Friday, December 13, 2013

5 Gift Ideas under $50

It's the holiday season. So, giving is on my mind! We all have friends and family to think of, but our budgets may be different. Today, we are covering some foodie and fitness gift ideas for $50 and under. Hope you enjoy!

1) For the techy chef, here's a stand for their recipe book . . . I mean iPad. $49.95

2) For the pizza lover in your life, think about a pizza stone $49.95

3) For the baker, this is my favorite pie dish because it basically crimps the crust for you! $49.95

4) For the cook, gift them a new cook books, so they stay inspired! Check out your local bookstore for great options from baking to grilling the possibilities are almost limitless!

5) For the coffee lover, this coffee grinder grinds the a single serving of coffee for your Keurig. How cool! $49.95

For more gifting ideas, follow RDtipof the day on on InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

P.s. I have received no compensation from any of the companies listed above. These gifts are on some of my loved ones wish lists. Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

10 Gift Ideas Under 40 Dollars

It's the holiday season. So, giving is on my mind! We all have friends and family to think of, but our budgets may be different. Today, we are covering 10 foodie gift ideas for $40 and under. Hope you enjoy!

1) Measuring cups
They are beautiful in use with the painted cups and when stored it looks like an old fashion milk bottle. At $24, it is a unique and useful gift!

2) Aprons
Red Toile Apron for $32
Striped Apron for $38
Blue and White Apron for $36
I can't decide on a favorite; they are all too cute!

3) Serving utensils in bright colors or wood and metal serving utensils for your favorite host or hostess for $36 and $38 respectively

4) A lotion and soap set for $34

5) A wooden cake stand or clear cake stand for your favorite baker for $40 and $29.95 respectively

6)  A printed baking pan for brownies or pie for $36 each

7) My favorite bakeware including: jelly roll pan for $29.95

8) 9 x 13 cake pan for $32.95

9) Muffin pan for $29.95

10) A set of glass mixing bowls will have your favorite chef looking more and more like t.v. chefs for $39.95

For more gifting ideas, follow RDtipof the day on on InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

10 Gift Ideas Under Twenty Dollars!

It's the holiday season. So, giving is on my mind! We all have friends and family to think of, but our budgets may be different. Yesterday, we began with gifts under $10. Today, we are covering some foodie and fitness gift ideas for under $20. Hope you enjoy!

1) A health or recipe magazine subscription

2) Gift certificate to a favorite restaurant

3) Fruit basket
You can pick up local produce and give to a friend in a beautiful bowl or basket. It is a great semi-DIY gift that your friend will enjoy now and later!

4) Infused olive oil for the chef or baker in your life

5) A white pitcher for your favorite hostess

6) An herb and spice illustrated calendar
Beautifully illustrated and only $18 for a gift your foodie friend will enjoy year-round!

7) Unique measuring spoons for the baker in your life for $18

8) This spoon rest looks for expensive than it is ($12 - I won't tell if you won't)

9) This set of 3 dish towels would look great in any kitchen! It might even encourage others to help you clean up after dinner! At $24, they could be given as one gift or split into 3 hostess gifts for the holidays at $8 a piece.

10) Help your favorite foodie grow their own herbs with this DIY herb kit for $24.

For more gifting ideas, follow RDtipof the day on on InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

P.s. The corporations in the above links did not provide me with any compensation. The opinions above are my own, and I hope they make your holiday gifting a little easier.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

10 Gift Ideas Under Ten Dollars!

It's the holiday season. So, giving is on my mind! We all have friends and family to think of, but our budgets may be different. Today we are starting with gifts under $10. These gifts would make great stocking stuffer, small gifts, or secret Santa ideas. Hope you enjoy!

1) If you thought mason jars couldn't be more useful, check this out! This nifty addition will turn a canning jar into a bento container! At $7.99, it won't break your budget. This is perfect for your friend who loves mason jars (hint, hint). :) It would be great for a snack container; I'm thinking hummus and veggies or peanut butter and fruit! Delicious!
Bento Canning Jar Adaptor

2) This next gift is great for encouraging extra fluids, and it's cute too! It comes in just under today's budget limit at $9.99.
Mason Jar Insulated Mug

3) Coffee beans

4) Tea

5) Mugs! I love these mugs personalized with the recipient's initial. Too cute! Consider gifting this mug with an accompaniment of coffee or tea.

6) Candles

7) Kitchen Timer

8) Water Bottle

9) Herbs and spices
Give some unique herbs and spices to the cook in your life. I got an assorted pack of herbs and spices for my wedding. It was a really good way to stock the pantry (on a newlywed budget) and try new flavors!

10) Making groceries was never more fun than with this beautiful grocery list for only $8 or check list for less than $5! It even has a magnet attached. Perfect for hanging on the fridge!

For more gifting ideas, follow RDtipof the day on on InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Gift Guide for Your Foodie Friends

It's the holiday season. So, giving is on our minds! We all have friends and family to think of, but our budgets may be different. This week I will be posting gift ideas for various price ranges: <$10 up to about $50. Feel free to mix and match or get stocking stuffer and present ideas. Hope you enjoy!

