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You voted, and my next diet feature is the Mediterranean Diet!

 

The Mediterranean-style diet is often praised for its associations with improved longevity and low rates of chronic disease and certain cancers. The diet is based on the eating patterns of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, particularly Greece and southern Italy.1 The exact parameters of the Mediterranean diet are not entirely clear and vary somewhat depending on who you ask.2 Part of this stems from the fact that there are several different Mediterranean countries – each with their own unique culture. Their diets are distinct and therefore have different characteristics.

 

 

In general, however, there are some trends that are consistent. According to the American Heart Association and the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the Mediterranean Diet includes:

  • high consumption of fruits, vegetables, bread and other cereals, potatoes, beans, nuts and seeds
  • fresh fruit as a daily dessert
  • olive oil as the prominent fat source
  • dairy products, fish and poultry in low to moderate amounts
  • less than 2 servings of red meat per week
  • 0-4 eggs per week
  • wine in low to moderate amounts1-2

 



 

The Fundación Dieta Mediterránea developed a food guide pyramid reflecting Mediterranean Diet recommendations as well:

 

 

Starting next Monday, I will be following these recommendations for 3 weeks and detailing the experience for you! I’ll be keeping tabs on how much it costs to follow, the challenges of following it, and more. Comment below with what you’d like to know about the Mediterranean Diet!

 



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References

1. Willet W C, et al. Mediterranean diet pyramid: a cultural model for healthy eating. June 1995. 61:6(1402S-1406S). https://doi.org/10.1093/ajcn/61.6.1402S.

2. American Heart Association. Mediterranean Diet. Reviewed April 2018. Accessed September 2019 at https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/mediterranean-diet.

Mediterranean Diet

 

Thanks to all of those who voted in the poll for my next featured diet! Your voices have been heard – my next feature will be…

 

the Mediterranean diet!

 

This diet, touted for its benefits for longevity and cardiovascular health, is a popular diet recommended by many doctors. In the coming weeks, I will be blogging about the research behind the Mediterranean diet. I will also follow the diet myself for 3 weeks to assess how easy it is to follow, how much it costs, and other lifestyle factors.

Mediterranean Diet

The poll to decide my next feature is ready to go! Visit the sidebar (all the way at the bottom of the page if you’re on a phone or tablet)  to choose between these three options:

 

Healthy Posture

Supporting a healthy spine is key to preventing back pain, joint injuries, neck strains, and headaches. This is particularly important for those who spent a lot of time sitting while driving or at work. With specific stretches and exercises, you can help your body maintain healthy posture and prevent unpleasant symptoms.

 

Weight loss

Nearly half of Americans report attempting to lose weight each year. Unfortunately, most of those attempts either don’t work or end up with people regaining the weight they’ve lost! Usually this is caused by following crummy or contradicting advice based on media articles, fad diets, or what worked for your neighbors best friend’s hair stylist. In this feature, I’ll help clear up the confusion on sustainable, realistic ways to lose weight and keep it off while still enjoying your relationship with food.

 

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is a way of eating that reflects the eating habits of people in countries that border the Mediterranean Sea. People in this area tend to have lower rates of heart disease, stroke, depression, and type 2 diabetes.1-3 For these reasons, the Mediterranean Diet is often touted as a way to promote health and prevent chronic disease.

Vote for your favorite!

 

References

1. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/nutrition-basics/mediterranean-diet

2. https://www.healthline.com/health-news/mediterranean-diet-may-lower-risk-of-depression

3. https://ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.313348

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You can have the opportunity to win my favorite personal blender to have for your very own! Visit Dietitian on a Diet on Facebook and check out the giveaway post (pinned to the top of the page) to find out how!

Giveaway ends Tuesday, September 10th at 7 pm. Hope to have you join in!



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Today we’re continuing our series looking into what food and nutrition experts typically eat. If you haven’t read part 1 or my What I Eat in a Day as a Registered Dietitian post, be sure to check those out too! Altogether, you’ll see 10 days worth of dietitian food. Hopefully it helps you to see how varied and delicious a healthy life can be – everyone’s healthy life looks different! Enjoy!

