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The beginning of the end…

At 1:08pm yesterday I was sitting in my office crying. Not bawling, but just little tears and sniffles. I hate goodbyes. But I really hate feeling like I’m letting people–my patients–down. I am not vain enough to think I’ve made an irreplaceable stamp on their lives, but I have formed close, meaningful, and productive relationships to produce lifestyle changes with hundreds of people over the past 13 months. It’s been hard to hear, “I don’t know how I can keep going without our appointments” and “I don’t want to see another dietitian”. All I can do at this point is reflect on the time I’ve spent with my patients and leave knowing that I gave them 100%, and have hopefully armed them with the tools and skills to make life-long healthy choices. Ahh…I hate goodbyes! I guess now is a good time to mention my last day is next Thursday, the 15th.

Any who, Mr. Prevention is, yet again, gone this week working in Ohio so I made a big’ol batch of pasta salad to enjoy for lunch and dinner this week. I did not use whole wheat pasta because Giada’s cute curly-Q pasta caught my eye at Target (oops!), but I calculated the nutrition information with whole wheat pasta, as that’s what I would normally use.

Prevention Pasta Salad

15 ounces whole wheat pasta
2 heads broccoli, cut into bite-sized pieces
34 slices turkey pepperoni
2 green bell peppers, sliced
½ cup olives (I used kalamata)
8 ounces 2% cheddar cheese, cubed
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1 vidalia or red onion, sliced


½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp ground mustard
1 tsp salt
Black pepper, to taste


Cook pasta according to directions. In the last 2 minutes of boiling the pasta, add the broccoli to blanch. Drain noodles and broccoli and transfer to a large bowl.

To make the dressing, combine the vinegar and spices. Slowly drizzle oil into the vinegar mixture as you whisk to combine. Pour dressing over pasta and toss to combine.

Stir in pepperoni, bell pepper, olives, cheese, tomatoes, and onion. Serves 12.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 284 calories; 14.8 g. fat; 13.3 mg. cholesterol; 483 mg. sodium; 33 g. carbohydrate; 6.3 g. fiber; 10.3 g. protein

Result: This is your basic backyard BBQ pasta salad…and I’m a fan! Mmmm mmm!


And as for the garden…

Several of you (lots of you, really!) pointed out that I’ll be leaving my garden I worked so hard to build. And while that is true, it has yielded so much fresh produce and more to come through the month. Just this week green peppers and cucumbers are making an appearance! If I get jalapenos, the only thing that didn’t produce will have been broccoli!! I’ve already enjoyed cherry tomatoes, Roma tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, onions, spinach, kale, romaine, squash, and potatoes!

A quick little shout out to my little brother, Rob, who is turning the big 2-1 today!! Happy birthday, Bubbie! Ladies, he is single, handsome, and quite the catch! Email if interested 😉 And I’m just SURE he’ll be behaving on his big day!! Probably doesn’t help his big sissy sent a GIANT bottle of Grey Goose for the big day 😉

Question: Pasta salad or potato salad? What did YOU do on your 21st birthday?

Short story: One of my best friends and I have the same birthday, so on our 21st we rented Bruce Springstein’s suite at the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown Chicago. It was AWESOME! We invited all of our friends to pre-party (you know, light apps) and then headed out to Sound Bar in the city. So. Much. Fun! Best part? No hangover. Still to this day, I have no idea how that didn’t happen!

P.S. Hi to new readers! There’s lots of you lately! 😀

Happy day,

Share With Your Friends!


  1. July 8, 2010 / 5:45 am

    I actually don’t like pasta OR potato salad… I’m not big on any kind of salads. πŸ˜‰

  2. July 8, 2010 / 6:10 am

    Its hard to to leave a job you’ve enjoyed, even when you are excited for what’s ahead. I was a counselor for several years, and when I left to go back to school, it was hard to say goodbye to those kids.

