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What to Make this Weekend: Coconut Oil Sugar Scrub

Okay, so maybe this isn’t a food thing exactly, but it’s made of things that are food.

After my last jar of overpriced body scrub ran out, I tried to look for a less expensive brand that wasn’t almond oil-based. Even though my allergy is an oral one, I’m still wary about rubbing myself with something I’m allergic to, you know?

(photo from NDTV food)

After finding almost nothing, I decided to just make my own damn scrub, and wow—why have I not been doing this all along?

All you need: 

  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • A few drops essential oil (optional but delightful—I used lavender)

Mix everything together and store in a resealable, waterproof container. My skin hasn’t been this happy in a long time, and it’s awesome not to have to make my wallet sad for that.


What are some of your favorite bath and body products? Any fun DIY tips? 

Have a great weekend!

Thinking Out Loud: Soup and Other Stuff

Happy Thursday. Hope the week is treating you well. This is the day where I usually post a bunch of randomness so let’s jump in.

Start with the bad news first: General Mills had to recall certain boxes of their gluten-free Cheerios after finding the product contained some gluten. The company is working on the issue, but if you know of anyone with gluten sensitivities, this would be helpful to share.

Now for some better stuff:

#soup weather is here! #lentils w/ roasted butternut squash & #apple is perfect for a fall #MeatlessMonday #whatadietitianeats

A photo posted by Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN (@jesscording) on

Soup is one of my favorite parts of fall. I have a recipe coming your way soon, so stay tuned!

*This chicken chili from How Sweet It Is sounds delicious—and it involves pumpkin beer biscuits. I don’t love beer, but I think I would really dig this. I don’t have the occasion for which to make it (Is that proper grammar?How much do I care?) but I still want to.

*I put pumpkin in a green smoothie the other day and decided I need to do that more often. So good!

*It’s that time of year again where we start playing the “is it a cold or allergies” game? About 4 years ago, I started drinking warm water with lemon every morning, and whether it’s the placebo effect or legit, I really feel like it’s part of what helps keep my immune system strong. Turns out Elle Macpherson does the same. Nice to know I’m in good company.

What’s on your mind today? 
This post has been part of another Running with Spoons Thinking Out Loud link party, where randomness is the name of the game. Thanks to Amanda for hosting.

What I Ate Wednesday #235

Good morning and Happy What I Ate Wednesday. How’s your week going so far? Things have been really busy over here, but busy is good. I thought I’d get right into the weekly “what I ate”-ness and share with you this past Sunday, when I was working at the hospital. I’d originally hoped to be in Nashville for FNCE, but the year took me to all other kinds of places (in a good way), so I had to make a budgetary decision and opt out. I’m planning to make it Boston for next year’s conference, though. Somebody please hold me to that.

Breakfast: Zucchini bread oatmeal with peanut butter on top, enjoyed while I screened patients to figure out the day’s workload. If you hadn’t noticed, I make this a lot for clinical days. It’s filling and a fun way to sneak in veggies. zucchini bread oats


Lunch: Roasted veggies over arugula; eggplant dip and boiled eggs on the side; an apple for dessert. I had one whole egg and one white. Sometimes I eat both yolks, but I didn’t feel like I needed it this day. desk salad with eggs and eggplant dip

Snack: When I got home, I had some plain Greek yogurt with a tablespoon each of coconut flour and PB2. I topped it with the last of some Kashi Go Lean cereal I wanted to use up because it’s totally going stale. This picture is really ugly, but oh well. It tasted great and gave me the energy boost I needed to take a walk and get some writing done.
yogurt with Kashi Go Lean

Dinner: I recently decided that roasted broccoli needs to be a regular part of my life again. I had the last of a batch from the weekend mixed with some other roasted veggies, spaghetti squash, and garlic slow cooker pork (similar to this) I had in the freezer. This was so good. I’m not sorry that I love meat. And salt. I also had a small glass of red wine (~3 ounces) while cooking. spaghetti squash veggie bowl

Snack: A few hours later, I made this shortcut apple pie-inspired dessert and topped it with non-fat ricotta and a few peanut butter chips. easy apple dessert

What was the best thing you ate over the past weekend? 
To see more WIAW from other bloggers, check out founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.


Healthy Sandwich Hacks

English Muffin Bfast Sandwich Keeping It Real FoodSandwiches are a super-convenient lunchtime option, but many restaurant and deli versions pack way more calories than most people need in a meal. Packing your own is great, but it’s easy to fall into the tired turkey rut. My recent post over on YouBeauty gives you some ideas for healthy, tasty sandwiches, whether you’re brown-bagging it or ordering out.