 

Kayci Sterzer, MSN, RDN, LDN, CEDRD

Kayci is from Washington State but currently lives and work in Chicago, IL. She works as a Registered Dietitian specializing in eating disorder treatment in both outpatient practice and higher levels of care. Outside of nutrition and cooking, her passions include cycling, rock climbing, tending to her 70+ plants and 2 cats, and making ceramics.


Best Nutrition Advice: Aim to find a pattern of eating that’s nourishing (for your body but also for your spirit) and feels good vs. trying to find the perfect diet. We are meant to enjoy food. Rules and restrictions are unsustainable and take away from the joy and connection that is an integral part of eating.


What she ate in a day:
Today is a little atypical for me as I’m ending my day getting on the Amtrak for a 2-week vacation. For budget reasons, I don’t often eat out multiple times in a day unless I haven’t pre-planned well or I’m on vacation, but this week groceries and meal prep were not my top priorities. I value being able to make the best of the situation you’re in, so even though this might not appear to be an “ideal” day when someone conceptualizes what a dietitian eats, I don’t feel stressed about it. There is space for flexibility in healthy eating.


Starting my day off I love to do a combo of sweet (butter + jam) and savory (avocado + hot sauce) toast, which I have with a latte for a combo of protein + caffeine and some fruit (ataulfo mango today). For lunch, I splurged and bought up some sushi with edamame, miso soup, and a salad. For snacks I had yogurt and kombucha in the morning and later some chocolate-covered cherries. This yogurt is a pretty generous portion, which I did finish today since I biked to work and was hungry for it. For dinner, I intended to buy something in the dining car of the train, but essentially all the “meals” were sold out. I ended up picking a cheese and cracker plate and added some hummus with pretzels. I ate most of that, plus I split a single-serve Chardonnay with a friend I’m traveling with. It’s not the most normal meal, but met my macronutrient needs for the start of my trip tomorrow.

 



 

Allison Davies, MS, RD

Allison lives in Vancouver, WA. She worked as a primary practice RD for about four years but has stayed home with her 14-month old son for the last year. She loves going for walks and reading historical fiction books. Her favorite foods are tacos and Thai red curry and her favorite candy is Skittles.

 

Best nutrition advice: Make a meal plan for the week before grocery shopping. It’s a good way to make sure you’re eating a variety of different foods and also cut down on food waste.

 

What she ate in a day:

 

 

My typical day usually revolves around my son’s nap schedule and some sort of outing in the afternoon. On this day, I packed a lunch to eat at my parents’ house. There are a few things I do every week that keeps the stress off of meal prep while trying to tend to my son. On Sundays I sit down and meal plan every meal. There are definitely meals that repeat, especially breakfast, but it takes the guesswork out of what to make and ensures that I buy enough ingredients at our weekly grocery store stop. I will also prep veggies and cut up meats in the evening after my son goes to bed to be ready for the next day. My son and I eat at the same times and primarily the same foods, except for choking hazards like nuts (and I do cut his foods differently). One part of this day that is not so typical is actually the cup of coffee! I only have coffee drinks once or twice a week and it’s usually a vanilla latte. 🙂

For breakfast at 7 am I ate scrambled eggs with 1 slice turkey bacon (the bacon was cooked the night before), an apricot, 1/2 bagel with cream cheese, and a cup of coffee with splash of whole milk. My lunch was around 11:30 am and included a turkey and Swiss sandwich on Dave’s Killer thin sliced wheat bread with 1/2 avocado and some sour cream and onion Pop Chips. Around 2:30 I ate a snack of homemade trail mix made of walnuts, almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds (all unsalted), and dark chocolate chips. I prepped the trail mix earlier in the week.

We ate dinner around 5-5:30 pm. The dinner included chicken sausage and zucchini I had prepped the night before, as well as red beans and rice. Around 7:30 I snacked on one or two clusters of these dark chocolate nuggets from Costco.

