish featured Siggi’s yogurt, and it totally worked. The dessert was gorgeous too. I take zero credit for that. Siggi's dessert

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What I Ate Wednesday #241: Early Birthday Things

Happy Wednesday! Because I’m in the mood to celebrate this month, I’m going to share another WIAW post that centers around family, friends, and good food. Even though my birthday isn’t until the end of the month, my mom convinced me to celebrate early. Every year, I use Thanksgiving as an excuse to wriggle out of making plans, but it being sort of a “big” birthday, it seemed like a good time to celebrate.

Two weekends ago, a small group of some ladies from my life got together for a vision board-making brunch party
vision board party WIAW

I felt so lucky to spend an afternoon doing arts & crafts with a small collection of women who inspire me to keep being kind, fearless, and weird.

Then the next day, after working a morning shift at the hospital, I hopped a bus out to the ‘burbs for a family celebration at my parents’ house. The desk-breakfast & lunch were a convenient way to clean out my fridge. yogurt mess desk breakfast

WIAW 241 desk lunch

We had a house full of people, including a few local friends. My mom prepared a ton of gorgeous food, including these beautiful mini-cakes. They’re from a delicious flourless chocolate cake recipe given to my mom by our friend Valerie, who took care of me when I was a toddler. Love that!

mini birthday cake

I also love my mom’s homemade whipped cream. Why have the stuff from the can when you can have the real thing?

Eli might have partied a little hard…boozehound.

Monday morning, I enjoyed a quick workout and leftovers-for-breakfast with my mom before she went to work.leftovers for Breakfast

There was also a slice of leftover smoked salmon from the day before I thought to add after the picture.




Thrive Algae Oil

I’ve been a loyal olive oil lover for years, but when the folks at Thrive reached out to me about their new algae oil, I was too curious not to try it.

thrive algae oilThe verdict? Loved it! From a culinary standpoint, it’s incredibly versatile. The mild flavor (not the least bit marine-like) and high smoke point make it ideal for a variety of dishes and cooking methods. A few of my favorite uses so far: caramelized onions and roasted sweet potatoes.

It’s also got some pretty impressive nutrition stats. 90% of the fat content comes from heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, which raise HDL (“good” cholesterol and lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. That’s even more than olive oil!

Though I don’t intend to give up my olive oil or coconut oil anytime soon (sometimes you just want that specific flavor and texture), I have a new favorite neutral oil for everyday use.

Though Thrive algae oil is only just becoming available in stores, you can pre-order it on the company’s website if you want to try it for yourself.

What’s your favorite cooking oil? 

Healthier Sweet-Tooth Fixes

mini birthday cakeThis time of year, sugary treats are everywhere you look. Regardless of what your personal health goals are, this can be overwhelming and stressful, especially f you’re working on keep the sweet stuff to a minimum.

Special-occasion treats certainly have their place in an overall healthy life, but it can be all to easy to overdo it when cookies, cakes, candies, and sweet drinks are readily available on an everyday basis and the calendar fills with holiday parties and other social obligations.

Sure, you could go cold turkey on sugar, but if you want to still enjoy a few treats and practice moderation, here are some tips I shared in a post on Elana Lyn.

What are some of your favorite holiday treats? 

Drama-Free Pasta: RD-Approved

I was having a conversation with my dad the other day about carbs and he said, “…well, I know, like, you don’t eat pasta, so I was wondering what carbs are okay,” and I was like, “Wait-I don’t eat pasta? S***, is THAT what people think?”

So, in order to dispel the myth, here is a post about how I eat pasta. This is what works for me in my own life and is by now means prescriptive or one size fits all advice, but I’ve found it keeps the dinnertime drama to a minimum and helps me enjoy pasta in the context of an overall healthy diet—no overthinking or carb-guilt required.

RD approved pastaRule #1: Pasta is not the devil—or the enemy, depending on your belief system. Maybe I’m old-school, but I find the most satisfying, energizing meals involve a protein, plenty of veggies, a bit of fat, and some source of carbohydrate. To me, pasta is just one of the many carbohydrate options out there. To make it more filling, I reach for whole grain varieties whenever available, but if what I really want on a particular night happens not to be whole grain, I listen to that craving. When you stick to whole grains and complex carbs most of the time, there’s a little room for the occasional small serving of white pasta.

Rule #2: Portions count. Most nutrition labels provide the stats for two ounces of pasta—that’s actually equivalent to two 1-ounce USDA servings of pasta. That’s just fine, especially if you’re spreading your carb intake throughout the day and balancing it out with protein, healthy fats, and nonstrachy vegetables, but where most people run into trouble is having a larger portion than those two ounces.

Rule #3: Bulk up your bowl with veggies and protein. A few of my favorites: leafy greens like arugula and kale; roasted broccoli or cauliflower; eggplant; fresh burst tomatoes; shaved sautéed brussels sprouts; caramelized onion; chicken; shrimp; a poached egg…Have fun experimenting!

Rule#4: Go easy on the sauce. No reason to drown your meal in creamy sauce. Start with a tablespoon. Sprinkle cheese sparingly, knowing that you can always add more later if you really want to.

Rule #5: Serve in a smaller bowl. Part of the beauty of pasta is what an abundant meal you can make from humble ingredients. To highlight that, serve in a smaller bowl or dish so the meal fills the plate and provides that visual satisfaction. Another idea: make a small serving of pasta and mix with spaghetti squash or zucchini noodles.

Rule #6: No guilt allowed. Demonizing a particular food sets you up for a complicated relationship with that food, making hard to find your own sense of moderation.

What’s your favorite way to eat pasta? 

A few of my favorite pasta (and pasta-related) recipes:


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