Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Kidney Month: Dietary Sodium

Happy Kidney Month! 



I worked as a renal dietitian for approximately 6 years. I loved the patients, families, and nephrology team I was able to work with. My team helped me grow from a recent graduate and new RD into an experienced, renal RD. They mentored me and helped me grow professionally. Check out this post for more information about my awesome nephrologist and social worker mentors.




So where does sodium come from?
Most of our dietary sodium comes from table salt, which is sodium chloride. We get sodium in processed foods where it is added to increase shelf-life and enhance food's taste. Foods high in sodium include: cheese, condiments, deli meats, pizza, processed foods, soy sauce, and many more. We also add salt when cooking or eating foods. And, we get sodium from many foods consumed when we eat out. Many restaurants or "fast foods" are high in dietary sodium. The average American usually eats 3,400 milligrams of sodium per day. That's more than double what the AHA recommends! For reference, there are ~2,300 milligrams of sodium in 1 teaspoon of salt.

How much sodium should I consume?
The American Heart Association recommends reducing dietary sodium intake to 1,500 milligrams per day to promote heart health. Patients with high blood pressure or kidney disease usually have a 1,500 - 2,000 mg sodium restriction per day. Some people are 'salt sensitive' and reducing dietary sodium can greatly improve health. Talk with your personal RD or doctor before you start any new diets. Some disease states or medications require a consistent or even high intake of sodium.

How can I reduce my sodium intake?
1) Choose low sodium foods
  • Read the Nutrition Facts Labels when grocery shopping. Try to find things < or = 140 milligrams of sodium per serving. This will help keep your dietary sodium intake from processed foods low.
  • Look for lower sodium substitutes. Many products offer reduced sodium alternatives. For example, most canned vegetables and soups have a lower sodium alternative.
  • Choose food naturally low in sodium. Fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium. Canned fruits and vegetables usually contain sodium. You can drain the liquid and rinse canned foods until not foamy (see picture). This will greatly decrease the sodium. 
  • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in sodium, and eating fruits and vegetables has many health benefits. The DASH diet, which is an acronym for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, is low in sodium, high in potassium which is a mineral naturally present in many fruits and vegetables, and has been shown to decrease blood pressure (aka hypertension).



2) Add flavor without adding salt

  • A lot of our dietary sodium is added while cooking. So, try reduce the amount of salt you add when cooking
  • You can flavor foods with a salt substitute. Salt substitutes are made from potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride (table salt). Note: Some medications or disease require a low potassium diet, so check with your RD or MD before starting a salt substitute.
  • Use herbs and spices while cooking. Salt adds flavor, so if we decrease salt we need to increase flavor with something else. For example, try using garlic powder or fresh garlic instead of garlic salt when cooking. You still get the garlic flavor but without the salt!
  • Use aromatic vegetables to add flavor. I'm from Louisiana, and most Cajun or Creole recipes start with adding onion, bell pepper, and celery. Why? Because these three aromatic vegetables add flavor!

I hope these ten tips will help you reduce your salt and dietary sodium intake. Please check with your RD or MD before starting a new diet. Some medications and medical conditions require regulation of dietary sodium intake.

If you have a family history of high blood pressure or kidney disease, check in with your doctor to get a physical. Tell your doctor your family history of kidney disease, your concerns for your health, and ask about what screening you should do. Be #kidneyaware.


Stay tuned this week we will focus on kidney disease and some dietary restrictions that are commonly prescribed. Always talk with your personal dietitian or physician before starting a new diet or exercise program. For more information, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter . You can subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Happy Kidney Month! Happy National Social Work Month!

Happy Kidney Month! 



I worked as a renal dietitian for a little over 6 years. I loved the patients, families, and nephrology team I was able to work with. My team helped me grow from a recent graduate and new RD into an experienced, renal RD. They mentored me and helped me grow professionally. 

The nephrologists (aka kidney doctors) let me sit in on renal rounds. I learned a ton from rounding on all the patients. I was fortunate to work in a teaching hospital. The physicians were very kind and patient to answer all my questions. Eventually, the nephrologists let me lead teaching rounds! I had the opportunity to teach medical residents about nutrition for kidney disease.

