Everyday Breakfast

I eat this breakfast most days and still crave it everyday. Full of fiber, beneficial fats, and protein, it’s a great way to fuel your day right.

1/3 c rolled oats
2/3 c  unsweetened, vanilla almond milk
1 banana, cut in half, sliced
1 Tbsp chia seeds

Place the oats and almond milk in a microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir, then microwave again for 30 seconds. Add the banana and chia seeds to the oats. Stir and enjoy!

This doesn’t take a lot of time! You can make this everyday.

What‘s for breakfast today?

P.S. Please ignore the cruddy quality of my phone picture. I need to find my camera charger!

What is a Vegetarian?

It has been over one week since I committed to a vegetarian diet and lifestyle. I feel incredible and as an added bonus I have lost 2 pounds! The biggest obstacle this past week was when I had to do a taste testing of a recipe that included turkey pepperoni. My preceptor was surprised that I wouldn’t taste it when I told him that I was a vegetarian earlier that week. And of course, I didn’t, but it also made me think about one of the things that I learned when I was at FNCE: A lot of people that say they are vegetarians do not know what it means.

There are varying degrees of vegetarians, which is why it can be confusing to so many. Here is a breakdown:

Lacto-Ovo-Vegetarian: does not consume beef, poultry, pork, or fish. Still consumes milk (and dairy products) and eggs.

Lacto-Vegetarian: all of the above, but they omit eggs as well.

Ovo-Vegetarian: does not consume the meat listed above or dairy, but does eat eggs.

Pescetarian: some consider this a version of vegetariansim as they consume no meat with the exception of fish. Sometimes they will leave out eggs/dairy as well.

Vegan: does not consume beef, poultry, pork, fish, eggs or dairy. No animal products or byproducts are consumed, including honey.

So what does a vegetarian eat? Grains, nuts, beans, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and meat/dairy alternatives. It may seem limiting, but the options are really endless! FitSugar did a great post the other day about some products that one may assume were vegetarian, but had ingredients that were not vegetarian.

A vegetarian diet is not any more restrictive than a normal, healthy, balanced diet. While I definitely feel conscious of what I eat, I am not more so than I was before. Part of that came with the dietitian-in-training mindset (i.e. food on the mind all the time!), and part of that came from being overweight several years ago and knowing that I have to plan in order to succeed.

And yes, you can get all of the nutrients you need, whether you are a child, teenager, young adult, pregnant mom, breastfeeding, or aging adult. These will likely be future posts for future days.

What questions do you have about vegetarianism? What surprises you most about the vegetarian diet?

To Your Health,

Megan (Nutmegs)

(Images from here and here)

A vote for oats

Oats, one of the many whole grains, can come in many different ways. Steel cut, irish, rolled, instant or bran.  My favorite is the rolled oats as they are easy to put in a bowl with some water and microwave every morning. However, when I have a little more time and forethought, steel cut oats are exceptional with some almonds, raisins, and blueberries.

(Going clockwise, from the left: Steel Cut Oats, Oat Bran, Quick Oats, and Rolled Oats)

Oats are nutrient dense source of manganese, selenium, tryptophan, fiber, B1, and some protein.In addition to being whole grains, oats have been linked to lowered cholesterol levels, valued antioxidants, and stabilization of blood sugars. Oats can be added to breads, eaten as breakfast or used as a binder in meatloafs (vegetarian or not).

This is a recipe that I make quite frequently, no matter the season, but it always seems especially appetizing in the fall. The combination of pumpkin, apples, walnuts, and cranberries, brought together with the flavor of vanilla and cinnamon is delectable.

It is perfect for a Sunday morning with a cup of coffee or tea and a good book.

Pumpkin Apple Cranberry Baked Oatmeal

(adapted from this version of this recipe)

  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup wheat germ (omit for gluten free version)
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, packed (use 1/3 cup if using fresh cranberries)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (or 3/4 c. fresh)
  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla soy milk (or regular milk)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp. pumpkin puree
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup apple, chopped
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Spray an 8x8in baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the oats, wheat germ, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking powder, and cranberries.  In a separate bowl, combine the soy milk, pumpkin puree, egg, and vanilla, whisking until the mixture is smooth.
Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture, and stir to combine all of the ingredients.  Add the apple and combine with the wet oatmeal mixture.  Spread the oatmeal into the baking dish, and sprinkle with walnuts.
Bake for about 20 minutes, until the oatmeal has set and the top is golden. Serve warm, topped with additional soy milk, if desired.
How do you like your oatmeal? Do you prefer it made with milk or water? Any great variations I need to try?

Perfect day to announce…

that I am changing my lifestyle.

After a lot of thought and consideration, I have decided to adopt the vegetarian diet. While I considered myself a “flexitarian” before (eating a mostly plant based diet with meat on occasion), I am embracing the vegetarian lifestyle with fervor.

