Is It Over Yet? Spring Diet Overhaul: 2015

Winter is finally coming to a close. As I write this post St. Patrick’s day is slipping away, meaning one thing, Spring. Even as a dietitian, I can honestly tell you I am sick and tired of eating heavy food. If I consume one more meal with a meat and potato base, I might just turn vegan and say to hell with it.

Much like we turnover our closets come warmer weather, we should also do the same to our diets. Out with the sweaters, in the kale! No more elastic waist sweatpants, football jerseys or perpetual yoga pant wearing. Same can be said for what we consume. It is time to ‘retire’ all the dense, warm foods and bring in the dietary version of jorts. For those of you unaware of the jort fanomon, they are jean shorts. Jean + shorts = jorts. Consider yourself youthanized. See what I did there?

So here I am. To provide you with ideas for ways to get out of eating canned food and back into the produce section!

Spring Diet Overhaul: 2015

From Google Images

From Google Images

1. Fruit

Stop eating apples and oranges. I feel as though my fruit consumption this winter was a math problem your third grade teacher asked you to solve. ‘If you have 4 apples and Brad eats two of them, but then Andrea gives you 3 oranges, how many pieces of fruit do you now have?’ For the love Chiquita Banana, please give me more options! Spring will now provide you with seasonal fruits such as apricots, honeydew, mango, pineapple and strawberries. Dig in!

2. Vegetables

Potatoes, carrots, brussels sprouts and parsnips has been the bounty of the winter doldrums. I feel I have reinvented ways to make sweet potatoes 20 times over the past few months. Roasted, mashed, grated, steamed – you name it. My winter vegetable series looked something like Red Robin’s hamburger menu. Sure, you can add different toppings and condiments, but it all starts to taste the same after a while. Good news! Spring vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, snow peas and spinach. These next few months are basically the equivalent of a movie I hope to produce one day, ‘Spring’s Green Latern’. You are welcome Ryan Reynolds for the quasi plug.

From Google Images

From Google Images

Check out local vendors and grocery stores for seasonal proteins in your area. And do not forget to reincorporate whole grains. I know you’ve been living on nothing but sticky white rice, Cocoa Puffs and sourdough bread for the past few months. So get to gettin’! The bounty is here and you needs some vitamins. I mean seriously, your skin could use some help. Believe me, I know. I am pretty sure I look translucent these days and skin flakes the size of quarters are falling off my face.

August’s Nutrition Hot Topic: Vitamin D-ficient

You would think in today’s world, a dietitian would never be subject to a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Well, I hate to break it to you but in 2014, it happened. This very principle was proven wrong during my last physical a few short weeks ago. The appointment was filled with highlights: a breast exam, peeing into a Dixie cup and my doctor curb siding me on an irritable bowel syndrome diet. Perhaps the greatest (and by that I mean worst) was when she read my vitamin D levels to me. As I redressed on the other side of a curtain, she informed me my lab work came back great, except for one thing. I beat her to the punch with, ‘Let me guess, I’m vitamin D deficient’. Her response, ‘good guess’. I ain’t no dummy. Damn my New England exposed skin.

You see, even the best of us with grand diets, can fall short when it comes to certain vitamins. I’ll tell you something, a vitamin D deficiency is one of the most common. Image from

Image from

Not getting enough sunshine? Below are a few foods high in vitamin D

Wild salmon
Mushrooms (exposed to sunlight, such as shiitake)
Cod liver oil
Canned tuna
Egg yolks
Cheese (such as ricotta)
Beef liver
*Fortified sources include milk, yogurt, orange juice and ready-to-eat breakfast cereals.

If you’re looking to supplement 1,000-2,000 International Units should do it. Check with your doctor before supplementing.

Looking for sunlight exposure as a solution? The time spent out in the sun really depends on where you are in relation to the equator. Generally speaking, you need un-SPF-protected skin exposed for 10-15 minutes per day; face and arms should do it. Be sure to check your body or face lotion though, they often come with built in SPF – great for sun protection, not so great for vitamin D production.

They Found A New Way For You to Eat Your Veggies

Savory vegetable yogurts – they do exist! I have to be honest, I prefer salt over sugar any day of the week. It’s this reason I do not enjoy eating yogurt for breakfast. It’s just too sweet, even if it is plain. For myself, yogurt falls into the snack category. So you can imagine my confused delight when I saw these Blue Hill Yogurts at Whole Foods.

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Photo Credit: Kimberly Sabada MS, RD, LDN

Made from the whole milk of grass-fed cows, the flavors offered include Tomato, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Beet, Parsnip, and Butternut Squash. Naturally I picked up the only 3 varieties Whole Foods had on the shelf and headed home to timidly taste test. The review is as follows:

The Beet yogurt was by far the most tart, probably due to the raspberry vinegar found in the ingredient list. Clearly the honey wasn’t enough to carry the team. It was pretty good, but I cannot imagine consuming a whole 6 ounce container of it in one sitting. Popping it into the freezer for a few minutes and eating it as frozen yogurt seems more likely.

The Carrot yogurt was a little sweeter than the Beet. Unquestionably less tart, and therefore, a little richer. Of the three flavors it was the most boring with just milk, carrots, water, carrot juice concentrate, sea salt, and live cultures.

Thanksgiving in my mouth, period. The sweetest of the three, which I attribute to the cinnamon, clove and nutmeg. I could eat a whole container of this flavor, no questions asked.

Nutritionally, these yogurts run around 100-120 calories with 4.5 grams of fat, 4-5 grams of protein and 10-15 grams of carbohydrate (depending on the flavor). They may not be Greek or Icelandic yogurt, but with all natural ingredients, there’s no harm in changing up your yogurt every once in a while. Just keep in mind these are neither low fat or fat free dairy products.

You don’t have to eat the yogurts in a solitary fashion either. Incorporate them into smoothies, baked goods (morning glory muffins with carrot yogurt anyone?), dips or soup bases. Check out for a few recipes ideas!