Local Farmers Markets Bring Good Times and Healthy Nutrition to Your Table

2018 May Farmer's Market

Relaxing with friends is fun at a local farm or Farmer’s Market.

Farmers Grow our Food

Did you grow up on a big farm or were your grandparents farmers? If you answered yes, then chances are you already have a deep appreciation for what it takes to grow food on a large scale. If you answered no, then maybe your parents or grandparents had a small vegetable garden out in the back yard and you remember helping with it as a kid. Or, maybe you grew up in a more urban area and any kind of gardening or farming experience was miles and miles away. We all ‘know’ farming in a different way.

Through History

If you’re a bit of a history buff, then here is an agricultural time line in the US. The percentage of our US labor force made up of farmers went from 90% in 1790 to 64% in 1850 to 21% in 1930 to only 2.6% in 1990. Might this decline had something to do with the long hours, energy, dedication, and risk-taking that leads to success as a farmer? Yes, and there were other important factors present as our country developed over the past 200+ years.

In Modern Times

Modern facts about farmers from the American Farm Bureau Federation are good to know, too. Here are some that caught my attention and you can read more facts here:

  • There are 2.1 million farms in rural America and about 99 percent of U.S. farms are operated by families – individuals, family partnerships or family corporations
  • There are 257,454 millennial generation farmers. More than 20 percent of all farmers are beginning farmers which means they have been in business less than 10 years.
  • The number of Spanish, Hispanic or Latino farm operators is 99,734 and there are about 45,000 African American farmers and 58,000 American Indian farm operators. Numbers of these ethnic farmers is on the rise.
  • Women make up about 1/3 of the total number of U.S. farmer operators.
  • About 8 percent of U.S. farms market and sell their foods locally, either direct to the consumer or through re-sale.

Why and How to Find a Local Farmer’s Market Near You

For a colorful and nutritious meal, there is no match to buying food at your local Farmer’s Market. In fact, the reasons to do this go way beyond nutrition and awesome taste so read about 8 Great Reasons to Visit a Farmer’s Market here.

If you are looking for a farmer’s market near you, then Local Harvest is a good place to find it. This website basically organizes markets by city and zip code. So, go ahead and plug yours in to see a local listing. For example, this growers-only, seasonal market in King, NC is only a 25 minute drive from me so I know the vegetables, flowers, eggs, fruits, and everything are really local. At Local Harvest, you will find the street address of the market, website of the market, a list of what is sold at the market, and after you visit then you can leave a review of how you liked it.

How to Enjoy Your Local Farmer’s Market Food

You need to taste it to believe the deliciousness of local farm food. So, a good strategy at the market is to buy a little of this and a little of that. Then, be sure to wash, prep, cook and eat your farm food within a few days for the best of fresh. Each season has unique vegetables and fruits for us. Here’s a little run-down of some favorites:

Early spring: Greens like kale, spinach, lettuce, arugula, radishes, spring onions, pea shoots

Later spring: Strawberries, sugar snap peas, broccoli, cabbage, Swiss chard, kale, asparagus

Summer: Peaches, blueberries, sweet peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, cauliflower, green beans, cantaloupe, watermelon, fresh herbs

Late summer/Early fall: Figs, apples, pears, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, eggplants, more tomatoes

 

Which local Farmer’s Market will you visit first and what will be on your shopping list?

 

 

 

About Sandwiches and How to Make a Healthy One

Sandwich History

Sandwich egg on top

Here’s an open-face whole grain sandwich with avocado, veggies and an egg on top.

Way back in the 1760’s, a guy named John Montagu sat at a card game gambling table as he liked to do. Not wanting to interrupt his gaming that day, he asked the house cook to bring him something that he could eat easily from where he sat. It may seem a little weird, but history books tell us that this is how the modern day sandwich was born and then grew in popularity in England. The cook brought Montagu, who happened to be the 4th Earl of Sandwich, a piece of beef between 2 pieces of toasted bread and he continued his gaming for hours. History books tell us that Montagu got the idea for a sandwich from his earlier travels to Turkey and Greece where there were quite a few small plates of fish, cheese and vegetables that were eaten with bread. Even before this, French laborers were eating bread with a meat or cheese filling and as long ago as 100 BC in Jerusalem, there was a symbolic flatbread sandwich eaten with herbs as part of the Jewish Passover feast.

