Home ยป RD Q&A


Happy Tuesday! May 1st, you’re here! Love May 🙂

I used to do a lot of RD Q&A posts, got away from it for a good long while…and now we’re back! Personally, I love offering up advice and insight to reader questions. Q&A’s always turn up some interesting questions! Keep me on my toes!

So, here we go!

Morgan: I don’t know if you are as familiar with infant nutrition but I have a question about my 5 mo. old baby. It was recently suggested to me to give my baby probiotics. I don’t know much about them or if they are even safe for her. What are your thoughts?

Prevention RD: Interesting! I would like to mention that I am not a pediatric nutrition specialist, but I do enjoy reading and learning about pedatric nutrition. According to research, probiotics (as well as prebiotics) are becoming more commonly used in formula fed infants that struggle to maintain a healthy gut bacteria balance. Babies are born with compeltely sterile GI tracts and striking that perfect balance of bacteria within the GI can be problematic. Under physician supervision, I see no reason prebiotics or probiotics cannot be used in infants. Here’s a great bit of research, too!


Rose: Besides eggs, do you have any suggestions on what might be good breakfast foods if I want to cut my sugar and carb intake? I feel like oatmeal and cereal which were my two staples are loaded with sugar and carbs.

Prevention RD: Breakfast is tough, especially if you’re wanting something quick and on-the-go. Lately, I’ve been enjoying plain, 0% Greek yogurt (about a cup which provides ~13 grams of protein) with 2 teaspoons honey and berries (blackberries & strawberries). Of course any fruit would do! I also like to make quiches and throw a piece into a tupperware to reheat at work, or to zap before heading out the door in the morning. I really love these 2 quiches: Spinach, Mushroom, Turkey Bacon, and Feta Quiche and Goat Cheese, Spinach, and Tomato Quiche (my personal favorite…and SO healthy). If you have about 5 minutes in the morning, I love to cook up an egg and throw it on a toasted whole wheat English muffin along with a Turkey Breakfast Sausage Patty and a slice of 2% cheese. So, so filling and way more fun than just eggs. I keep the sausage patties frozen and ready to zap to rewarm. Another idea is french toast bakes and other “casserole” type breakfast items that you can prepare over the weekend and eat on all week. I’m posting a recipe for one tomorrow! You can even whip up pancakes over the weekend and rewarm them for weekday breakfasts. These Meyer Lemon Ricotta Pancakes are delicious and lower in carbohydrate. Other on-the-go items would be cottage cheese and fruit (cantaloupe will be in season soon!) or Larabars. I also love to make HUGE fruit smoothies with frozen fruit, milk, Greek yogurt, and protein powder (vanilla whey protein powder works great). You can even add spinach or kale to whip up a Green Monster. You can get in about 25-35 grams of protein from 1 scoop of protein powder, 1/2-1 cup of Greek yogurt, and some from the milk. There’s always good’ol peanut butter and toast or a mix of dried fruit, nuts, and seeds (I’ve been eating some of this mid-morning since I teach straight from 9am through lunch time). Just some thoughts!


Renee of My Kitchen Adventures: Nicole…I would LOVE for you to do a post on the benefits of coconut oil.  I see it popping up and have actually begun using it myself…but I would love to know if it REALLY is a good fat choice and why.  I also have begun using rice bran oil…and love that as well, and some insight on the health benefits of this oil would also be great!

Prevention RD: The ever popular coconut oil! Renee, I’m glad you asked as I think most people don’t understand why coconut oil is different from other saturated (bad) fats. Unlike other animal fats and tropical oils that are high in saturated fat, coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which are used rapidly for energy. The word “triglyceride” should be used synonymously with “fat” — 95% of the fat we eat and have in our bodies are triglycerides. Because the fat is used for energy very rapidly (in acutely ill patients, medium chain triglyceride oil is used to meet calorie and fat needs in people with major gastrointestinal problems and malnutrition/malabsorption), it does not pose as much risk of accumulation in the body and causing vascular damage and atheroscolerosis (arterial hardening and plaque build-up). That said, moderation is always best. It is recommended that 10% or less of a person’s intake come from saturated fats (7% or less for those with high cholesterol or other co-morbid condition like hypertension, diabetes, etc.). I think the population that is most commonly consuming coconut oil, tend to follow a diet that includes leaner meats (perhaps less meat, even), low-fat and fat-free dairy, and adequate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In other words, when used appropriately, I believe coconut oil to be part of a healthy diet…and, it tastes great!


Amy R: How did you become an RD? When did you start blogging?

