Why Honesty Matters to me as a Dietitian

You may be thinking honesty matters to me because if my clients don’t tell me what they really eat I can’t help them. This can be somewhat true, but this is actually about why it’s important for ME, the dietitian, to be honest with YOU.

One of the ways I respect my clients is by listening to their goals, values, preferences, what they feel their limitations are, etc. (Read or watch more)

Another way I respect them is by being honest. When I share evidence-based information, recommendations, practical tips, experienced opinions and advice honestly (but kindly), that means clients can make the best informed decision for them. (A realistic one you know)

And this goes for the way I run my business too — If I think working together will serve you well, I’ll tell you! If I think what I offer isn’t a great fit for your needs, I’ll tell you that too and hopefully be able to point you to someone or something that will be helpful.

That being said, I really appreciate when clients are honest with me, because that helps me help them, but this post is about my honesty.

Watch below if you’d rather listen than read 🙂

I talk about why honesty matters for Nutrition for Real Humans

Why Respect and Collaboration are Essential to Nutrition

Respect and collaboration are essential to Nutrition for Real Humans because solutions I create for clients (meal plans, recipe collections, etc.) need to be realistic for THEM.

I bring my knowledge and experience about nutrition and practical food selection and preparation, but my client knows best what is important to them, what their limitations are, what they care about, what they’re willing to do.

If I don’t respectfully listen to what my client needs and wants or take their ideas into consideration (the collaboration part), likely the solution won’t fit them. It won’t solve their problem, or it won’t be realistic for them, or they won’t like the food I chose because I didn’t listen to their preferences so they won’t eat it.

That’s what sets Nutrition for Real Humans apart from a meal kit service or other meal plan service – your meal plan or recipes are not just tailored to your needs, they are tailored for what you want them to do for you!

If you want to reduce your environmental impact and reduce packaging while increasing your protein intake – we can do that!

If you hate garlic, it will be hard for me because I use garlic in everything, but we can avoid it! If you want to reduce your prep time and effort because you are super busy and just need something that will feed your surprisingly picky family – we can do that too!

Watch below if you’d rather listen than read 🙂

Why Realism is Important in Nutrition

Because we live in the real world, not an ideal world.

Bad things happen. Unexpected things happen. We have limitations in our time, motivation, energy, physical strength, knowledge.

Any solutions/goals/steps we plan need to take those very real limitations and roadblocks into account.

If a goal is ideal and perfect but we can’t do it, it won’t help us.

If you want to watch me talk about it, you can watch it here:

I talk about why realism is important in nutrition and how I’m applying realism to running my business.

Meh Nutrition News: Peachy Champagne Popsicles

This is the first popsicle I’ve tried that I would neither recommend or make again. But in the name of science, I’m sharing all of my results

Leftover champagne + peach + honey popsicles

Half eaten popsicle - icy with peaches

I didn’t use a recipe for these (which may have been part of the problem), I just googled to see if it was feasible to use leftover champagne as a popsicle.

I added some sliced peaches, a drizzle of honey and filled the rest of the mold with champagne. Thankfully, I only had enough champagne for 2 popsicles so we weren’t stuck with meh leftovers.

Meh because 1) the champagne just got really icy and made the pop taste mostly like alcohol, 2) because they were icy they just fell apart while we ate them, 3) the peaches were in big chunks and you definitely had to bite into them – not good if you have sensitive teeth.

Many of those problems might be improved if I had blended everything up? But I probably won’t try it again.

For popsicles, I would try again, see the previous posts about avocado chocolate popsicles and rapsberry coconut chia popsicles

Nutrition qualities:

  • As peaches make up the majority of this popsicle, you will get a good portion of fruit
  • Peaches themselves are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin A
  • As alcohol is not classified as a “food” legally, it’s hard to look up any micronutrients present in champagne. It will provide some carbohydrates and calories for energy. Moderate intake of alcohol which has been shown to have some benefits, but enough drawbacks that most experts won’t recommend starting to drink for the health benefits. Anyway. Don’t drink champagne for the health benefits 🙂
  • Technically dairy-free and gluten-free

My personal rating:

1/5

It gets a 1 instead of a 0 because it was edible, and I did eat the whole thing, plus, got to use up extra champagne? However, taste was very alcohol-y, texture too icy, made a mess and hurt my teeth. Would not make again

Feel free to try, if you’re of age, of course and share your results!

Take care and happy eating!

This post is intended to be informational only and is not medical or nutritional advice. If you have questions about your unique needs, ask about a custom meal plan or speak with a registered dietitian-nutritionist near you.

Good Nutrition News: Popsicles (or whatever their generic name is)

This summer my parents gifted me popsicle molds for my birthday, so my mission is to try many many popsicle/ice pop recipes.

