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Curious about “Clean Eating?”

Happy Lentils“Clean Eating” has become one of the most popular dietary buzzwords in recent years. From blogs to grocery stores, to restaurant menus, there’s a lot of “clean-eating this” and “clean-eating that.” So what is clean eating, anyway?

I was recently asked by a writer for Spry Living to answer a few questions about the “clean eating” diet. You can check out the article, “Clean Eating 101,” to learn more.

What are some diet trends you’re curious about? 

A Small Collection of Joyous Things

salmon and arugula saladHappy Sunday! Today’s little gratitude list is short & sweet. Here are some things that made me smile this week:

1.) Dogs in the Snow. So much cuteness!

2.) Salmon and arugula salad makes my heart happy. I roasted the salmon at 400 for 11 minutes for a fancier Friday desk lunch.

3.) Lingering over happy-hour dollar oysters & bourbon until almost 11 pm, though more the bourbon than the oysters—time-temperature abuse, people!

4.) Yoga

5,) My family is hilarious. I’m so lucky to be able to feel like I can speak honestly about pretty much anything.

What’s made you smile recently? 


What to Make this Weekend

Happy Friday!  How’s your week been? I feel like I’ve heard a lot of people say they’ve been having a rough go of it the past few days. I certainly felt like the cortisol fairy left something special under my pillow. If anyone else is feeling the need for a little therapeutic cooking, here are some things to try:

Slow Cooker Caramelized Onions from Gimme Some Oven. What an awesome idea!

This Roasted Broccoli with Lemon and Tahini Yogurt sauce from Food & Wine is right up my alley. I could eat tahini every day.

I can’t wait to make these Spiced Lentils with Egg I saw recently on the Kitchn.

This has nothing to do with food, but this picture my dad sent cracked me up and made me feel a lot better the other day. Dogs with crystals & baseball in the foreground—says a lot about my family, that’s for sure. dogs crystal baseball

What are you getting into this weekend? Any recipes you’re planning to try soon? 

Thinking Out Loud: Mercury Retrograde Edition

Happy Thursday. Welcome to another Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where randomness is the order of the day. Thanks to Amanda for hosting.

Let’s get to said randomness, shall we?

1.) So, we had a new moon Tuesday, Mercury went retrograde yesterday. What does this mean for us? OMG all the feelings so much computer stuff chaos emotions traffic why is everybody so pissed off???!!!

2.) Want to know what to eat to ward off seasonal affective disorder for the whole family? Check out my article on Kids Eat Right.

3.) After my shift at the hospital last night, I went home and had some writing to do that took a bit longer than planned. I really wanted my glass to be full of bourbon, but it was ginger kombucha. Pros & cons. I don’t like to mix alcohol and writing.

4.) New tinned fish to try! mackerel in sunflower oil

5.) Addendum to item #4: Wow. I get excited about tinned fish now. Looks like someone drank the Kool-Aid…

6.) #Omega3s #wildcaught #notvegan #sorrynotsorry #TraderJoesJustGetsMe

7.) Mercury. Just blame Mercury.

What’s on your mind today? 

What I Ate Wednesday #198

Wow—and just like that, it’s What I Ate Wednesday again. Working a weekend always confuses my inner clock a little. Monday was my Saturday/Sunday and Tuesday was Monday again. Isn’t it crazy how ingrained the Monday-Friday thing is in our culture? I mean, I guess it is the norm, but more and more, I’m meeting people with “unusual” work schedules.

This past weekend at the hospital was pretty mellow—busy but not crazy. As usual, I came armed with some breakfast, lunch, and snacks.

apple and cheddar

When I got home from work, I was really hungry, so I had a sliced apple with cheddar cheese.

red wine lamb stew

Dinner was a bowl of lamb stew with cauliflower rice over steamed kale. I also had a glass of red wine that was leftover from when I made the stew. By the way, I totally eat real rice and bread and carbs in general, but I enjoy mixing it up with this Paleo-esque stuff once in a while. It’s just a fun change of pace.

golden milk

I didn’t really get hungry after dinner since it was so filling, but I did have a cup of golden milk before bed that I’d made with coconut milk.

After that it was face plant time so I could get up early to do it all over again.

What did you eat last weekend? 

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

The Best Winter Foods for Kids

clementinesWith the shorter days, colder temps, and inclement weather conditions, winter is kind of a bummer. Adults and kids alike can suffer from seasonal affective disorder. The good news is that a balanced diet rich in nourishing foods can help keep the whole family healthy and happy all winter long.

This week, I have a new article up on the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Kids Eat Right blog, “The Best Winter Foods for Kids.” These happen to be great for the adults in the house too!

What foods do you like to eat in the winter? Do you struggle with the winter blues? 

