Coronavirus Misinformation

What do the items in this picture have in common? Two things.

  1. All of these items keep you and your environment clean.
  2. All of these items are currently flying off grocery shelves to the point they are not available all the time.

Yes. This is the Pandemic world we are living in today! My blog followers are asking for advice and information on how to handle this awful virus that currently plaques the world, so I want to respond with some common sense to simplify what you should do right now.

DO NOT TAKE EVERYTHING YOU HEAR AS THE TRUTH! I can’t express this enough! There is so much information being shared and just like the game Telephone or Grapevine, as the information gets passed through social media and a number of people, it gets skewed. I know of multiple deaths occurring due to misinformation. Don’t trust the self proclaimed experts on social media. Don’t even take my information for face value. You want to get the scientific truth from the people with the most authority. Go directly to the CDC. Here is the address to their website:

I will still give you a list of the simple things I am doing to stay healthy:

  • TAKE THE VIRUS SERIOUSLY. This is probably the worst Pandemic in our lifetime. Making no changes to your daily life is putting you and others at risk of severe illness and possible death. And if you and nobody you know gets ill or dies, congratulations! You might say “See, it was not big deal” when in reality taking action is what prevented you and your loved ones from becoming another static.
  • WASH YOUR HANDS. They’ve already proven that just vigorously washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds cleans off the virus and bacteria. Make sure to get the back of your hands and deep between your fingers. I saw results from an experiment that showed soap and water worked the best, even against hand sanitizer. Washing your hands isn’t just for the bathroom, I also wash before and after I cook, after going through mail, before and after I go to the store or get gas for the car.
  • CLEAN, CLEAN and CLEAN AGAIN. If you touch something that an infected person touched you could catch the virus. Constantly clean all the surfaces around you that routinely get touched, preferably with a disinfectant. This includes door knobs, light switches, drawer/cabinet handles, phones, remote controls, computers and their accessories.
  • STAY AT HOME. Don’t leave your home unless you absolutely have to. Most companies have an option to work from home. I’ve been working from home for 2 weeks now and while I miss my co-workers we chat online to keep each other company. The only time I plan to leave my home is for necessary groceries, and I found a store that will pull the items for you and load them into your trunk so you do not have shop inside. Other stores will even deliver to your home, so there is really no reason to leave.
  • SOCIAL DISTANCING. If I leave my home I make a point to stay at least 6 feet away from other people and I do not touch anything I don’t need to. Also trying to keep my hands from my face which I’m terrible at!

Just a reminder, these are just the things that I am doing to stay healthy. The real experts are at the CDC. They have the most scientifically proven recommendations. Check out the link I shared above for the most accurate information.


Turnip Recipes

Turnips are one of the unsung heros of the vegetable world. Like all veggies it’s low in calories, but the nutrient density of turnips ranks very high! They are loaded! You have almost the entire alphabet! Vitamins A, most of the Bs, C, E, K and minerals like iron, calcium, manganese, potassium, magnesium and copper.

What does a turnip taste like? It has it’s own unique flavor but some say it can taste a little like a rutabaga. There is a slight bitter taste but I believe it’s due to the nutrient density. And it’s not just the turnips that are nutrient dense, the greens are also loaded.

So how should I eat this vegetable? You can slice and cook it in water like you would beets, but the latest trend is roasting.

Roasted Turnips:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Cut the greens off the turnips and save. Use a scrubber to wash turnips and cut them into cubes. Toss in a small amount of olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt, pepper and garlic and spread them out on a pan. Bake for 15 minutes, shake them around to turn them and then cook them for another 10 minutes, or until they are tender to a fork.

Sauteed Turnip Greens:

For this recipe I prefer butter over olive oil for the flavor. Melt a tablespoon of butter in a pan. Saute some diced onion and pressed garlic in the pan, adding salt and pepper. When onions turn translucent add the greens, chopped. Continue cooking until the greens have wilted to your liking.

Having them together is a great, light meal!

What is Clean Eating ?

You have probably heard about the Clean Eating Diet but what is it? First, I would like to remove the word Diet and just call it clean eating. It’s really a way of life. You may get a number of different answers on how to eat clean and that’s because there is no single definition, and many people who claim to eat clean have some exceptions. I believe in clean eating because the basic principle of clean eating is relatively the same as the diets prescribed for people with diabetes, heart disease, gastric issues and weight loss.

My goal is to make the concept of clean eating simple for you and unless you are in bad health, allow you to occasionally make exceptions.

Lots of Fruits and Veggies – As with any kind of healthy eating or diet you should be eating a lot of fruits and vegetables. The majority of your vitamins and minerals important to body processes come from this source.

Minimal Fat Meats – This means meats such as fish, seafood, chicken and very lean cuts of pork or beef in their natural state.

Low Processed Carbs – Low processed means things like potatoes beans, peas or grains. The type of grains you may consider is oats, quinoa, brown rice, whole grain cereals and an occasional whole grain bread are ok.

