Kellogg’s Challenge: “Not-so” Fried Humphrey’s

So Kellogg’s/Special K holds this annual contest called the “Student Fiber-ful Kitchen Cook-Off“, where dietetic students and interns can develop a recipe that has increased fiber and uses at least one Kellogg product from a given list. All participants receive a one year membership the Food and Culinary Professionals dietetic practice group. The grand prize  is an all expense paid trip to the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) 2013, which is an annual conference for all dietitians that are a part of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. FNCE 2013 will be in Houston this October. There is the possibility for two runners up, who will receive a gift certificate to a kitchen supply store. Winners will also have their product professionally photographed and will be featured on and

When thinking about what to do for this contest, I decided to do a dessert. (Because dietitians and desserts go hand in hand :wink:). I thought about doing a un-fried version of Fried Ice Cream, a classic Mexican dessert. A lot of recipes that I have seen in the past said that you could put honey on top of the finished product. This sparked an idea. What other dessert do I know that is covered in crunchy topping and honey?! A HUMPHREYS!!!

To those who are asking, “What (or who) is a Humphrey’s?”, let me tell you.

A Humphrey’s Yogart (technical name) is named after Humphrey Bogart. Why? I have no idea…maybe he was a fan of the ingredients that make it up, which are: Plain frozen yogurt, granola, honey, fresh fruit and more plain yogurt on top. It is seriously delish.

I thought doing my take on this dessert was appropriate because there are good memories associated with this dessert. During the summer quarter, my fellow intern friends and I literally ate one of these every day. After class we would go to the pool and eat our Humphrey’s out on the deck while soaking up the sun rays. We probably ate our weight in frozen yogurt over the course of those six weeks. So, it felt appropriate to do this recipe a midst my dietetic internship. This one is for you friends!!

A Humphrey’s “not” fried Ice Cream


  • 2 cups of Kellogg’s® Low Fat granola, crushed and toastedIMGP5731
  • 2 Tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 pint (2 cups) of Vanilla Ice Cream (I used No Sugar Added Blue Bunny®)
  • Cut up fresh fruit (bananas, blueberries, pineapple, strawberries and kiwi are some good ones to use)
  • Honey


  1. Preheat over to 350° F to toast the granola.
  2. Measure out granola and pour into a gallon Ziploc bag.
  3. Using a rolling pin or the bottom of a glass, crush up the granola.
  4. Add melted butter and cinnamon to the bag. Seal back up and mix with your hands
  5. Put a piece of aluminum foil onto a cookie sheet and pour the granola mixture onto it. Put into oven for no longer than 5 minutes. And keep an eye on it— it could burn!IMGP5732
  6. While the granola is toasting, scoop out 4 scoops of ice cream and place into a muffin tin or onto a plate covered with wax paper. Put back into the freezer.

    You get the idea...

  7. Take out granola from oven. Let cool.
  8. While granola is cooling, cut up your fruit of choice into bite size pieces. Set aside.
  9. Once granola is cool to the touch (you don’t want hot granola on cold ice cream), pour it into a bowl.
  10. Take out your ice cream balls and using your hands, roll each ball in the crushed granola. Do this quickly so the ice cream stays firm.

    You get the idea...

    You get the idea…

  11. Once all ice cream balls have been coated in the granola, place them back in the freezer to re-harden.

    If I win, hopefully this picture will look better.

    If I win, hopefully this picture will look better.

  12. After about an hour or right before serving time, pull the ice cream balls out of the freezer. Place into a pretty cup or bowl (I used margarita glasses). Spoon fruit on top and drizzle with honey. If you wanted to you could sprinkle leftover granola crumbs on top. Since I used a margarita glass, I put some granola in the bottom, to fill up the hole.IMGP5739
  13. Serve and enjoy the same day, or else the granola will get soggy.



Nutritional Facts (1/2 cup serving):

  • Calories: 422 kcal
  • Fat: 10 g
  • Protein: 12 g
  • Carbohydrates: 82 g
  • Sodium: 235 mg
  • Fiber: 12 g

This is a great treat that can cool you off on a hot summer day! (Ricky Bobby anyone?)

The due date for this was at the end of March. Grading was supposed to start April 8th, so we will see what happens! I will keep you all posted!! Wish me luck!