 



 

Diana Reid, MPH, RDN

Diana currently lives in Europe with her husband and three children, in the tiny country of Luxembourg. She provides nutritional counseling and coaching both in-person and online or via telephone to clients throughout the world through her practice The Global Dietitian. She also spends part of the summer (and often the December holidays) in the Seattle, WA area. Diana holds a Masters of Public Health degree in nutritional sciences from the University of Washington. Additionally, she has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Washington University in the field of marketing and business administration.

 

Best nutrition advice: Focus on what you can add to your diet rather than always worrying about what to take out. Can you add more fruit and veg? Can you drink more water? These are underestimated, powerful tools.

 

What she ate in a day:

 

 

My day started with fruit, Greek yogurt, granola, and a bit of cottage cheese for breakfast. I was on the run during lunch and ended up eating lentil salad with some sriracha sauce for extra flavor. Later for an afternoon snack, I had cherries and a protein bar to get me through until dinner. Dinner was shrimp, rice and quinoa salad with tomatoes and avocado. Finally, to top it all off, ya gotta have dessert! Tonight’s was a fruit plate topped with some chocolate sauce for good measure. 🙂

 



 

Jessica Forsman, RD, CD

Jessica Forsman has her bachelor’s degree in Food Science & Human Nutrition and has been a Registered Dietitian for 11 years. She initially practiced as a clinical dietitian before transitioning into hospital dietary management and later into healthcare administration. She is currently an Executive Director over Physician Services at a hospital in western Washington. Outside of work, she loves having downtime at home with her husband and spending time with family.

 

Best nutrition advice: Keep it simple. Focus on fruits and vegetables. Don’t go to extremes or overly restrict. Enjoy what you eat!

 

What she ate in a day:

 

 

I chose a fairly typical Monday to highlight. I woke up late, but had prepped lunches the night before and had blueberries and almonds on hand for an easy breakfast. I’m not always motivated to prep our lunches a day ahead, but I’ve found that it makes all the difference when it comes to getting out the door on time and eating well throughout the day. Plus, it just feels good to be organized.

Breakfast included blueberries & roasted almonds and coffee with half & half. Later for lunch I ate ½ sandwich with 2 slices of smoked turkey, 1 slice cheddar & a thin layer of mayo on Dave’s Killer Bread. On the side were fresh veggies, kettle cooked chips, cherries and sparkling water. Nutrition tip: when buying deli meats, I usually look for natural brands without added nitrates/nitrites and where I can recognize all of the ingredients on the label. I especially like Applegate Naturals.

Later in the afternoon I ordered a double tall iced white chocolate mocha without the whipped cream. It’s important to choose foods that are satisfying – and for me, that usually means opting for the real thing. I rarely eat light or diet foods simply because I don’t enjoy them. By not restricting the foods that I enjoy, I find that I’m usually content with less. For an afternoon snack I ate string cheese & the rest of the cherries that I didn’t finish at lunch.

After work I snacked on seasoned tortilla chips. I do my best never to get too hungry and will frequently opt for snacks. In this case, dinner was only about 20 minutes away, but I still felt like I would be too hungry by the time dinner was ready if I didn’t eat something. Snacks are a tool that I use to avoid overeating.

We had company over the day prior and had two crab cakes, asparagus and roasted potatoes left over. Not enough on its own to feed two of us, so I added salad with Annie’s Papaya Poppy Seed Dressing, ½ piece of toast on Dave’s Killer Bread with a 50/50 butter/canola oil blend, and blueberries. I usually only have time to cook 2-3 nights in a given week, but I try to leverage (and even plan for) leftovers whenever I can. I also try to keep easy dinners on hand for those days when things don’t go as planned. Finally, I topped the night off with an evening snack of chocolate peanut butter granola with milk!

 



 

More to come?

 

I would like to sincerely thank each of these dietitians who were willing to take the time to help me with this project and allow us a peek into their day-to-day. This is a series I would love to continue to show the variety of options out there in regard to healthy eating. Within the community of Registered Dietitians, there are men, women, vegan/vegetarians, dietitians with food intolerances, dietitians from all different cultures, and more. If you or someone you know is a Registered Dietitian who would be willing to share their “what I eat in a day,” I would love to feature it! Let me know with this contact form.

