WIAW #6 + Day in the Life of a Wellness Dietitian

Hi girls & guys! Today I am showcasing my eats per usual for WIAW, but also wanted to give you a glimpse into the life of a Wellness Dietitian (AKA, what I do for a living). Many people don’t really understand what Dietitian’s do, so I thought this might be interesting to a lot of you. My days vary greatly, and I currently split my time between wellness and clinical (hospital) days, but today was entirely dedicated to the “wellness” portion of my job so it’s a good example to show you.

As always, remember that the point of WIAW is not to compare your eats to mine, but to gain meal ideas and recipe inspiration. Plus, it’s always fun to get a glimpse into the lives of the bloggers you follow! See what everyone else is eating here and check out more of my own eats here.

So, here we go!

6am-An oatmeal raisin cookie energy bite as a little pre-workout snack

I got to “sleep in” a bit today (usually I need to be up and at the gym by 5:30a if I want to get a workout in), since I didn’t have to be in Findlay until 8:45a today for the health fair I was participating in. I did a 50 minute power yoga podcast at home to get my workout in for the day. Especially with the warmer weather, I like to get my workout done in the morning before work so I can enjoy the sun and time with friends after work. Plus, I’m just plain tired after work and want to just relax and veg out!

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7:30am-Breakfast of fudgey peanut butter cup overnight oats

I did a little recipe experimentation and I’m so glad I did! A healthy, chocolatey concoction was born that filled me up and tasted AMAZING. Recipe coming soon!

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11:54am-“Vegetarian” meatballs + Zoodles + g-free bread

Like I mentioned above, I set up a booth at the local YMCA for their healthy aging expo. This event was geared towards seniors and there were tons of booths providing educational materials, free health scans and more for those 65+. My booth was stocked with free healthy eating cookbooks, spatulas, samples of trail mix and a variety of handouts including ones on portion control, label reading and general healthy eating. I tried my hardest to wait until noon to dig into my lunch, buuuuut couldn’t hence the random time! I packed leftover zucchini noodles (zoodles) with another winning kitchen experiment, vegetarian meatballs made with tempeh (this recipe coming soon as well!), and a piece of bread on the side because YOU NEED YOUR CARBS!!! I was so hungry that I forgot to take a picture until I was almost done! Blogger fail.

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4pm-Yogurt w/crumbled chocolate peanut butter energy bite (courtesy of my friend)

After the health fair ended, I dropped off the leftover materials to my company’s main PR office and then headed back to my office, which is located in the hospital. I had a conference call shortly after to brainstorm ideas for a 5K event I am going to have a booth at in July and then finished up some handouts for a cooking demo I am doing in a couple weeks. After sending and responding to some emails, I left around 3:30pm to go to the grocery store to price check some items for that same cooking demo. The theme is healthy cooking on a budget so I created a sample menu plan and a grocery list with prices to give participants. When I got home, I finally chowed down on my snack.

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7pm-Blue cheese burger with homemade baked potato “fries” + wine

A good old-fashioned burger and fries sounded just perfect tonight so that’s what I had! I made the fries by slicing and coating a large potato with olive oil and Cajun seasoning then baking them in the oven at 425O for 20-25 minutes. Easy peasy! While cooking, I had a cold glass of Sauvignon Blanc that also hit the spot.

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8pm-Another oatmeal raisin cookie bite  

Because I just needed a little something sweet to conclude the day.

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So there you have it, a typical day in the life of a Wellness Dietitian. Like I said, my days vary greatly, which is one thing I love about my job. I don’t just sit in my office at a computer all day long, I’m out and about making a difference in the community and no day is the same!

 

Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Today’s post comes courtesy of my fellow-foodie/chef friend Bernie, who graciously offered to do a guest post of my blog. I’m going to let her take it away!

I do not have a gluten intolerance or allergy. I am not trying to buy into the new craze of cutting gluten from my diet. I just love experiments! Ever since I was a kid, I was experimenting with plants, science stuff, and FOOD! Plus trying new things never hurts. So when I told Taylor I wanted to attempt a cauliflower pizza crust, she offered to bring the wine and it was set! But then began my quest of finding a crust that would not become a soggy mess or taste like cardboard. Multiple friends of ours have reported the crust not holding together or becoming a mush instead of a crust. But I was not going to let this bring me down, I was going to master this cauliflower pizza crust. It would hold together, taste delicious, and be a great alternative to those who love pizza but can’t have gluten! And the experimentation began.

I talked with friends who have attempted the crust before and took notes. After some tweaking, I came up with a crust I felt confident about and am now sharing with the amazing people of Taylor’s blog! So let’s dive in!