XOXO, Danae


Internship Update!

Hey everybody!!

Sorry I haven’t been posting in  while. I am at the end of my first real management rotation and I have been wrapping up a lot of projects!

Since I spent all of March focusing on giving you guys some nutrition information, I neglected writing about my internship experiences. Tomorrow is my last day at St. Francis Hospital in Monroe. I have actually really ended up liking management. It has given me “confidence” that if I got thrown into a management position, I could do it. I still don’t feel comfortable with firing people, but I know that I could do management. I love how every day is something different and you never know what is going to happen. I like problem solving and using my critical thinking skills. I may not be the most critical thinker, but I have loved discussing issues and problems with my preceptors.

During the past five weeks, I have done everything from sat in on interviews, firings, employee arguments/counseling sessions, developing a business plan for a salad bar, doing a cost analysis for a Coke Freestyle, doing some studies with the tray line and how fast they put trays together, ordering tube feedings, taking inventory, helping with shipment, analyzing the budget and developing a HACCP plan


And by the way, I love my preceptor right now. She has been really encouraging to me and I have gained great knowledge and advice from her. I am in awe of how accomplished she is, it almost intimidates me. But I have really enjoyed my time here. I will say I am looking forward to finishing up at Glenwood!

The rest of this week will be crazy. I will be in Lafayette for a nutrition conference for two days and then the next three days are dedicated to prepping for the RD exam. Safe to say my brain will be overloaded with information. Granted, it will be useful information, but my brain will be fried.

Really short post this time around, but I’ll have more for you soon.

XOXO, Danae

1 month and 10 days! It’s crunch time!

March might be over, but eating healthy shouldn’t!

Well, March is at an end, which means so is National Nutrition Month.

Erin over at Mojitos & Handbags said she wanted some recipes as well as some health tips. I’ve given out some recipes, so to wrap this month up, I am going to leave you with some general tips on eating healthy, easy ways to cut some calories and some guidelines on physical fitness.

The New "MyPyramid"

The New “MyPyramid”

  1. Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day. They are low in fat and calories, but high in vitamins, minerals and fiber. According to the diagram above, at least half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables.
  2. Half of the grains you consume on a daily basis should be whole grains. This includes whole grain bread and pastas, brown rice and multi-grain cereal. Whole grain products have the whole part of the grain (bran, endosperm and germ), which means they are richer in fiber and nutrients.
  3. If you drink whole milk or 2% milk, try switching over to skim milk and low fat dairy products. By going from eight ounces of whole milk to eight ounces of skim milk, you can save 66 calories and 8 grams of fat.
  4. Choose lean forms of protein, like chicken, fish, deer and turkey. Beef is good to, but when purchasing it at the grocery store, purchase meat with ‘loan’ or ’round’ in the name. These are the leaner cuts of beef.
  5. Limit sugary drinks and sodas, like Coke, Sweet Tea and Kool-aid
  6. The more liquid a fat is, the healthier the fat is. For instance, extra virgin olive oil is better for you than Crisco.
  7. Studies show that 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise a week can improve an individuals risk of developing heart disease, osteoporosis and of course, helps fight obesity.
  8. The best fats are Omega-3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fats. Salmon, albacore tuna, walnuts, flax-seed and canola oil are great sources of omega-3’s and avocados, olive oil, peanut butter and nuts are good sources of monounsaturated fats.
  9. Baking, stewing, broiling or roasting are some of the healthier ways to cook food, like poultry, fish, potatoes and vegetables.
  10. Use reduced sodium or no-salt added products when cooking, or use other ways of seasoning food!
  11. Fat free, low fat and reduced fat are not the same thing. Reduced fat means that the product’s fat content is 25% of what the original version’s fat content is. Low fat means that the product can not have more than 3 g of fat per serving. Fat free means 0.5 g  or less of fat per serving. Make sure to read the label!

I hope you all have been enjoying the food and nutrition posts this month!! If you have any suggestions for future topics, feel free to leave them in the comments section!! I hope these posts have encouraged you to maybe make some small changes when it comes to your eating habits!!

XOXO, Danae

P.S. Happy Easter!

Tomatoes, Avocados and Cheese…OH MY!

Here is another recipe!