 

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Healthy Lifestyles

 

My last two posts covered the basics about what dietitians are (and do) and what I eat in a day as a Registered Dietitian. In the latter I talked about how everyone’s healthy life looks different. It’s important to find what works in your own life, not to follow a random diet plan or copy what someone else does. Along those lines, I thought it might be fun to explore what a normal day looks like for other dietitians. This two-part series will feature several different dietitians working in different areas and what they ate in a given day. You’ll read about three different dietitians below – stay tuned for more in an upcoming post!

 

Molly Koczarski, MS, RDN, LDN

Molly is a Registered Dietitian located in Whispering Pines, North Carolina. She has been a dietitian for 11 years and she recently graduated with her Master’s Degree from Central Michigan University. She is just about to start a new position as an outpatient dietitian for First Health of the Carolinas where she will be working with a wide variety of medical conditions including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, food allergies, etc. When Molly isn’t working she likes to spend her time with her husband, 4-year-old daughter, and dog. She enjoys fitness, cooking, and coming up with new recipes. She is an avid peanut butter lover and loves a good glass of wine.

 

Best nutrition advice: There is no “one size fits all” diet. Focus on moderation and mindful eating. Food should be enjoyed, not restricted. Building a healthy relationship with food is the key to success!

 

What she ate in a day:

 

The day started at 6:30 with a hearty breakfast of eggs (1 egg + 2 egg whites) mixed with some arugula, a side of fresh strawberries, and a Birch Benders protein waffle with slices of avocado on top.  After seeing a few patients at work I found myself pretty hungry and snacked on this delicious Greek Yogurt by Light and Fit with a serving of Trader Joes “Just a Handful” trail mix. Hit the spot!

After going on a 30-minute lunch walk I found myself ready to eat again. I prepped a macro bowl for lunch today and it consisted of spring mix and some raw vegetables, some instant pot shredded chicken, and a side of brown rice and quinoa mix. I added some oil and vinegar on my salad for some healthy fats, as well as sprinkled some hemp seeds on top. At 3:30 with an hour to spare at work, I found myself once again ready for a snack so I chomped on a yummy and delicious apple to hold me over until dinner.

After a good workout it was time to eat dinner. With the weather being so nice lately we decided to grill some turkey burgers. We had a salad on the side for our veggie. I added some avocado on my bun (but you can’t see it in the photo). Before getting settled for the night I wanted to have a little “dessert” so I had some chamomile tea (not pictured) with one of my delicious homemade protein muffins. My dog Izzy wanted some too, as you can see.

That’s a typical day for me. I usually eat 3 meals plus 2-3 snacks throughout the day. I always try to balance out my carbs, protein and fat and really focus on getting in my vegetables. I also opt for healthy fats and definitely don’t deprive myself of any particular food or food group.

 



 

Anne Corley, MSM, RDN, CD, LC

As a Life Coach and Registered Dietitian with over 26 years in clinical practice, Anne is passionate about promoting wellness (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) with her clients. She loves helping people have “A Ha!” moments in improving their life and their health, and moving their dreams into the realm of the possible. She has partnered with clients who have made significant, meaningful changes in their lives in many areas; health, career, relationships, etc. through her practice Nourish Your Wellness Now. In all areas she has truly enjoyed the opportunity to share her knowledge and experience through coaching, training and instruction in order to help improve the well-being of her clients/patients.

Best nutrition advice: Listen to your gut, literally and figuratively. Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are satisfied.

