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: Dinner Edition

So, today was a bit crazy at work. Let me tell you how absolutely grateful I am to have an intern (and a pretty awesome one at that)! Not only do I have an extra set of hands for events; but, I can also bounce ideas off of her. I also really like teaching someone things I learned. It is pretty cool to be on the opposite side after being an intern myself 🙂

Instead of giving you a rundown of my eats for the day, I decided to focus on dinner. Mainly because I made something pretty awesome from leftovers and also because I forgot to take pictures of all my other meals…Whoops 🙂

I didn’t get in until late tonight, so I was debating on a quick shake or actually making something. I decided I wanted something hot. Let me preface this with earlier in the week, I had cooked off a bunch of brown rice and leftover faro. Made it easy to throw in my lunches. So, I started off with 2 veggie burgers. I get these ones from Aldi’s. I like these for the limited number of ingredients and the fact that I know what all of them are. Each patty has 3g of fiber and 5g of protein. Made with carrots, peas, oats, zucchini, edamame, corn, and string beans mainly.

So, I sautéed my veggie burgers in some olive oil, garlic, minced onion, and oregano. I threw in some hemp seeds for a little more fiber and protein. One the veggie burgers were pretty much cooked, I broke them apart and added my rice. I also splashed on some Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (soy sauce alternative). Bragg’s is a vegetable protein made from certified non-GMO soybeans. No preservatives, no alcohol, and gluten-free. I’ve been in a mood for artichokes lately, so I added a few canned artichokes (marinated in just olive oil and spices). Lastly, I threw in some fresh leftover spinach I had. I left that all cook together for about 5 minutes…and presto dinner!

I’m a huge fan of one dish meals; less clean-up plus I like mixing everything together for the best flavors anyways. I tend to do similar types of cooking for dinner. This only took maybe 10-15 minutes? It could have been shorter, but I was doing homework and forgot to put a lid on to trap the steam. If you do something similar, you can always throw in your favorite veggie (instead of the spinach) or use some shredded potatoes instead of the rice.

What did you make for dinner tonight?

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Dietitian Eats: WIAW (10/14/15)

It’s that time again! Time for what you say? To see what I eat in a day! I know you are super excited (I am). Anyways, today, was all over the place! Between counseling appointments, my walking group, and running between 2 stores I think I am tapped out for the day. Not to mention, getting my private practice insurance essentials all squared away is a headache in itself! That being said, my day wasn’t all that exciting nutrition-wise. So, let’s have at it!

This morning, I started with my typical shake: frozen raspberries and mango, vegan protein powder, unsweetened almond milk, chia seeds, ginger, and cinnamon. I got a new plant-based protein powder that they started selling at my store. I like it because it is very fine powder, so it blends well. Plus, I don’t find an aftertaste.

I packed a delicious baked apples snack today, but never got to eat it 😦 Lunch was leftovers from the night before: stir-fried tofu (super firm) + steamed broccoli + steamed potatoes. I started off sautéing the potatoes, but they were taking forever. I ended up throwing them in my steamer instead. I honestly didn’t even eat my whole lunch today. Very
unusual for me; however, I wiped out (literally) on my way back into work, so I was a wee bit flustered.

I lead a walking group on Wednesday nights, so I had a small bowl of gluten-free granola with chia and flax seeds in it before I went. Pre-shower, I made another shake, similar to the one at breakfast. Did I mention I love my Nutri-bullet for days like this?

Post-shower, I roasted some brussels sprouts. I love, love, love roasted brussels sprouts. I just sliced them in half, sprinkled some olive oil, juiced 1/2 a lemon, and added a no-salt seasoning blend (garlic, oregano, parsley, etc). I baked them for about 15 minutes on 375 degrees F. I barely waited until I sat at the table before eating them. A powerhouse of antioxidants and all that good stuff! I probably would have eaten more had I made more.

I snacked on a Fig Bar in between my meals. Love these for the no artificial crap kind of deal. I’m probably going to sneak in another snack at some point tonight. I really didn’t get to eat much (especially veggies) with all the back and forth I did today. I think I am leaning more towards my pumpkin tortilla chips with pine nut hummus. Staying with the fall flavors 🙂 Today is the kind of day I should have packed more on-the-go snacks instead of heat and serve type items. I’m thinking I need to restock my emergency car supply of food!

How was your day today? Have you ever tried roasted brussels sprouts?

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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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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?