WordPresser Andrea wanted me to cost out a recipe, so not only are you going to get a recipe for a healthy dish, but you can also see how inexpensive it can be to make! (Prices from Wal-Mart)

I found this recipe on Pinterest and I thought it looked really good. And since I eat weird things for meals, I just ate this as my dinner. It was really easy to put together.

Avocado and Tomato Salad


  • 2 tomatoes, cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 1 8 oz ball of fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 avocados, pitted, peeled and cubed (about 2 cups)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons dried basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper, to taste



1. Wash your tomatoes

2. Slice and dice your tomatoes into bite size cubes. Place into a bowl.


3. Cube the WHOLE ball of mozzarella cheese. If you wanted to use the brick mozzarella cheese, you can, but it doesn’t really have the same effect, and doesn’t taste as good. Place into the bowl with the tomatoes.


4. Pit your avocados. Score the inside of the four halves and scoop out the insides with a spoon. Place cubes into a bowl.






*Avocado tip: Keeping the pit in with the avocado can help with the browning. It doesn’t stop it completely, and it isn’t as good as lemon juice, but it does help. You can do the same thing with homemade guacamole.

5. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle the dried basil leaves onto the food and toss together.


6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking.

7. Either eat it by itself (like I did) or us it as a side dish to roasted chicken or baked fish!



Nutritional Facts

Serving size: 1/2 cup (6 servings total), Calories: 246 calories, Protein: 12 g, Total Fat: 18 g,Carbohydrates: 9 g, Sodium: 206 mg, Fiber: 4 g

Price List

  • Avocados, .84 cents each = $1.68
  • Tomatoes, $1.64 a lb = $1.67
  • Mozzarella ball = $2.98
  • Olive Oil* = $5.98
  • Dried Basil Leaves* = $4.48
  • Total = $6.33 (Including estimated cost of olive oil and basil = $16.79)
  • Price per serving = $1.06 (Including estimated cost of olive oil and basil = $2.69)

*I did not have to buy olive oil or the basil, because I already had it in my pantry. So this is the cost if you had to buy these ingredients.

I thought this tasted really good. It is creamy from the avocado and cheese and very fresh from the tomato.  Make sure you prepare this right before you serve it. You do not want the avocado to turn brown. It does not look appetizing.

Hope you enjoy!

XOXO, Danae

Drive-Thru Smarts

While I am not fast food’s biggest fan, I understand that sometimes you can’t help but answer the question “May I take your order?”


So, for those times when you need to squeeze through the drive-thru, here is what I have found to be some “healthy” meal ideas at various fast food chains.


Arby’s had some pretty high caloric food items. Like 90% of their sandwiches (and even salads) were anywhere between 400 and 800 calories. Now, this can be normal for a meal, but when you add curly fries and  a large coke, you have used almost half of your days worth of calories on one meal! So, here is the best option I could find.

3 piece prime-cut chicken tenders (350 calories, 17 g fat, 970 mg sodium*)

*I swear, everything on the Arby’s menu is above 1000 mg of sodium. But I guess that is what you get with processed foods.

Side Chopped Salad w/ Dijon Honey Mustard Dressing (use sparingly)* (171 calories, 21 g fat, 355 mg sodium)

*All the dressings where either high in calories and/or high in sodium. I went with one that was kind of in the middle.

Medium brewed unsweetened Iced Tea (5 calories, 0 g fat, o mg sodium)

Total: 526 calories, 38 g fat, 1325 mg sodium

Burger King

Whopper Jr. (No mayo) (260 calories, 10 g fat, 440 mg sodium)

Apple Slices (30 calories, 0 g fat, 0 sodium)

Small Strawberry Banana Smoothie (200 calories, 0 g fat, 20 mg sodium)

Total: 490 calories, 10 g fat, 460 mg sodium


Chick-fil-A had a lot of high sodium items. Food items would be relatively low in calories, but high in sodium. Even some of their wraps had over 1,000 mg of sodium.

Chargrilled & Fruit Salad w/ reduced fat berry balsamic vinaigrette* (330 calories, 10 g fat, 770 mg sodium)

*use dressing sparingly. Dressing can make a healthy salad go unhealthy.