What she ate in a day:

 

 

Today I woke up in Dingle, Ireland on a long-awaited trip with my 3 sisters. We’ve been staying at Bed & Breakfasts all along the way; today was no exception. Breakfast was a fairly typical offering of Continental and hot breakfast. Always there is the push for the traditional Irish breakfast which is bacon, eggs, sausage, black & white “pudding” (blood sausage), tomatoes, (optional sautéed mushrooms & baked beans), and brown bread & toast with butter & jam. Also fruit, yogurt, cereal, croissants, etc. along with tea and coffee. My normal breakfast is a Shakeology smoothie on my way to work, but I figured “when in Ireland…” Plus, have you ever tried to tell an Irish woman who is your host, “No, thank you”? Apparently you just don’t do that here. 😉

So up to this point I have been ordering the bacon, eggs, tomatoes, mushrooms (and once the beans…I’ve never been a fan of baked beans but I thought somehow these might be different. Nope. Not doing that again!) I have not tried the “pudding” at all; I just can’t bring myself to do it. Today I ordered bacon (Irish bacon is more like our ham or Canadian bacon), tomatoes and mushrooms, and I had Muesli and plain yogurt with berries. Also, lots and lots of tea using part sugar/part stevia and milk (not sure what type of milk, but it was at least 2% if not whole). I ended up eating two bowls of Muesli and only one of the pieces of bacon.

After breakfast we packed up and left for our Air B&B at the Cliffs of Moher (about a 3 hour drive) with a trip by ferry included. When we stopped at a “quickie mart,” as we frequently do, I got a sparkling water and I added True Lemon to it (I drink a lot of water but have never learned to like it plain, so I usually add True Lemon, True Orange, or fresh lemon or lime).

Because the breakfasts have been so big and usually later than I normally eat, we have had “linner” most days and then something light or fun later. Once we got into town, we stopped at a restaurant to have “linner” (lunch/dinner) before our hike on the cliffs at 4:00pm. I had the most delicious salad! Here’s the quote from the menu: “mixed leaves, sundried tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, caramelized onion, shredded carrot and honey roasted sunflower seeds with Spanish goats cheese, a hint of pesto and grilled chicken fillet.” I had soda water and lime to drink. Normally I would have also checked out the dessert menu, but we didn’t have time. We had to hurry through “linner” because we were running short on time. We started the hike a little after 4:00pm; it was 10k distance and about 850 feet of elevation gain and it took us about 3 hours. It was very windy, but we were blessed with some of the most breathtaking views I’ve ever seen!

 

 

When we returned from the hike (around 7:00pm) our host had made fresh scones for us, with jam and butter and tea or coffee. I had one scone with jam and a nice sized cup of tea, with milk and sugar/stevia. And then chugged a big glass of water!

 



 

Danae Shelley, RD, CDE

Danae is a dietitian and nutrition supervisor at a nonprofit group of medical clinics based in South Seattle. In July of 2019, she will have been a dietitian for 6 years. For Danae, the years of being an RD have really flown by!

Danae got married in September 2018 and lives in Renton with her husband and their min-pin, Max. They love spending time together and going out and meeting new people. They also enjoy traveling (both around Washington and elsewhere), taking Max to the dog park, dancing (especially salsa and bachata), and trying out new ice cream places!  

 

Best nutrition advice: Just aim to make one small positive choice every day toward improving your health!

 

What she ate in a day:

During the work week, I tend to get up with just enough time to shower, get ready, and feed the dog, etc., so I don’t normally leave a whole lot of time to make breakfast. Breakfast is usually on the go and usually eaten on my way to work or when I get to work as I prepare for the day ahead. This morning I whipped together a strawberry protein shake made with 1% milk for some added protein that keeps me full all morning, along with my much needed cup of coffee with a few tablespoons of creamer.

Due to a meeting I had at my normal lunch hour, I had to have a little snack to tide me over until I was able to eat. I had forgotten I had an English cucumber in the fridge, so last night I sliced it up and portioned half of it into a Ziploc bag.

In my house, we are the king and queen of leftovers (when we have them)! My husband is tall and eats a lot, so sometimes he eats all of the meal and there isn’t any for leftovers. Today was left over vegetable burger soup (I know it’s too hot outside for soup, but it’s cold in my office with the a/c, so it’s not that bad). The soup has lean ground beef (93/7), stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, mixed vegetables and onion soup mix. I also had a small cup of strawberry yogurt. It’s hard to find yogurt that is low in sugar, but this one has 2 grams of sugar and 12 grams of protein. I originally had the fruit cup planned to go with my lunch, but I was feeling a little full after my soup and yogurt, so I decided to hold off and have it for a snack later. I normally don’t do a lot of canned fruit, but I had a coupon for this product and thought I would give it a try. It was a mixture of mango and chia seeds, which are a great source of omega-3. It was a burst of fruitiness to get me through the rest of the work day!