My social worker was such a blessing! She taught me how to be a better listener and grow as young medical professional.  She also helped me find ways to get formula covered for patients with financial needs. I think she is a fairy godmother disguised as a social worker! Happy National Social Work Month!


repost from @nationalkidneyfoundation
March is a busy month with National Nutrition Month, National Social Work Month, and Kidney Month! This week we will focus on kidney disease and some dietary restrictions that are commonly prescribed. 

Stay tuned this week for more information on kidney disease and the renal diet. Always talk with your personal dietitian or physician before starting a new diet or exercise program. For more information, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter . You can subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Becoming a Registered Dietitian: the RD Exam

So, you've completed your undergraduate degree, taken the GRE, applied to a dietetic internship (DI), matched to a DI, and completed your internship. Congratulations! Now you are eligible to take the RD Exam.


Your undergraduate program and internship experiences will help you prepare for the RD (registered dietitian) exam. Shadowing dietitians in the internship will provide you with even more knowledge of the various types of medical nutrition therapy (MNT). Your internship should also include some food service experiences. The RD exam has both clinical and foodservice questions. So, be prepared for both! 

RD Exam Study Tools

There are many study tools for the RD exam. I would encourage you to look through the available options and pick one that fits your learning style. There are books, audio programs, daily questions, and flash cards. Many internships suggest a program. 

My advice is to invest in a study aide, make time to study, and set a date to take the exam fairly soon. This will give you a deadline and encourage you to make time to study. I encourage you to take the exam fairly close to graduate so all the information you absorbed during the DI will be fresh. Good luck!

Life After the RD Exam
Once you've passed the RD exam. You may decide to take one of three paths: finish your Master's degree as a full-time student, pursue a full-time career as a RD, or a mix of both by finishing your Master's degree as a part-time student while working as a RD. We'll talk about searching for a job as a RD and interviewing more in the near future. Stay tuned.


2016 Update: In 2024, students who complete their dietetic internship will now be required to earn their Master's degree before being eligible to sit for the RD exam. So, your path to become a RD looks like undergraduate degree --> dietetic internship --> Master's degree --> RD exam --> be a RD or RDN.

For more nutrition information, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter . You can subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.


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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Becoming a Registered Dietitian: How to Succeed in Your Dietetic Internship

Registered Dietitians (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) are the nutrition experts. We go through many years of school, a dietetic internship, and new RDs will be required to have a Master's degree by 2024. This week we are walking through all the steps to become a Registered Dietitian. We discussed ACEND accredited dietetic undergraduate programs, and today we are discussing dietetic internships.


So, you've completed your undergraduate degree, taken the GRE, and applied for the internship. You wait on your "match." And, now you've been accepted into your Dietetic Internship! You are a big step closer to becoming a RD!

Your Dietetic Internship (DI) is a time of observing and hands-on learning in various nutrition fields. It is a time to confirm that you want to be a dietitian and decide what field of nutrition you are truly passionate about. So here are a few of my tips to succeeding in your dietetic internship.


Internship = Job Interview
Make sure you also treat the internship as a job-interview. Remember to show up on time, be prepared, and dress according to the dress code. Even if you do not plan to work at that facility or you are not interested in that particular specialty in nutrition, treat your preceptor with respect; it takes effort to be a preceptor. You are representing your internship and yourself. You never know what job opening will be available at the end of the internship, so treat each rotation like a job interview. You have a great opportunity to network with RDs, learn, and check out perspective places for future employment.

Take Notes
Your DI is a time to learn, so write it down. I learn best through repetition and listening. So, I took notes about things I liked, new information, and I kept a list of acronyms and terms to look up later. I learned a ton by listening, identifying my areas of weakness, and looking up terms. I became more familiar with medical terminology and acronyms, which greatly helped me in my clinical job and helped improve my communicate with doctors.

Review MNT and Take "Cheat Sheets"
In my senior medical nutrition therapy class (MNT), we had to create a pocket book of MNT for each disease. It was a ton of work, but it was so helpful to have in the internship. You can't remember everything, so it's helpful to have resources handy. So, review the MNT and information about your next internship rotation before starting the rotation. Make cheat sheets to take with you to jog your memory.
My internship had homework that coordinated with each rotation. I tried my best to finish the homework before the internship. Then if I had questions, I could ask the preceptor or internship director questions I had about MNT from the homework. This was a great way to prepare. By preparing before the rotation, I could better assess what I did know and what information I did not know or needed to learn more about.