Medium Lemonade (230 calories, 0 g fat, 10 mg sodium)

Total: 560 calories, 10 g fat, 780 mg sodium


KFC actually had some healthy options despite being a place known for their fried chicken! Your fried options are going to be higher in sodium than the grilled options. Also, anything dipped or covered in gravy is going to be high in sodium as well.

Grilled Chicken Drumstick  (90 calories, 4 g fat, 290 mg sodium)

Corn on the Cob (70 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 mg sodium)

Mashed Potatoes w/ gravy* (120 calories, 4 g fat, 530 mg sodium)

*Tip: Dip fork in gravy, then in mashed potatoes. You can save 30 calories and about 200 mg sodium

Small iced peach green tea (160 calories, 0 g fat, 50 mg sodium)

Total: 440 calories, 8.5 g fat, 870 mg sodium


Seems like an oxymoron, but a healthy option CAN be found at McDonald’s. Just don’t super-size anything.

Hamburger with lettuce, tomato and ketchup (250 calories, 9 g fat, 480 mg sodium)

Fruit and yogurt parfait (150 calories, 2 g fat, 70 mg sodium)

Small sugar free iced french vanilla coffee (80 calories, 4.5 g fat, 65 mg sodium)

Total: 480 calories, 15.5 g fat, 615 mg sodium

Sonic Drive-In

Sonic’s food is awful if you have high blood pressure, heart disease or kidney disease. I think the only think that didn’t have sodium levels over 1000 mg was either the shakes or condiments. Fat levels were also really high! So, here is the best thing I could find…

Chicken strip sandwich (420 calories, 21 g fat, 810 mg sodium)

Medium low-cal diet cherry limeade (20 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium)

Total: 440 calories, 21 g fat, 825 mg sodium

Taco Bell

Word of advice: Stay away from the XXL stuffed burritos.

Chicken Chalupa Supreme (340 calories, 18 g fat, 530 mg sodium)

Cinnamon Twists (170 calories, 7 g fat, 200 mg sodium)

Small diet Pepsi (0 calories, o g fat, 50 mg sodium)

Total: 510 calories, 25 g fat, 780 mg sodium


Half-size Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad w/ lemon garlic caesar dressing (no croutons) (360 calories, 24 g fat, 800 mg sodium)

Apple slices (40 calories, 0 g fat, o mg sodium)

Brewed Sweet Tea (110 calories, o g fat, 10 mg sodium)

Total: 510 calories, 24 g fat, 810 mg sodium

Hopefully this gives you some guidance on what to order at some typical fast food joints. Make good choices!

XOXO, Danae

Eat This. Not That.

This post is a classic “Eat This. Not That.” I got some of the information from  the Eat This, Not That book, but I also did some of my own investigation.


Eat This: Steak N’ Shake Bacon Cheese Fries

360 calories, 6 g saturated fat (1.5 g trans fat), 710 mg sodium

Not That: Steak N’ Shake Large Chili Cheese Fries

1,170 calories, 22 g saturated fat (3.5 g trans fat), 2,150 mg sodium

Eat This: Outback Steakhouse’s Classic Cheesecake

334 calories, 16 g saturated fat, 23 g carbohydrates

Not That: Outback Steakhouses’s Chocolate Thunder from Down Under

1,554 calories, 53 g saturated fat, 133 g carbohydrates

Eat This: IHOP Simple & Fit Chicken Sandwich with fruit

500 calories, 3.5 g saturated fat, 840 mg sodium

Not That: IHOP Chicken and Spinach Salad

1,530 calories, 30 g saturated fat (2 g trans fat), 2,400 mg sodium

Eat This: Applebee’s Blackened Tilapia with vegetables

410 calories, 4.5 g saturated fat, 1,410 mg sodium

Not That: Applebee’s Fish N’ Chips

1,930 calories, 24 g saturated fat, 1.5 g trans fat, 3,180 mg sodium

Eat This: Outback Steakhouse’s Shrimp on the Barbie

319 calories, 5 g fat, 589 mg sodium

Not That: Outback Steakhouse’s Bloomin’ Onion (You knew this was coming…)

1,959 calories, 48 g saturated fat (4 g trans fat), 4,100 mg sodium (2 days worth of sodium)