The Modern Sandwich

With the hurry-up pace of life today, one of the easiest and most portable meals to choose is a sandwich. Visit any school lunch room and count the PB&J sandwiches you see. Or, in a school that now bans peanuts and peanut butter from the cafeteria, count ham and cheese sandwiches or tuna salad. Lunch seems to be the perfect eating event to have some kind of a sandwich, no matter what age group, with business colleagues or after-work friends. But wait, dinner sandwiches are also now a go-to thing and when’s the last time you had a breakfast sandwich? Yes, all meals can lend themselves to bread with filling and all sandwiches can be made to include good nutrition as well as easy and quick.

How to Make a Healthy Sandwich

Here are a few strategies to make a healthy sandwich whether it’s hot, cold, wrapped, open-face, grilled, pressed or anything else. As you read, think about how your sandwich will evolve.

  1. Choose a bread or wrap that is made with whole wheat flour or sprouted grain flour. These are full of quality nutrition like healthy carbs, fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  2. Decide if you want to enjoy an open-face sandwich and to save 80-100 calories. When you take away one slice of regular bread, there is a calorie savings.
  3. Build your sandwich with lean turkey or chicken, tuna salad made with light mayo, or a colorful mixture of veggies. These are the healthiest fuel for your body.
  4. Cook your grilled or pressed (panini) sandwich with extra virgin olive oil on the bread. Here’s an easy way to make a healthier Grilled Cheese and to love it.
  5. Add a light beverage to your sandwich to sip between bites and help with digestion. Here’s a super tasty and easy recipe for Less Sugary Lemonade.

Are you feeling hungry for a sandwich right now and how will you make it a healthy one?

 

 

When to Teach Your Kids About Nutrition

Kids nutrition fruit

Kids are like little sponges ready to soak up good nutrition.

 

Kids are like little sponges soaking up all kinds of experiences that in time turn into behaviors that in time turn into habits. This is definitely true when nutrition is the theme and as the saying goes — the younger, the better. In other words, the younger kids are when they begin learning about healthy foods and enjoying them, the more they will benefit throughout their lives.

What to Teach Kids about Nutrition

Kids are curious. When you cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, or prepare for a special food occasion, get your kids into the act and, as age-appropriate, doing simple tasks. Stirring a salad, sprinkling spices or herbs, and folding napkins as they set the table are all fun learning for kids. Typically, 3-4 years and older is a good starting point for getting kids involved in nutrition tasks. Each parent will want to keep a tight watch on their kids’ safety as their skills evolve.

Why to Teach Kids about Nutrition

Kids who eat better nutrition almost always grow up to be adults who eat better nutrition. With better nutrition comes feeling well and avoiding many unpleasant diseases of aging. There is also a connection between better nutrition and normal body weight. For growing kids, this is another big advantage that can affect their emotional health as much as their physical health.

Community Places to Teach Kids about Nutrition

The community is a perfect nutrition learning place for kids. Just think about how many events you attend and errands you run that involve food in one form or another. Each one of these opportunities can help kids learn about good nutrition, especially when they get completely involved.

  1. At the Grocery Store.   Teach your school age kids, and teens, these 5 grocery cart tips to get them practicing some important life skills
  1. At the Farmer’s Market.   Share these 8 great reasons to visit your local Farmer’s Market and be sure to introduce your kids to a real farmer, too.
  2. At a Restaurant.   Have a bit of learning time with these 5 healthy restaurant tips when your entire family is out to eat.

A Recipe Kids Will Love

Like all of us, kids love a creamy dessert. It’s super easy to whip up this special dessert made creamy with yogurt and light Ricotta cheese and made nutritious with citrus fruit. The best part is that even older pre-school kids can help make it themselves with very few ingredients and a big nutrition payoff. Look here to see a tempting picture of the citrus parfait along with handy information about vitamin C and a 3-minute video about how to grow a citrus tree! Here’s the recipe for Creamy Citrus Dessert Parfait that is a perfect ending to any meal or works great as a kids’ birthday party treat.

