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I think I have my first case of blog block. Shocking. I never stop talking or thinking…

My nutrition presentation at the technical college went BRILLIANTLY (said in a Jamie Oliver accent). The kids were really receptive and respectful. They also had some great questions! I was shocked how much they already know about nutrition, so I stepped up my game and added in a lot of fun science and health-related information versus the food and food chemistry approach that I took. Really fun opportunity!!

So without further ado, I’ll just answer the questions I received this week! Thanks for sending them in, everyone! 😀


Abri of Absolutely Ridiculous: I see all these recipes and want to make pretty much every single one of them. Right now husband and I are staying with my parents so we aren’t cooking at all… but I see all these ingredients that I don’t ever remember seeing at the store. Do you go to special organic places, or can most of these be found at normal grocery stores? I haven’t ever looked for them so it may be a dumb question… Thanks!!!

Prevention RD: I am married to the cheapest man alive, so I do most of my shopping at WalMart. I do shop at Whole Foods some, and that is typically for my meat and grains. Some things I’ve started using in recipes (farro, whole wheat pastry flour, medjool dates, etc.) are only found at Whole Foods, so I get what I must there. I also try and stick to organic meats, and that’s where I get those, as well. Well over 90% of my shopping is done at WalMart, though…and they typically have a great selection, especially in the ethnic foods sections! For the 2 of us, we typically spend $90-120 a week on groceries and eat out 1-2 times a week. Great question!

John of Challenges 2010: How much variety is required/suggested in a person’s diet? I’m thinking in regards to getting all the nutrients,minerals,vitamins,etc. Why do I ask? One of the keys to not only my weight loss but others is having the same thing for breakfast and/or lunch everyday. I found though for the past month  or two I’ve been having basically the same thing for almost my meals…..3 out of my 4 meals each day at least. My meal of choice? Smoothies. They’re fast,easy and only require cleaning a glass and blender. My 2 main smoothie ingredient lists look like this: 1/2c yogurt, 1/3c oatmeal(uncooked), 1scoop Whey protein, 1c frozen strawberries, 2c broccoli or 1/2c yogurt, 1/3c oatmeal, 1sc Whey Protein, 1 banana, 1 tbsp natural Peanut Butter

Prevention RD: I don’t think this is a nutritional concern as much as a concern of your sanity and long-term success. I agree that making a smoothie is super easy, but it’s not feasible to drink 3 smoothies a day til forever in order to stay healthy (…or is it?). I think it’s really, really, really important to have fundamental cooking skills and to be able to utilize them on a regular basis. I say the same thing to someone losing weight eating only Smart Ones, Lean Cuisines, or Healthy Choice meals. *yawn* It’s important to be excited about what you’re eating! As for health, I do think it’s important to get in more variety, even though you’re getting balanced macronutrients in your smoothies. If the body knows what to expect, it will plateau much more easily than if you’re continuously changing up your intake and exercise routine. But hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if you’re happy, that’s great! If things ever stall out on ya, I think you’ve got a good route to explore…your kitchen! 😉

Courtney of Knit, Run, Repeat: Ok so here’s a question….Protein Powder. What should one look for or avoid? Generally I use it in smoothies…I put a cup(ish) of frozen strawberries and a cup or two of Trop50 OJ in the blender…then 1 scoop of Jillian Michael’s protein powder. Hers is like 100cal and…20? g protein. Maybe 12. I don’t know…but I blend that and have it post-workout or for breakfast. So…pros/cons of protein powder? I don’t eat a lot of meat…so it’s an easy way for me to get protein in with my breakfast. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the powder and also what to look for in a powder! I’ve heard some are better than others but…I don’t know how to figure it out!

Prevention RD: I think your use of protein powder is alright. I typically discourage protein shakes as meal replacements simply because they are not as satisfying physically or psychologically for most people (depends on the person, however). But as a fueling snack, I’m all for it, especially if meat is not a huge component of your diet. To be honest, I’ve never checked out Jillian’s protein powder, but I’m going to *assume* it checks out. She’s about that last person who would want to be under fire for bad supplements! My only caution is that supplements are NOT FDA regulated. I recommend Abbott Nutrition’s EAS Whey protein to my patients, simply because it is 1) cheap, 2) produced by a medical supply and nutrition company, and 3) is third-party tested. I’m not huge on supplements, but this is the one I personally use and recommend. Always go with a whey over a soy source of protein when it comes to supplements. I hope this helps, great question!