Why is this the perfect day? Today is World Vegetarian Day and October is Vegetarian Awareness Month. The North American Vegetarian Society is even doing a contest with a pledge to be a vegetarian for one day, one week, or one month. Check it out here: http://www.worldvegetarianday.org/pledge-vegwin/

Why now? I grew up in the midwest where consuming meat was an unconscious norm and just continued that lifestyle without thought. When I lived in Boulder during my 4 years at the University of Colorado I became more aware  of the vegetarian diet, but it really wasn’t until studying nutrition years later that I recognized its benefits. Also, several films (including Food, Inc.) only made me more aware of the treatment of animals that we consume.

While this change will be difficult, especially with the holidays coming up, I am very lucky to have a supportive husband who does not mind eating vegetarian meals that I cook. Though, he isn’t totally sold on the idea for himself … yet.

I will be blogging about any trials (because, let’s face it, changing lifestyles can be hard), continue posting recipes and nutritional information, as well as discussing any other information about vegetarianism that may apply.

Will you join me? Will you sign the pledge, even if for one day or one week?

FNCE Wrap Up #2

On Monday, we started off the day with a lovely breakfast for the students hosted by Kellogg’s. Fruit and yogurt parfaits, free coffee, muffins, lots of cereal and did I mention the free coffee? All to convince us that their cereal is the best and top of the pack in nutrition, of course. (This RD2be does like her Kashi, on occasion.)

After breakfast, Lexie (@LexieBoyceRD2Be) and I headed to the session on Packaging Yourself Professionally by Anna Graf Williams, PhD. Biggest takeaway: put your resume in Adobe format. No formatting or privacy gets skewed and nobody gets hurt. Put the Word document down and pick up a Cloud. And back up your computer, people!

After the first session is was more Expo time! First stop, a stop at the Chobani booth to try one of the new flavors: Apple Cinnamon. It was like eating apple pie,  with the cream. Yum! We then headed to The Laughing Cow booth to meet @kerigans and get a signed copy of her new book, The Small Change Diet. While there, this little lady cut in line, but was nice enough to take her picture with me.

What a cow, she was.

We had a moo-velous time meeting each other.

She sure did make me feel home on the range.

After meeting the oh-so-nice Keri Gans and once again getting tongue tied playing it cool, we were off hopping from booth to booth getting more free books, samples and bags. After checking out of the hotel (boo!), we headed back to the Expo and while waiting for Cheryl Forberg’s new cookbook, I stopped by to say hi to Mini!

He was fiberfull. The fibers that ran through him were true. Pass the fiber.

Moving on…

After meeting the wonderful Cheryl Forberg, we headed over to the Strawberry booth to see David Grotto in a strawberry suit. It was berry amazing. And look! The Laughing Cow was there as well.

After more wandering and munching, we headed up to David Grotto and Rebecca Scritchfield’s session of “Be the Brand” about using social media as a tool and knowing what brand you are building for success. Very informative and inspiring!

Unfortunately, I had to leave at this point to get back to my internship with the school district, but I can’t wait for next year in Philadelphia! Who knows where my career will be by then, but one thing’s for sure – I will be an RD.

FNCE Wrap Up Numero Uno

This past weekend I attended the American Dietetic Association’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) for the first time. I was not originally intending to go to the conference this year as an intern does not have a lot of free time (or cash). However, one of my rotations is with the Vegetarian Resource Group and they encouraged me to come to not only help them out, but also to experience the conference and network. And since my friend and fellow intern, Lexie was going to be my roommate, I couldn’t refuse!

I arrived on Saturday and we took most of the day to get settled in and enjoy San Diego a bit before being in conference rooms all day. We walked along Seaport Village for a while, boat watching… 

People watching…

And enjoying the view from outside the conference center.

On Sunday, I attended the session subtitled “RDs in the Medical Home”. It was a interesting perspective on a different role that RDs can play by coordinating with different public health sectors and working as a part of the primary care circle, alongside the doctor and dentist. (The adolescent in me wants to say “The Deeeeessssss! Doctor, Dentist, Dietitian. Whazzzup!) Ahem. In this role, dietitians would be doing more than coordinating, but also teaching cooking classes, doing supermarket tours, and gardening in addition to clinical teaching. RDs should not wait to be invited into this care process; make the leap!

After attending this session, I headed down to the Expo grocery store floor to see marketing at its best what kind of companies and goods were represented. I walked around for a bit, but finally headed to the Vegetarian Resource Group’s booth where I was interning the rest of the day.

While there I met a couple of the dietitians that I admire and follow on Twitter, including @eatsmartbd & @robynwebb, saw @davidgrotto & @kerigans walk by (hola!), and met a new Twitter friend @truelovehealth. Needless to say, I got totally tongue tied kept my cool when meeting some of them.

I attending the session on “Vegetarians in the Library: What’s the Evidence?” regarding the new Evidence Analysis Library section devoted to research on vegetarianism. My biggest takeaway from this was that while some people call themselves dietitians, they don’t really understand what it means.

In the evening I attended a lovely dinner hosted by the Vegetarian Resource Group at Royal India. Fantastic food, fantastic people and hey, look, I made their blog! (In the green, looking tired? in the back: http://www.vrg.org/blog/2011/09/28/another-successful-vrg-dinner/)

Wrap Up Numero Dos coming up in the next post! What to look forward to? Cows, strawberries and planes, oh my!