What’s your favorite sandwich? 

Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites

Though it may be just a tad bit early to be busting out the pumpkin spice recipes, I just can’t help it. I’m all over it. I dig summer, but as someone who loves boots and sweaters and wearing pants, I am so ready for fall and all the flavors it comes with.

These little bites are super-easy to whip up and make a great pre- or post-workout snack. They also make a great desk-lunch dessert when you need just a little something to complete your meal. You can eat them on their own or crumble into your favorite yogurt. This recipe makes 10 little guys, but feel free to form into whatever size you prefer. You can also multiply this recipe easily if prepping snacks for a crowd.pumpkin spice energy bites keeping it real food

Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites


  • ½ cup Pumpkin Seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 5-6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1 tablespoon dried coconut flakes (optional)


  1. Pulse pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie spice, and dates in a food processor until dough forms. Take breaks every few pulses to prevent overheating.
  2. Form into balls/bites. Roll in coconut flakes, if desired.
  3. Store in the fridge for up to a week.

What are your favorite snacks? 

A Small Collection of Joyous Things

Sunday again. It’s dreary here in New York with a little high-anxiety energy thrown in around the weather, so all the more reason for my weekly gratitude-list post.

*First off: I want to take a second to wish a Happy Birthday weekend to my sister—yesterday was the big day. I was lucky enough to get to see her and the rest of the fam (fur children included) twice over the past week. I was out there again Thursday, and enjoyed a lovely late breakfast with the birthday girl on Friday morning at an adorable local cafe. It was so nice to start the day with girl talk and a non-desk breakfast for a change! empty omelet plate

(clearly, I hated my florentine omelet)

*Part of the reason for my second trip: I had to go to my eye doctor—I’m in the process of transitioning to a new contact lens brand and Rx, and it’s been a bit of a process. Accepting that my eyes have gotten worse this year after a long time of no changes was tough, but I got new lenses, and I can read signs again! I had no idea how much signage I’d been missing out on.

*Disney Princesses Reimagined as Hot Dogs. Yes, this is a thing, and it is wonderful.

(Lucky Peach)

Which Disney Princess did you identify with, growing up? I think Ariel from the Little Mermaid would have to be my vote—always going off exploring, longing to be part of the big world…collecting random objects was totally something I did when I was little too.

*This post from the Kitchn on their instant oatmeal taste test was awesome. As the weather cools down, I’ve been craving hearty grain-based breakfasts, and I could stand to try some new-to-me brands.

*I know it’s barely October, but I couldn’t resist using a discount code to buy some super-cute wintery leggings from White Plum. I got these.

White Plum

*On my work-from-home days (and nights) I’ve been binge-watching 30 Rock, since I never saw the beginning of the series. By binge “watch” I basically mean having it on in the background. That’s about as close as I’ll probably ever get to being able to watch TV. Still. It’s so good! Not-so-guilty pleasure. Tina Fey is my hero. And Liz Lemon might be my spirit animal?

*It probably says something about me that I routinely burn my mouth on coffee and hot soup, but hey. Pros and cons of being a fire sign. Sagittarius with Sagittarius rising = basically f***ed in the patience/heat-sensitivity department.

*Speaking of soup, I’m looking forward to making some soon. I’m thinking red lentil & apple with caramelized onion and kabocha squash, since I still have a gazillion apples to use up…

Have a great Sunday!

What’s on your list of small, good things this week? 


What to Make this Weekend: Apple Everything

Happy Friday! Hope you’re looking forward to a nice weekend. I’m working a bit at the hospital, but I have plans to make some tasty things with some of my haul from last weekend’s apple-picking trip.

Sunday, I went with my sister, her boyfriend, and some friends to Pennings Farm in Warwick, NY. We had a great time filling our bags with tons of different types of apples. Jess apple picking

So now the question is: What the heck to do with so many apples?

Obviously, they’re great for snacking on as is. But then what?