Eat This: Ruby Tuesday’s Baked Potato with 1 Tbls. sour sream

275 calories, 4 g fat, 112 mg sodium

Not That: Ruby Tuesday’s Loaded Baked Potato

568 calories, 28 g fat, 536 mg sodium

Eat This: The Cheesecake Factory’s Skinny-licious Pasta

540 calories, 1 gram saturated fat, 660 mg sodium

Not That: The Cheesecake Factory’s Chicken Fettucini Alfredo

2,300 calories (a whole day’s worth!), 103  g  saturated fat, 1,297 mg sodium

Eat This: Red Robin Banzai Burger (without mayo or cheese)

617 calories, 21 g fat, 1,272 mg sodium

Not That: Red Robin Whisky River BBQ Burger

1,138 calories, 70 g fat,  1,450 mg sodium

Eat This: Starbucks Grande non-fat Sugar-Free Cinnamon Dolce Latte

260 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated), 38 g sugar

Not That: Starbucks Venti Peppermint White Chocolate Mocha with Whip

660 calories, 22 g fat (15 g saturated), 95 g sugars

Eat This: Steak Toscano

590 calories,  20 g fat (4.5 g saturated),  1460 mg sodium

Not That: Olive Garden’s  Grilled Sausage and Peppers Rustica

1320 calories,  80 g fat (30 g saturated),  2860 mg sodium


Food isn’t always as healthy as you think. Especially the salads. You think you are doing good for yourself, but you could actually be eating as much as a burger with fries! Always think twice before your order.

XOXO, Danae

Nutrition in the Movies: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead

Here is a another review on a nutrition-related movie!

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead reminds me of Supersize Me, but the opposite. Instead of a somewhat healthy guy trashing his body with fast food, this is a story about  man who was unhealthy and didn’t take care of his body but then got back in shape with the help of changing his eating habits and up-ing the fitness.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, 2010

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead, 2010

Joe is very open about his past. He was overweight, an avid steroid user, drank too much alcohol and has urticaria, a chronic rash similar to hives. He decided that he needed to make a change, or his life could be over after just one more cheeseburger! With a juicer and generator in tow, he travels over 3,000 miles over 60 days to get off his pills, lose weight and maintain a balanced life.

Fun Fact: The director and star of this movie, Joe Cross, was actually in the last movie I reviewed, Hungry for a Change.

This Australian man comes to America and plans to go on a juice fast for 60 days. Blending up fruits and vegetables in the back of his SUV in order to cleanse his body and get on the right track. The first month he spends in New York, and the rest of the trip is spent drive from East Coast to West Coast on a journey to better health. He is followed by a doctor and is required to get his blood drawn every 10 days.

When on the streets, Joe would often go up to pedestrians and ask them about diet or ask them what they thought fasting was and I had to laugh at some of these diets people went on. One man said for like four or five years, he only ate on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Another guy said he just bought a diet plan for a diet where you can loose 12 lbs in 4 days. This is how he described the diet:

  • Day 1: Nine hotdogs and all the liquids and diet soda you wanted.
  • Day 2: Nine apples and other fruit.
  • Day 3: Nine or Ten hardboiled eggs.
  • Day 4: A mixture of the previous 3 days

There was one time when Joe walks into a pizza place and New York. I felt like I was watching a scary movie. I was yelling at my computer screen screaming, “NO! DON’T GO IN THERE!! IT’S A TRAP!!” But, he walks in there and just looks at the pizza and smells the aroma. He says that normally he would eat two whole pizzas. He manages to make it out without buying anything. Whew!

I liked in this movie how the did have a registered dietitian talking about juicing and fasting.  Juicing is great because you are getting a concentrated source of vitamins and minerals. Juice also hits the blood stream faster, so it gets to your body faster.

“61% of the american diet today is from processed foods. “

By Day 31 of his diet, Joe had lost 47 lbs and reduced his prednisone (a steroid for his skin rash, that also has the side effect of weight gain) by 2.5 mg.

One of the funniest things I heard in this documentary was a larger gentleman on the street was talking about his eating habits and he said he was a “meat and potatoes kind of guy” and the he eats fruits and vegetables in moderation. I thought it was interesting how backwards it was. meat is good because it contains iron and protein, but are we really in a world were people forgo the fruits and vegetables and they are seen as the “enemy”?