Creamy Citrus Dessert Parfait Recipe

  • Shopping List/Ingredient List – For 2 servings
    • Clementine orange or another favorite citrus fruit
    • 1 cup Nonfat Greek style vanilla yogurt
    • ½ cup Light Ricotta cheese
    • 1 long Graham cracker
  • Prep Steps (makes 2 parfaits):
    • Get out a small bowl.
    • Spoon the yogurt and light Ricotta cheese into a small mixing bowl.
    • Stir yogurt and Ricotta together until smooth.
    • Peel the Clementine, or other citrus fruit, and separate into segments.
    • Crush 1 long graham cracker into crumbs. Tip: I put the cracker into a sealed baggie and then use my rolling pin to gently make it into crumbs.
    • Using a clear glass, make layers with the creamy yogurt-Ricotta, Clementine segments and cracker crumbs.

How to Succeed When You Teach Kids About Nutrition

There is never a guarantee that kids will grab onto the healthy habits that parents teach them, nutrition included. There are ways, though, to increase the odds. Every dietitian I’ve ever spoken with agrees that leading by example with good nutrition is a powerful strategy and this means to make good nutrition a top priority within the family every day and every meal. Here is more advice from a variety of dietitians about how to help kids develop healthy eating habits.

When will you begin teaching your kids about nutrition and how?

 

 

 

What is Mediterranean Nutrition All About?

2018 Mediterranean foods

These Mediterranean foods are super tasty!

There are many directions to go with regard to nutrition. With a ton of information coming at us day-by-day, it’s never been more confusing to make sense out of which path to follow. The annual rankings for best overall diets from US News & World Report, a credible source, recently announced a tie for first place in 2018 between the Mediterranean Diet and DASH Diet. A health and nutrition expert panel came to their decision after carefully considering 40 diets and ranking them for characteristics such as how easy they are to follow, how safe they are, and whether they are effective in helping those who wish to lose weight in these efforts – short and long term. Of the recommended diets, Mediterranean nutrition wins top honors with its bonus of health benefits. Here is an in-depth look at a variety of science-based aspects of Mediterranean nutrition along with the Mediterranean Food Pyramid.

The Mediterranean Sea and Nearby Countries

 To talk about Mediterranean nutrition, it’s a good idea to get out a world map first. This is because the traditional foods that are staples of this delicious cuisine originated in the geographical area surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Here’s a map that shows the Mediterranean countries. Here are 5 fun facts:

  • Throughout ancient history, the Mediterranean Sea provided routes for trade, colonization and war, and provided food for numerous communities throughout the ages.
  • The Mediterranean Sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, and in the south by Africa.
  • The Mediterranean Sea is approximately 2,300 miles in length, has a maximum depth of 16,900 ft, and covers 969,100 square miles.
  • The typical Mediterranean climate is hot, with dry summers and mild, rainy winters.
  • Major crops of the Mediterranean region include olives, vegetables, grapes, oranges, lemons, figs, wheat and cork.

Get Started with Mediterranean Nutrition in Your Kitchen

It’s not hard to set yourself up to taste the great flavors of Mediterranean nutrition and to improve your health. Try this 7-step plan for set-up and then give it a good try of 3-6 months. After these months, you might be ready to jump into Mediterranean nutrition for a long, long time.

7 Steps to Mediterranean Nutrition

  1. Get a world map that shows Mediterranean countries and put it up in your kitchen
  2. Start a list of common Mediterranean foods that you want to try
  3. Get going with a short list of Mediterranean recipes you want to make such as these:
  1. Begin planning your weekly meals and shopping list to include Mediterranean foods and recipes
  2. Take time to pick out a great bottle of extra virgin olive oil. On the label, look for terms like extra virgin and first cold pressed. Also, check the best-by-date to make sure your bottle is very fresh
  3. Call a friend and invite her/him to have dinner with you, Mediterranean-style, so you can cook something delicious
  4. Talk up your new Mediterranean nutrition effort with work friends and those close to you. Bring them on-board when you can!

What recipe will you try in your new Mediterranean kitchen?

Soup to Start the New Year

Soup to Start the New Year

Making soup at home is fun and rewarding!

If it were up to me, soup would be the #1 food trend for every New Year. With so many trendy foods in the media headlines these days, my choice circles back around to soup and here are a few reasons why:

  • Soup is a warm comfort food
  • Soup can be homemade with only a little effort
  • Soup is versatile as your breakfast, lunch, or dinner
  • Soup, especially with broth and vegetables, is a low-calorie filler-upper
  • Soup is a tasty way to add nutritious vegetables into your day

 

Show Me the Science

Considering the soup topic further, there are reasons to believe that soup is in line with good health and starting your year with soup is a very smart decision.