For more gifting ideas, follow RDtipof the day on on InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Coffee: Small Changes Big Rewards

One of the most frustrating things about being a dietitian is helping people. One of the most rewarding things about being a dietitian is helping people.

The majority of the US has a weight problem or has had a weight problem at one point in times. Data on "overweight" and "obesity" shows us this. The "obesity epidemic" also points to this fact.

The frustrating thing about weight management for me is how weight gain seems to happen so rapidly usually without us noticing. But when we try to control our weight and make healthy choices, it seems to take forever! Or maybe that was just my journey with the "freshman 15."

I am a big proponent of moderation - in food choices and exercise. I like the idea of small changes and big results. I like small, maintainable changes that turn into a lifestyle of better choices.

If you are like many Americans, you choose a caffeinated beverage every day or almost every day. Since this is an everyday choice, small changes can result in big results . . . over time of course. Here are a few suggestions for ordering your favorite coffee drink or making it at home.

1. Adjust the Size
Say "tall" instead of "venti." Or, say "small" instead of "large." On the average specialty drink, you can cut approximately 200 calories by ordering a 12 ounce or tall instead of a venti or 20 ounce coffee.

2. No Whip
If you are watching your saturated fat or calorie intake, two words can help "no whip." Say it with me "no whip." By cutting the whipped cream, you save between 60-70 calories with a tall or venti respectively.

3. Try It Skinny
Saying "skinny" tells your favorite barista, aka the one who is making your coffee today, that you want skim milk instead of the standard 2% milk. This saves you 60-70 calories with a tall or vent respectively.

Three simple solutions that take less than 30 seconds can make a big difference over time.

For more nutrition tips and tricks, follow RDtipoftheday on InstagramPinterest, and Twitter.

Healthy Fall Treats

I love Fall! It is my favorite season. What better way to celebrate with some food?!? Here are a few of my favorite Fall snack ideas:
  • Orange, tangerine, or cutie jack-o-lantern 
    • You can make this with stickers or food-safe markers.

  • Ghost cheese sticks 
    • This is a similar idea as above, but you could probably get away with using markers on the plastic cheese wrapper

  • Candy corn parfaits 
    • Fill a clear container with chopped pineapple, mango, and top with yogurt!
  • Mummy mix 
    • Make trail mix filled with your child's favorite foods: nuts, dried fruit, and some chocolate chips or candy pieces.
  • Pumpkin 
    • I can not think of a flavor more associated with Fall than pumpkin. Follow RDtipoftheday on Instagram or Twitter to see more pumpkin recipes this week!
Hope these treats help you have a tasty and fun-filled Fall!

For more tips and tricks for healthy eating, follow RDtipoftheday on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Tips for Healthy Trick-or-Treating

Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something healthy to eat! So, that is not the original version of the song. But, I do work with pediatric patients and this is a common question during the latter part of the year. With all the celebrations that occur in the latter part of the calendar year, one of my most frequently asked questions is “how do I eat healthy during the holidays?”.  It is Halloween or Fall Festival time. So, here are a couple tips for eating healthy with candy.

Snack right

  • Make sure your kiddos are well-fed before going trick-or-treating. This can help prevent meltdowns and decrease the amount of candy they “need” while trick-or-treating.

Travel light

  • Have your children carry a small trick-or-treat bag. Once it is full, you can stop trick-or-treating. And, it can save the adults from carrying around huge sacks of candy for multiple children. It also allows for you to be finished trick-or-treating with less candy.

Set boundaries

  • You are the parent, so you are allowed to parent your kids. One part of parenting is setting healthy boundaries. These boundaries are helpful to prevent the ever dreaded candy tummy ache.
    • Choose a small zip-top bag or a set number of pieces of candy for your child to fill with their favorites. 
    • Also, it may be helpful to set a number of pieces of candy to eat per day. 


  • “It is better to give than receive.” Sharing candy is a great way to teach this lesson. After your child has chosen their favorite candy from the mother-load they received from trick-or-treating, they may choose who to share their candy with. Family (aka mom and dad), siblings, cousins, relatives, neighbors, or friends at school. 


  • Offer your child a chance to trade-in candy for a non-food prize or outing. For example, 10 pieces of candy gets them a small toy, stickers, pencils, erasers, side walk chalk, crayons, coloring books, or bubbles. For bigger prizes, 50 pieces gets them a trip to the zoo, children’s museum, or movies.

Have some fun, healthy snacks

  • I have seen some pretty cute fall snacks lately. Stayed tuned for tomorrow's post for healthy snacks!
Hope these tips are helpful to you! Have a happy and safe candy-filled (in moderation) Fall!

For more tips and tricks for healthy eating, follow RDtipoftheday on Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Healthy Changes from Fast Food Favorites

I recently had the opportunity to speak at a weight management class for pre-teen girls and their families. During the breakout session, I had the opportunity to talk with 10 of the girls and their families. We talked through many of the struggles with food. One question came up about eating out. Can I eat out and be healthy? Can I eat out at all? Do I have to cook all my food from scratch? Can I make good choices while eating out?

