Food Pun Tee Shirt & Swag Sale- save 20% in honor of FNCE!

Food Pun Tee Shirt & Swag Sale- save 20% in honor of FNCE!

I was all set to attend FNCE, the annual Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics Food, Nutrition Conference & Expo since it was being held in Indianapolis this year. I was so eggcited to be part of the RD Market Place to sell my food pun swag.

Who could have predicted a global pandemic would pivot the whole thing to a virtual meeting? Sigh…

But since I won’t be there in person (or virtual this year), I still want my colleagues to be sporting my food pun tees or tanks. When you’re in a virtual meeting, it’s the tops that count!

Now til the end of September, use coupon code FNCE 2020 and take 20% off all food pun swag including tees, tanks, mugs and new food pun masks!

Here’s the catch- you don’t have to be a dietitian to wear them. If you enjoy food and puns, I’ve got you covered. We all eat, right?

Let food speak for you! Be kaleful. Avo nice day! Peas romaine seeded and more. How can you resist? Can’t.

A tastier way to manage your blood sugar

A tastier way to manage your blood sugar

Earlier this month, I received a sample box of Splenda Diabetes Care shakes in exchange for my honest review. Like similar nutrition shakes, they come in 3 flavors, including milk chocolate, French vanilla and strawberry banana.

The shakes come in a convenient, easy to open, 8 oz. bottle with the claims “No added sugar” and “Helps manage blood sugar”. According to the nutrition facts labs, there is no added sugar and the product is sweetened with sucralose (AKA Splenda). The shakes are gluten and soy-free and 170 calories per 8 oz. bottle.

The combination of a reduced carbohydrate, higher fat, higher protein shake has been found to help those with diabetes manage blood sugar and prevent blood sugar spikes when compared to other nutritional shakes, according to a few published studies.

I was pleasantly surprised by the taste of the vanilla shake. It was smooth and creamy and didn’t have that “vitaminy” taste that oral supplements often do. These milk-based shakes each contain 170 calories with 16 grams or protein (twice the amount in a glass of milk) as well as 6 grams of dietary fiber.

The shakes are a good source of calcium and vitamin D, providing 30% and 50% of the Daily Value, respectively. They are also fortified with vitamin C, B12 and magnesium and contain primarily heart-healthy, mono-unsaturated fat (6 grams per bottle). Each shake contains 15 grams of carbohydrate, roughly the amount you’d get in a 50-calorie slice of whole wheat bread.

Beyond the nutritional value, I was really impressed with the taste. As I mentioned above, it was not saccharine sweet, nor did it have the heavily fortified vitamin taste. It was smooth and not chalky.

I’d caution that the shake did make my belly a bit grumbly and gassy, which I attribute to the FOS (fructooligosaccharides (FOS). FOS provides some of the sweetness of the shakes. The shakes are suitable for those with lactose intolerance due to the microfiltered milk protein utilized. I’d try them before writing them off completely.

My husband tried the strawberry-banana and noted it tasted good, but the color was a little too “Peptobismol pink”. My daughters both loved the chocolate shakes, which was no surprise to me!

I felt comfortably full after drinking the shake, which is what you’re looking for with a quick meal replacement or between meal snack. I wasn’t ‘stuffed’, but wasn’t hungry for anything else for a few hours.

Overall, I’d suggest these shakes to clients for their convenience, taste and nutritional profile. You don’t have to have diabetes to use them either. These would be welcome in a weight loss plan given their high protein, low sugar profile.

Learn more and find them at http://Splenda.com/Diabetes-shakes 

#samples #product review #Splenda @SPLENDA #diabetescare

New health benefits of coffee discovered

New health benefits of coffee discovered

Need one more reason to enjoy a cup of joe every day? Sip on this! Researchers from the University of Nottingham have found that “brown fat”, our body’s fat-fighting defense may be stimulated by drinking a cup of coffee. Brown fat may be key to fighting obesity and diabetes. 1

The study published in the journal Scientific Reports, is one of the newest to be done on humans to find ways that could have a direct impact on how brown fat functions, a vital part of our bodies that plays an important role in how fast we burn calories into energy. 1

Brown fat, technically brown adipose tissue (BAT), is one of the two types of fat found in humans and other mammals. It was first only associated with babies and hibernating mammals, but was discovered in recent years that adults possess brown fat, too. The main function of brown fat is to create body heat by burning calories compared to white fat, which stores excess calories. Those with a lower BMI (body mass index) tend to have higher amounts of brown fat. 1

According to Professor Michael Symonds from the University of Nottingham who co-directed the research, brown fat interacts differently than other fat in our bodies and makes heat by burning fat and sugar, often as a response to cold. Blood sugar control and improved lipid levels are observed through its activity. Additional calories burned aid with weight reduction. Until now, no one has discovered an acceptable method to stimulate BAT activity in humans. 1

Symond’s study is the first in humans to find that a simple cup of coffee can have a direct impact on how brown fat functions. As obesity is a major health concern in society and diabetes is a growing epidemic, brown fat could be a potential ally in fighting both. 1

The study initiated in a series of stem cells to evaluate if caffeine would stimulate brown fat. Once the correct dose was found, they continued on to human subjects to see if the results were the same. 1

A thermal imaging technique was used by the team to follow the body’s reserves of brown fat. The technique is non-invasive and helps the team find brown fat and evaluate its ability to produce heat. 1