Make a "Cheat Sheet"
My internship had fantastic opportunities to shadow and practice. So, I took notes on what my preceptor was asking the patient. Each preceptor has a different way of assessing a patient, so there are many 'right" ways to assess your client's nutritional needs. Also, each disease process requires different MNT. You learn a ton from school (aka "book smarts"), but I would argue that there is nothing that can compare to hands-on learning from an expert in the field (aka your preceptor). 

Did I leave out any of your ideas of how to be a successful intern? If so, leave a comment below and share with your colleagues and future dietetic interns.


Follow me, RDtipoftheday, on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter, for more information about healthy eating, encouragement, recipes, and nutrition facts. You can also subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin, so you never miss a post.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Becoming a Registered Dietitian: Applying for Your Dietetic Internship

Registered Dietitians (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) are the nutrition experts. We go through many years of school, a dietetic internship, and new RDs will be required to have a Master's degree by 2024. This week we are walking through all the steps to become a Registered Dietitian. We discussed dietetic undergraduate programs, and today we are discussing dietetic internships.


Applying for the Dietetic Internship
There are several parts to the Dietetic Internship Application: undergraduate grade point average (GPA) in core curriculum, GRE score, and volunteer and nutrition-related experience. To apply for a Dietetic Intern, you must complete your undergraduate degree with the necessary prerequisite courses.

You will also need to take the GRE for programs that have a Master's component. Plan to take the GRE at least 6 months before internship application, so you have all the necessary components to apply for the internships.

Aside from your GPA and GRE score, personal experience is important. Volunteer in different areas of nutrition to get a better idea of what are you would like to work in, gain nutrition-related experience, and build your resume.

When you have all of these components, you can complete most dietetic internships through the Dietetic Internship Centralized Application Service (DICAS) and D & D Digital, which is the site where you pay the computer matching fee and rank the dietetic internship. 

Now you are ready to apply to dietetic internships? But what internship will you choose?


Types of Dietetic Internships: Coordinated Programs or Didactic + Dietetic Internship
There are two paths of entry into dietetic internships: coordinated programs or a didactic program with a dietetic internship. After you finish your undergraduate or didactic program in dietetics, you are eligible to apply for to a 'traditional' dietetic internship. After you apply to a 'traditional' dietetic internship you are matched using a national computer match process. This match process involves you ranking dietetic internships and the internships ranking all of their applicants. You are only matched with one program. 

Or, you could enroll in a coordinated program in dietetics which combines undergraduate (bachelor's coursework), graduate coursework, and a supervised practice or internship for RD eligibility. The coordinated programs is also called a combined program. The coordinate programs usually have students complete their freshman and sophomore year. Then, students may apply for entry into the coordinated program at the end of their sophomore year. Students complete their supervised practice as an intern while completing their undergraduate degree. 

Specialized Dietetic Internships
All dietetic internships must provide at least 1,200 supervised hours of practice. But internships has some differences. Internships can range in length from 8-24 months. The longer internships usually include a part-time internship schedule with some graduate credit.  Some dietetic internships have a specific focus including pediatrics, geriatrics, clinical, etc. If you have an interest in this areas, you might consider looking for an internship with a specialization. All internships have a variety of shadowing experiences within the field of dietetics to help prepare you for the RD exam.

Find a Dietetic Internship
Check out Dietetic Internships in your state and find one that fits your needs by visiting the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics' (AND) Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) website.

My Dietetic Internship
I completed my undergraduate course work at Louisiana State University (LSU). I had the opportunity to work for a RD in private practice and for LSU's RD during my undergraduate career. I visited to several internships the summer before my junior year. I met with the program director, toured the facilities, and had a chance to talk with some of the current interns. I also researched the internship I applied and matched to the internship program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences/Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare Systems. 

Do you have questions about dietetic internships?
For more information about dietetic internships, ask your undergraduate program director or contact the dietetic internship coordinator. Also, check out ACEND's FAQ page to find information about computer matching, program daintiness, and career options in dietetics.

Follow me, RDtipoftheday, on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter, for more information about healthy eating, nutrition facts, and being a registered dietitian. You can also subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.
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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Becoming a Registered Dietitian: Undergraduate Education


Are you interested in becoming a dietitian? You may be finishing high school, in college, or considering a second career. I believe we all have a little interest in nutrition because we have to eat to survive. Why not fuel your body in a healthy way?



