Nutrition Unscrambled

Keep Your Plate In Shape

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
March 30th, 2012

We hope you’ve enjoyed the posts this month on “Keep Your Plate In Shape”. It was a month of ideas, successes and opportunities as we discussed keeping dinner plates and life plates in shape. It is nearly impossible to be perfect, but the more you can keep your plate in shape the better quality of life you’ll have. I’ve noticed things seem to fall into place more easily when a balance is achieved. It is also important to remember your idea of balance is different than another person’s idea of balance. Do what you feel is best to keep your plate in shape.

Keep checking back for great nutrition and health topics as we highlight key research and trends throughout the rest of the year to keep ENC’s plate in balance too! The next couple months are pretty egg-citing. April is full of eggs and egg dishes and May in National Egg Month.

Here are a few more of my egg meals to keep you excited for the upcoming months.

Get Your Plate In Shape-Like Your Car Regular Maintenance is Important

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
March 27th, 2012

No, I am not talking about oil changes! I am talking about regular doctor and dentist visits for checkups. I know several people personally who skip these visits, unless they start to feel something is wrong. They say something like: “I know I should go to the doctor/dentist but I don’t like to or don’t have time.” Many people are afraid of what might happen at the doctor or dentist based on past memories of their family or themselves. We can help them overcome this and show how it will help them. If you are actively seeing clients in the doctor office setting, encourage them to continue and even praise them for making these visits (although it seems logical for most of us).

We know prevention is a key to good health. Encourage all clients/patients to make and keep these important visits in your practice setting.

A couple examples:
We have seen a link with dental health and heart disease, yet many people do not brush/floss as often as they should and many neglect visits. Hmm sounds similar to many nutrition and activity issues.

Same thing with a diagnosis of health conditions (example diabetes). Many people walk around undiagnosed because they haven’t had a regular checkup. They are often diagnosed during some other testing or hospital stay.
The list can go on and on…..

I know I am preaching to the choir on this one, but keep promoting this part of the plate in overall health. Also, if you happen to be one of those people who skip the doctor or dentist take a step towards achieving balance on your plate.

Balance Your Plate-Sleep

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
March 26th, 2012

Sleep is an important part of balancing your life plate. However, as we get busy our sleep patterns tend to be affected. When these patterns are affected, we see that diet and many other parts of the plate are compromised as well.

I saw a great blog post by fellow RD, Joan Salge Blake, about new research regarding sleep and nutrition that I wanted to share with you all.

Don’t forget to get your zzz’s and when assessing your clients don’t forget to ask about sleep patterns. Check out the National Sleep Foundation for more information.

Breakfast Around the World – What’s on “Their Plates”

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
March 23rd, 2012

I recently read a Today’s Dietitian article that discussed Best Breakfasts From Around the World and loved to see that eggs are a common breakfast food in other countries.  One key difference is the foods the people in other countries eat with the eggs- the eggs have great company-healthy and colorful plates in many instances.

Interestingly enough many of these breakfasts around the world follow MyPlate concepts, but appear to be more balanced than the US breakfast.  I could envision many of these “plates” to easily be half full of vegetables, with a great protein source like eggs, along with fruit, dairy and whole grains. 

Breakfast around the world tends to include foods that we, in the US, may not see as common breakfast foods, but are overall quite healthy!  Thanks for the RDs who gave their first hand experiences of the most important meal of the day across the world.  We could learn much from these other countries.  As I leave you today, I challenge you with the phrase:  “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper.” Adelle Davis

Get Your Plate In Shape: Variety

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
March 16th, 2012

Are you a creature of habit with your food choices? I have been working on having a variety on my plates. I’ve been tracking “my plates” for the blog this month and also posted several photos on my personal facebook page. Some people noted- oh you eat ___ a few times a week. Sometimes it is habit and sometimes that was the food on sale! That being said, I have mentioned how versatile eggs are in many of my posts, so I do tend to eat eggs a few times a week for different meals. You’ve seen photos of some of these throughout the month.

Today, I’ll show you some of my other plates. What do you think? I would like to point out that the cheesecake plate was eating in conjunction with a meal (but eggs are an ingredient). I felt compelled to share it so you can see overall balance means you enjoy treats (cheesecake) too! Keep track of how your plates look-not only for a day but a week. Remember it is the overall picture that matters! If you’ve never taken a pictures of your plate- it can be a great motivator and keeps you accountable.