There was another girl that said she mainly eats “Pepsi, Mexican and Coke”. When Joe asks her if she ate fruits and vegetables, she said no. When he said “What if I told you eating fruits and vegetables would improve your health, would that change your outlook?” She said no and when he asked why, her answer was, “Because I’m 16.” I see a need in educating the youth on how what they eat when they are young can truly have an affect on them when they get older.

By Day 49, Joe’s total cholesterol went from 204 mg/dL to 135 mg/dL and his LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) went from 132 mg/dL to 86 mg/dL. And, at this point he has lost 20 more pounds since Day 31 and his medication is now at 3.5 mg per day as opposed to 10 mg a day when he started his fast.

This movie not only shows Joe’s path to  a healthier life, but it also sheds light on what people really think about the importance of good nutrition and the affects of healthy eating on lifespan. Joe interviewed several people who were overweight and asked them how long they expected to live if they followed their current diet path. Many said they expect to live to be about 55 years old. One man said 45..and he was a nurse! Many of them said they know they should change, but they mostly likely won’t, because its hard and they have no will power. I thought it was very sad that people are happy living to 60 years old, as long as they can eat their fried chicken and french fries.

By Day 61, Joe Cross had lost 82 pounds and reduced his prednisone prescription to 2.5 mg per day. I really enjoyed looking at his before and after photos. A picture is worth a thousand words, and his pictures truly show it. 2 months after he ended his juice fast, Joe went completely off his medication.

The last 45 minutes or so of the movie then focuses on how Joe helps a truck driver  named Phil, whom Joe met while on the road during his juice fast, get healthy with the help of a 10-day juice cleanse. Phil actually has the same disease that Joe does, plus he is extremely obese. Joe works with him to try and get healthier. It’s quite amazing the changes that happen with Phil, but you should watch this movie to find out for yourself!

I give it 3 out of 4 juices!

I give it 3 out of 4 juices!

Complaint: One of the doctors in the film said a blood pressure of 136/70 was a normal blood pressure. SURVEY SAYS NO! Blood pressure should be under 120/80 mmHg.

The movie does a good job at talking about the difference between macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) versus micronutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants). It also talks about what can happen if our body doesn’t get enough micronutrients and how that affects the development of diseases, like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead can be found on Netflix and Hulu.

Watch the official trailer below! (Trailer is from Joe Cross. Credit goes to him)

Now I don’t suggest that anybody drink juice forever, because your body does need more that that, but this movie has gotten me interested in juicing and doing like a 10-day juice fast. I think it is a healthier way to reboot your body and cleanse you. Joe said in the movie that he actually had more energy by drinking juice and it got him excited to eat fruits and vegetables after his 60 days were up. I think this would be an exciting thing to try! Except for I don’t know how I would feel about giving up my coffee. Maybe I can make a documentary…in Australia  (This movie really makes me want to live in Australia. It looks beautiful!)

XOXO, Danae

Spice Up Your Life!

My Childhood Idols

My Childhood Idols! (I used to pretend I was Posh)

Am I really going to compare nutrition to the Spice Girls?! Ya! You watch…..

Blogger Shadoza gave me this idea: “My suggestions for content would be to include something about how to spice up the blandness of low calorie meals without adding calories.” Sounds like a topic I can handle. Let’s talk about getting flavor without the added salt.

When I was doing my clinical rotations, I had so many patients say to me that they have to fry foods and add salt and/or Cajun seasoning (which is high in salt) to foods because either 1) they think healthy food tastes bad without it 2) they are so used to the taste of it on their foods, they have to use 3) they have no idea what else to use to add flavor or 4) all of the above.

I am going to give you some ideas on ways you can add flavor and spice to foods without adding so much salt you blow up like a puffer-fish. So let’s meet the true Spice Girls!

1. Rosemary SpiceRosemary Spice

Rosemary is a herb that is really easy to either grow it in an herb garden or in a pot in your kitchen. It is found commonly in Mediterranean dishes, but it can really go with a lot more. One of the most common dishes I see using rosemary is Rosemary Lemon Chicken. However, rosemary can be infused into olive oil that can be used on pasta or salads or even to dip some french bread in. You can place sprigs of rosemary inside chicken or on top of fish, like salmon, while it cooks. You can let it simmer with a pot of chicken noodle soup. You can also chop up the needles and put inside bread dough, then bake it off! You can either pull the needles off the stem, like if you are putting it into a dish, or you can leave it on the stem if its going in a stew/soup or if you are using it as a garnish.