Healthy Weight Loss is typically easier when you feel pleasantly full – not hungry. The Volumetrics Diet, developed by nutrition professionals at Penn State University and backed by science, is ranked highly year-after-year at US News in their January reviews. Broth-based soup is a filling food which makes it work in this type of reputable plan. Read more here.

Lower Blood Pressure can be a delicious journey when you eat soup. In this case, a study showed that gazpacho, a cold soup made mostly of tomatoes, Bell peppers, cucumbers, garlic and onions, helped improve blood pressure. The study leaders concluded a positive effect was due to the biology of the vegetables. Read more here.

Curing the Common Cold Virus is basically impossible with chicken soup or any other soup. Making cold symptoms less severe by eating chicken soup, though, has been a topic of research at the University of Nebraska Medical School for more than a decade. The study leaders concluded that there are advantages to eating chicken soup when you have a cold, to stay better hydrated and rebound quicker. Learn more and watch chicken soup made here .

This easy-to-read article gives a nice overview of the health and flavor benefits of soup. Read here.

Making Soup at Home

It’s not hard to make a delicious soup at home when you have these kitchen tools:

  • A large soup pot (12 quart size) for about $30-45
  • A large wooden spoon to stir your soup as it cooks for about $2-6
  • A soup ladle to serve your soup for about $3-10

Next, you’ll need to choose a soup recipe. Here are a few choices:

Finally, you’ll need to set aside time to make your soup from start-to-finish. Try these steps and enjoy the result.

  • Read your soup recipe slowly, for comprehension, about 5 minutes
  • Make your grocery list for soup ingredients you do not already have in your kitchen, about 5 minutes
  • Go grocery shopping and buy your soup ingredients, about 15 minutes + travel time
  • Get organized with your kitchen tools and soup ingredients in your kitchen, about 15 minutes
  • Read your recipe slowly, again, about 5 minutes
  • Get cooking soup! The time depends on your recipe. Also consider using a slow cooker and you can come home to the wonderful smell of soup along with a tasty dinner.

 

What type of soup will you make this month and will you make a double batch to freeze the leftovers for later?

 

 

 

 

7 Steps to Re-Set Your Career Path to Nutrition Science

Re-Set Career Sticky Notes

The more input, the better for a career path re-set to nutrition science.

Taking a new turn in your career path is usually hard. It’s hard because what you’re doing now is routine and comfortable. It’s hard because there’s no guarantee that you’ll succeed. It’s hard because you might have trouble quieting down that little voice deep inside that doubts your motivation, focus, or energy to kick-start something new. And, that’s a little scary.

Here are 7 steps to think about as you get going down a new career path to nutrition science. Be bold and be fearless as you tell yourself, “I got this!”

7 Steps to Re-Set Your Career Path to Nutrition Science

  1. Look at Where You Are Now. To get somewhere new – like a career in nutrition science – it can be very helpful to think about where you are now. What’s working for you and what’s not? Get out a post-it notepad (like in the picture at the left) and jot down positives and negatives of your current job situation. Then, concentrate on the positives, of course.
  2. Take a Fresh Start. Think about the future instead of the past as you work toward a new career path. It really matters more about where you’re going than where you’ve been when a job change is on your horizon. Talk to your friends and take on a mentor – like a food scientist, food researcher, or dietitian – so you can start learning about the new career path you’re considering, in nutrition science.
  3. Dream Your Future. Daydream freely and brainstorm often since these will help you take a fair look at all your options, without allowing criticism to join in. Many successful people will say that if you can dream it, then you can do it. Thinking in food terms, a successful recipe for a dreaming session includes personal creativity, fun, and just you being you. Let your mind go and see where you end up. Remember to dream big first and then work on refining your dream job destination, little-by-little.
  4. Practice a Healthy Lifestyle Habit Every Day. Take 10, 30 or 60 minutes a day to make sure your physical and emotional health are well cared for. You may want to take a bike ride, practice yoga or join a Zumba or salsa dance class. When you stay active and make nutritious meals and snacks your norm, you’ll feel well and stay healthy.
  5. Think Positively. Start investing time and energy into a career re-set and then give yourself credit for taking small steps toward something better. A career switch to nutrition science is your chance to learn, meet new people, help others, and become a respected professional. All of this increases your chances to become more confident and productive, too, which is awesome.
  6. Use Your Network as a 2-Way Street. Get going with your people network as soon as you can. Reach out and offer genuine help to others as you take interest in what they do. Put away the idea that effective networking means being pushy, uncomfortable, and selfish, because it doesn’t. Flip that scenario and be curious, helpful, and interested about others you meet.
  7. Never Give Up! Tell yourself, “I got this!” as you re-set your career path. In nutrition science, the jobs and professionals are diverse. Take your time learning about all the options open to you and then focus your attention on what fits your personality, your dreams, and your overall life-balance goals. Go for it and never give up.