I figured I would share my adventures and talk about how these summery treats can be another way to get some good nutrition!

First edition – these raspberry swirl chia pudding pops from Happy Kids Kitchen!

A pink and white ice pop full of chia seeds

These are made with fresh or frozen raspberries, coconut milk, and chia seeds (and sweetener; I used maple syrup). You can visit Happy Kids Kitchen for the recipe.

These interesting-looking popsicles have a combination of creamy, mild sweetness from the coconut milk, bright tart-sweetness from the raspberry, and an different but not unpleasant texture from the chia seeds.

Nutrition qualities:

  • Some fruit towards your recommended 5-9 fruit and veggie servings/day (raspberries) that provides a decent amount of vitamin C
  • Fiber from: raspberries, chia seeds, and even a little from the coconut milk
  • ALA (the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids) from the chia seeds
  • A little bit of protein from the chia seeds
  • Because it’s homemade, you control how much added sugar (and the type) you would like to add
  • Creamy without dairy, in case you’re lactose or dairy intolerant
  • also gluten free and vegan if that’s your jam (haha jam)

My personal rating:

3.5/5

Packed with nutrients, pretty tasty, easy to make, would probably make them a little sweeter next time, raspberries and chia can get expensive so probably wouldn’t make them often.

(Also if you are looking for ways to get kids – even little kids – excited about cooking and food, spend some more time on Happy Kids Kitchen. Heather knows what she is talking about and has so many great ideas and tasty recipes! I will be probably trying several of her popsicle recipes which she has collected here)

Take care and happy eating!

I’m teaching a cooking class for preschoolers and this is why I’m excited about it

I originally wrote this post before a class I was scheduled to teach at The Thinkery. I’ve updated the post with my online Mini Kitchen Explorers class in mind.

I’m pretty excited because I’m going to be teaching a series of food and cooking classes for preschoolers and their parents. It’s called Mini Kitchen Explorers, and it will be online August 5 or 6 (two different times offered). Kids and their parents will use all their senses to explore different foods in many different ways in a fun, interactive, low-pressure environment.

If you’re reading this before this class takes place, and you’re interested, you can learn more or sign up here:

Now, the reason I’m excited to teach this class is that it will just be fun. I mean, it’s not going to be easy. Maintaining a semblance of order and keeping things interesting for 3-5 year olds is no easy task (even if their parents are there too).

However. Right now, I spend a lot of my time talking to people about changes they should be making, changes they want to be making, or changes they might experience as a result of their current health condition. This is often hard (because change is hard) and is not usually fun. As much as I really try to make it positive and empowering, it often feels like telling someone the rules.

This class will be preschoolers and their parents doing fun activities that involve food.

Talking about food.

Playing with food.

Looking at food.

Smelling food.

Tasting food.

Or not tasting it if they don’t want to. This is a low pressure, relaxed environment. The goal is to give kids and parents lots of different ways to experience food and cooking together with no pressure to EAT VEGETABLES or TRY HEALTHY FOODS.

Lots of experience with any skill increases comfort and ability with it. This is no different for eating and being around foods, including unfamiliar foods.

A kid who says broccoli is gross and yucky and won’t eat it or anything remotely like it is really different than a kid who knows they don’t really like the texture of broccoli and can express that politely and clearly and also knows that trying a food and not liking it is not that scary because they’ve done it before lots of times and it was fine.

A kid who’s messed around in the kitchen and tried some cooking techniques and recipes (even a little) is going to be more comfortable eventually cooking or preparing foods on their own.

A kid who has learned a lot of value-neutral ways to talk about food (salty, fresh, rich, crunchy, colorful, high in protein) may be better equipped to have a nuanced understanding of nutrition and avoid black and white, extreme diet mentality around food.

Being comfortable around food and cooking doesn’t mean guarantee a person will make “the healthiest” choice. It does mean making a healthy choice (if they want to) is going to be way less difficult because they already have a basic familiarity with food.

They know what they like and what they don’t and why. They know how to choose and procure food, and how to prepare it. And if they don’t, they probably feel fairly comfortable learning how. They know at least a little bit about how foods affect them and what food can do for them.

They have a foundation from which they can make choices, rather than being hindered by fear of the unknown.

So I mean, I guess that’s my hidden agenda – remove barriers for future patients and make my future job easier. Or you know, prevent that they even have to come see me, because they have a healthy relationship with food and don’t even need my help.

Plus, seeing kids learn and explore anything is SUPER fun. They have such honest questions and interesting observations.

If this type of learning experience with food sounds good to you, sign up for my class!

Or if it sounds good to you but your kids aren’t in the 3-5 age group, or you have other questions – talk to me about how we can design a learning experience just for you, your family, or your group. Let’s find a solution that will work for you.