Jodie of Jodie Pilates: What is the best “diet” for healthy shiney hair? Do you recommend any supplements, fish oil, etc?

Prevention RD: Because “shiny” is relative, this answer is based on what I know about food and what I’ve personally tried for shiny hair. Foods that are recognized as helpful for a shine include proteins (including eggs and high-fat meats such as bacon), as well as healthy mono and polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, seeds, avocados, etc. Fish oil and omega 3’s from either food sources (i.e. salmon) or supplement (3,000 milligrams a day) are also correlated with a shiny mane. Fun question, hope this helps!

Molly of Oats, Coffee, Love: What is your favorite dessert? And, if you could be on a cooking show which Food Network Star would you be most like?

Prevention RD: The first one is easy. My favorite dessert is toffee…the really buttery kind with chocolate and crushed nuts on top. Drool. The second question is tougher, but I am a huge Melissa fan. I think she’s the cutest little thing, and very easy to relate to. I also think her “down home” recipes are very well-liked by families and cooks in the home.

Question: What’s in your typical smoothie? What protein powder, if any, do you use?

Happy Halfway to Friday!

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  1. April 14, 2010 / 6:29 am

    In the warmer months my smoothies consist of a mix of berries and bananas, “lite” silken tofu, water and a tiny amount of sweetener. Occasionally some lemon juice.
    I can’t stand the taste of yogurt, so I go with tofu because I can’t taste it. πŸ™‚
    For protein powders… My mom got me this ginormous thing of soy protein powder, totally flavorless, at Trader Joe’s. I like baking with it but I actually don’t use it in smoothies because I think there’s enough protein in the tofu I’m using.

    I was rooting for Melissa all through NFNS, but I actually didn’t like her show all that much so I stopped watching, even though I like her recipes. =\

  2. April 14, 2010 / 7:14 am

    Thanks Nicole. When I realized how long I’ve gone having pretty much the same thing for so long I was curious if it was detrimental. Guess I’ll have to break out the pots and pans eventually πŸ™‚

  3. April 14, 2010 / 7:59 am

    Good exchange. I enjoy Strawberry Smoothies.

  4. April 14, 2010 / 9:03 am

    I loved reading all the answers! My favorite smoothie has spinach, milk and a frozen banana. Sooooo yummy!

  5. April 14, 2010 / 11:04 am

    All of my smoothies MUST have a frozen banana. As for protein powder, my absolute favorites are BSN Lean Dessert and Syntha 6. I love all the flavors, especially chocolate coconut candybar!

  6. April 14, 2010 / 11:05 am

    I am not a fan of protein powder. There are so many natural forms of protein even for vegans and vegetarians that it really seems like an overly processed way to add protein unneccesarily to our diets

  7. April 14, 2010 / 11:14 am

    I’m surprised you can’t find whole wheat pastry flour and medjool dates at your normal grocery store.

    I use vegans+ protein powder or weider soy protein isolate.

  8. April 14, 2010 / 11:14 am

    I have a question for the next Q&A! I recently started using Almond Milk, and noticed that it’s fortified with calcium and other nutrients found in cow’s milk. Are the fortified nutrients just as good for you as the kind found naturally in cow’s milk?

  9. April 14, 2010 / 11:27 am

    Great Q&A! I’ve been thinking about picking up some protein powder, so thanks for the recommendation. I usually don’t feel like I need it in my smoothies, and it’s SUPER expensive!

  10. April 14, 2010 / 11:28 am

    I’m a big fan of Vega powder, but it’s hella expensive. I hear good things about Jay Robb as well.

  11. April 14, 2010 / 11:42 am

    I totally agree that Omega 3’s help with hair…my hair got a lote shinnier when I started taking them!

  12. April 14, 2010 / 12:01 pm

    “I am married to the cheapest man alive”
    My boyfriend spends money he doesnt have ALL THE TIME and it makes me crazy. Wanna trade?