Based on previous research, Symonds notes that brown fat is primarily located in the neck region, so they were able to image a person right after drinking coffee to check if brown fat got hotter. Given the positive results, the team now needs to evaluate if caffeine or another active ingredient in coffee is impacting the activation of brown fat. Caffeine supplements are being tested to see if the effect is the same. 1

Once they have pinpointed the responsible component, it could likely be utilized as part of a weight management or blood sugar control program to help reduce the risk of diabetes. 1

Some takeaway messages for dietitians: coffee is not a magic bullet. While the study is promising, calorie control and regular exercise still remain the gold standards for weight management and diabetes prevention. While black coffee is calorie-free, coffee with cream, sugar or other add-ins (syrup, whipped cream, chocolate shavings, liquor), may contain quite a few calories and could pack on pounds. Coffee with skim milk or plant-based milks will provide calcium in addition to caffeine. Remember that caffeine is a drug and it affects people differently. When abused, it may increase anxiety, heart rate, nervousness and risk for insomnia. According to the FDA, four to five cups of coffee per day (roughly 400 mg caffeine per day) is deemed safe for most. 2

If you’re looking for that adorable mug, you can pick one up here: https://soundbitesnutrition.com/product/deja-brew-11-oz-mug/


  1. Ksenija Velickovic, Declan Wayne, Hilda Anaid Lugo Leija, Ian Bloor, David E. Morris, James Law, Helen Budge, Harold Sacks, Michael E. Symonds, Virginie Sottile. Caffeine exposure induces browning features in adipose tissue in vitro and in vivoScientific Reports, 2019; 9 (1) DOI: 1038/s41598-019-45540-1
  2. https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much
Everything fries

Everything fries

Contrary to the name of this side dish, there’s really just 2 ingredients. My daughter recently asked me to purchase “everything bagel spice” so she could make an appetizer she saw on Pinterest. I’m always trying to encourage her to try new food, so of course I obliged. Not to mention, it used a bell pepper, so even better.

If you’re a tater hater, don’t be. Potatoes may be high in carbohydrates, but so is a chocolate chip cookie, yet people justify eating that while forgoing unprocessed, real food. A medium baked potato has about 100 calories and a decent amount of vitamin C. It’s a ridiculously versatile food and can be topped with veggies (like broccoli or spinach), salsa, chili or some simple shredded cheese.

This recipe uses russet potatoes, but red or Golden Yukon potatoes could be used, too. I used non-stick spray to coat the fries before baking, but a brush of canola, corn or olive oil works, too. If you’re in need of a simple side for your burger, sandwich or other meal, give this a try! The fries are a wee spicy from the black pepper with a hint of garlic. The spice could be used in rice dishes, too.


4 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into French fry strips

Everything bagel spice

Non-stick spray


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Place the cut potatoes on the baking sheet and spread them out. Spray the fries again with non-stick spray.
  4. Sprinkle the fries with everything bagel spice then bake for 10 minutes. Toss the fries and bake another 10 to 15 minutes until they’re golden brown

Makes 6-8 servings.


Simple Tamale Pie

Simple Tamale Pie

How have I lived on this earth for so long and not eaten (or MADE) tamale pie? I love Mexican food and tamales are one of my favorite dishes. My husband has made homemade tamales before, but I haven’t tried my hand at them. I tend to shy away from recipes that seem too labor and time intensive. When you work and taxi 2 daughters, you want dinner on the table quickly.

I found this recipe online and didn’t follow it. I’m known for tweaking recipes based on what ingredients I have on hand and what I think would be a healthier substitution. In this case, I subbed lean ground turkey for ground beef and used corn oil instead of melted butter. This cuts the fat content down. Another option to reduce the fat content is to use 2% milk shredded cheese in the tamale top. I made 1/2 of what the recipe called for, which made 1 perfect tamale pie.

In addition, I added a 1/2 cup of black beans which added fiber and texture to the dish. I didn’t have any tomatoes with green chiles on hand, so used a cup of prepared salsa. There were a handful of spices on the list including chile powder, cumin and salt. I opted to use a small packet of Goya seasoning, which covered all of the seasonings. I did toss in some oregano, because it gives dishes a little earthly flavor!

You could make this dish completely vegan by using 2 cans of black, red or kidney beans in place of the meat and leaving out the cheese or using a cheese substitute (such as Dayia). Vegetable broth may be used in place of chicken broth.  Below is my recipe. I hope you enjoy it. Ole!

Ingredients (for the base)

1 lb. ground turkey (93/7)

1/2 onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup canned black beans (drained/rinsed)

1 cup prepared salsa (+ extra for serving over the pie)

1 packet Sazon Goya seasoning (with coriander and annatto)

1/2 tsp. dried oregano


For the tamale top

1 1/8 cup masa (corn flour)

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

1/4 cup corn or canola oil

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9″ pie pan or one 8 x 8 baking dish with on-stick spray.
  2. In a large cast iron skillet or saute pan, brown the turkey then drain the fat.
  3. Add the onions and cook until they’re translucent, then add the garlic, black beans, salsa, Goya seasoning and oregano. Cook for another 5 minutes until the turkey is well seasoned.
  4. Place the turkey mixture into the prepared pan.
  5. For the topping, combine the masa, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl. Gradually add the chicken broth, then the oil and whisk until smooth. Stir in the cheese.
  6. Spoon the corn batter evenly over the top of the meat mixture, patting it down to form a crust.
  7. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the masa top is lightly browned or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
  8. Top with additional salsa or enchilada sauce before serving.

Makes 6 servings. 



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