Cook More –  Rather than buy convenience food, cook! The meal in the picture is a simple tiny roast, browned, topped with veggies and thrown in a crock-pot. Making your own salad dressing is simple. A little vinegar and oil mixed with a variety of herbs. I prefer balsamic vinegar as it has a strong, sweet flavor.

No additives, artificial colors, flavorings preservatives, etc.- Read your labels. Try to find items with 5 ingredients or less and nothing that you can’t pronounce.

In essence the idea is to eat food as close to it’s natural form as possible. Any processing increases ingredients that usually include unwanted chemicals, fat, sugar or salt. Processing also degrades the nutrient content of your food. Some people also say that you should eat 6 small meals a day. I prefer to look at it as having a little snack between meals. Nuts, yogurt or a piece of fruit are all acceptable. Those are also on your clean list. Make sure your yogurt does not have an additives as we mentioned earlier.

As you can see it’s fairly easy if you just focus on unprocessed food. I hope this simplifies clean eating for you and that it can guide you to a tasty and nutritious lifestyle.

Confetti Tuna Salad Recipe

As most people know, fish is one of the healthiest forms of protein you can eat with it’s lower calories and heart healthy omega 3 oils. What do you do when a family member won’t eat fish? Make something you know they can’t resist!

Most people will eat tuna salad……..even someone who hates fish like my husband. I’m sure it’s due to smothering the tuna in mayonnaise. You can’t even taste the fish! My challenge as a dietitian is how to reduce the mayonnaise and still make it taste good.

After using my husband as a lab rat, I’ve come up with the optimal tuna salad that will transition any family member into a fish eater………REALLY ! IT WORKS! Today my husband even tastes a little sushi every now in then, although he prefers his fish battered and deep fried.

First, what will every dietitian tell you to do to improve your diet? EAT MORE VEGGIES! Its the staple answer but it’s so true. Everything you need to survive you can find in veggies. Dense with vitamins, minerals and fiber you can’t go wrong! Plus, if you pick the right combinations they are super tasty!

My recipe starts with a bowl of chopped up veggies. Half tuna and half veggies to reduce the fishy taste and increase the health benefit.

I use an even amount of finely chopped onion, celery, bell or sweet pepper, zucchini or yellow squash and a few tiny chunks of carrot for sweetness. Add a can of tuna for 2 people, or 2 cans if you have more than 2 people. Add a heaping teaspoon of sweet relish, a dash or 2 of seasoned salt and pepper. Mix in a tablespoon of mayonnaise per can of tuna, or just enough to lightly cover all the ingredients. You can use your tuna salad on top of a salad, using the mayonnaise as the dressing, or make a sandwich with it.

How do you get your family member to the next fish eating step? Baked fish sticks are good, especially if you get the high quality version that has more fish than breading. The step after breaded fish is a mild fish like cod, orange roughy or Talapia and baked it with a heavy salsa or marinara. Sushi is another animal. When a non-fish eater realizes that raw fish doesn’t taste fishy at all (which it doesn’t) they may actually prefer raw tuna over cooked tuna! At least it worked in my home, with a lot of patience!

High Protein Vegetarian Sandwhich

If  you are a vegetarian and struggle with getting in enough protein, here is a great option for lunch or dinner and it’s really easy to make.

1 slice of  your favorite bread, toasted
Lowfat or Non-fat Cottage cheese, small curd is easier
1/2 avocado sliced
1 small tomato sliced, heirloom is the best

Toast your bread and spread on layer of cottage cheese. Add a layer of avocado slices and then top with a layer of tomato slices. A good heirloom tomato makes a big difference. My favorite are the purple/brownish varieties.

This open faced sandwich packs 8-10 grams of protein and around 60 mg of calcium from the cottage cheese. The avocado is one of the only vegetables that contains good fat which is good for heart health and it’s loaded with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.



Zucchini Lasagna Noodles Recipe

Is lasagna one of your favorite comfort foods in the winter? It’s definitely one of mine. It’s nice to make a large casserole dish full, eat one meal and then box up the rest to reheat for lunch at work.

I know what you are thinking. “But, isn’t lasagna fattening? The answer is it depends on how it’s made and how much you eat at a time!

Want a gluten free or healthier alternative? Try making your next lasagna using 1/4 inch thick slices of zucchini rather than noodles. Why 1/4 inch? The noodles will stay firmer at this thickness resembling more of a noodle. Even the skeptic of the house was happy with the way it turned out.

Cut your pieces into 3″X 3” squares to prevent eating too much. You can also get multiple meals this way.

