Home » Eat, Pray, Love: Finding the balance.

Eat, Pray, Love: Finding the balance.

If you haven’t read the book Eat, Pray, Love, I recommend you do so. I can only attest to the greatness of the book as I am yet to see the movie, but the book will have you smiling with every turn of a page…especially during the first section which takes place in Italy. The author writes of her adventures during trips to Italy, India, and Indonesia. And not shockingly, while in Italy she enjoys plentiful amounts of gelato and pizza while packing on pounds.

When I read the book, I could totally relate. In the summer of 2008 when I lived in Italy with Mr. Prevention, I found it hard to exercise portion control. Italian food is indescribable…DELICIOUS!

An article that popped into my in-box yesterday interviewed dietitians after reading Eat, Pray, Love as to how it related to  their work in educating on the importance of balance. Carolyn O’Niel wrote in the article, “…the message throughout seemed to be about finding balance in life, love, work, thoughts and deeds.” I loved that summary — it’s spot on.

After reading the article and the comments from dietitians, it got me thinking that balance is the “main street” approach among nutrition professionals. There are very few dietitians that “lay down the LAW”, so to speak, without any room for “balance”. Most dietitians find that balance in their own diet and lifestyle brings them maintainable health and happiness, and so it’s only natural they share that philosophy with patients.

A fun, easy read on a great book, balance, and dietitians!


Speaking of, I’ve been enjoying my work-life balance. While yesterday was a long, 13-hour day I have been enjoying my 30-hour weeks! And it looks as though things will be staying fairly calm for awhile — I did not get the job in pediatric endocrinology 🙁 I found out on Monday and had to process the disappointment for a few days, but I exited the interview having given it my all. I knew I was a long-shot candidate with only 1 year of experience and no previous work in pediatrics, but completely bummed because I miss having my hands in diabetes on a regular basis!!

I think everything happens for a reason, and so I’ve turned my frown upside down and I’ve been using the afternoons to walk with Lily and get in great workouts. Miss Lily can walk about 0.6 miles in the 80 degree heat before she has to chug a bowl of water and plop down on TOP of the air-conditioning vent. Exhibit A:

And of course, I use my time to make Mr. Prevention a home-cooked meal every night!

Last night: Twice-baked potato and Biggest Loser Faux Fried Chicken!!

Biggest Loser “Fried Chicken”

2 pounds chicken tenders
1 quart 1% buttermilk
2 cups whole wheat breadcrumbs
1 cup cornstarch
2 teaspoons paprika
1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon organic seasoning Salt
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
Large pinch cayenne pepper
4 egg whites, beaten to very soft peaks
Pam cooking spray or olive oil


Soak chicken tenders in refrigerator, in buttermilk, for 6 hours or overnight.

Drain and blot with paper towels to remove excess buttermilk. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 325° F. Lay bread crumbs out on a baking sheet and bake until golden brown, stirring occasionally, about 40 minutes. Cool.

Increase oven heat to 450º F. Combine cornstarch, paprika, seasoning salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a large Pyrex dish – mix well.

Dredge drained and blotted chicken tenders in seasoned starch. Next, coat dredged tenders thoroughly with beaten egg whites. Last, dip tenders in toasted panko to fully coat. Place chicken tenders on a foil-lined baking sheet, fitted with a baking rack. Lightly spray chicken on both sides with Pam and season lightly with salt, if desired. Bake for about 12 – 15 minutes or until outside is crispy and chicken is just cooked through and juicy. Yield: 8 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 270 calories; 4 g. fat (1 g. saturated fat); 65 mg. cholesterol; 210 mg. sodium; 27 g. carbohydrate; 2 g. fiber; 28 g. protein

Result: I rave about this recipe every time I make it…which is a lot, because Mr. Prevention LOVES it!!!! This is, hands down, one of his favorite meals.

Question: Did you read Eat, Pray, Love, or see the movie? Opinions? Do you think your nutritional “balance” is in check? Do you think you need to loosen the reins, or tighten them?

It’s all about balance and keeping balanced.

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. August 19, 2010 / 5:36 am

    I loved Eat, Pray, Love. I now truly would love to visit Indonesia. Can’t wait to check out the movie!

  2. August 19, 2010 / 6:45 am

    I’m sorry to hear that you didn’t get the job Nicole. Bummer. But you’re right, you gave it your all and if anything it was great practice for you. Having 30-hours a week to work is nice, and there will be other jobs that pop up, for sure.

    We sell this book at Giant Eagle, I noticed. When I do demos I am sometimes tempted to pick it up and skim through it. Perhaps I should! And perhaps I will 🙂

    Question for you. Should diabetics check their BS at night, before bedtime? And if so, what should they look for? If their BS is really high, should they still have a nighttime snack?? hehe, here is your diabetes for the day!