Which of the 7 steps above makes the most sense to you and why?

 

 

Celebrating Healthier Holiday Meals!

Fall holiday foods

Make a healthy meal at holiday time!

Adding a nutritious twist to your holiday meal is truly the spirit of taking good care of yourself. Over the years, I’ve had a ton of fun in my kitchen with recipe re-do’s and a ton of fun at my meal table watching the reaction of my family and guests. One year at Thanksgiving, I totally changed up my sweet potatoes and everyone raved. Another year, I inserted some new veggies, and they got everyone talking. Even when we celebrate at my mother-in-law’s house, I make a lighter version of a favorite holiday recipe and, guess what? It disappears into everyone’s stomach. If you ask me, holiday traditional recipes are fine; but, re-makes of those same recipes that cut down on fat, salt, sugar, cream, and gravy are a tasty way to celebrate good health and good cheer. Knowing what foods to buy at the grocery store is important, too. Here’s a blog with 7 favorite holiday foods for your cart.

Thanksgiving Dinner Menu with a Good Nutrition Twist

  • Butternut Squash Soup – creamy, full of vitamin A and healthier without cream. Recipe here.
  • Roasted Turkey – savory, full of protein, comfort food-ish and healthier when you leave the skin on your plate.
  • Stuffing – very traditional, starchy and healthier when made with whole grain bread and e-a-s-y on the butter.
  • Roasted Brussels Sprouts – trendy, full of fiber and healthier when sprinkled with extra virgin olive oil.
  • Leafy Green Salad – bright, crunchy and healthier when topped with tomatoes, Bell pepper rings and mushrooms along with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
  • Apple Crisp – sweet, fruity and healthier with only a small dab of whipped cream on top. Recipe here.

New Year’s Day Menu with a Good Nutrition Twist

  • Lean Roast Beef Au Jus – savory, full of protein and iron, and healthier when made with au jus instead of gravy. Au jus is the juice/brown bits from the beef cooking pan thinned down with broth and warmed up in a small pan.
  • Mashed Potatoes with Garlic, Herbs & Extra Virgin Olive Oil – savory, smooth and healthier when made  with lots of garlic and a hint of crumbled rosemary.
  • Steamed Broccoli Spears – bright green, full of fiber and healthier when made simple, not sauced.
  • Baked Herb Tomatoes – sweet, soft and healthier when made with a nice sprinkling of your favorite herbs then baked in the oven.
  • Light Chocolate Mousse – sweet, chocolaty and healthier when made with light whipped cream and served in a smaller portion. Recipe here.

Putting Your Nutrition Know-How into Action

As a nutrition science professional, there are loads of ways to inspire and assist others in lifestyle improvements. During the holiday season, for example, grab the attention of your friends and family by organizing and/or hosting a light and healthy pot luck dinner party. Or, collect a bit of cash from your at-work friends and put together a light and healthy pot luck brunch at the office. There are endless ways you can lead your network into nutritious meals, snacks and party foods! Maybe you’ll want to make a career change into nutrition science.

What will be your healthier holiday menu this year?

 

Careers in Nutrition and Breast Cancer Prevention

Breast Cancer awareness

Healthy nutrition and exercise are great ways to prevent breast cancer!

Every October, we celebrate Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It’s a chance to honor our friends and relatives who have battled breast cancer as well as to create hope about how to prevent breast cancer. Nutrition professionals play an important role in educating everyone about prevention because of the strong connection between food choices and breast cancer. In fact, many nutrition professionals devote their entire careers to working with cancer prevention, including positions in non-profit agencies, cancer research labs, and the offices of primary care doctors. Check out these 5 steps for planning your nutrition science career.