Ginger Spice2. Ginger Spice

Hey, at least they got one right! Ginger can be found at most grocer’s where all the fresh produce is. It of course is mainly seen in teas and cookies as well as for medicinal purposes (every use fresh ginger or ginger ale to help your upset stomach?), but ginger can be used in a multitude of other places.  Putting fresh ginger into cooked carrots, broccoli or asparagus adds a little something extra. If you are doing a stiry fry at home, ginger is a great flavoring to add to the mix! You can even use ginger in a marinade for chicken, beef or pork!  To use this spice, make sure you peel off the brown skin with a sharp paring knife, then you can either cut and chop the ginger root into pieces or use a grater or a zester/microplane, depending on what form you need it in.

3. Bay Leaf SpiceBay Leaf spice

Not very many people use bay leaves and it could be because they don’t really know what to do with it. It is not really one of those herbs that are edible. Bay leaves are usually used for the flavor, but are discarded before serving. You may have heard from home cooks or Food network chefs about making a bouquet of herbs. This is when they take several different herbs and they either tie them together with string or put them in a little makeshift bag from cheesecloth. They can then put this bag in a pot of soup or casserole, let the flavors release into the dish and then easily be able to retrieve it when needed. Bay leaves can be used to give flavor to soups, casseroles, chilies and sauces. It can also be put into pots of water that will be used to boil shrimp, crawfish and crab. Marinades are another good use for bay leaves.

Garlic Spice4. Garlic Spice

Garlic is great to use with many savory dishes. It is an excellent addition to meats, fish, vegetables, soups, rice and bread. Just remember to use either fresh garlic or garlic powder. Forgo the garlic salt. While in just 1 Tablespoon of garlic salt there are 0 calories, there is 5,880 mg of sodium, which is over 2.5  times our daily allowance for salt (2300* mg is the standard, 1500 mg for the elderly, those with diabetes, hypertension and kidney disease). 1 Tablespoon of garlic powder has 28 calories, but only 2 mg of sodium. One word can make ALL the difference.

*2300 mg is about 1 teaspoon!

5. Lemon SpiceLemon Spice

Lemon juice is a good way to add an extra kick to chicken, fish and vegetables. It can give you flavor that tastes like salt, but WAY less sodium. I love squeezing fresh lemon onto my tilapia and broccoli  It adds a freshness to meals. It is a great thing to use, especially now that we are getting into the springtime. Lemon reminds my of spring, so it’s perfect! Want to add a little something extra? Take a zester to the outside of the lemon (you can also do this with oranges), and scrap off the yellow part of the the peel (you don’t want the white part…it’s bitter). You can then sprinkle some of the zest directly onto your chicken, vegetables & fish. It adds a little something extra, plus it’s really pretty.

Salt addict? One suggestion that I have given to patients, especially my cardiac and hypertensive ones, is to not even bring the salt shaker to the table. If it is at the table, you are going to use it. Don’t tempt yourself. The more you go without using it, your taste buds will get used to it. If you don’t want to quit cold turkey on your salt use, then slowly dial back. And ALWAYS make sure you taste your food before you start shaking salt on your dish. I’m sure nine times out of ten you will find the dish won’t even need it.

Now whenever you think of the Spice Girls, you are going to picture them as actual spices.

XOXO, Danae

P.S. I just had to post the video. Is it sad that after all these years, I still know ALL the lyrics and ALL the dance moves? Some things you just never forget…

Nutrition in the Movies: Hungry for a Change

I recently watched the movie Hungry for a Change, which I found on Netflix.

Hungry for Change, 2012

Hungry for Change, 2012

The basic premise of this documentary is it discusses secrets from all of these different industries (food, diet, weight-loss, advertising) that are used to keep consumers using their products and believing the lies they put into the media.

“As much as 2/3rds of individuals who are on a diet regain MORE weight than when they started.” -UCLA

The people that talk during this movie are not only health professionals, authors and doctors, but many of them have had a history of being overweight/obese, having poor eating habits or had bad perceptions of how or what to eat. These are real stories, not those fake weight loss stories you see on those quick weight loss products infomercials, like Zantrex.

