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A Small Collection of Joyous Things

The little dude loves his new coat : )

The little dude loves his new coat : )

Happy Sunday! Hope you’re having a good weekend. I wasn’t planning to work at the hospital but ended up picking up a few shifts so have spent most of it working. No complaints, though—I actually like working weekends sometimes.

I’ve been doing a lot of clinical over the past few months, which has certainly been an interesting exercise in living in the moment as far as my schedule is concerned, since I’m constantly juggling. I really love it, though every week is a different sort of balancing act. Sometimes I get confused over which is my “main thing” and which is the “back-up.” Any per diems out there who also do their own thing who can relate? The current plan is to just keep doing what I enjoy and trust my instincts. I feel lucky to enjoy what I do for work, so at this point, it’s all good. Despite the fact that I’m basically working six, seven days a week when you take everything into account, it doesn’t really feel that way. This is how I know I’m still young. Or something like that.

That said, I have a string of days after Thanksgiving where I’m not on the calendar, and I’m going to make an effort to take an actual day off. I have a few freelance projects, events, and private clients scheduled for that week, but I also know it’s important to recharge the ol’ batteries. See? This is me trying to take my own advice!

Um, wow, tangent. Back to the whole point of this post…Welcome to my weekly gratitude list. Here are some things that brought me joy this week.

1.) My birthday isn’t until next Sunday, but I’ve already gotten a few cards. Vegetarianism birthday card

My cousin always sends the best cards. This one from my aunt & uncle is pretty awesome too:Unicorn card

2.) With Thanksgiving coming up, it doesn’t make a lot of sense to go grocery shopping if you’re going to be traveling, but I was out of a few staples on this past Thursday and needed to grab some stuff to get me through to Wednesday. I was way too excited to see two of my favorite Stonewall Kitchen products on sale for only $9.99 at Trader Joe’s. That’s often what I’d pay for just one at my local (overpriced) gourmet market. Stonewall Kitchen

3.) I am obsessed, lately, with maple syrup as a topping for plain yogurt. All you need is 1/4-1/2 tsp to get a great burst of flavor. The other day I enjoyed some plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon, flax, and chopped dried fig and then topped it with some syrup and the rest of a packet of cacao nibs—so good. Again, you only need a little to really richen the experience of your snack break. Hah! I sound like an ad person. yogurt with maple syrup

4.) It was so cold this week, I had to break out the unironic Snuggie I used to wear at my last job because it was so cold in my office. It’s ridiculous, but it reminds me of using humor to get through a tough time. This time last year, I was trying really hard to keep it off the blog, but I was not in a great place. I knew I had to make some changes in my professional life but the path was not yet clear and I felt completely powerless and sad about things I couldn’t fix. I would sit there in my bright blue Snuggie, cross-legged in my desk chair typing nutrition notes in my windowless office and crying…until I would remember I was wearing a Snuggie and start laughing. I would think about how one day I would look back at my younger, Snuggie-wearing self and want to tell her all kinds of comforting things. It was my weird, roundabout way, I guess, of telling myself everything was going to be okay—and it really got me through.

5.) I get to see Eli on Wednesday! I miss his furry little butt like crazy, but he’s having an awesome time with my family and their dogs. They’re like the three goddamn musketeers—too f***ing cute.

6.) My Rise business cards came in the mail Saturday. That was a nice surprise. Rise card

What’s brought you joy recently? 

3 Things to Make this Weekend

Yikes—it’s the weekend before Thanksgiving! Actually, this means almost nothing to me since I am not cooking anything. I am, however, stressed as hell about traveling Wednesday after work—me and everyone else. So it goes. There will be a lot of deep breathing going on.

Needless to say, there will not be a ton of cooking going on, but here are a few easy recipes if you’re itching to try something new but don’t want to sesame roasted broccoli make a big effort over the next few days.

