Rhode Island’s June and July Produce

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Fresh from my garden!

We got some, the squirrel got some.

 

 

 

As summer merrily rolls along, the excuses to not eat more fresh fruits and vegetables quickly lose their validity.  No more complaining of the produce tasting so awful in the winter.  (Which, by the way, I have to respectfully disagree).  But I will agree, fresh IS best.  Just take a peek around you because it’s hard to miss the local produce showing up everywhere.

Local farms all over Rhode Island have more and more available as their crops ripen.  According to the Rhode Island Harvest Calendar from Farm Fresh RI, June is the month for arugula, asparagus, basil, beets, bok choi, broccoli, cabbage, cherries, cilantro, collards, dill, endive, escarole, fennel, kale, leeks, lettuce, microgreens, mint, mushroom, oregano, peas, radishes, raspberries, rhubarb, rosemary, scallions, spinach, sprouts, swiss chard, watercress, watermelon and zucchini in Rhode Island.

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New Nutrition Office in North Kingstown

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Are you ready to make some changes to become a healthier you?

My new office just opened in The Meadows office park in North Kingstown and I couldn’t be more excited!  I am here to help you succeed with your nutrition goals by providing professional guidance, support and accountability.

Change isn’t easy and you don’t have to handle it alone.

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I am what I call a “real-foods” dietitian.  My philosophy is to strive for balance and not perfection.   I promote a variety of nutrient-dense whole foods with which to nourish your body.  I promise that I will not put you on a diet. :)   Instead, how about replacing highly processed foods with real foods?  Don’t you love the concept of eating food that you will enjoy and that will make you feel amazing?  Trying to eat the lowest amount of calories, carbohydrates or fat isn’t the answer. 

 

Dieting isn’t what nutrition counseling is all about.   What we will be working together on is improving the quality of your diet through healthy habit changes and altering the way you see food.  (Hint:  Food is not the enemy!)

So, what can you expect?

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Snickerdoodles

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Did you know that recipe testing is an official part of my job description?  I have to try new things to keep up a fresh supply of ideas for you at our visits!  My recent favorite happens to be a cookie– did you also know that desserts are my favorite type of recipe to test?

 

 

 

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Nothing for dinner

…Or is there?

When you’ve put off grocery shopping, your meats are frozen solid because you forgot to plan ahead and you’re down to what feels like nothing to eat, I’m here to tell you that you can just about always put something decent together.  Most of us probably have enough food between the freezer, fridge and pantry to keep us alive for several months.

You just need to get a little creative and this is a skill I love to encourage people to acquire.

Think outside the box.  I actually find it a fun challenge to see what I can scrounge up sometimes! While I definitely recommend being in the habit of planning meals ahead of time, there are most certainly going to be those days when that’s not going to happen.

Here is what I came up with last night when I thought…. “there is nothing in this house to eat for dinner.”

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“But I Love to Go Out For Ice Cream in Summer….”

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It’s Memorial Day weekend and that means… well it really means that we need to remember all those who died while serving our country.  We have a lot to be grateful for!  But it also happens to be the un-official start to summer.  Woo-hoo!  Which means the official start to ice cream season.  Uh-oh.

“But I love to go out for ice cream in summer….”

I’ve been hearing this one since the beginning of May.  :)  I cannot give you an answer to how many times you can have it either.   That’s up to you.  You think you want it because it is delicious but you also believe that it’s a “bad” thing to do.  So you wind up in a conundrum.  Relax.  Don’t feel torn about eating ice cream if that’s what you really want to do.  Stop beating yourself up and feeling as if you should not have done it once you’ve eaten it.  Enough with the regrets and the guilt!!  Either eat it and love it OR… skip it.  It may not feel like it, but you have a choice.  Buy how do you skip it when your brain keeps telling you that you want it?

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Fun at the Library: A New Book and An Inspiring Talk

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Food and laughing.  Two of my very favorite things in life.  If you share similar interests I have a book you need to read.  I had never heard of Jim Gaffigan but he’s my new favorite comedian.  Imagine Jerry Seinfeld going on about nothing but the intricacies of food and eating.  This book is totally hilarious and leaves you wondering how someone thinks up this great stuff.

With all the seriousness and stress so often involved with eating right, this book is a breath of fresh air that WILL cause you to laugh out loud.  We all need to lighten up a little and laugh more, don’t you think?

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Bacon and Broccoli Egg Bake

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Happy May!

Egg bakes or fritattas are easy, tasty, filling and healthy!  Everything you’re looking for in a breakfast, right?  Too many people are relying on boxed cereals, bagels, toasts, muffins, or even– gasp– donuts for their morning meal.  If there is one change you can make to your diet to feel immediate results, it’s to shift from a high refined carbohydrate breakfast to one richer in protein and fat for your essential amino acids and fatty acids.   If you aren’t feeling as energetic or sharp after too many sugars and processed grains at breakfast, it might be worth it to experiment with a little change like this.

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Start Your Gardens

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This is going to be the year!  I am determined to grow more of my own vegetables.  Every year we give growing plants a good try and we get a few things.  But to be perfectly honest, we wind up with mostly a garden full of rotting diseased tomatoes and bug-infested collard greens.   The problem is that I haven’t made the time or effort to properly care for my plants.  That is going to change and I am off to a good start so far…

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Forest Bathing

0407151646~2Do you spend enough time in nature?

I find it ironic that I can go for an hour walk in the woods and not come across a human soul, but I can drive by a Dunkin Donuts and see a line of cars wrapped around the building.

Sometimes on a gorgeous weekend day we will drive south and stop at random parks and beaches to walk and be outside.  Usually we don’t see too many other like-minded explorers.  But head to a mall or most any store and voilà– masses of humans.

It never ceases to blow my mind.   It’s pretty nice to have these nature walks to myself but it’s also kind of sad.

 

It seems that almost everyone I meet is overwhelmed with work/home/family responsibilities to the point where feeling stressed-out dominates feelings of peace and happiness.

Instinctively I think we all know it isn’t healthy to live that way.

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Making Beef Stew + A Saturated Fat Ramble

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It’s almost my 1 year anniversary as an ex-vegan.  My first bite of meat was homemade beef stew and it was amazing.  I could feel the nourishment immediately and my conclusion still stands that I feel better eating meat.  Over the past year we’ve made this beef stew a few times, especially in the cold months.  It’s become one of my favorite meals.  There was a time when I would have cringed at the thought of eating *gasp* “red” meat with all its “artery-clogging saturated fat.”  :)  I’ve since changed my perspective on this.

“Artery-clogging saturated fat”– funny how saturated fat always seems to be found in that phrase.  That is just one more tidbit unfortunately ingrained into newly forming dietitian brains in school that turned out to be highly questionable.  Sure, animal products are a source of saturated fat, however it’s not usually mentioned that the majority of the fat found in beef and pork is actually mostly monounsaturated (even in chicken skin!)  That’s right; the same “heart-healthy monounsaturated fat” famously found in olive oil.   Another thing many people don’t understand is that fats found in food are made up of a blend of monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and saturated fat– but are typically labeled simply as one or the other based on the dominant type.  So, there is actually saturated fat in your precious olive oil just as there is monounsaturated fat in your “unhealthy” butter.  It’s just one more thing that nutrition science has oversimplified but which ended up confusing people even more.

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