Red Wine Lamb Stew

red wine lamb stewHappy Monday! How was your weekend? I spent mine working at the hospital, which was actually the perfect way to deal with the inclement weather—staying inside. I love that word, “inclement.” It’s like a very fancy way of saying, “absolutely horrible” or, as we say in New York, “f***ing awful.”

To stay warm, I got to enjoy this lamb stew over the weekend. When I saw that Farmigo was featuring lamb from a local farm last week, I had to try it, since I rarely cook with it but always pin recipes I see around the interwebs. I’m glad I stepped out of the norm and made this. Aside from being delicious, this stew was also a great excuse to open a bottle of red wine. I served this over cauliflower rice and steamed red kale with a little goat cheese on top, but it would also be delicious with crusty bread and a salad on the side.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lb lamb stew meat
  • 1 lb butternut squash, peeled & cubed
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 28-oz can diced or whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tbsp herbes de provences
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot. Add lamb meat and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
  2. Add squash, carrot, celery, onion, and garlic to pot. Cook until soft, 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add tomato, wine, and herbs. Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer until about half the volume, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add both and bring to a boil again. Add lamb meat. Simmer ~40 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve hot.

Do you eat lamb? How do you deal with inclement weather? 


A Small Collection of Joyous Things

Happy Sunday! How’s your weekend going? I’m working at the hospital, but I really don’t mind—the weather isn’t really conducive to being out and about.  In a weird way, I kind of like working weekends, when the hospital has some nice little weekend hum to it where everything calms down a bit. Here’s my brief little list of things that have made me smile this week:

1.) I can talk again! Laryngitis was certainly not on the plan for January, but I’m just happy I can talk about it in the past tense now.

2.) Loved this Realtor’s Assessment of Fictional NYC apartments.

3.) On a related note, 50 modern-day Friends episodes, as imagined by comedians. I think this one might be my favorite:

Lana Schwartz

4.) I just got We Should Hang Out Sometime, by Josh Sundquist from the library on Thursday, and I’m already more than halfway through.

5.) Apple & cheddar—classic. apple and cheddar

6.) Scheduling my next newsletter. Want to be on the list? Send an email to info(at)jessicacordingnutrition(dot)com!

What’s made you smile this week? 


What 2,000 Calories Looks Like

The definition of a calorie is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 kilogram of water 1 °C. When applied to human nutrition, one calorie (aka kilocalorie) is equal to one thousand “small calories” used to measure the energy value of foods.

Long story short, calories=energy. Of course, even this oversimplification is vague and potentially confusing, so most of us grow up with an understanding that we need calories but not too many and that something about the number 2000 is important so try not to go over that. Somehow.

Cheesecake Factory Louisiana Chicken Pasta (2370 calories); Photo by Tony Cenicola for the New York Times

Some foods are high in calories, and some foods are low in calories. How quickly you work your way up to your particular calorie limit each day (if you know what it is at all) depends on the caloric content of the foods you eat. It’s hardly news that restaurant and chain portion sizes are huge and provide excess calories, but sometimes reading about it doesn’t give that clear a picture. That’s why visual comparisons can be helpful when deciding how to “spend” those calories.

At-Home Diet (2077 calories); Photo by Tony Cenicola for the New York Times

This article provides a great visual comparing what 2,000 calories looks like at various chains compared to what you can prepare at home for the same amount.

Do you pay attention to calories? 

What to Make This Weekend: Desk Lunch Ideas

Okay, okay, I know it’s Friday and most of you are all, “Woohoo—weekend!” BUT. The weekend is a great time to plan ahead for the workweek and do some foodprep.

But first, I just had to share this awesome photo from one of my Rise clients, who was kind enough to let me post. 360x0

Sums up my week perfectly.

I joke about chocolate cravings, but actually I work it into my regular days consistently enough that it’s just something I enjoy. That said, I do notice a cyclical pattern to how strong my taste for chocolate is. I just make sure to incorporate it more certain times of the month.

This week has been, like, “push all the buttons.” And then to top everything off, of course I wound up in sweaty yoga clothes at the grocery store making small talk with an old dating story when all I’d really wanted was some f***ing mirepoix for the lamb stew I’m going to post on Monday. Me and my impulse buys.  So it goes. Just gotta keep on keeping’ on. Bob Dylan said that.

Speaking of Rise clients, I’ve been getting a lot of questions recently about healthy lunches to bring to work. Here are a few great posts I came across with healthy and tasty lunch ideas:

A few ideas from Food 52 on how to amp up your lunch

What the Well + Good Staff Eats for Lunch

This Fitnessista recipe for slow cooker chicken is perfect for weekend meal-prep if you want tasty chicken to add to your desk lunches!

What are you up to this weekend? Any awkward run-ins at the grocery store lately or is it just me? 

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