Here is how I make my lasagna:

Sauce – saute the vegetables, add the tomatoes and paste and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
1 Tbls Olive oil
1/4 cup diced onion
1/4 cup diced bell pepper
1/4 cup diced zucchinni
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 small jar of quartered artichoke hearts chopped
1 can tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 Tbls dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 dash of ground thyme

Cheese Filling – thoroughly mix together
1 carton of low fat ricotta or cottage cheese (non-fat if you can find it)
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup ground Parmesan
1/4 cup dried parsley

Low fat Mozzarella Cheese slices

Brush a little of the sauce on the bottom of the pan to keep from sticking.
Cover the bottom of the pan with slices of  Zucchini. Cover with 1/2 the sauce followed by mozzarella slices, 1/2 cheese filling and then back to the Zucchini slices.  Repeat the assembly saving a little sauce to sprinkle over the top.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let cool for at least 10 min. before cutting or the pieces will not come out neatly.







Dying Brown or Blue Eggs

I’ve been asked if you can dye brown eggs. We tried dying our brown and blue eggs over Easter with an eco friendly kit and they turned out beautiful! If you are looking for pastel eggs the eco kit may not be your first choice but going through the trouble of having local farm fresh organic eggs I’d rather use natural dyes made out of herbs and flowers! They look earthy which to me is right in line with an organic lifestyle.

Fermented Food – Fountain of Youth?

You have probably heard fermentation is the latest health craze. Most people relate to fermentation as vinegar, yogurt or sauerkraut, but many people do not fully understand there is a health benefit to the process of fermentation or how it works. The fermentation process is basically a variety of bacteria that feed of the sugars of food, building lactic acid and releasing beneficial probiotics, enzymes, omega fatty acids and a variety of vitamins.

How does fermented food improve your health? It may surprise you but your gut is responsible for the majority of your immune system. Your ability to maintain good health is very much dependant on the gut’s microflora that resides there and the food you eat to support it. Microflora is a complex combination of good and bad bacteria, yeast, fungi and other micro-organisms that all play a part in keeping the body working properly and fighting off disease.

As you can see, probiotics are very important to add to and support the gut which in turn improves your immune system. Just like eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is important to get all the different vitamins and minerals you need, eating a number of different fermented foods is important to get the  variety of probiotics you need to keep your gut or immune sytstem working at it’s best. So rather than depending on your yogurt for all your probiotic needs, you may want to expand into a wider range of fermented foods. There are many varieties of pickeled items you can purchase and are readily available.

But why do they call fermented food the fountain of youth? Physical aging, especially in the skin, is easy to see. It’s caused by the body’s exposure to free radicals and toxins or lack of necessary elements. Continued support to your immune system allows the body to fight and regenerate. People with good immune systems physically age slower.

I watched a Japanese documentary that discussed fermentation and toured farms and facilities that supplied a number of our imported fermented foods including miso and pickled vegetables. At one point the interviewer asked a woman and her family how old they were.  It was shocking to find people in their 60s looking like they were in their 30s. Their daughter who was in her 30s looked like a child and claimed the only time she went to the doctor was when she had her baby. Another woman whose job was to sprinkle the fermenting fungi onto soy to make miso had not a wrinkle on her face. It was all amazing. Keep in mind that these people ate the foods they produced on a daily basis and were exposed to the activators most of their lifes.

Rather than focus on this fountain of youth claim, know that watching what you eat and adding some fermented foods to your diet is great for your overall health.



The Winter Fruit Blahs

I don’t know about you, but next to a snow storm, what I hate most about winter is the lack of variety of quality organic fruit. Pretty much my choices are apples, oranges and bananas, especially if you are on a budget or vowed to only purchase in season. Those couple months after the grapefruit and pears have gone dry is so hard for me!

Here are some tricks that should hopefully brighten up your fruit in the winter:

Try your hand at juicing – Have some tasty fun experimenting with online recipes. You may be surprise how good it tastes this way. Even adding some vegetables can make life even more interesting.

Make a fruit salad – I don’t know why, but cutting up the fruit and mixing it together makes it taste better to me. Buying a small container of berries and tossing it on top make it seem even more special. If you don’t have oranges in your salad, make sure to add some lemon or lime juice to keep the fruit from turning brown.

Make fruit desserts – Slip the fruit into desserts like apple cobbler, banana splits, chocolate covered bananas or even bananas foster. Look that one up online. It’s really good!

With a little imagination you can get rid of the winter fruit blahs and make sure you get in your 5 servings of fruits or vegetables everyday.




Let it Go

There is so much happening in the world today that it’s driving many people into a high emotional state. Unfortunately some of those people have been so emotional for so long that it’s worked them up to violence!

This high emotional state is not good for your health. It creates not just mental, but also physical stress on the body. If you don’t take a break from focusing on what’s upsetting you, your body literally goes into a fight or flight response resulting in an increased use of adrenaline and irrational behavior. It’s only a matter of time before your organs suffer the consequences and it starts effecting  your health.

I seem to remember a cartoon that we play for our children. A young woman lives in what she believes is a horrific situation and her and everyone around her is under significant stress. This young girl finally comes to the realization that all she needs to do is just “let it go” to find her happier side and control her emotions to live a better life.

Why can’t we all learn a lesson from what we teach our children and focus on making the world a better place for us and the people around us? It’s not only to improve our circumstances but also create a healthier life for ourselves, our friends and our families.