For dinner, Queen of the Leftovers strikes again! After a bit of a longer of a commute that normal, I got home later than I usually do, and therefore was hungry. The night before, I intended to make some enchiladas, however due to a tortilla malfunction, I had to turn it into enchilada lasagna, made up of ground turkey, chili beans, seasonings, layered with whole wheat tortillas and topped with Monterey jack cheese and enchilada sauce. I had a square of that with a little helping of sour cream on top.  I washed it down with a glass of water. After doing some stuff around the house and yardwork outside, I was feeling a bit hungry, so I reached for a small bag of popcorn with light sea salt and green tea. Its low calorie and high in fiber. You can see from the picture, it’s so yummy even Max wants a taste!

 

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Healthy Lifestyles

Are dietitians the same as nutritionists?

 

I recently wrote a post called What I Eat in a Day as a Registered Dietitian. Some of you may be wondering what exactly a Registered Dietitian is, and probably even more of you are wondering if or how it is different from a nutritionist. I can help! Here are some of the basics about Registered Dietitians and what we do.

 

What is a Registered Dietitian?

 

Registered Dietitian is the designation given by the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics (at least in the US) to people who have completed certain requirements to be considered nutrition experts. Here are the requirements from the Academy to become an RD:

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree – The classes you take must meet nutrition-related requirements set forth by the Accreditation Council for Education in Nutrition and Dietetics, a brand of the Academy. Some course requirements include anatomy, physiology, chemistry, biochemistry, basic nutrition, macronutrients, micronutrients, clinical nutrition, food science, weight management, and medical nutrition therapy.
  • Complete nutrition internship hours in a variety of settings – Since dietitians work in so many different types of roles, internships need to include several of those experiences. My internships included clinical inpatient nutrition, outpatient nutrition counseling, food service management, dialysis nutrition, childhood nutrition at a WIC clinic, and senior nutrition with Meals on Wheels.
  • Pass the RD exam – This test covers all of the required competencies put forth by the Academy

Registered Dietitians must also complete 75 hours of continuing education every 5 years to maintain their registration.

 

How are dietitians different from nutritionists?

 

Simply put, “nutritionist” is not a protected term, while “dietitian” is. Nutritionist is a term for anyone who teaches about nutrition, while dietitian is reserved for those who have met the criteria described above. So all dietitians are inherently nutritionists, because they teach nutrition, but not all nutritionists have completed the requirements to become dietitians.

This obviously creates a bit of confusion for consumers – I get these types of questions all the time! A few years ago, the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics also coined the term “Registered Dietitian Nutritionist,” and allows their RDs (or RDNs) to use that term if desired to help clarify their roles as nutritionists.

 



 

Where do dietitians work?

Dietitians are working all around you, and you may not even realize it! Dietitians may do all of the following:

  • Calculate recommendations for tube and IV feedings and nutrition supplementation for critically ill patients in hospitals
  • Plan nutritionally balanced menus for large food service operations at long-term care facilities and schools
  • Teach nutrition for general health, managing and preventing chronic medical conditions, and navigating food allergies/intolerances in private practices, hospitals, medical clinics, and chiropractic offices
  • Provide nutritional guidance to low-income populations in WIC clinics and community health centers
  • Teach specialized diets for clients in dialysis centers
  • Monitor the nutritional health of residents in long-term care facilities
  • Provide nutrition information to the public via social media, blogs, websites, newspapers, etc.
  • Support athletic performance with proper nutrition in health clubs, gyms, on military bases, and with sports teams

These are just some examples of roles that dietitians fill. Stay tuned, because I plan to make a post soon featuring “a day in the life” of several different dietitians who all work in different settings, to give you an idea of what all kinds of different dietitians eat!

 

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