    Your pasta salad looks wonderful! I love pasta salad. Potato salad feels to heavy to me for a summer salad.
    Happy birthday to your brother πŸ™‚

  3. July 8, 2010 / 6:14 am

    Pasta salad, always. I hate mayo, and that’s usually what’s in potato salad so I never ever eat it. Your pasta salad looks good. I love the curly pasta!

  4. July 8, 2010 / 6:25 am

    Aw, I’m sorry work will be hard the last few days there… πŸ™ But just think of how much you’ve helped everyone up to this point!

  5. July 8, 2010 / 6:26 am

    Awww, so sorry about the goodbyes. That should just show you how many lives you’ve impacted during your time there!

  6. July 8, 2010 / 6:43 am

    awe! You are so sweet.. Thats so great you care up others and your job so deeply. The world needs more people like you. I’m glad you get to help so many people heal their relationship with food πŸ™‚

    Dana xo

  7. July 8, 2010 / 6:48 am

    I was in China for my 21st, Xiamen I think. I was there with a college class and they found a cake (not quite up to my western standards) for the evening. It wasn’t the best town for going out. But then we went to Shanhai and partied there. My friends also bought me a shirt with a velcro strip on the front and a bunch of letters. They had “Kiss me I’m 21!” velcroed on. It was a good time. πŸ™‚

  8. July 8, 2010 / 6:56 am

    Pasta salad all the way! I’m so glad you enjoyed the veggies from your garden, and hopefully the new people who move in will continue to maintain it.

    No doubt you made a huge imprint on many lives. There are many RD’s out there, but your patients were your patients because they trusted you (and most likely enjoyed chatting with you!).

    Happy Birthday to your bro! Oh, what it’s like to be 21 again! My best friend and I share the same bday as well. It was on a Thursday so we met at a local bar where they had $1 beer night (classy, I know) and partied it up with lots of friends. I definitely had a hangover! So worth it though!

  9. July 8, 2010 / 7:01 am

    Light apps…as in shots rather than mixed drinks. Uh huh… πŸ˜›

    Happy birthday to your brother!

    Goodbyes are definitely hard. I always hate them. But just think of all the lives you will effect in your new home. You’ll be spreading your love all over the country!

    The pasta salad looks great and I don’t think I could resist that shape either. Having non whole wheat every once in a while never hurt anyone…

  10. July 8, 2010 / 7:26 am

    Happy B-Day to your little brother! πŸ˜‰ I remember my 21st being lame because I had to study for a college exam the next day. Laaaaame.

    This is a big transition you’re going through right now – you’re right that you’ve made a huge impact on people’s lives, and you’ve made important relationships. Just like Joanne said, however, you’ll be spreading your awesomeness across the country now πŸ™‚

    Love the pasta salad! Cool and delicious for hot weather.

  11. July 8, 2010 / 7:27 am

    The drinking age in Ontario is 19, so turning 21 wasn’t really a big deal (honestly, by 21 I was tired of going out to the bars)
    I did happen to be doing an Internship in Detroit the summer of my 21st so I went out with some co-workers for beers.

  12. July 8, 2010 / 7:36 am

    The dressing sounds delicious. I love the recipe.
    I prefer pasta salad than potato salad.
    On my 21st birthday, we had a quited family party…. a lot of food and friends, family, etc…. nothing really interesting… I can’t really remember it actually …

  13. July 8, 2010 / 8:12 am

    Awww, I know you will be so missed by all of your patients. If you were my dietician, I’d probably pack and move right along with you!! πŸ™‚

    Your pasta salad looks great! I love potato salad… but it has to be easy on the mayo.

    Happy 21st to your brother!!!!!!!!

  14. July 8, 2010 / 8:13 am

    I despise goodbyes, but love new adventures–so just think of it as new opportunites coming your way! Love the looks of that spiral pasta too–so fun!