Good Nutrition News: Frozen Fruits and Veggies

Frozen fruits and frozen vegetables are good for you!

They are just as nutritious as fresh produce, and may sometimes be even a little more nutritious!

Because fruits and/or vegetables are processed (washed, cut, and frozen) very soon after being harvested, their freshness is “frozen” in place at just-picked quality! This can include ripeness (as they don’t have to be picked early to prevent spoilage on the way to the customer) and nutrition. Here’s how the process works:

The process is very similar for frozen vegetables – except they are usually blanched (boiled very briefly) before freezing so the natural enzymes in the vegetables don’t break the texture down over time. Here’s a video about frozen peas if you want to watch the vegetable process

Why are frozen vegetables and fruits are sometimes higher in nutrition than fresh ones?

Some vitamins and antioxidants degrade over time. Freezing a fruit or vegetable stops or really really slows down this process, so the vitamin content of frozen produce might be higher than one that has been sitting in the produce section (or in your fridge drawer) for a few days.

(This is not to say that fresh vegetables or fruit are devoid of nutrition if you don’t eat them right out of the ground or off the tree – it is only a very small portion that degrades. I just like to illustrate that you aren’t missing any nutrition by eating frozen produce)

Besides excellent nutrition, think of the other benefits of frozen produce!

  • No washing, chopping, slicing, peeling, needed – ready to use!
  • Most plain frozen fruits and vegetable products are just that – frozen fruits and vegetables. They don’t contain any added salt, sugar, fat, or preservatives! (You can always check the ingredients list if you want to make sure)
  • As long as you have freezer space – no need to worry about them going bad. According the USDA, they are safe to eat indefinitely (forever) as long as they have been continuously frozen — although the taste or texture might not be as nice if they’ve been frozen for a long time
  • Sometimes they are more affordable than fresh, especially if it is a seasonal item (like strawberries or peaches) or one that does not grow where you live
  • Some vegetables are even packaged in a bag you can microwave directly so you don’t even have to get another dish dirty! (This is easy and pretty safe and a great way to get kids helping – just be careful with the hot package when it’s done!)

Some ways to use frozen produce besides steaming or making smoothies

  • Add frozen fruit to baked goods – blueberry muffins anytime 😀
  • Top a cereal or yogurt with frozen fruit
  • Cook frozen fruit with a few spoons of sugar to make a syrup that you can use on whatever you like!
  • Add frozen vegetables into the last few minutes boiling pasta to get an extra serving of veggies
  • Add frozen vegetables to a soup – again you can just throw them in the last few minutes
  • Roast frozen vegetables – here’s a recipe for frozen roasted Brussels sprouts

How do you like to use frozen produce?

New year, new you? Try one small habit, not two

Click here if you want to watch/listen instead of reading

My New Year’s Resolution is to start writing titles that sound like Dr. Seuss books.

Haha not really.

I know there will be approximately 70,000 blog posts or articles about making New Year’s resolutions and why you should or shouldn’t, etc. I’m not here to convince you about whether you should make a resolution or not.

What I do know is that the beginning of a new year causes lots of people to think about goals and aspirations. And a lot of those goals will be related to nutrition, so I’m here to tell you what I know about nutrition goals.

Nutrition goals are hard.

Changing anything is hard. If you’re trying to start doing something that you’re not used to doing, it’s going to be hard. If you’re trying to stop doing something you’re used to doing, it’s going to be hard. It’s just the nature of making changes.

There are surely psychological and behavioral studies that will explain the how and why it’s hard, but look – you probably know that from experience. I know it from my own experience and from the experience of working with probably thousands of people trying to make nutrition changes.

So here’s two things I want you to remember:

Start small

Choose 1 or 2 small things that you are confident you can do. And by confident I mean, you are like 95% sure that you will do it. (I know I said not 2 in the title, but it just rhymed, just don’t choose too many) Something that even seems a little bit too easy is fine, especially if you are just starting this change.

If you have a big goal like “eat healthier” or “lower my cholesterol” or “cook at home more” or “run a 5k” – that’s good! You set those big goals as your end game and use them to decide what your small goals are.

Choose small goals that will move you toward your big goal.

For example:

  • Eat healthier -> eat a fruit with breakfast every day
  • Lower my cholesterol -> find a whole grain bread you like to eat instead of white bread
  • Cook at home more -> Find two recipes that you can make easily and wouldn’t mind eating once a week (or talk to someone about planning meals for you so you don’t even have to think about it)
  • Run a 5k -> Commit to walking 10 minutes 3 days per week

Making these small goals gives you a hit of accomplishment along the way, before you make it to that long term goal. Kind of like a save point in a video game. This gives you more confidence and motivation to make new goals (a cycle of accomplishment) instead of making large unrealistic goals and feeling bad when you don’t reach them (a cycle of defeat)

There are lots more people who have written more about starting small/achievable goals; I really like how the Lazy Genius explains it here

Give yourself credit

Remember what I said just a few paragraphs ago? Making changes is hard. So give yourself credit when you’ve made a change, even if it’s a small one!