1.) Deep-Dish Pancake a la Kath. I finally figured out what to do with the bag of Kodiak Cakes mix in my cupboard. I’ve been taking 1/3 cup mix, 1 tbsp ground flax, 1/8 cup pumpkin, 1/4 cup cranberries, and a dash of pumpkin pie spice and mixing it with 1/3 cup water in a ramekin or bowl. 2-3 rounds of 45-second intervals in the microwave and breakfast is ready. I love it topped with ricotta (mixed with more pumpkin). It’s also great with a few of those Trader Joe’s peanut butter chips thrown in the batter.

2.) Seasame-Roasted Broccoli. I don’t really have a formal recipe for this, but I just wanted to talk about how delicious it is. All you do is chop broccoli into florets and toss with sesame oil. Roast at 400 degrees F until crispy, ~40 minutes.

3.) A hearty oatmeal breakfast. Here are some of my favorites—also great to make on Sunday night to bring to work the next day!

Are you cooking for Thanksgiving? Any recipes/foods you’re planning to make this weekend? 


Thinking Out Loud: Spa Castle and Gelatein Wrestling

Happy Thursday. Welcome to this week’s Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where stream-of-consciousness is the name of the game! Thanks to Amanda for hosting!


Here’s today’s edition of randomness for you:

1.) It’s cold up here in the Northeast. Right now, I am loving it. Ask me how I feel in a few weeks, I guess. That said, my coat (which looks similar to this) is basically a sleeping bag with a belt, and it is awesome.

2.) I’ve been having some crazy dreams lately. I think my favorite was the one where I ran into President Obama in a whirlpool at Spa Castle. What is going on in my brain?

kale and white beans with egg3.) Why don’t I make kale with white beans more often? Fantastic with roasted cauliflower, a poached egg, and goat cheese.

4.) I’ve been doing a lot of research about Pediatric nutrition and talking to parents about getting their kids to eat healthful foods. You guys are my heroes for doing all the things you do while growing tiny humans.

5.) The other day we were brainstorming in the RD office for National Nutrition Month. Some of my (totally serious) suggestions included: scooped bagel breakfast, Gelatein wrestling, and a Q&A on whether or not you can eat the yolk.

6.) Not going to sugar-coat it: my birthday sucked last year. This year, instead of attempting to pull off something Super Fun(!), I decided to plan several small-group, low-key gatherings. We’ll do the karaoke thing in January, once everyone’s holiday buzz has worn off. The celebration kicks off tomorrow night: dinner and a play with my family.

7.) Not like I have the extra income at my fingertips, but maybe I should stop whining about being single and buy myself a right-hand ring for my birthday to celebrate that I am a strong, independent, ambitious lady who makes no apologies for pursuing her dreams (insert inspirational instagram-y pic here). Or I could be a grown-up about it and budget to buy myself one for my 30th next year. On some level, buying oneself a fancy ring seems like kind of a waste because a piece of jewelry is just a thing, but at the same time, I could get so many “married to myself” jokes out of it.

8.) I am reading Amy Poehler’s book, Yes, Please. LOVE it.

What’s on your mind this Thursday? Would you buy yourself a right-hand ring? 


What I Ate Wednesday #189: Another RD potluck

Another week, another What I Ate Wednesday…Sometimes I ask myself why I’m still doing this. Like, is this some kind of weird anthropological documentation? A habit? I do love habits—it’s my Type A side. In any case, no plans to stop anytime soon. So here you go, another peak into a day in the life of an RD.

(stream of consciousness insert: I read the news today, oh boy…)

Saturday, I worked at the hospital and then later met up with some RD friends from grad school for our first potluck dinner since, like, springtime. It was so lovely to catch up with these lovely ladies and share delicious homemade foods.

Breakfast: I started my morning with some pumpkin cranberry oats topped off with some dark chocolate peanut butter. So freaking good—and filling. This kept me full for more than four ours—no small feat. Because I like to work out in the morning, I am usually ravenous by the time I sit down to start screening the day’s patient workload. Saturday was no exception. This totally hit the spot.

Lunch: Steamed kale topped with chicken sausage and roasted veggies; a gorgeous cortland apple for dessert. WIAW 189

Snack: Some dry-roasted edamame (unpictured) to keep myself from gnawing my arm off before dinner.