Lifestyle Habits Help Women Prevent Breast Cancer

There is evidence that eating plenty of plant foods and getting daily physical activity lowers a woman’s risk for breast cancer. In a previous blog, I covered the ins-and-outs of leading a vegetarian lifestyle so reading it will give you some practical tips. The preventative qualities of plant foods come from several factors such as their fiber, antioxidants, and other assorted phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are natural plant substances that are present in teeny, tiny amounts in all plant foods, whether vegetable, fruit, grain, nut, or seed. So, going ‘heavy’ on plant foods as you plan your meals and snacks is a smart approach.

Becoming more physically active is super smart, too, because it will put a woman at a 10-20% lower risk for a diagnosis of breast cancer. Try to achieve 250 minutes of active movement in one week, every week.

7 Food Tips to Lower a Woman’s Risk for Breast Cancer

  • Make colorful meals with red, orange, and green veggies
  • Enjoy more fresh or frozen fish and fewer processed meats
  • Coat your chicken or fish with nut crumbs, like walnut or almond, then bake
  • Add in a huge handful of fresh chopped parsley or cilantro to a pot of soup or stew
  • Have a daily green salad with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil
  • Eat whole grain foods every day, like oatmeal, brown rice and quinoa
  • Make a sweet piece of fruit your dessert

9 Physical Activity Tips to Lower a Woman’s Risk for Breast Cancer

  • Always choose the stairs rather than the elevator
  • Walk, roller blade, or bike instead of driving
  • Park your car farther away from the store and walk to-and-from
  • Take a brisk walk with your dog often
  • Take advantage of your lunch break to walk with a friend
  • Plan active vacations like hiking in the mountains or biking at the beach
  • Keep track of your daily steps and increase them when you can
  • Use a stationary bicycle or treadmill while watching TV to pass the time
  • Join a walking club, dance class, or yoga studio

Resources to Help Prevent Breast Cancer

Knowing your resources creates a path to quality information and options for breast cancer prevention. Here are a few great resources to preview:

Cancer Dietitian is a website & blog from a registered dietitian who works helping her community’s cancer patients and survivors.

AICR Hotline is from the American Institute for Cancer Research. Phone or email your breast cancer prevention questions to their experts who will put you in contact with specialized registered dietitians.

National Breast Cancer Foundation is a website with facts to help women do monthly BSE, breast self exam, and other early detection techniques, and much more.

Susan G. Komen is a website with a wealth of statistics, facts, hope, and more.

 

Is a nutrition science career in cancer prevention and education right for you?

 

A Creative Vegetarian Lifestyle

salad tomatoes avocados

A cabbage salad topped with tomatoes and avocados is tasty & filling.

Vegetarian + Creative = Wow!

My opinion about leading a vegetarian lifestyle has changed a lot over the past 10 years. I used to think it was very restrictive and, honestly, boring. But, not anymore. I now consider what so many call ‘plant based nutrition’ to be an exciting, flavorful, and nutritious way to go. I do still eat meat occasionally and seafood quite a bit – but, I love filling up my plate with colorful raw and cooked vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds, too. It is amazing how the flavors pop!

What Exactly is it Like to Be a Vegetarian?

Some of my best friends are vegetarians – though I am not. Here are two different versions of  vegetarian eating patterns to compare. Neither of them includes any red meat, poultry, or seafood. They both include delicious flavors, colors, and nutrition. Also, both allow you to use much creativity in the kitchen to create combinations of foods that are satisfying, day-after-day.

  • Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian Pattern:  My friend, Ana, is an ovo-lacto vegetarian which means that she eats a wide variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds – as well as eggs, yogurt, and cheese. She enjoys corn tortillas spread with vegetarian, refried black beans, tropical fruits of all kinds, leafy salads, plantains, rice, cheese sandwiches on bread, yogurt, and a whole lot more.
  • Vegan-Vegetarian Pattern:  My friend, Bhu, is a vegan vegetarian which means that she eats a wide variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, nuts, seeds – however, she does not eat eggs, yogurt, or cheese. Bhu enjoys rice cooked with many vegetables and spices, bean dishes, and other stews and casseroles, along with beautiful, colorful fruits and cold salads.

