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.

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”.

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.

National Nutrition Month Mini-Symposium* “Communicating Nutrition Messages: Strategies for Diverse Audiences”

By Marcia Greenblum, MS, RD
March 11th, 2011

In honor of National Nutrition Month, NIH Division of Nutrition Research Coordination (DNRC) sponsored a very informative discussion: “Communicating Nutrition Messages: Strategies for Diverse Audiences”.  Speakers included Kay Loughrey, who spoke about Health Communications, Cheryl Toner, discussing Gender Considerations, Sonya Grier presented an update on Digital Media and Youth, Stephanie Dailey spoke about Communicating with Older Adults and Eileen Newman concluded with Cross Cultural communication strategies.

It really made me reflect on the ways we health communicators typically communicate; a brochure, a newsletter, a press release or a website entry. These are all unidirectional which we believe to be outreach but to really communicate, I now realize, our messages must be interactive and targeted to learning styles. Some of the speakers discussed games and video competitions that challenge target audiences to not only hear but adopt the message into their own style.

I also learned about the challenges of aging, something I am becoming all too familiar with, which makes communicating messages more difficult. But what impressed me most was that the central theme for communicating to all groups was that messages must be simple and short. Everyone including physicians and highly educated professionals want messages in bullets with only the important facts that are relevant to their needs.

No one wants to spend time evaluating an issue anymore. This was a lesson that we gained at our focus groups with health professionals. If a message is corroborated by others, it becomes truth. This is what was referred to as Illusion of Truth (Skutnick). In fact, this theory says that repetition makes people remember an issue to be true even if the issue was proven to be false. I find this very relevant to the perception of dietary cholesterol’s effect on heart disease. The association was repeated so often that even though it’s been disproven, it is still remembered as true.

Additionally, good communication tools include chunking information, speaking in an active voice, presenting information within interactive discussion in bulleted or a Q&A format. I learned a lot from this meeting and appreciate NIH DNRC for sponsoring this practical forum.



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.