Get Your Plate In Shape: Relax and Have Fun

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
March 15th, 2012

Yesterday was Registered Dietitian (RD) Day-hooray for all of our Registered Dietitian readers. Instead of doing some other tasks last night, I decided to celebrate RD Day and take a trip to Whole Foods and Trader Joes for no other reason than to look around (of course, I still bought a few things). I wasn’t in a hurry and I was able to enjoy my trip. Some of you may be thinking that my activity is not fun, but for me it is something I like to do. Regardless of what activity it is, we all need to take time to do things that are relaxing and fun. It should be a part of everyone’s plate. We’ve probably all experienced some form of stress and if it is not managed, excess stress can lead to poor eating, sleeping, and overall health habits. I can say this was a piece of my plate missing for some time. Long clinic hours and taking work home definitely interfered with this part of my life and I found it difficult to want to take time to do the “fun” things that would have been great stress-relievers.

I’ve worked to make sure I have me time-some of the time I consider my workout me time because I during that time I can let all things go and focus on my workout. For my well-being, I’ve been trying to spend more time with friends. There is something to be said about spending time with others and this is usually one of the first things to be put on hold as life gets busy. Also, I enjoy spending time reading (magazines are easy read choice) and spending time with my kritters.

What do you do to keep this part of your plate in balance?

Balance-Exercise and Life

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
March 13th, 2012

Coach Nicole gave me inspiration for the next post because it really applies to me. About six months ago I made it a priority to get my health back. I had put it on the back burner for too long-between medication, life issues and overall feeling crummy. Even health professionals can go through this and many have-we are not exempt.

For me the thing that seemed to do the trick was upping the exercise. I have been consistently working out for about two hours most days of the week- a mix of cardio, strength and interval type exercises. I started to feel better right away and noticed results soon after. It is something I do not intend to give up again-I’ll remember how I feel during and after a workout, compared to how I felt previously. One thing that is great is that I have made new “gym friends” to help keep motivated and it is always nice to spark a new friendship.

That being said-two hours is a pretty big commitment and it has taken a lot of time. As I have approached my goals, I’ve modified my workout plan and this article gave me some great tips. This will be one more idea for balancing “my own plate”.

What’s on Your Plate Day! Here’s What is on Ours….

By Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD
March 8th, 2012

As a representative of the Egg Nutrition Center for the Strategic Partnership for the program, I signed up to show everyone what I eat. It sounds so simple, right? On March 8 National What’s On Your Plate Day, just spread the word about how to eat using as a template. Yet, just thinking about how to show a healthy diet can be difficult when reality hits. Do I really eat all my meals on a plate? Do I really eat only at meal time? What about my beverages and that mouthful of nuts? What about when I go to meetings, dinner with friends or business associates? By the third picture of my meals, my husband had already asked me to stop taking pictures claiming it was disturbing his dinner! So, in an effort to come clean about what a 33 year veteran of the American Dietetics Association, now the Academy of Dietetics really eats, I am fessing up on national What’s On Your Plate Day, March 8, 2012.

Breakfast: My favorite breakfast: warm hard boiled eggs with orange slices and Greek yogurt. Add a cup of coffee and I’m good to go. This is my power breakfast because it gets me through the morning, including exercise at the gym and satisfied until about 2 or 3 in the afternoon. It even looks bright and sunny.

Lunch: Melted open faced sliced turkey with aged provolone cheese sandwich with sugar snap peas. I love this lunch because it’s quick and I adore the melted cheese flavor along with the sweet crispness of the peas. Finished with multiple cups of rooibos tea and I’m set. Only one dish to clean up!

Dinner with my husband, I tried a new recipe: shrimp in lime and coconut sauce garnished with cilantro. In addition I served a spoonful of jasmine rice and lots of mushrooms and roasted asparagus on the side for color and a taste of spring. My husband suggested taking off the “green stuff” to improve the look of the meal but that’s why he’s not a 33 year veteran of ADA! Add in a glass of white wine and that’s my day’s meals. I have a new appreciation for food stylists, I doubt anyone would make this meal if it was in a cookbook! After dinner, I confess, I did sneak into the kitchen for handful of almonds and tea before bed but no one’s perfect!!

Make A Plan!

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
March 2nd, 2012

Today is about planning. We as health professionals tell clients to eat well and exercise. Sounds good right? There is so much information available that they should just be able to go do it on their own. I mean we do it all the time, right (mm huh?!?!). So here are some basic tips you can provide-oh and yes these work for you too!

Life is busy and when we get super busy we tend to “let our plates go”. I am guilty of this as much as anyone, but I’ve been working on planning ahead too and thought I’d share some of the things that work for me. Think of your own ideas that work for you and encourage your clients to find things that work for them.