Registered Dietitians (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) are the nutrition experts. We go through school, a dietetic internship, and all new RDs will be required to have a Master's degree by 2024. The first step in becoming a registered dietitian is to attend an ACEND-credited undergraduate program.



The Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics (ACEND) is the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics'  (AND) accreditation program for dietetic undergraduate programs that prepare students for careers as RD/RDNs or dietetic technicians registered (DTR). ACEND was previously known as the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE) if you are more familiar with that terminology. ACEND makes sure that undergraduate programs and dietetic internships are adequately preparing dietetic and nutrition majors for their dietetic internship and providing a solid base for their future career as a dietitian. Their are objectives for each undergraduate course that have to be met for the program to be ASCEND accredited.

The dietetics curriculum is heavily science based. So if you enjoy science, this could be the right career for you. Many dietetics programs will overlap with some nursing, speech therapy, and medicine programs because of these degrees are medical and science-based. I enjoyed my undergraduate core classes and felt that I was well-prepared for my dietetic internship and Master's degree. Click here to search for an ACEND-accredited undergraduate program, didactic program, or dietetic internship.

Follow me, RDtipoftheday, on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter, for more information about healthy eating, encouragement, recipes, and nutrition facts. You can also subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.

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Monday, March 16, 2015

How do I become a Registered Dietitian?

Are you interested in becoming a dietitian? You may be finishing high school, in college, or considering a second career. I believe we all have a little interest in nutrition because we have to eat to survive. Why not fuel your body in a healthy way?



Registered Dietitians (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) are the nutrition experts. We go through school, an undergraduate degree and a dietetic internship. All students that complete their dietetic interns will be required to have a Master's degree by 2024 in order to sit for the RD exam. Stay tuned this week as I take you through all the steps to become a Registered Dietitian.

Follow me, RDtipoftheday, on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter, for more information about healthy eating, encouragement, recipes, and nutrition facts. You can also subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.





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Friday, March 13, 2015

How Do I Find a Dietitian?

So, you now know where RDs work and what RDs do. Are you interested in seeing a dietitian?  Dietitians are trained to help you with your nutrition and health. RDs can help you lose weight healthfully, gain weight healthfully, help you build a healthy plate, meal plan, read Nutrition Facts Labels, help you lower your cholesterol, and so much more. Here are another 10 reasons to see a RD



You can locate a dietitian near you though the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND), which is the national credentialing agency for RDs and RDNs. Remember it is important to talk with your personal dietitian or MD before starting a new diet or exercise plan

And don't forget to follow me, RDtipoftheday, on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter . You can also subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin..

Thursday, March 12, 2015

What Do Dietitians Do?

Dietitians do a lot! The specific role of a dietitian is tied to what area that practice in; if you missed yesterday's post, check out where dietitians work.



I work primarily as a clinical dietitian. In other words, my primary work setting is a hospital. I work with the medical team to provide adequate care and appropriate nutrition, which is also called Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT). I am able to work with physicians to write TPN (total parenteral nutrition or IV nutrition) and tube feeds for patients who can not eat by mouth. I help counsel patients with many nutritional needs: malnutrition, failure to thrive, formula mixing, healing wounds, post-surgery nutrition, post-transplant nutrition, dialysis, diabetes education, and much more.

In the outpatient setting, I counsel and educate patients in a clinic similar to your doctor's office. The type of education or MNT is only limited to what type of doctor you work with or what types of patients are seen. In a Nutrition Clinic, dietitians see patients that are referred by doctors. So, the range of nutrition counseling is endless.

Dietitians can teach in schools and colleges. RDs can write menus for schools, restaurants, or large corporations. RDs can be policy-makers. RDs help fuel collegiate and professional athletes to help improve their athletic performance. If it has to do with nutrition, dietitians can be involved because dietitians are nutrition experts. Nutrition is a broad field with varied job opportunities. Did I leave out one of your favorite areas of practice for a RD? If so, leave a comment with more information about what RDs can do.

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter . You can subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Where Do Registered Dietitians Work?

One of my passions is helping people. I also love teaching, and these two things are combined in my being a dietitians. Registered Dietitians (RD) or Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDN) can work in many settings: hospitals, schools, dialysis centers, outpatient clinics, schools, college sports teams, professional sports teams, research, food service, and in so many other settings.



I work primarily as a clinical dietitian. In other words, my primary work setting is a hospital.
In an outpatient (aka not in the hospital) setting, I counsel and educate patients in a clinic similar to your doctor's office. 