Being Creative in the Kitchen with Plant-Based Foods

There are many ways to cook creatively with plant-based foods. Here are 5 tips and ideas:

  1. Think of your favorite ways to eat beans and then prepare one of them each day. For example: 3-bean salad; black bean taco; or red beans & rice with Bell peppers and onions.
  2. Feature leafy greens, either raw or cooked. For example: baby kale salad with dried cranberries & cucumbers; spinach sautéed lightly in extra virgin olive oil with minced garlic and red pepper flakes; or soft lettuce leaves wrapped around lightly sautéed tofu slices, shredded cabbage, and Korean gochujang sauce.
  3. Try a new kind of pancake. For example: add canned pumpkin & cinnamon or a ripe, mashed up banana to a simple pancake batter.
  4. Have a grain-bowl with extra virgin olive oil/vinegar dressing for dinner. For example: brown rice + grilled zucchini slices + artichoke hearts + tomatoes; quinoa + soybeans/edamame + grated carrots + raisins; or cooked oatmeal + sautéed mushrooms & spinach + chopped fresh basil.
  5. Go for it with pizza! For example: Mediterranean style pizza has chopped tomatoes, olives, eggplant, oregano, basil, and feta cheese; this pizza features Bell peppers, onions, and fresh garlic; or this one uses a Portobella mushroom for the crust!

 

What is a vegetarian meal that you enjoy making and eating?

 

A Career Change to Nutrition Science

Career change girl

Are you ready for a career change to Nutrition Science?

A Career Change to Nutrition Science

People end up in professions for lots of different reasons. In my case, I first thought I wanted to become a marine biologist, then possibly a nurse, and then I finally decided to become a nutrition scientist. I’m lucky because I know I made the right decision. The point is that it took years to figure it all out. I know other nutrition professionals who started out as journalists or fitness pros or medical technologists. The good news is that just about any first career can cross paths with nutrition science.

A Career Change – Are You Personally Ready?

Being ready to make a career change is often hard to evaluate. For example, if you feel bored in your current career then you might be ready for a change – or maybe you simply need more challenging projects to work on. Or, as another example, if you feel like your passion is not ‘on board’ in your current career then you might be ready for a change – or maybe you simply need to make a point of joining an out-of-work club or team to enjoy your passion.

If you’re trying to decide if the time is right for a career change then here’s a fun quiz that may help you with all the questions you’ll want to ask yourself.

A Career Change – Are You Financially Ready?

Being ready to make a career change gets more complicated when you think about the finances of it and trying to figure out if you can afford to make a switch. Giving up a current job that pays your monthly bills is scary and it’s risky. Let’s face it. A carefully planned career change is scary, but also exciting. It is risky, but also dream-fulfilling. It is stressful in the transition, but super satisfying in the long run. Here are some practical ways to reduce your expenses as a means of making a career change financially doable:

How to Save Money for a Career Change

A Career Change – Are You a Good Match with Nutrition Science?

If Nutrition Science appeals to you, then think about how well you will ‘fit’ with others in this career niche. Also, be realistic about the focus on science and math in a Nutrition Science college degree. You will be expected to do well in science and math classes and labs. Plus, there will be internship hours that will be degree requirements.

Top Traits of Successful Nutrition Pros
  • Organized
  • Dependable
  • Compassionate
  • Ethical
  • Flexible
  • A self-starter
  • Patient
Top Skills of Successful Nutrition Pros
  • Good decision-making skills
  • Ability to maintain relationships
  • Excellent communication skills
  • A passion for health
  • An interest in helping others
  • Great attention to detail
  • An analytic personality

A Career Change – How to Get the Process Started

Planning will be your best friend when you put your career change to Nutrition Science into motion. Prepare yourself with these 5 Steps to Planning a Nutrition Science Career. Begin networking with other nutrition professionals as well as finding a mentor-teacher-friend.

When you are ready, personally and financially, and you feel there’s an excellent ‘fit’ with the career of Nutrition Science, then take the leap. Work hard, get the credentials you are going for, and feel the excitement and satisfaction of your experience. If all works out, you’ll never look back and you’ll love going to work in your future career!

 

What career change are you thinking of making and how does Nutrition Science fit with your goals?