Think ahead: Some people are great at cooking ahead and freezing items for later use. This is not really my strong suite-I have ideas of what I’d like to eat for the week and browse the ads for sales. Then I start thinking about what nights I’ll be home and what those evenings look like. I match my shopping list to this. Also, having staples like eggs, milk, greek yogurt, peanut butter, frozen veggies, fresh fruit, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, whole wheat bread, tuna and other pantry staples can be a lifesaver. These are great go-to items any time-especially when strapped for time. Keep some of these items at work too so that lunch is easy as well. At work bagged greens and cherry tomatoes are my “staples” along with eggs since we have them available here in the office.

Prep ahead: Cut up veggies ahead of time for easy meals and snacks. Another easy idea is to make hardboiled eggs to have for the week. Sometimes when I am running low on prep time, I’ll buy already cut up veggies (they cost more so I try not to do this too often). I might also buy these if I have a week where I won’t be eating at home much, so that I don’t waste (money and food).

Cook ahead: Some people are great at bulk cooking and freezing, but that isn’t something I do well. I will however make something on the weekend or a slower weeknight to eat throughout the week. Last week I made muffin frittatas and had them for breakfast, dinner and snacks all this week. Chili or other soups are also anther thing that work well for this. Even making an extra portion or two of a meal and packing it away for other days is an easy idea.

Physical Activity:
Plan it like any other part of your day. Make it a priority and even plan your days off from structured exercise. I have been doing this consistently for about 6 months now and it feels great. Until I made it part of my plan for the week, I would exercise sporadically. It is easy for something else to come up or to be forgotten if you don’t plan time for exercise. I even refer to some of my days related to my workout. Wednesday is Yoga Day! Here’s a photo after yoga class-don’t laugh at my pose I’m still learning and I had to break the pose to smile for the photo.

Final thought: Things can change very quickly so try to stick to your plan as much as you can. If one day isn’t so great, remember the next is a new day.

USDA Launches New Online “Super Tracker” –Track and Record Your Health in 2012

By Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN
December 29th, 2011

Enjoy your food, but eat less.  This was a statement that is rather confusing and created a lot of buzz in the nutrition world.  Eat less of what, how much less?  The USDA new “Super Tracker” may help the public with this.  You can see based on your specific profile how much you should be eating and eating for optimal health from all the food groups.  Perhaps you can consider a SMART goal or two related to using the “Super Tracker”. Today, I’ll give you some guidance that has worked for my clients in the past and even in my own household

So step one is start to record and track your progress.  The Super Tracker has some great tips and tools including food-a-pedia, activity tracker, and more.  It even has a place for your top 5 goals, once you personalize your plan.  I think it is a pretty user friendly website-much easier than previous versions.  Personally, for me, it is motivating to see everything tracked right in front of me.  Used appropriately, the tracker can be a great tool.  If this tool does not work for you, search for one that will! There are plenty of trackers-even on smartphones. 

One thing that I suggest that you try is measuring your food (measuring cups and a food scale can be very affordable). It can be challenging when decipher a food label or even the tracker to eyeball what the portion should look like on the plate. However seeing what exactly you eat vs what is a serving is quite interesting!  I’ve tried it with my husband lately (shh don’t tell him I am talking about him).  He was surprised at what he saw and has started to make an effort to think about the amount of food he put on his plate (even without the measuring cup).    Are going to measure forever-no eventually you will be able to it without measuring cups or scales.  Also you probably won’t pull out your cups at a restaurant or party, so it is good to learn at home and then you can visualize the portions when you are out.  Ultimately, if you see your portions creeping up go ahead and start to measure your food again to get you back on track.  You can also use household items for portion sizes, although this only works well for some people.

Remember that it a lifestyle change you are looking to achieve and new habits must be formed.  It can take some time to get used to something new.  Some say 21 days is the time it takes to create a sound habit.  So will you feel hungry at first?  Perhaps-you may be used to overeating and will need to learn how it feels to be satiated without being stuffed.  Will there be struggles-yes!  It is part of the experience, but move on to the next meal or snack- it is a mind game that you can win.

There are awesome tools to help you achieve your year (and lifetime) of health!  You do not have to do it alone.


Nutrition Unscrambled  is written by nutrition experts with the Egg Nutrition Center, which is funded by the American Egg Board. It is monitored and maintained by the public relations agency of record. The mission of the Egg Nutrition Center is to be a credible source of nutrition and health science information and the acknowledged leader in research and education related to eggs. For more information, click here.

About the Bloggers

Mitch Kanter, Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about
Mitch, click here.
Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD is the Senior Director, Nutrition Education at the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about Marcia, click here.
Anna Shlachter, MS, RD, LDN is the Program Manager, Nutrition Research and Communications at the Egg Nutrition Center. For more information about Anna, click here.

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All information provided within this blog is for informational and educational purposes only and it is not to be construed as medical advice or instruction. Please consult your physician or a qualified health professional on any matters regarding your health or before making changes to your diet or health behaviors.