    • Nicole
      August 19, 2010 / 7:19 am

      Thanks, Gina 🙂

      I don’t have people check their BS before bed because unless they’re having highs or lows during the 2 hour post-prandial dinner checks or highs/lows fasting, there’s really nothing to do…it’s a non-compliance issue or a med issue. At 11pm at night, there’s just nothing someone not on insulin can do to lower BS, so it can become more a point of frustration. And depending on the meds/insulin, the BS goals change. For instance, if a patient is taking Lantus/Levemir at night and they check right before bed with say, a 160-175, I would think that’s okay because the insulin is going to continue working for the next 12-24 hours and has not htaken effect yet. If the patient were just on a morning dose of metformin, a 180 going into bed is high and only time will help lower that BS (metformin is generally considered a 12-hour drug). If they have a snack, they are ideally going into rest with a 140-160ish. If they’re not waking up bottoming out, their 2 hour post-prandials, and their fastings are at goal, things at night are okay and there will probably be some variation. I guess I’m saying the fasting and 2 hour pp numbers provide way more valuable data than the HS check. I hope that makes sense.

      But even if a patient takes novolog with meals and Levemir/Lantus at night, going into bed with a high number is more so an education/novolog adjustment piece of the puzzle — endo or MD needs to decrease the carb:insulin ratio, or the patient simply needs to control CHO intake at that meal. If they’re on my FAVORITE (sliding scale…being facetious), then they probably do check at night, take a bolus to cover the high, and greatly risk bottoming out in the middle of the night. I think HS BS checks are traditionally taken for SSI, and that’s probably why I don’t use them…I always try and move a patient to a carb:insulin if on regular insulin, and always a strict CHO-controlled pattern so that things can easily be adjusted.

      Thank you!! DM talk at 7am makes me happy!!

  3. August 19, 2010 / 6:48 am

    Wow, I found your blog with the tag surfer! I love the recipes, love them…….. I actually started blogging yesterday just to help me find blogs just like yours…… I am very excited! Keep up the good work!


    (by the way, I am a huge Julia Roberts fan but I have to say I found the movie very disappointing. Maybe I’ll try the book, it always tends to be better!

    • Nicole
      August 19, 2010 / 7:01 am

      That’s great, Debbie! Thank you!!

      I heard some people didn’t love the movie so much, but I still want to see it. I am a Julia Roberts fan, too…ahh, that smile of hers!! Have a great day!

  4. August 19, 2010 / 7:08 am

    Bummer about the job 🙁 But like you said… you know you gave it your all 🙂

    Why not stick with 30 hour work weeks? Is that feasible? If it is, I think that would be a great work/life balance. Just a thought 🙂

  5. August 19, 2010 / 7:16 am

    I started to read the book in spanish but never made it to the third country. I think my dusty spanish skills prevented me from loving it. Looking forward to the movie though! Sorry about the second job, but SO jealous of the extra time. 🙂

  6. August 19, 2010 / 7:28 am

    Loved reading your thoughts on the book. I’m only about 50 pages in now but already have so much I could say about it. Which I may in a future post. 🙂

    We had chicken like that the other night. Mmm.

  7. August 19, 2010 / 7:45 am

    I really want to read the book. ANd had interest to see the movie- but I’ve heard so many people say that they weren’t impressed at all! It made me sad because Julia Roberts is my homegirl…

  8. August 19, 2010 / 7:51 am

    I loved the book when I read it in 2008! The first half of the book I could relate to much better than the last half in Bali, but I still enjoyed the entire thing. Sorry to hear about your job, but maybe you were meant to help someone in your current position.. you may grow to love it more than you thought!

  9. August 19, 2010 / 8:07 am

    That book must be really nice,would love to read it someday…

  10. August 19, 2010 / 8:34 am

    That’s unfortunate about the job, but you seem to have a positive attitude about the whole thing :).

    I loved the book when I read it a few years ago, and would actually like to read it again before seeing the movie.

    In terms of my own nutritional balance, I should probably cut down on the amount of sugar in my diet (I have an insatiable sweet tooth). I do take certain measures to keep my sugar intake in check, such as reducing the amount of sweetener in baked goods, using unrefined sweeteners, and reading labels on cereal boxes and other packaged foods, but I’m most likely still eating too much sweet stuff!

    The “fried” chicken looks so tasty! I will have to try it sometime soon.

  11. August 19, 2010 / 8:54 am

    Sorry to hear about the job. 🙁

    I haven’t read Eat, Pray, Love but I’ve heard great things. The only complaint I’ve heard is that her undertaking is totally impractical for most people. But I might see the movie because I love Julia Roberts.

  12. August 19, 2010 / 8:56 am

    Italian food is good, whole food that tastes fantastic. Letting yourself indulge in things like polenta, sardines, and fresh tomatoes is nothing like letting yourself indulge in cheetos, burgers, and pretzels.

  13. August 19, 2010 / 9:03 am

    I love this book and can’t wait to see the movie! The fried chicken looks great as well!