Dinner: In addition to some homemade ricotta and butternut squash lasagna prepared by the hostess, we enjoyed salmon, a quinoa & veggie dish, veggie biriyani, kale with white beans and roasted garlic (my humble contribution), and crostini with spinach and melted mozzarella. There was red wine to drink.IMG_8088

I had a little of everything and went back for more salmon: potluck nov 2014

For dessert, there was an apple pie and a sticky toffee cake. I only got a photo of one, but it was gorgeous! Props to Natalie’s husband for his crust-making skills. Note to self: marry a man who likes to cook and will make treats for my lady-friends. Apple pie

Have you ever done a potluck dinner? What are some of your favorite dinner-party foods? Does your partner (real or hypothetical) like to cook? 

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


Oatmeal Desk-Breakfast

Happy Monday! What are you eating for breakfast this morning?

IMG_8078Oatmeal is a popular breakfast amongst the RDs at the hospital. It’s nourishing, filling, and damn delicious. I’ve really been enjoying starting my work days with a hot bowl (aka Pyrex container) of oats. I’ll usually prepare a double or triple batch at home ahead of time so I can just grab and go and then reheat it when I get to my desk in the morning. I especially love it topped with peanut butter (surprise, surprise). The combination of complex carbs (hello, fiber), protein, and fat keeps me going for hours.

Because my co-workers often ask what I’m eating that smells so good, here are a few of my recent favorite recipes. I like to cook egg whites into my oatmeal, but if you’re vegan or just not into it, feel free to skip that step.

What’s your favorite breakfast? 

A Small Collection of Joyous Things

Welcome to my weekly gratitude list. Taking a few moments to jot this down really does wonders to bring me back down to earth/out of my head.

Here are some things to that made me laugh and glow and look forward to more Sunday Joyous Things posts to come.

1.) I passed my health coaching competency exam at the hospital so can now see clients in that setting.Cheers to new things!
2.) I love my RD friends. We had a great potluck dinner last night.

3.) This clip from Portlandia:


4.) Things you might not know about cranberries.

5.) “Chair” by Big Deal. This song first appeared on my radar in early 2012. I forgot about it until last week. I have no idea what the f*** is going on in the video, which I only just came across while writing this post, but hey…

6.) I’m loving yogurt as an afternoon snack. This cup of plan water buffalo milk yogurt had pumpkin, flax, and pumpkin pie spice swirled in. Then I topped it with some dried cranberries, roasted coconut chips, and a drizzle or maple syrup. IMG_8072

7.) I’m now active on Rise, a health-coaching app. Want Nutritionist Jess in your pocket? Visit the site to get started—all you need is a smartphone.

What’s brought you joy this week?  

3 Things to Make this Weekend

Alex Scrivani for the New York Times

Happy Friday! Any fun plans this weekend? I’m working at the hospital but am looking forward to a potluck dinner with a few lady-friends. For anyone getting into any cooking on Saturday or Sunday, here are a few things that caught my eye on the interwebs recently:

1.) Brussels Slaw with Tahini Dressing and Zaatar Crostini from The Lemon Bowl. So many things I love in one place!


2.) The Novice Chef‘s Ginger Apple Bourbon Cider. Yes, please.

3.) These Brussels Sprouts Sliders from the New York Times. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy these!

What are you planning to make this weekend? 

Thinking Out Loud

Welcome to the weekly Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where stream-of-consciousness is the name of the game! Thanks to Amanda for hosting!

Some weeks I have plenty to say and legit segues, but other weeks, it’s, like, forget it. This week definitely falls into the latter category. So here’s some randomness for you.

1.) I bought some Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Chips the other day but have as yet to figure out what to do with them. #firstworldproblemsTJ's PB chips

2.) We had a farewell party for a member of our department at the hospital this week. Since it felt way too early in the morning to eat cake, I took a piece to-go. Naturally, I got chocolate frosting on my lab coat in the process. Because I would have felt like a hypocrite talking to people about healthy eating that way, I switched out my coat before heading back to the patient floors.