Did you hear that?

Give yourself credit for making even a small change!

If you eat a fruit with breakfast most days when you didn’t before, or you now cook two meals at home per week instead of one – good for you! You made a change! You are progressing in the direction you want to go.

If you’ve made progress – you eat more veggies, you drink less soda, you walk more often than you used to – give yourself a sticker*, or a pat on the back, or a little dance in your kitchen, whatever helps you celebrate

*The stickers thing is working for me right now. It gives me a small bit of childlike delight when I can mark that I exercised or completed a blog post with a pretty sticker hehehe

Then take that celebration energy and decide the next change you want to make!


Sometimes knowing what small steps to start with can be difficult – this is where a professional can be helpful. A good dietitian (or other professional if your goal isn’t nutrition related), can help you figure out the first steps to take to reach your big goal.

If your goals are related to meal planning, prep, or cooking, I can help with that! I’d be happy to help you get those wins – click here if that sparks your interest

If you are looking for nutrition help and advice in general (not related to meal planning, etc.), you can find a dietitian near you here

This post is intended to be informational only and is not medical or nutritional advice. If you have questions about your unique needs, ask about a custom meal plan or speak with a registered dietitian-nutritionist near you.

Some nutrition things I’m grateful for (including pizza)

  1. Taste and smell. We could just be like plants and photosynthesize but instead we get to enjoy the experience of eating.
  2. Variety and adaptability. We could just be like cows and just eat grass, or whales and just eat plankton. Our bodies are designed to be able to run on a wide variety of food sources. This not only means that we can enjoy a variety of foods, it means that a healthy diet can look different for different people and different cultures! There are so many delicious ways to be nourished!
  3. Coffee is good for you *. I look forward to my morning cup of coffee every day. Such a simple delight.
  4. I’m privileged to be able to access a really wide variety of healthy, safe, and fresh food.
  5. I do not have any food allergies, sensitivities or medical conditions that keep me from eating certain foods. As much as I like to promote that all foods fit, I realize in some cases not all foods fit because they cause an allergic reaction or pain or dangerous medical consequences. I’m thankful that at this point in my life, I do not have to avoid any foods and can eat cheese without any problems.
  6. This thin crust pizza recipe. (see below) We eat this pizza at least once a month, often when we don’t want to cook anything else and it is always a bright spot.

thin crust pizza slices on a plate
This pizza was spread with pesto and topped with mozzarella and goat cheese. *Fancy* Most of the time we just use tomato paste with spices and shredded mozzarella.

Pour 3/4 cup body temperature water into a medium-large bowl. Add 1 tsp yeast and let that sit for a little bit, until you can smell the yeast. Stir in 1 cup flour, then add 1 + 1/2 tsp salt. Then add 1 cup more flour and stir until you can’t stir anymore. Then either knead in the bowl or on a clean floured counter. (You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook). Knead 8-10 minutes or until the dough springs back when pinched. I know that sounds like a lot of time, but I just turn on the Great British Baking Show and pretend I’m on the show with them.

Spray a little nonstick spray in the bottom of the bowl (or pour a teensy bit of oil) and roll the dough ball around in it – this is just so it doesn’t stick or dry out while it rises. Cover with a clean towel and let rise for about an hour.

(You can freeze it at this point to be able to treat your future self to homemade pizza)

Preheat the oven to 500 F. Roll out the dough on a silicon mat or parchment paper until it is 1/4 inch or less thick. Place the rolled out dough and the lining onto a cookie sheet (I like to use the back of a rimmed baking tray). Spread on your sauce and toppings of choice. Avoid topping very thickly or the crust will not get crisp. Bake for 8-15 minutes or until the bottom is crisp (check by lifting with a spatula).

You can use either white or whole wheat flour for this recipe. You can even make it without the rising time if you are in a hurry – just let it rest for a few minutes instead of an hour and roll it out right away. Enjoy!

What are you thankful for?

*Coffee is good for you just as much as any food that has shown to be good for you. Coffee in moderation, in general, is not harmful, and there are multiple studies showing health benefits in regular coffee drinkers. Obviously there are exceptions and nuances (like: drinking coffee won’t solve all your problems, and if you also drink it with a TON of sugar it is probably not as healthy) so speak with a doctor or dietitian if you have questions or concerns and don’t drink coffee if it makes you feel bad.

This post is intended to be informational only and is not medical or nutritional advice. If you have questions about your unique needs, ask about a custom meal plan or speak with a registered dietitian-nutritionist near you.