Collaboration is key to a successful career

Collaboration is key to a successful career

I won’t lie. Becoming a dietitian is not an easy path. It starts with a passion for food, health and people. You need to learn and understand anatomy, physiology and chemistry. In order to receive appropriate training, you have to apply for and be accepted into a competitive dietetic internship or practice program, which is typically unpaid. Then you have to sit for a national exam to become registered, and maintain 75 hours of continued education every 5 years. There are multiple hoops to jump through. It is expensive, time-consuming and difficult.

Because of this competitive start, dietitians are often competitive with each other. You’re vying for the same job (like you would with other professions) or you’re trying to make a name for yourself. Your goal is to obtain more clients, work with brands, make a better wage, etc.

After being in the field for nearly 30 years and a small business owner for over 12, I’ve realized that collaborating with other dietitians is much more meaningful and fun than competing. Every dietitian has a little different spin on how they cook, teach, present, write, etc. We all have unique talents and honestly, can’t do everything. Just like there are specialties in medicine or nursing, the same applies for nutrition. There is no “one size fits all” approach and we each do things in our own unique ways.

For example,if I receive a call to work with a child with food allergies, I try to find a dietitian that works in this area. Or if I am asked to present on a topic that I have zero experience or interest in, I’ll likely forward it to a more knowledgeable colleague. The same holds true for how other dietitians treat me. We network with each other and refer clients when things are out of our lane. It’s part of being ethical and acting with integrity. It’s OK to say no to work that doesn’t fit, and you should.

This week, I am collaborating with another dietitian whom I’ve admired for years. She is a great writer and well known in the nutrition community. Her passion and practice is “plant-powered” nutrition and she is known for her plant prowess.

Rather than seeing her as my adversary, I see her as an ally. We met a few years ago at a nutrition conference in Texas and have connected online through social media over the years. She has written a few cookbooks and agreed to do a giveaway with me this week. I am happy to collaborate with her in this way.

So if you’re on Instagram, follow the two of us for a chance to win her Plant-powered for life book, market tote and my Don’t despear food pun tee. You’ve got nothing to lose by entering and you’ll likely pick up some great plant powered nutrition tips to boot! Here’s the book: https://www.amazon.com/Plant-Powered-Life-Recipes-Achieve-Goals_Starting/dp/1615191879




Choosing exercise that works for you

Choosing exercise that works for you

It’s been a tough spring. My oldest daughter was all set to go to Italy with her art class and the younger to DC with her social studies class. They’d both received these trips as gifts for Christmas since they weren’t exactly cheap. Our older daughter was working part time and paid for half of her trip. I was secretly jealous. I’d never traveled to either place!

Once the pandemic hit in January, we were pretty skeptical about the trip to Italy. By February, Europe was making headline news that the corona virus was getting worse. We weren’t surprised when the trip was cancelled by late February.

So, we did what we could. We stayed inside, We wore and continue to wear masks wherever we go. My girls got through online/virtual school and were on social media more than usual. They called, texted and zoomed friends. And somewhere in the midst of all of that, my older daughter discovered roller skates.

She told me she wanted skates for her birthday (in June) because, “people looked so happy roller skating”. She didn’t want them because they would help her get in shape or lose weight. She didn’t want them because friends had them (none of them do). She simply wanted them for fun. How cool is that?

If you’re looking for ways to exercise, consider what is FUN. I look at exercise like I do food. If it’s not enjoyable, why are you spending time on it? There are a million ways to get moving. What appeals to you? Below are tips to consider:

  1. Do you prefer to be inside or outside? If outside, do you like to bike, hike,swim, run or walk? Do you need any special equipment (a bike or hiking shoes) or can you just walk outside your door and go? Pools are opening slowly in Cincinnati, but there are some open and available to take a dip.
  2. Are you social or prefer solo exercise? While some gyms are opening up, you may not feel comfortable going just yet. You may be able to find classes online. http://glo.com offers a free trial of yoga or pilates classes. YMCA also offers free classes https://ymca360.org/
  3. Multi-task if the exercise seems boring. Read a book or listen to a podcast while you’re on the elliptical. Watch your favorite sit com while you’re on your bike.
  4. Use a few free weights or stretch bands at home. Strength training builds muscle, strength and reduces your fall risk. It also tones you up, helps manage blood sugar and increases metabolism.
  5. Start S L O W L Y. No need to run a marathon two weeks after you start running. Start with 5 minutes walking every other day. Increase to 10 minutes after a week or two and build from there. Be consistent.
  6. Try something new! While rollerskating may be a bit much (it isn’t for a teenager), try an online class, new racket sport or other activity. I’ve discovered pickle ball this spring and love it!
  7. Check out a used sports goods store. You may get some bargains on used equipment in addition to ideas of new activities you hadn’t considered.
  8. Don’t quit. Our bodies crave movement every day. Without it, we lose muscle mass and strength. Exercise feeds your brain oxygen and nutrients. Studies show that regular exercise reduces your chances of dementia and depression. Get off the couch. Skate if you like.


Father’s Day Strawberry Pancakes

Father’s Day Strawberry Pancakes

Father’s Day has been tough for me the past seventeen years. I lost my dad on January 6, 2003. I was pregnant with my first child after a long bout of infertility. My husband was becoming a new father while I was losing my own. I was so excited to be expecting, but so incredibly sad that my dad would never meet our baby. I was due in early August.

