My RD Journey

From Undergrad -> Internship -> RD -> Private Practice!

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Vegan Restaurant Dining and 25th Birthday

For those of you who know me personally, your probably new to hearing the fact that I (along with my boyfriend) am vegan. I was a vegetarian for a while, way back when, then went back to meat, then went back to being a vegetarian. What started out as going vegan for health reasons turned into also doing it for ethical and sustainability reasons.

I don’t normally like to spout off that I am vegan due to the reaction I have gotten already. It is either, “Where do you get your protein?” or “Don’t you miss _____ (insert food here)?” or “I bet you just wanna eat this burger!” Another major reason I don’t usually tell people what I eat, is because some people think I can’t understand them or can’t counsel them or that I think differently about them since I choose not to eat animal products. The fact is, I can counsel (yes, even though you eat differently than I do), I can understand, and no I don’t think differently about you. I know there are some people that may act differently as a vegan, but I am not one of them. I’m planning on writing a post later on how I switched to vegetarian then a vegan diet, health benefits, my own personal benefits, and my responses to the ridiculous questions I get. Just getting that out of the way 🙂
So, moving on… Yesterday was my 25th birthday. Happy Birthday to me! Adam (my boyfriend) and I went out to eat to Blue Sage Vegetarian Grille in Southampton, PA. I would highly, highly recommend it! The food was amazing, staff was really nice, and the portion sizes were huge! They have all the vegan items on the menu starred (*), which makes it easy. There are also vegetarian dishes that can be made vegan. They do have a non-vegan, non-vegetarian dishes as well. I would suggest trying some of the other stuff though, you would be pleasantly surprised!
We got a ton of food, mainly because we wanted to try it all! We got the Taco Verduras and Luna Buns for appetizers. The Taco Verduras was blue corn griddle cakes with pumpkin seed crusted tofu, piquillo pepper remoulade, mashed avocado, and pickled red onions. They were absolutely delicious. The combo worked so well together. I really want to make tofu this way!
The Luna Buns were steamed mini Chinese buns with roasted cremini bacon in a sweet-spicy hoisin glaze with pickled cabbage, cucumber, and pea leaves. Adam really liked those. I though they were a little sweet and I also wasn’t a fan of the bun texture. I also got the Ginger Scallion Miso Bowl made with leeks, pumpkin, cauliflower, and white miso. Amazing!

My main course was the Fresco: a salad with polenta croutons, roasted red peppers, hummus, pistachios, and oven dried cherry tomatoes. I went the no cheese route and got the maple mustard vinaigrette on the side. Again, awesome. I barely ate any of it because I was already full from everything else. That will be my lunch for work tomorrow 🙂

Adam got the Pan Bagna, which was a baguette with chickpea fritters, tomatoes, shallots, and pea leaves and a sherry vinegar oil. It also came with a side salad (really big!). Adam wasn’t crazy about the chickpea texture. I thought it was good, but a little too mushy for my likings.
Of course, there is always room for dessert on your birthday 🙂 We shared a hazelnut torte (vegan) with a chocolate cream and brûléed bananas. Super rich and creamy. I don’t think I would have been able to eat it on my own!
Have you ever tried a vegan/vegetarian restaurant? What did you think??

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Dietitian Eats: WIAW (9/30/15)

I can’t believe tomorrow marks October 1st! This year seemed to fly by for me so far. I am pretty excited for fall weather and Halloween decorations (they are probably my favorite).

So, today was a bit crazy with what I ate. I had a snack and lunch all planned out; however, my day didn’t seem to go as planned. This morning I just had a quick bowl of KIND cinnamon oat clusters with unsweetened almond milk. Not typically something I would buy; however, I got them as a sample and was not in the mode for my regular smoothie.  Usually when I eat cereal (which isn’t too often) I am starving within 2 hours. That is usually when I would have my snack. Today, my 1st counseling appointment got pushed back so I just ended up eating lunch later. I was starving before my appointment so I snacked on half of a Cliff-Z bar. Again, not something I would typically buy, but they were a sample I had. Not too bad on sugar, but usually I go for more fiber and protein in a snack bar. But things happen 🙂

Lunch today was a vegan chili I made over the weekend. I was super glad I made a ton because the past few nights I didn’t feel like making extra food for my lunches. Basically, I just threw in low sodium vegetable broth, homemade gravy (tomato sauce) with tomatoes from my garden, broccoli, faro, brown rice, chickpeas, peas, and parsley into my crockpot. I let that all simmer for a couple of hours. Again, a lifesaver when it comes to lazy meal prep during the week. I also had apricot-applesauce (no-sugar-added). I am loving these Charles & Alice cups. They have a mango flavor which is also one of my favs! I like them especially because they are made with real fruit and don’t have any junk added. Plus, when I don’t feel like chopping up an apple or pear, I can just grab one of these.

Since I ate lunch kind of at a weird time, I didn’t have my normal snack (I had packed hummus and gluten-free pretzel crisps). That being said, I was starving when I go home. I ended up grabbing some sliced carrots, ShopRite artichoke hummus, and pumpkin tortilla chips (new from Aldi’s for the season). My plate looks a little skimpy because I forgot to take a picture until everything was half eaten. Whoops 🙂 I run a walking group at work so I usually like to have something small before I go. If not, I come home starving yet again. I didn’t really have much for grab and go so I had some new granola I just bought. I like Bakery on Main because it has 9g of fiber, 7g of protein, and 7g of sugar (I look for less than 10g). I also like the there is a short ingredient list with things I recognize

With grad school, working 2 jobs, and balancing my private practice, I am not much in the mood for cooking an all-out meal tonight. Instead, I am going to make a smoothie with unsweetened almond milk, kale/lettuce (from my garden), frozen fruit (mangos and raspberries tonight), chia seeds, and my plant-based protein powder. I also plan on snacking on some fresh anise (fennel) I got today. I love smoothies for a quick (and balanced) meal replacer when I don’t feel like making a whole lot.