3.) Tuesday night, I attended a networking event with people in a field completely different from mine. One of the things I love about having an undergrad degree in something so different from nutrition/science is getting to leave the bubble and meet folks from other corners of the planet.

4.) Last week, Raechel posted a link to this article from Tiny Buddha about ways to deal with the uncertain. One step that resonated with me the most was: Setting plans instead of expectations.

5.) Chia seeds in my Invisalign. More #firstworldproblems

What’s on your mind this Thursday? 

What I Ate Wednesday #188

Happy What I Ate Wednesday! How’s your week going? Mine is good-busy, so I’ll keep today’s post short & sweet.  Since I’ve been posting mostly weekend eats recently, I thought I’d do something different today. Here’s what I ate on my work-from-home Monday this week. I love work-from-home weekdays because I have time for things like yoga and laundry and grocery shopping and catching up on that thing called my life. This Monday was a really good one! Here’s what I ate throughout the day.

Breakfast: post-yoga egg white scramble w/ veggies (kale, kabocha, roasted beet, cauliflower) plus a little goat cheese and tahini on top:egg white scramble

Lunch: Mushroom, kale & tortellini soup…mushroom tortellini soup

and an apple with a wedge of Laughing Cow lite: apple & laughing cow

Snack: Water buffalo-milk yogurt with flax, a dried fig, and a drizzle of maple syrup: buffalo yogurt

Dinner: Niçoise salad at Landmarc with a friend: landmarc nicoise

Snack: A sliced banana with a little PB before bed, as is very often the case: IMG_8042

What did you eat this Monday?

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

Farmigo: Farm-to-Neighborhood in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ

Rob Jaroszuk

In late October, I had the pleasure of hosting an event with Farmigo, a Farm-to-Neighborhood company with communities all over the New York/New Jersey area. They’re also in California, for any of my west coast readers.

One way to describe Farmigo is that it’s like a CSA, except that you pick what and how much you want each week. Farmigo sources from over 40 local farms within a day’s drive of NYC in order to make this possible. Here’s how it works:

  • Member orders are placed online by midnight on Sunday night.
  • Monday, items for the orders are harvested.
  • Tuesday, orders are processed in the Brooklyn warehouse.
  • Wednesday, the orders are delivered for pick-up.

Also at the event was Rob Jaroszuk, the owner of Rise Fitness, a gym in Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ, who recently started a Farmigo community, with Rise as the designated pick-up spot. Rob was kind enough to share a few words about how food and fitness influence our whole lives.

Jess: Thanks again for agreeing to a little Q & A, Rob. How about telling us a little more about your gym, Rise?

Rob: Rise is about strengthening the whole being.  The classes were designed based on research done on aging and what is best to do to maintain vitality for as long as possible.

Jess: That’s great! I feel like we’re starting to see more of a “whole body” approach to wellness in both nutrition and fitness. What role do you think food plays in wellness?

Rob: Food plays a huge role—it’s the raw material that our body used to rebuild and repair, to energize. It heals us or hurts us and it’s up to us what we put into our mouths. It affects how we feel which affects the quality of our day. When we eat better, we feel better. Yet, so many people have been conditioned for so long, they don’t even realize they feel bad and that they can feel so much better.

Jess: How did you first get involved with Farmigo?

Rob: I got involved in Farmigo through Caren Kay, who started Fresh From the Farm.  I loved the idea of eating local food from the start.  To me, it’s a no-brainer, and when the opportunity came up to take over and be the community leader, I jumped right in.  We are supporting our community and supporting local small businesses with which we can have great relationships and trust…knowing that our food is cultivated in an honest, humane way.  It really goes hand in hand what I am all about.  Eating better, locally just makes sense in every way.  I have a lot of members who are super-busy and want to be as healthy as they can. This is a great way to provide them with an amazing option.

Jess: What are some of your favorite products available on Farmigo right now?

Rob: My three favorites right now are the apples, kale and the sausages.  Everything has been super-delicious and fresh.

Those have been some of my favorite things too so far! To learn more or to find or start a community near you, visit Farmigo online.


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