  15. July 8, 2010 / 8:16 am

    Goodbyes are hard and I am sure you HAVE made a very postive impact on a lot of people. You are obviously great at what you do!! You aren’t letting anyone down…you are just putting you and your family first. I am proud of you guys for moving and taking a new step together! πŸ™‚

  16. July 8, 2010 / 8:32 am

    The only potato salad that I like is my mom’s recipe, I’ve very picky when it comes to potato salad. Pasta salad? Serve it up! I love pasta salad!

  17. July 8, 2010 / 8:50 am

    Goodbyes are difficult – but just remember that the reason they’re so tough (for both you and your patients) is becasue of how much of an impact you’ve had on their lives! A tearful goodbye is a sign of a good relationship. I can only imagine how much your patients love you, honestly. Even though I’ve never met you in person, I just know you are an amazing and inspirational dietician.

  18. July 8, 2010 / 8:57 am

    I like both! I don’t make potato salad often but I do love it. I hate good-byes too.

  19. July 8, 2010 / 9:00 am

    Goodbyes are never easy, but just remember that you always have to do what you know will make life better in the long run. You’ve obviously made such a positive impact on so many people’s lives, you should be so proud πŸ™‚

    That pasta salad sounds lovely! So does your garden! I’ve been seeing some HUGE cucumbers growing out of my home garden!

  20. July 8, 2010 / 9:08 am

    I was going to say potato salad, but that pasta salad looks amazing. I love, love pepperoni! Swoon…

    As for my 21st bday, I ended up celebrating on South Beach with a guy I had just started dating. We had some drinks and went to the best pizza place ever. 6 years later I’m still going to South Beach with the same guy for our annual pizza day. πŸ™‚

  21. July 8, 2010 / 9:58 am

    Potato Salad!!!! I have to be in the mood to eat pasta salad–or any pasta really. I love tuna salad, egg salad, fruit salad.. I LOVE SALAD!! πŸ™‚

  22. Mo
    July 8, 2010 / 10:02 am

    Aww, I’m sorry. πŸ™ But I think it’s great that they like you so much and that you care so much about your patients. πŸ™‚

    Maybe you could transplant some of the garden to a friend/family member’s garden? I would hate to see that go to waste!

    Pasta salad, definitely. Especially since potato salad is almost always made with mayonnaise which I hate, and pasta salad while sometimes made with mayo is more often made with a vinaigrette-type thing. Plus, if I’m not imagining things, pasta salad usually has more veggies. πŸ˜› The pasta salad looks awesome, by the way!

  23. July 8, 2010 / 10:03 am

    I’d say pasta salad for sure.

    You’ve given me motivation to start my own garden someday. Growing your own stuff really is beautiful!

  24. July 8, 2010 / 10:07 am

    Saying goodbye is very difficult–I completley understand how you feel as I have a very difficult time dealing with change. Happy B-Day to your brother–21 is such a fun one!

  25. July 8, 2010 / 10:22 am

    We are moving in 7 weeks, so I know the exact difficulty of your situation, leaving patients and coworkers behind is sooooo hard!

    As for the garden, if you are selling your house I think its a MAJOR value! I’d give my right arm to move somewhere with a garden all set up! And maybe the left one too.

    I hope your new job and home are great!

    Georgie Fear RD

  26. July 8, 2010 / 11:23 am

    I bet your clients are going to miss you. And I cried when I left teaching. It was so weird to think I wouldn’t really see those students again. I’m sure you have impacted them for the better.

    And for your questions – I think I prefer pasta salad to potato but I love both. And for my 21st? Let’s just leave it at I don’t remember half of it. LOL

  27. July 8, 2010 / 11:26 am

    Your pasta salad looks great!

    Leaving a job is really hard but there will be something better on the other side πŸ™‚

  28. July 8, 2010 / 12:30 pm

    I really wish I would have planted some cucumbers! Oh well…. next year.

    Hmmm… I actually don’t remember much of my 21st birthday. There were actually pictures I saw that i didn’t remember taking… good times πŸ˜‰

  29. July 8, 2010 / 12:35 pm

    Your salad looks so fresh and delicious! I’m not usually a fan of pasta salad… or pasta for that matter.