Thinking back on today, I know I need to pack some more grab-and-go type snacks. Sometimes I will have multigrain cheerios mixed with almond slivers or a pack of nuts or some kind of bar (I also like the fig bars so something sweet!). This helps if I am busy at work and can’t sit down for a snack.

How did your day go today? Did you pack your snacks/lunch?

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Grad School, Vacation, and Dietitian Shore Eats

Well we are officially in September and I am finally on vacation! This week has been kind of weird for me. This is my first PAID vacation from my new job (started last year) and the first week of grad school! I am doing online school for my Masters in Dietetics Administration from Utah State University, which is also the University I did my dietetic internship through!

It definitely felt weird to turn my work phone off, and leave it at home! Normally, on my days off from work, I leave it on and check my emails and voicemails. I figured it would be good to disconnect for a while! I do keep having weird dreams where I come back to work with 533 emails or a huge pile of boxes at my desk (this happens when I am gone for just a day or two). It never felt weird being away from my part-time job for a while; however, I figure because I am full-time and more invested in my new position that it feels so odd. This time next year I will probably be thinking I was crazy for saying this! HA-HA.

So, Monday marked the first day of grad school! Yay! I was excited about getting back into school; that is until I started getting overwhelmed with all the assignments and deadlines! Balancing school and work has never been an issue for me. I always worked 1 (or 2) jobs and went to school full-time. I just need to be even more organized with working 2 jobs + getting my new business off of the ground! I’ll feel better once I have all my assignments mapped out in my planner and highlighted in their different colors 🙂 I am a highlighter junkie!

Everyone always asks me if I ever eat junk. Well of course I do! Just rarely and mostly saved for vacations HA-HA. Yesterday was a prime example of this. I had a morning smoothie with fruit, unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, and plant-based protein powder. I like to try out different types of powders to see which I like best. This was the first time I had vanilla cinnamon and it was really good!

I followed that up with some So Delicious cookies and cream “ice cream,” which was sooooo delicious. I made tofu, broccoli, stewed tomatoes (from my garden), and sautéed potatoes for lunch. I followed that up with some chips 🙂 I finally cut and ate some of the watermelon we bought Sunday. Again, I followed this with 1/2 of a corn muffin. For dinner, I made refried bean burritos and more broccoli. I followed that with some more chips 🙂 Do you see a pattern yet? 🙂

Here is my personal stance on vacation eating. Try to still eat healthy (maybe
the main meals) and sprinkle some unhealthy in between. I know I don’t normally eat these kinds of foods; however, if I want them on vacation, I am going to indulge and not feel bad about it. I also try to keep active on vacation (aka like our 32-mile bike ride on Tuesday or my 2 beach walks today). I figure that also evens out the not-so-healthy-foods 🙂

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Dietitian Eats: WIAW (8/19/15)

It’s that time again! Another “What I Ate Wednesday” post!

I started off my day with a fruit and protein shake. Basically, that consisted of 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk, 1/2 cup frozen mixed fruit, 1-2 tablespoons of hemp seed protein powder, 1 scoop Vega 1 protein powder. If you didn’t already know from my other posts, I am lactose intolerant, so no milk for me!

My counseling appointment at work came earlier so I had lunch right after (instead of a snack then lunch).

Quinoa veggie burgers (I was totally not a fan of these), whole grain couscous, stewed tomatoes (from my garden), and watermelon. Usually, I have more greens; however, last night I didn’t get home until 8pm and didn’t feel like cooking, so I just threw in the leftovers. Normally, I go with Dr. Praeger’s or Boca Burgers; however, I tried this new brand in the store and let’s just say I regret telling the company to send coupons for me to sample it out.

I bounced around to another supermarket for a Diabetes tabling event, so I grabbed a snack before going over. This was a Chocolate Chip Cliff Bar-Z. Again, a leftover from an in-store demo! I had hummus and wheat thins; however, I didn’t really have time to sit and eat like I thought.

So, after job #1 I was going to job #2. Figured I would be good with eating my hummus but it got hot in the car. I ended up making a salad at the salad bar. Consisted of: baby spinach, radishes, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, croutons, sunflower seeds, and light caesar dressing. Normally, I would add some chickpeas; however, they were not out today. Meh.

After about 2 hours, I was getting hungry so I made another shake. Being lazy today in terms of cooking! This time I made the smoothie with RAW protein powder, which I just got, plus my fruit and almond milk. I have to be honest, this is probably my favorite plant-based protein powder. It didn’t any weird tastes or textures. Definitely a fan.

I was feeling something crunchy, so I had a few rice thin crackers. Love these for a “light” treat.

Some days, I like to use the MyFitnessPal app just to see where I measure up nutritionally. I averaged around 1800 calories, 95g protein, 210g carbohydrates, 50g fiber, 75g fat (17 PUFA, 11 MUFA, 14 SFA), 1450mg sodium, 3200mg potassium, 419% of my DV for vitamin A, 234% of my DV for vitamin C, 170% of my DV for calcium, and 133% of my DV for iron. Not too shabby I must say!

What did you eat today? Have you ever tried a plant-based protein powder?