The average American consumes 150+ pounds of sugar/sweeteners each year, according to the USDA. That is like some people eating their body weight in sugar annually!!

In the documentary  they talk about how when humans were in the stage of hunting and gathering, our bodies got used to putting on fat because there was a food shortage. Our bodies are  preparing for the winter months. But nowadays, we have an abundance of food in our society, yet our bodies still crave fat and sugar. We aren’t consuming the right fats and everything we eat is high in calories. They brought up the point that in countries where their main food sources are from homegrown produce and meat, they are getting better nutrition with lower calories, but in America where we have 50 different types of sugary cereal and an entire aisle dedicated to soda, we are in-taking more calories, but not the most nutritious calories. There is a great difference between calories and nutrition. You can be in-taking enough 2200 calories, which is a normal amount of a adults, but they are “empty” calories.

68% of American adults are either overweight or obese.” -The Journal of the American Medicine Association

Even though many Americans may not be starving, the cells and bodies could be starving because they are not consuming what nutrients the body really needs, like vitamins and minerals. All they consume is highly processed and fatty foods. Our bodies crave proper nutrients, but if a person keeps eating the wrong foods, they will continue to eat the wrong things because their body is looking for those vitamins. They will always be hungry. You might be getting fed, but your body isn’t.

Another point that was brought up was about how the manufacturer’s main goal isn’t always to give you a healthy product. They need to sell a product that looks appetizing and will be shelf stable so that way the stores and the manufacturer don’t lose money. If that means telling a few lies and not being truthful on their label, then so be it.

“It is not fat that makes you fat. It’s sugar that makes you fat” -Dr. Christiane Northrup (I agree with this, but fat isn’t totally guilt free either…..)

What I thought was really great about this movie was that they really harped on the fact that diets are temporary and they don’t work. Eating healthy is NOT a diet, it is a lifestyle. Don’t think of changing your eating habits as a diet. When changing your dietary habits, think of it as improving your quality of life and developing new habits.

In summation, this documentary covers a variety of different topics/areas like the psychology behind food, addiction, how America’s lifestyle is related to the rate of obesity, health related diseases, how the food manufacturers think, additives (listed and not listed) in foods, stress and food, the chemical alteration of foods, the affects of food marketing/advertising on consumers and foods that are appropriate for detoxing the body (and no, its not the Master Cleanse!).

If I had a dollar for every time someone made a comparison of food to some sort of drug (cocaine, smoking) or alcohol, I would have like 60 dollars!! But I think they are right. Food is right up there with becoming addiction alongside cocaine, alcohol and smoking. In our world, food is becoming a drug.

I also liked the fact that they interviewed people who have  higher education in nutrition, but was disappointed none had an RD, LDN behind their name.

I won’t give to much away, but you should really watch it for yourself, and maybe recommend it to a friend! I give in 3 1/2 out of 4 apples!

3.5 out of 4 apples!

3.5 out of 4 apples!

I liked the message behind the movie, but I also think that there needs to be a bigger change than just with ourselves. Food companies and marketing companies are just as much of the problem as our eating habits are to ourselves. We need a makeover.

Watch the official trailer below.

(Trailer is from Food Matters production. Credit goes to them)

Just a movie to get you thinkin’….

XOXO, Danae

P.S. Happy first official day of spring!!

Daily Prompt: Menagerie

There is a very special man in my life. Nope, its not a boyfriend. It’s my dog 🙂 And it is very fitting that this post is today because it is actually my dog’s 12th (or 84th) birthday today!

I have a cocker spaniel and his name is Bentley. He is actually the second Bentley we have had. My parents had the first Bentley when they first got married and he passed away when I was younger. We got this Bentley when he was a puppy. I was in 5th grade when he came into my life. He means so much to me. He has really been like my childhood dog. He has gotten a little grouchy in his old age, but I remember the days when he would curl up with me and jump on me when I walked in through the door. I still love it when he sleeps in my bed with me, even though he lays in the most inconvenient spots. It has been sad to be away from him, but I am looking forward to seeing him in less than 2 months!!

Bentley on V-Day 2013


Photo taken this morning on is B-Day!

Happy Birthday Bentley!! Sister loves you!!

XOXO, Danae