    For my 21st birthday I went out for margaritas and DIDN’T get carded! I was super bummed! Margaritas were tasty though, if I recall correctly!

  30. July 8, 2010 / 12:51 pm

    This is not related to your post, but rather the comment you made on my blog πŸ™‚
    That is so crazy that your friend had a pot-belly pig named Wilbur! Mine was a girl, and her name was Charlotte…I guess we both got our names from the same source πŸ™‚

  31. July 8, 2010 / 12:52 pm

    Gosh, I know that has to be so hard. πŸ™ When I left teaching, I really felt like I was letting down a lot of my students. But you just have to trust that you made a huge impact on more lives than you realize, and the best thing? You’ll continue to do just that in Ohio!

    Definitely pasta salad! It always sounds so refreshing in the summer time. And sadly, my 21st birthday wasn’t too special – it was during the summer (I stayed in my college town for summer school) AND it was on a Monday. πŸ™ I guess that’s why I wanted to have a reallllly good 30th to make up for it!

  32. July 8, 2010 / 1:07 pm

    Potato salad! I don’t remember most of my birthdays and not because I was drunk πŸ™‚ Most likely because almost all were celebrated Xmas day or so close to it that there didn’t seem to be much difference in the celebrations. My bday is Dec23.

  33. July 8, 2010 / 1:10 pm

    The garden looks great!

    PS – Email me to claim your prize from my blog πŸ™‚

  34. Jessica
    July 8, 2010 / 1:20 pm

    I am one of your new readers and I love your blog!

    • Nicole
      July 8, 2010 / 1:50 pm

      Aww, thank you! πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading!

  35. July 8, 2010 / 2:01 pm

    I am the exact opposite. When I leave a job, doesn’t matter if I sat next to you and had lunch with you every day, the second I leave a job I never talk to a person again – isn’t that kinda weird??

    I am sure you will be missed Nicole! I should be getting my quarterly A1C numbers back soon – I’ll keep you posted!

  36. July 8, 2010 / 2:29 pm

    I actually don’t prefer either pasta or potato salad. Just not my thing. It’s always hard to leave people that you’ve had an impact on. But I also always feel like you really realize how hard you’ve worked when you leave a job and see how much your efforts means to both you and the people you’ve worked with.

  37. July 8, 2010 / 3:01 pm

    Ok, I guess I missed something while I was traveling. Are you going somewhere? Sorry to hear you are leaving your job. Do you have something else lined up?

  38. July 8, 2010 / 4:19 pm

    Your pasta salad looks so delicious, love those noodles. How funny is it that I knew that was turkey pepperoni before reading the recipe, lol. πŸ™‚

  39. July 8, 2010 / 4:30 pm

    Goodbyes are hard. Im not a fan either.

    The good thing about leaving your garden is that you get to start a NEW one!!

  40. July 8, 2010 / 7:51 pm

    Ahh im sorry about the goodbyes- i hate goodbyes! BUT time for a NEW CHAPTER IN YOUR LIFE!! this is exciting!

  41. July 8, 2010 / 11:33 pm

    Pasta salad! I’m not a fan of potato salad at all!

    So sorry you are having to say good bye…it’s always hard!

  42. July 9, 2010 / 7:52 am

    I hate goodbyes too! Last year I had to leave 4 jobs! And that means 4 groups of coworkers, 4 commutes, even 4 nearby coffee shops! Moving to Boston was a big change, but I just had to think of it as an adventure! You’ll do great!

  43. July 9, 2010 / 3:46 pm

    It’s so hard to leave a job – especially after forming those relationships! I still feel guilty about the job I left over 1.5 years ago, even though I talk to those people all the time (they work for my company now).

    I didn’t even think about your garden! Which is funny, because we are talking about moving and I keep thinking about leaving ours. It hasn’t been as successful though πŸ˜‰

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