  13. April 14, 2010 / 12:04 pm

    I’ve only used Jay Robb and I really like it (the packets – too cheap to buy a tub). I always hear mixed things about PP, so I’m hesitant to buy a big tub! But I would love it for certain recipes.

    I haven’t made smoothies in awhile because I kind of got burnt out! (okay, I got too lazy to clean the blender every single day LOL). My favorite combo is spinach, ice, frozen banana, vanilla yogurt, and frozen berries. SO GOOD!

  14. April 14, 2010 / 12:34 pm

    Awesome answers to some good questions! I love shopping in ethnic markets, everything is cheap and authentic!

  15. April 14, 2010 / 1:10 pm

    It was nice Q & A Session, you answered many of my questions too without me asking them directly….thanks for it

  16. April 14, 2010 / 1:23 pm

    I’ve lately been testing out some soy, hemp, and rice protein powders. They all taste decent. I’m one of those people who doesn’t necessarily find protein shakes to be overly satisfying as a meal alone, but I do think they make perfect snacks! And yes, toffee is so good!

  17. April 14, 2010 / 1:34 pm

    You can’t be married to the cheapest man alive, because I am! He sucks up the shopping at whole paycheck because I balance it with costco, who is getting a decent amount of organic meat at least. I also buy grass fed beef by the quarter cow and put it in the freezer, saves me so much money πŸ™‚

    I have used the EAS protein powder for smoothies but I figure with Greek yogurt I get enough protein in there.

  18. April 14, 2010 / 1:42 pm

    My favorite smoothie is a frozen banana, some soy milk, some frozen or fresh berries, and either greek yogurt, or some Amazing meal!

  19. April 14, 2010 / 3:27 pm

    Great info!! I especially found your take on protein powders to be interesting. I’ll have to pick up some of that EAS powder next time. And good to know that whey is better than soy. My favorites are BioChem chocolate fudge and Jay Robb’s vanilla, but I really haven’t tried very many.

  20. April 14, 2010 / 3:39 pm

    I love reading your Q&A posts – such great info!! I do enjoy making smoothies for breakfast – usually with 6oz plain fat free Greek yogurt, 2 T almond milk, 1 banana, and 1 cup frozen fruit. Now I’m going to start adding the protein powder you recommended! Thank you for the advice!

  21. April 14, 2010 / 4:00 pm

    Blog block sucks, but Q&A is always a great way to remedy it! Great responses πŸ™‚

  22. April 14, 2010 / 6:44 pm

    Yay, I’m glad your nutrition presentation went well! Great Q&A! I’m happy for the info on protein powder since I don’t currently use it but I’ve been thinking about picking some up.

  23. April 14, 2010 / 7:47 pm

    Ok–here is my fave smoothie from my waitressing/barista days! In high school, I made (and tried!) hundreds of smoothies and milkshakes at my local restaurant. And the winner, in my opinion, was always the Berry Monster! Recipe= ice, non-fat milk, non-fat vanilla fro-yo, and frozen raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries! Place in blender and mix away! Good stuff πŸ˜›

  24. Shelley (findinghappinessandhealth)
    April 15, 2010 / 12:55 am

    thanks for all this info!! i learned a lot by reading- loved the question about variety in the diet

  25. April 15, 2010 / 6:43 am

    Nice answers, especially the one about protein powder. SO MANY people use that stuff!! I’ll admit, I never will. Unless I am old and have zero appetite. Then I will. It’s just not necessary if you eat meat, or poultry, eggs or yogurt, or dairy!

    So your hubby is cheap? Mine is the OPPOSITE! Ok, Nick isn’t my husband, but obviously he will be one day. He is not cheap at all and I wish he was! We don’t have a lot of money to spend yet he finds ways to spend it….yikes.

  26. April 15, 2010 / 8:51 am

    Glad your presentation went well. Looks like lots of good questions and answers again this week.

  27. April 15, 2010 / 8:57 am

    Love the Q&A’s. Very interesting about the hair.

  28. April 18, 2010 / 8:32 pm

    Thanks for the info!! I’ll have to check that powder out.

    Normally I have a smoothie after a run as a recovery drink, or in the morning with 2 graham crackers with peanut butter for some good protein and fat!

    Smoothies and PB graham crackers….mmmmm…. πŸ™‚

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