 

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

(Serves 3-4 people)

Crust

2 medium-large cauliflower heads

2 eggs

¼ cups of parmesan cheese

Tbsp each of the following: dried basil, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes

Pinch of salt

Pepper to taste

 

Pizza Toppings

Add what you want here, but we used the following

¼ LB Ground turkey

1-2 Tomatoes sliced

½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese per pizza

½ cup chopped broccoli (slightly cooked)

1-2 cloves chopped garlic

Fresh basil

 

Homemade Tomato Sauce**

1 28oz can of Dei Fratelli Tomato Sauce or other plain tomato sauce

1 medium yellow onion chopped

4-5 garlic cloves chopped

2 Tbsp sugar

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Tbsp of the following dried oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes

Fresh Basil

Favorite white wine (about ¼ cup)

**Taylor recommends Newman’s Own Tomato and Basil for a canned option.

 

Tomato Sauce

In a pot, add olive oil and onions. Allow onions to caramelize (about 10 minutes). Add garlic, dried herbs, S & P, sugar, and wine. Allow wine to cook away.

Turn heat down to simmer, add tomato sauce, and cover for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add chopped fresh basil! This can be used for pizza, dipping sauce, and pasta sauce. Feel free to try new herbs, add some parmesan cheese, or use red wine instead of white!

 

Pizza Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper.

Wash and dry your cauliflower heads. Cut off the florets (you will not need the stems). Pulse in a food processor for about 30 seconds until you get the snow like cauliflower (see picture below). Side note: this is cauliflower rice!

Cauliflower rice

Place cauliflower snow in a microwave safe dish and cover. Microwave for 4 minutes. Transfer cooked cauliflower to a clean, thin dish towel or cheese cloth. Let cool, so you do not burn yourself.

Now this is the important part, because it gets rid of any excess water. Wrap up the cauliflower snow in the towel or cloth and wring the heck out of it! You want to get rid of as much water as possible! Doing this in smaller batches also helps. This will ensure a chewy crust instead of a mess.

Dump the wringed out snow into a bowl and add the eggs, parmesan, dried herbs, pepper flakes, and S & P. With clean hands, dig in and mix it all together!

Once mixed, place dough on baking sheet and shape. We went with the traditional circle, but you can go square if you like. Aim for about ¼ of an inch thickness.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes. I kept an eye on it since all ovens vary.

Once it starts to turn golden brown on top, take your crust from the oven. Carefully flip the crust over. Now you are ready for toppings!

Our first pizza consisted of tomatoes and basil. The second is my personal favorite, turkey, broccoli, and garlic! Bake another 8-10 minutes until done to your desire.

Quickie Ab Burn

Confession: I hate working out my abs. Like REALLY hate it. No particular reason, I just don’t enjoy it and always find an excuse to skip them. Luckily, I have a pretty strong core  thanks to practicing yoga regularly and from naturally utilizing it during other workouts. However, I want to commit some additional time to strengthening this area of my body. Especially since starting a full-time job and sitting more, I realize my posture isn’t the greatest and this can be improved by building core strength.

To solve this predicament, I’ve decided to include 1-2 quickie ab workouts into my usual exercise routine each week. If I make them too long or complicated, I know i’ll just skip them. So, keeping them short, sweet and to the point is best. Plus, results are more dependent on quality, not quantity so you don’t need to spend hours in the gym to get results. This routine took me less than 5 minutes, but don’t be fooled. I was feeling the burn by the end and you will too!

Quickie Ab burn

*Disclaimer: Although I am a certified Spinning instructor, I am not a certified personal trainer. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen.

Dietitian vs. Nutritionist: Is There a Difference?

Yes. There absolutely, positively is a difference between Registered Dietitians and nutritionists. Furthermore, this difference is HUGE! Sadly, most people do not know this and seek and accept nutrition information from unqualified sources. This includes doctors (whom are only required to take one basic nutrition class), personal trainers, health coaches and more.

Only Registered Dietitians have the knowledge, skills and practical experiences to successfully and appropriately counsel and educate individuals on food and nutrition. They are the actual nutrition experts. Let me show you why.

Education

There is A LOT of schooling required before one can officially become a RD. Dietetics is a very science-based profession and we don’t simply learn the calorie content of foods. We study and learn the chemistry, biology, psychology and physiology behind food and the health behaviors people make.

You must earn a 4-year bachelor’s degree and many, like myself, go on to get their master’s degree as well. Regardless, we sift through and read through all the research to provide clients with the most accurate, up-to-date nutrition information.

Internship

Second, you must apply, get accepted into and complete a 1-2 year dietetic internship. This second step is perhaps the hardest step of them all. The internship application process for dietetics is EXTREMELY competitive and only 50% of applicants actually get a match. If you don’t get one, you basically have to wait an entire year and apply again or switch career paths. It’s a very stressful process and even some of the most competitive candidates don’t get matched.

National RD Exam

Third, you must pass the national registration examination. Again, this is not easy. The exam covers every aspect of dietetics from how to treat someone with gallbladder disease to correct food holding temps to national nutrition program qualifications. This is not a standardized exam and questions are different for everyone. For example, I had four foodservice equations and one of my friends was dealt twelve. Let’s just say both myself and everyone I’ve talked to thought they weren’t going to pass mid-exam.