I was happy to share that there are many exciting health changes in the food market. The menu-labeling act can help inform customers of what they are actually choosing. 

Knowledge is power.

I think that this act has caused some restaurants to think twice about what they are feeding their customers. One example is Burger Kings new “satisfries”. These fries are ~20% less calories and ~27% less fat than the normal fries. So, a small “satisfry” is reported to have 270 calories and 11 grams of fat compared to the normal small fry with 340 calories and 15 grams of fat.

Chick-fil-A has started offering more grilled options. Their Chargrilled chicken sandwich has 310 calories and 3.5 grams of fat compared to the original chicken sandwich which has 440 calories and 18 grams of fat. So, the grilled option has 30% fewer calories and 80% less fat.

On the kid’s menu, they also offer grilled items. The 6-count Nugget kid’s meal is 200 calories and 10 grams of fat. The 6-count Grilled Nuggets have 110 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. The grilled nuggets have 45% fewer calories and 72% less fat.

I am a big proponent of small, healthy changes leading to a healthy lifestyle. I am not saying to eat fried or “satisfried” foods every day is a healthy choice. But, am excited about restaurants offering healthier options to its patrons.

Have you made any healthy lifestyle changes lately?

P.s. This is not a sponsored post. These are my own options, and Burger King and Chick-fil-A have no idea I exist. Thank you!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Packing Lunch in 6 Easy Steps!

You survived back-to-school or back to work time. Either way, bringing your lunch to school or work takes some . . . well work. But this planning can provide economical and health benefits. Here are some tips for making packing healthy lunches easy.

Stock your pantry and refrigerator
Keep your favorite food stocked in your home. Here are some examples to add to your favorite lunchtime staples.

·      Lean protein (tuna fish, peanut butter, nuts, and lean, low sodium lunch meats)
o   Add protein and a savory component to your meal.

·      Whole grains:  whole grain breads, tortillas, crackers, or rice
o   Add fiber and B vitamins.

·      Diary: low fat cheese, yogurt, and milk
o   Help you meet your vitamin D and calcium needs.

·      Fruit: fresh, frozen, pre-portioned, canned (in it’s own juice)
o   Add color, micronutrients like folic acid and vitamin C, fiber, and can help satisfy a sweet tooth.

·      Vegetables: bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, cucumber,
o   Add color, micronutrients, fiber, and crunch.

Keep it Simple

Pack a variety of food groups by following these six steps to help you build a balanced meal:

1) Choose a grain
2) Add a source of protein
3) Add a dairy
4) Choose a fruit 
5) Add a veggie 
6) Add a healthy fat

The goal is to include as many food groups as possible. This will help you build a better plate by add a variety of flavors and nutrients to your diet.

If time and energy are willing, make it fun! Try containers with multiple compartments and make your own Lunchables. Cut sandwiches into fun shapes. Or, leave a note of encouragement for your child or spouse.

Here are a couple of my real life examples.

From top left: 
1) Grilled garlic pepper chicken, steamed broccoli, crackers, and cheese. (fruit was a snack and is not pictured).
2) Spinach wrap with turkey, hummus, lettuce, and cucumbers. Grapes
3) Light chicken salad on a croissant with tomato and lettuce, cucumber, reduced fat ranch, peaches.
4) Turkey, avocado, lettuce, cucumber, and provolone sandwich with fruit salad (pineapples, strawberries, and blueberries)

For more lunch tips and tricks. Follow RDtipoftheday on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


I have seen many people hospitalized due to dehydration. They range in the spectrum of a couple day stay to staying in the ICU (intensive care unit) and having long-term organ damage. So, my opinion of adequate hydration is probably skewed. However, hydration is important!

We learned in grade school science class that our body is made up of approximately 80% water and that water is used in many different vital organ systems.  So, that makes adequate hydration pretty important to all of us.

How do you get started? Start with a plan, set a goal, and assess any barriers to your goal. The most common barriers to drinking more water I hear include: “It gets so boring,” “I don’t like the taste of water,” or “I don’t know how much to drink.” So, let’s address those things!

How much water do I need to drink?

Most adults need 8 cups of water per day. One cup of water is 8 ounces, so 8, 8-ounce cups gives us a total of 64 ounces per day. You need more water if you are more active, but 64 ounces is a great place to start for most people.

How do I know how much water my container holds?

This is one of the RD tips and tricks I picked up in my professional practice. To find the volume of a cup, you can flip the cup over! It is usually on the bottom of the cup, so you won’t have to guess. You can also measure your favorite cup or water bottle if it isn’t labeled with a measuring cup.

I don’t like the taste of water.

Most waters don’t have a taste to me. But if the taste of water is a struggle for you, consider flavoring your water. I like to add fruit to water. It’s a fun change of flavor and the combinations are almost endless!

Drinking water is boring.

Feel free to try new ways to flavor your water as mentioned above. I believe you eat with your eyes, so use some of that fruit as a garnish (and then a snack!) to make your water visually appealing. Try a new cup or glass. With kids, sometimes a fun straw helps make water less boring.

Hope these tips help!

Do you have any tips to help drink more water? Feel free to share your tips and tricks for staying hydrated below.