  14. August 19, 2010 / 9:12 am

    I read the book and thought it was pretty good. I need to find more of a balance in my eating….it’s something I’m working on!

  15. August 19, 2010 / 9:36 am

    I love the idea of balance in all aspects of our life because it doesn’t make anything seem overwhelming or too difficult.

    I have not read the book yet, but I love hearing other bloggers thoughts on it 🙂

    Speaking of balance, a 30 hour work week seems like a great life balance! Glad you’re enjoying it!

  16. August 19, 2010 / 10:45 am

    Sorry you didn’t get the job – sounded like a great opportunity!

    I couldn’t get through Eat Pray Love – I got through the first two sections but gave up. It didn’t hold my interest.

    I love the premise of the book though – and love trying to find a balance in life.

    Love the picture of Lilly!

  17. August 19, 2010 / 11:12 am

    Yep, pretty sure your “fried” chicken was a tad healthier than my version! But I love the buttermilk soak – the chicken stays so tender!

  18. August 19, 2010 / 11:26 am

    I read Gilbert’s book several years ago and really enjoyed it.

    For the most part, I think my nutritional balance is in check but I could definitely benefit from eating less sugar.

    I love it that Lily knows where to go to get her cool on…

  19. August 19, 2010 / 11:34 am

    I am sorry chickie that you did not get the job but I am also a firm believer of everything happens for a reason =)

    Lily is just like her auntie mari, I love to stand in front of my ac when I am done with my workout! lol

    silly question; What is twice baked potato???

    ohhhh and I have read Eat Pray Love and LOVE LOVE LOVE IT

  20. August 19, 2010 / 11:59 am

    I am sorry to hear about the job…. 🙁 You are SO talented and hard-working, I know you will find the perfect fit!

    I’m actually seeing EPL next week….I don’t think that I’ll have a chance to read the book before then, but I’d like to! Everyone says it’s very good.

  21. August 19, 2010 / 12:23 pm

    Love that book!!!! I still have to see the movie, but I wanted to jump right in the pages in Italy. I want to go there so bad. How long did you live there? Chris and I are hoping to go there for our honeymoon with bikes and fork in hand 🙂 I’ve had some interview disappointments lately too and have been trying not to stress myself out or get down. Something will turn up that we love! *fingers crossed*

  22. August 19, 2010 / 12:46 pm

    Im reading the book right now but Im having a hard time finishing it. I really like it, but there are some parts that just get too tedious for me. I really want to see the movie though, and I want to finish the book first.

    Sorry about the job, but you’re right, everything happens for a reason.

    That chicken looks amazing! And Lily is too cute laying by the AC. Lexie totally hogs the fan when its hot out. Dogs are so funny sometimes.

  23. August 19, 2010 / 1:38 pm

    I’ll have to read the book after I get through the rest of the ones still on my list, which I have already bought and sit and stare at me now. Sorry to hear about the job. It is tough work. I know without prior peds experience it can be even tougher. I was lucky to fill in for our peds RD otherwise I would have no idea. I agree with balance. It is all about balance. Balance and moderation. I do not think there are many RDs that are not on board with this. I think those who are very strict and rigid work with a very small population, and not the general, majority of Americans, or they would know that this is not what works in long term success for many.

  24. August 19, 2010 / 4:38 pm

    I did read the book and loved it! I have also been to Italy and that book just brought me back. I definitely indulged when I was there, cause how could you not!!
    Being an RD, I would also say I always use the approach of having balance. I want to enjoy good food just as much as the next person.
    Thanks for sharing Nicole!

  25. August 19, 2010 / 5:09 pm

    I read the book a few years back and would like to read it over again to refresh my memory, but I’d also like to see the movie too. I’ve heard great things!

    I have loosened my reigns a bit on eating lately because I was starting to think they were a bit too tight. Thank goodness because this is the life, healthy eating and indulging in moderation, never felt better!

  26. August 19, 2010 / 6:09 pm

    I absolutely agree, it’s all about balance! Thanks for telling us about this book! I’ve been wanting to see the movie but now I think I want to read the book first! That pic of Lily on top of the AC vent is too cute! 🙂

  27. August 19, 2010 / 11:51 pm

    Ok, while I agree with balance, I read the book and didn’t like it. I found it whiney and the fact that she already had the contract for the book before she went on her tour, made it a bit sensational for me. In fact, I thought the opening was more about learning to speak Italian than it was about eating gelato. But guess what? Books about words simply do not sell as well as books about food. So rather than call it Speak, Pray, Love – the name is Eat, Pray, Love. Regardless of my opinion, she’s a good writer.

    • August 20, 2010 / 3:10 pm

      I like that you still acknowledge she’s a good writer! I agree with Leah…alot of parts were tedious for me…and not gonna lie…I may have skimmed over them…BUT, there were some insightful thoughts and phrases for sure.

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