Continuing Education

Finally, after you complete all the above, you must maintain your accreditation status by completing continuing education units (CEU’s). This comes in the form of professional conferences, online learning modules, nutritional education sessions/seminars and more.

 

In contrast, “nutritionists” don’t have to do any of this. Some decide to take an online nutrition course, but this information is not accredited and may not be backed by science. Basically, anyone can call himself or herself a nutritionist, including you. However, they are not recognized through law as nutrition experts and more often than not, do not have the proper nutrition education. Moral of the story? Always, always, ALWAYS look to a dietitian for correct, factual nutrition information. Check your sources when reading, watching or listening to popular social media sources and make sure it is an RD providing the information. If not, you cannot be for certain it is accurate as there is a lot of nutrition misinformation out there.

 

RD vs. Nutritionist

Zucchini Noodle Turkey Lasagna

From cauliflower rice to pasta made with spaghetti squash, substituting vegetables for grains has become all the rage. While whole-grains (whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa etc.) are healthy options, replacing them with vegetables every now and again is a great change and provides your body with a new set of vitamins and minerals grains might lack. Additionally, if your not a huge fan of veggies (which seems to be the case for the majority of folks), this is a great way to sneak in a serving of produce without noticing any taste difference!

Today, I’m taking part of the craze and am presenting you with a lasagna made with zucchini “noodles”. Originally, I thought making vegetable noodles would be more time consuming than regular, but it actually was quite the opposite. It took me LESS time since you skip the initial step of boiling the noodles. Instead, you simply slice the vegetables, brown the meat, make the amazing super-duper-cheesey sauce and layer it all together. Easy peasy and HEALTHY! Enjoy!

Zucchini Noodle Turkey Lasagna

Serves 5-6

Ingredients:

½ lb. lean ground turkey

2 large zucchini, sliced length-wise into thin strips

2 cups spinach, torn

1 cup mushrooms, chopped

1 cup cherry tomatoes, chopped

1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

1 ½ cups mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 cup marinara sauce

½ Tbs. Italian seasoning

salt and pepper

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 4000 F. Spray a 9X9 pan with cooking spray.

Sprinkle zucchini “noodles” with a liberal pinch of salt and let set for 20 minutes. This extracts the vegetable’s natural water preventing your lasagna from becoming a soupy mess.

Meanwhile, brown turkey in a medium-sized skillet. Combine ricotta, ½ cup mozzarella, marinara sauce, Italian seasoning and pepper in a small bowl. Place a layer of zucchini “noodles” on the bottom of the pan then layer with the cheese mixture, the cooked turkey and the vegetables. Repeat until all ingredients are used up. Top with remaining 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until cheese top is nicely browned.

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WIAW #5

You know the spiel by now: Wednesdays are when we get nosey and look at what different people eat throughout the day. As always, remember that the point of WIAW is not to compare your eats to others, but to gain meal ideas and recipe inspiration. See what everyone else is eating here and check out more of my own eat here.

Pre-workout snack-5:30am

I started my new job as a Wellness Dietitian and thus, my flexible student schedule has gone out the window. I am a working girl now! This means early morning workouts, which means early morning pre-workout fuel. Today was a typical choice for me: a piece of cinnamon raisin toast smeared with some peanut butter.

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Breakfast-7:30am

I rewarded myself for getting a great workout in by 7am with an iced soy latte from Starbucks on my way home from the gym. Finally, my “real” breakfast when I got back was 1.5 banana walnut oatmeal cups (recipe coming soon) topped with more peanut butter and a sliced banana with cinnamon on the side.

Snack-11am

I got pretty hungry while working, but lunch was over an hour away so I munched on an apple at my desk while finishing up a project for my upcoming cooking demonstration.

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Lunch-12:30pm

Pizza quinoa plus a side salad (pic taken at home…not THAT comfortable whipping out my camera phone in front of my coworkers yet).

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Snack-4:30pm

I was on the hospital floor charting on patients until it was time to go home and had early dinner plans so I had half of this Luna bar to hold me over on the drive to the restaurant. It’s not a pretty site if I get ravenous.

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Dinner-5:45pm

For my master’s “final” our teacher decided we should just meet for dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. We were all down for that. I ordered a Mexican chopped salad and asked them to add refried beans (because they are my favorite). I rarely order salads while I’m out to eat because I feel like I can make them at home and would rather order something more unique, but this one was FANTASTIC! It was chock full of marinated chicken, refried beans, queso fresco, apples, cucumbers, avocado and corn salsa. I added some additional fresh salsa on top for my “dressing”.

No pic because I was too busy savoring our last time together. It’s been a crazy semester and we all helped each other edit, critique and improve our master’s papers so it was pretty bitter sweet knowing this would likely be our last time together.

 

No dessert or night-time snack tonight since I ate almost all of my humongous salad! Check out what other people are noshing on here