Prevention RD: I was always really overweight as a child and when I started high school I started losing weight and became fascinated with nutrition and wellness. Since the start of high school, I knew I wanted to be an RD. I applied to colleges with DPD programs and ended up at the University of Illinoi (GO ILLINI!) and then went through the Dietetic Internship matching process. I had applied to 6 master’s/internship programs and was matched to Benedictine University. I finished my internship and master’s in December 2008 and sat for the RD exam in March of 2009…and passed! {The RD Q&A section of my blog answers a lot of the nitty gritty on actual program choices out there and the whole process of becoming an RD.} Mr. P (then he was just Mark!) and I had moved to Tulsa, OK for his job and were getting married in May of 2009. I searched and searched…and searched some more for jobs. The economy was in the gutter and no one wanted to hire someone without any relevant work experience. I was becoming deflated and began looking for a ways to occupy my mind…and time in a new place, and thought of blogging. I started my blog in June of 2009 and have been blogging on a nearly every day basis ever since! I feel blessed to have known from a very young age exactly what I wanted to do. While my goals and aspirations within the field have changed, I feel fortunate to have gained so many different experiences in dietetics. I have worked in out-patient educating on diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidemia, non-alchoholic fatty liver, overweight and obesity, bariatrics, and much more. I moved on to renal nutrition (chronic and end state renal disease) and teaching college courses and dietetic practicums. I have also had the opportunity to work in a huge medical center as a diet technician. Writing a blog is such a fun outlet to share my love for food, nutrition, and wellness. It’s fun to think of what it started as and where it’s come.

That it’s for today! Have a nutrition question you’d love an answer to? Email it to me! Prevention RD at gmail dot com!

New group of students for the second half of the quarter! Hope they’re sweeties 😉

Be well,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Gina (The Candid RD)
    May 1, 2012 / 7:22 am

    Great post Nicole, as always. I think people REALLY appreciate these, keep it up!!

  2. Joanne
    May 1, 2012 / 7:40 am

    I am SOOO glad you answered the coconut oil question because I was actually wondering about it myself recently when I used it in a recipe, plugged the ingredients into calorie counter and realized just how much sat fat I had consumed because of it! Glad to know it’s not the artery clogging variety!

  3. Renee @ Mykitchenadventures
    May 1, 2012 / 8:21 am

    Thanks for answering my question Nicole! and for all the great info in this post! ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Meg
    May 1, 2012 / 9:12 am

    Thanks for the post. I’m a student in a DPD + MS program, so it’s fun to hear from RDs in the field.

  5. Rose
    May 1, 2012 / 10:13 am

    Thanks for answering my question; you’ve given me a lot of great ideas!

  6. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    May 1, 2012 / 11:25 am

    Great questions! I think there is still this misconception about coconut oil. Glad you wrote about this topic.

  7. Kristi aka FiberFool
    May 1, 2012 / 11:44 am

    For Rose: If you don’t want to completely give up your oatmeal, I’ve been enjoying yogurt steeped oatmeal lately. You mix equal amounts of rolled oats (old-fashion, not quick), low-fat milk and low-fat yogurt, plus some chia seeds. I also add a 1/2 serving of unsweetened vanilla protein powder. My favorite toppers are cocoa powder (unsweetened of course) and frozen raspberries, though cinnamon and a frozen banana worked well. You soak everything but the fruit together in the fridge overnight or for a a couple days, then I toss the frozen fruit on top in the morning and head to the gym. The fruit is still quite cold but no longer frozen by the time I get to work. With the raspberries I get my post-work-out nearly 30 g of protein and almost 10 g of fiber! I do 1/3 cup each of the oats/milk/yogurt and 2 tsp of chia seeds.

    This was a great bunch of questions! As a fairly new reader I enjoyed the background one, but they were all helpful! Thank you!

  8. Heather @ Fit Mama Real Food
    May 1, 2012 / 5:14 pm

    Whoop whoop for bringing the RD Q&A back! Interesting read about the infant nutrition. You should learn more and tell me everything you know ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Kate
    May 2, 2012 / 11:19 am

    I love these Q&As!

  10. Hilary
    May 15, 2012 / 12:46 pm

    Hi Nicole,
    I love to read your blog for tidbits of science, yummy recipes for a variety of foods, and appealing pictures. I have a few questions for your next question answering post.

    1. I noticed that Powerade has some B12 in it. Is it really in a form that’s available for absorption by our bodies (i.e., bioavailable and not degraded by the time we drink it after its been sitting on the shelf for a while)?

    2. If one buys omega-3 fortified eggs but does not eat the yolk are they still getting omega-3’s from the eggs? If not, is purchasing these eggs worth the small additional cost of them?

    3. Any favorite homemade BBQ sauce recipes that can be used in place of store bough varieties that contain HFCS? I just noticed that most brands I’ve bought have HFCS as their primary ingredient……oy!

    Thanks for answering any or all of these questions in your next Q&A post!

    • Nicole, RD
      May 15, 2012 / 10:27 pm

      Amazing questions! Thank you, Hilary!

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