I love to make this short-cut apple pie filling (in the microwave) and enjoy it over plain Greek yogurt (awesome with coconut flour, flax, and cinnamon mixed in). I’ve been enjoying it for breakfast and snacks this week:

yogurt with apple

I also made some spiced apples in the slow cooker the other day with some red wine I was trying to use up. apples in slow cooker


  • 5-6 baking apples, peeled, cored, and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon each Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup red wine


  1. Whisk spices, honey, and wine together and pour into slow cooker.
  2. Add apples and toss well to coat.
  3. Cook on high for 2-3 hours.

apple red wine sauceIt looks a bit like brains, I know, but it tastes like vaguely boozy, delicious apple sauce—mulled wine meets apple pie. I enjoyed this with braised red cabbage and pork, and it was also delicious on top of (yep) Greek yogurt.

I still have a ton of apples left, so I plan to spend some time scoping out these ideas from The Food Network. Maybe I could make my own applesauce and then make these with it? Pie is always an option as well. My mom’s recipe is a family classic.

Any apple recipes your’e loving this fall?  


Thinking Out Loud: Life on Mars?

Good morning and Happy Thursday. Today’s the day where we do the randomness thing, so let’s get to it.


*All the talk about water on Mars has this song stuck in my head. Could be worse.

*I love that my autocorrect is totally cool with “tahini,” but has no idea what to do with “capers.” Or “McNuggets.” Read More »

What I Ate Wednesday #234: An actual Wednesday

Good morning. How’s your week going? But first, I want to wish a very happy birthday to my dad, who’s celebrating a big one today. Nothing says, “You’re old but young at heart” like a Fudgie the Whale cakeFudgie the Whale

It’s kind of weird for me that in two months, I’ll be the age my dad was when I was born—makes me look back at being a kid and thinking adults knew what they were doing all the time and weren’t scared of anything. I also believed in the Tooth Fairy so, you know…

Today being Wednesday, It’s time for another What I Ate Wednesday post, where I share a look at what a dietitian really eats. This is the first WIAW post in a while that happens to be of an actual Wednesday. What a concept,  I know.

Wednesday afternoons, I work in an outpatient clinic that’s part of the hospital where I’m a per diem nutritionist. Once in a while, I’ll work the morning on the inpatient side before clinic. This was the case last week, so I made sure to pack myself a nutritious breakfast and lunch to keep me going.

Desk Breakfast: Zucchini bread oats (with egg white cooked in) and peanut butter. zucchini oats desk breakfast

Lunch: A kale salad with roasted beets & zucchini, avocado, and smoked salmon. This held me over most of clinic, though few hours later, I did need to reach for the Fiber d’Lish bar I’d brought to get me over the hump while writing my notes. I’m not a big “bar” person, but I do enjoy these once in a while—they’re not horrendously high in sugar, and the high fiber content helps me stay full for a long time. smoked salmon salad

Snack: When I eventually got home, I was really hungry, so had some plain Greek yogurt with cinnamon and flax before doing some chores. Exciting stuff. I forgot to take a picture, but it basically looked like this but without anything pretty on top: yogurt with maple

Dinner: I made pumpkin ravioli (same type as in this soup) with shredded brussels sprouts and garlic chicken sausage. I could probably keep Trader Joe’s in business all by myself. Not that they need any help of course. And sorry—this is like the most ugly picture ever. Except for my other ugly desk dinner pictures.pumpkin ravioli and sausage

And then it was light’s out. Another day, another random assortment of stuff…

What was the best thing you ate last Wednesday?  Or today, so far…
To see more WIAW from other bloggers, check out founder Jenn’s blog Peas & Crayons.


What to Eat After a Workout

Good morning! Hope your week is off to a great start. This week we welcome the season of fall, which can be bothat once awesome and anxiety-provoking, depending on how you feel about this time of year.

mini pumpkinSaying goodbye to summer produce also means saying hello to the abundance of fall fruits and veggies. However, the decrease in sunlight finds many of us grappling with carb cravings—not a great pairing for the desire to hide under the covers instead of lace up our sneakers on cold, dark mornings.

Maintaining some kind of workout routine as we transition into the the colder months can help avoid winter weight-gain, but perhaps more importantly, it can help you feel more emotionally balanced and promote overall health—important stuff when you’re surrounded by sad, sick people.

One of my favorite ways to start the morning is with a workout. It helps me wake up, and the endorphin boost is great for dealing with whatever bulls*** the day may bring. Regardless of what time of day you want to work out, though, it’s important to feed your body what it needs to repair, recover, and build muscle. Earlier this month, I wrote an article for women’s career and lifestyle blog Elana Lyn about what to eat after your workout. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite cold-weather workout? Any favorite post-workout snacks? 

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