I also work in academia as an adjunct professor teaching collegiate courses. I currently teach two, 1,000-level courses in Basic Human Nutrition. I will also be teaching Life Cycle Nutrition I and II this Fall and Spring! I love teaching; my favorite part of teaching is that "light-bulb" moment where everything clicks and makes sense. I also enjoy helping preparing dietetic students and dietetic interns for the future careers in dietetics.

There is a lot of misinformation about nutrition, so I work to help people understand the basic of nutrition and how it relates to their health. In my career, I have had the opportunity to work ins several different areas including pediatrics, nephrology, diabetes, general nutrition, critical care, clinical, and higher education. As a RD, I also have the opportunity to help people every day by teaching them bout good nutrition. My hope is to help and encourage people to become healthier by making small, healthy changes to their diet and lifestyle choices.

My goal for this blog is to provide valid, science-based nutrition information that can be used in real life. I will also provide cooking tips and recipes for healthy living. And, you'll get a little slice of my life as a dietitian.

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter . You can subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.






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Monday, March 9, 2015

National Nutrition Month: How Did It Start?

Happy National Nutrition Month 2015!



How did National Nutrition Month start? The beginnings started with a National Nutrition Week in 1973 with the first presidential proclamation, news releases, television public service announcement (PSA), and radio PSA. The first theme was "Invest in Yourself - Buy Nutrition." In 1980, National Nutrition Week was change to National Nutrition Month. This year's them for National Nutrition Month is 'bite into a healthy lifestyle;' it promotes good health through healthy eating. If you missed anything from last week, check out the blog to be encouraged to eat breakfast, be physically active, and eat more fruits and veggies.

This week we will focus on what dietitians do. Stay tuned to find out what registered dietitians (RD) or registered dietitian nutritionists (RDN) do, where RDs work, and how you can find a RD near you.


Have a healthy week! For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter . You can subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Be Physically Active

Happy National Nutrition Month! This week we have discussed some healthy diet changes to include into our daily lives. You have been encouraged to eat more fruits and vegetableseat breakfast 7 days per week. A healthy diet is one component of a healthy lifestyle. Another component of a healthy lifestyle is being physically active.


So how often should I be physically active?
For Cardiovascular Health the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends both aerobic and muscle-strengthening activity:
  • Aerobic Activity
    • > or = 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity at least 5 days per week for a total of 15; or > or = 25 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity at least 3 days per week for a total of 75 minutes; or a combination of both moderate-intensity aerobic activity and vigorous-intensity aerobic activity
  • Muscle-Strengthening Activity
    • > or = 2 days per week moderate-intensity to high-intensity muscle-strengthening for additional health benefits.
If your goal is to lower blood pressure or cholesterol levels, the AHA recommends "an average 40 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity aerobic activity 3 or 4 times per week."

Why should I be physically active?
Physical activity has many healthy benefits including lowering blood pressure, raising HDL (the "good" cholesterol), reducing risk of diabetes, and it has been shown to help with weight management Check with your personal RD or MD before starting a new diet or exercise program to make sure it is healthy, safe, and the right choice for you.
For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter . You can subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.

7 Quick Breakfast Ideas to Jumpstart Your Healthy Day

Breakfast: My Favorite Time of Day

I am what you would call a morning person. My internal alarm usually wakes me before my alarm clock. I love getting a head start on the day while the world is still asleep.

Most of the time, I wake up because I am hungry for my favorite meal, breakfast! I have a preference for sweet things or a 'sweet tooth' and breakfast usually incorporates something sweet. Breads, fruit, and (sweet) coffee - oh my!

Breakfast is a great way to start the day. Breakfast is literally breaking the fast. We fast, or don't eat, while we sleep. Our bodies can fast for some time, but breaking the fast is a healthy, jump-start to the day and to your metabolism. Many of my clients that are trying to lose weight inadvertently sabotage themselves by skipping meals. Most often breakfast is the meal that is skipped. This is a problem. One, you aren't breaking the fast. This can trick your body into thinking you are starving - on a desert-island somewhere. I digress. Over time, your body will become accustom to this skipping of meals and decrease your metabolism (the base energy your body need to stay alive). So, eat your breakfast! Ok?

If you need more incentive, here are some quick, easy breakfast ideas to start your day.

1) Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a delicious whole grain. It can be topped with different fruits, spices, and nuts to mix up the flavor. I especially like hot oatmeal on a cold morning. Oatmeal is a great

2) Cereal to go
Many people say time is the barrier to eat breakfast. I understand mornings are busy. So, pack your cereal in a zip top bag. Pour milk into a to-go cup. And, you are ready to take your breakfast to go!

3) Parfait
Parfaits are a visually appealing layered dish. Let's make this treat for breakfast! Add layers of your favorite yogurt, cereal, granola, nuts, and fruit. Repeat the layers. Top with fruit and mint. And enjoy! This can be assembled the night before, so it is a quick breakfast.


4) Smoothies
Smoothies are a great on-the-go breakfast drink. You can prepare a "smoothie pack" by washing the fruits or vegetables you want to include and putting them in zip top bags or in mason jars. Then, everything is ready to blend with yogurt, milk, or your favorite non-dairy option.
I prefer smoothies to juicing because juicing will pull out fiber which helps you feel full and can help lower cholesterol.
 
5) Breakfast Burritos
Take a whole grain tortilla, fill with scrambled eggs or egg whites, add your favorite veggies (tomatoes, mushrooms, onions), top with cheese, roll, and enjoy!

6) Paninis
Some people prefer savory to sweet. If you like savory breakfasts, this breakfast panini is for you! Toast whole wheat bread, add egg or egg whites, spinach, cheese and tomato.

7) Breakfast Bruscetta
I like to think of this as Italian-inspired toast. Toast bread and add a spread. (Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, olive oil, or mozzarella). Then top with tomatoes and basil for a savory delicious start to your day.

Start your day with any of these filling breakfasts, and you will be fueled for success. I hope these seven breakfast ideas will encourage you to eat seven days of the week!

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me, RDtipoftheday, on Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter for more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating. You can subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Five Tips to Eat More Fruits & Vegetables

Happy National Nutrition Month! Each day this week, we will focus on one healthy habit to work on. We are taking small steps to big results!




Today, we are discussing a healthy habit, which is . . . eating more fruits and veggies! We know that fruits and vegetables are important. I'm sure you've been told to eat more fruits or vegetables in your lifetime. But, why is it important? 

Importance of Eating Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrients. Every color in fruits and vegetables represents a different micronutrient, vitamin or mineral, that helps nourish your body. Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of fiber. Fiber serves many purposes including: filling us up (satiety), aiding in regularity of bowel movements, and fiber can help lower cholesterol.

How can I eat more fruits and veggies?
1) Aim for 5 a Day
How can you reach a goal you haven't set? It's impossible. So, let's set a more specific goal and eat 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

2) Fill half of your plate with fruits or vegetables
I love the MyPlate model of building a healthy plate. You simply take your plate and fill half of it with fruits and vegetables. One serving of fresh fruit is about the size of your fist or a tennis ball. One serving of leafy vegetables is 1 cup. One serving of sliced fruit or cooked vegetables is 1/2 cup. If you fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, you will usually get 2 servings of fruits or vegetables per meal. If you eat 3 meals per day and have 2 servings of fruits or vegetables per meal, you will succeed (or maybe even exceed) your goal of getting five servings of fruits and vegetables per day!!

3) Choose a fruit or vegetable as a snack
Many fruits and vegetables are perfectly packaged to transport and eat on the go. Think about apples, bananas, carrots, celery, cuties, Mandarin oranges, and satsumas. One of my cousins would carry around a tomato and eat in as a snack.

4) Eat the Rainbow
As we discussed earlier, every different color in food provides us with different nutrients. So, challenge yourself to eat different colors and make a beautiful, nutritious plate.

5) Try a New Food
In my experience as a registered dietitian (RD), the most common reason I hear people do not eat fruits or vegetables is because they don't like the taste. Our taste preferences change over time, so I would encourage you to try a food you've had before and cook it differently. Challenge yourself to try a new food!


I hope you enjoyed these 5 tips on how to eat more fruits and vegetables. I hope you learned a little something. And, I hope you apply these simple steps to your life. Remember, small changes can produce big results. For more information on healthy eating, you might enjoy these posts on fiber, cholesterol, and healthy fats.

For more recipes, encouragement, and tips for healthy eating, follow me on PinterestInstagram, and Twitter . You can subscribe to this blog, RDtipoftheday.blogspot.com, through BlogLovin.