We decided not to find out the baby’s sex. With fertility treatment, you know exactly when your baby is conceived and there are few surprises. I was convinced we were going to have a boy and would name it after my dad (Frank). Ironically, our daughter Iris was born 6 weeks early, 5 days after Father’s Day that year. Her birthday often coincides with the holiday. It has always been a bitter sweet day.

One of my fondest memories of my dad was going out to breakfast. With a family of five kids, we didn’t go out often. Money wasn’t tight per se, but we certainly lived frugally. We typically went to family-style restaurants- Perkins, Denny’s or the local pancake house come to mind. My dad always told me my “eyes were bigger than my stomach”. I had a bad habit of ordering more food than I could possibly eat. Secretly, I think he didn’t mind. Dads are known to have to clean their kids’ plates.

Strawberry pancakes was one such item. They always looked so good on the menu! Who could resist a tower of fluffy pancakes with whipped cream nestled between them, topped with strawberry sauce and more whipped cream? Not me! I’ve always had a sweet tooth and it continues to this day.

We recently had some dying strawberries in the frig. Rather than making a smoothie, my mind traveled back to that stack of strawberry pancakes from the days of family breakfast. My husband and I tend to work as a team in the kitchen. He made mini pancakes and I made strawberry sauce. The whipped cream isn’t pictured here, but it always adds a special touch to the dish.

My girls love this special breakfast, too. Maria- adopted from Guatemala in 2006, has my dad’s name for her middle (Francis). Her maternal grandmother’s name was Francis. The world is small!

Ingredients (pancakes)

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

3 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. white sugar

1 1/4 cups milk

1 egg

3 Tbsp. canola oil or melted butter


  1. Combine flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl and make a “well” in the center.
  2. Add the milk, egg and oil/butter and add it to the dry ingredients and mix well.
  3. Heat a frying pan or griddle and spray with non-stick spray. Pour 1/4 cup pancake mix on the pan/griddle and brown on both sides. Serve hot. * Recipe taken from Allrecipes.com https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/21014/good-old-fashioned-pancakes/

Strawberry sauce

1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. sugar


  1. Place berries, lemon juice and sugar in a small pot. Mash the berries with a wooden spoon while they cook over medium heat (roughly 5 to 7 minutes).
  2. Spoon strawberry mixture over pancakes and serve hot.
  3. Top with a dollop of whipped cream (optional)

Makes 6 large pancakes or 10-12 mini cakes. Happy Father’s Day!




Cookbook & Be Kaleful tee Giveaway!

Cookbook & Be Kaleful tee Giveaway!

I love collaborating with other RDs and am thrilled to offer a giveaway with a fabulous culinary RD from the East coast named Dana Angelo White. Dana recently released her latest cookbook, Healthy One Pan Dinners. Now’s your chance to snag this great cookbook AND one of my favorite tees- Be Kaleful.

Follow me and Dana on Instagram and comment on our post. US residents only. A winner will be picked at random this week!

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Say Kale yeah if you love kale, food puns, and delicious one pan meals. THIS GIVEAWAY is for you. I am so excited to team up with @dana_angelo_white to bring you this duo! Win a copy of Dana's Healthy One Pan Dinners – featuring more than 10 recipes with kale, plus a Sound Bites Nutrition purple Be Kaleful t-shirt. To Enter 1) Like this post 2) Follow @dana_angelo_white and @nutrigirl66 3) Drop a comment below with your favorite way to eat kale Winner will be chosen at random via PM on June 19. No purchase necessary, US entries only, prizes provided by #danawhitenutrition and #soundbitesnutrition #bekaleful #onepandinners #chewswisely #eathealthy #dietitiansofinstagram #cookbook #giveaway #foodpun #fun

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Sweet cabbage slaw with fresh pineapple and sunflower seeds

Sweet cabbage slaw with fresh pineapple and sunflower seeds

Looking for a deliciously different salad this spring? Try this one! I picked up a bag of cole slaw mix the other day thinking I’d sautee it with onions and serve it with egg noodles. For anyone familiar with Hungarian cuisine, this combination is called Haluska or Haluski, in some circles. It’s a popular dish served at weddings in my home town in Northeastern Ohio and is considered comfort food.

But since the temps have gotten higher, the thought of being over a hot stove cooking cabbage and boiling egg noodles was not so appealing. So I opted to make a new salad.

This salad is simple, fresh, nutritious AND delicious. My motto is, “food is for eating”. If it doesn’t taste good to you, why bother?

Cabbage is an often overlooked vegetable, but it shouldn’t be. It’s part of the cruciferous vegetable family along with broccoli and cauliflower. It’s an excellent source of vitamins K and C as well as anti-oxidants and phytochemical that help prevent disease, notably cancer. In addition, it’s low in calories and provides some folate, a B vitamin needed to protect DNA (kinda important)!

I used green grapes in this salad, but red grapes would add more color to the dish. If you don’t have poppy seed dressing you could use a honey mustard or other sweet vinaigrette. Pineapple boosts the fiber and vitamin C content of the salad as well as the texture and taste. It’s also in season now, so take advantage!

If you don’t have sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds would make a good substitute or slivered almonds would work well, too. I like to add nuts or seeds to my salads for texture, taste and heart-healthy fats.


1 (10 oz) bag cole slaw mixed or 1 head cabbage, shredded

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pineapple chunks

1/2 cup green or red grapes, cut in half

1/2 cup poppy seed dressing


  1. Place cole slaw mix in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add sunflower seeds, pineapple chunks, grapes and poppy seed dressing.
  3. Toss slaw and fruit to coat.
  4. Serve cold.

Makes 6 servings. 

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