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Lifestyle Choices for Wellness

Timely discussion on topics of health and wellness to encourage action and improvement in personal wellness.

Happy National Nutrition Month!


Being a Registered Dietitian is a really rewarding job. Helping people understand concepts that I take for granted as NEW information, and helping them incorporate this knowledge and healthy change into their lives is a great feeling. Knowing that my expertise and the words I say is helping make someone's quality of life better...you can't ask for much more fulfillment from a job. However, what some people don't know is that this position takes a lot of hard work to obtain. What feels like endless years of college education, multiple degrees, internships and certification exams are all required to put the title "RD" after one's name. In honor of this, it is fitting that we get a day of recognition...TODAY, March 12, 2014 is National Registered Dietitian's Day! And if you want to reach, we can be celebrated all month, as March is National Nutrition Month.

Every Year the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics generates a theme to help celebrate this month of nutrition. 2014's NNM theme is "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right."

A lot of our society thinks "healthy food" is synonymous with "tastes like cardboard" or "rabbit food." As nutrition professionals, we are trying to change that stigma. Eating wholesome, healthy foods doesn't have to mean unappetizing. In fact, nutritious foods are most often times the ones most full of flavor and freshness.

To celebrate my day, I am sharing some recipes that are tasty and nourishing. They also happen to be tropical (I'm trying to drive out the winter and bring forth spring via my diet! THINK SUNSHINE!) Making these dishes, I accomplished some "firsts" in the kitchen, as well.

I got this first recipe from a close friend, so the ingredients list was up for experimentation. I cracked a REAL coconut open for the FIRST time in making this dish! It is amazing how much richer the meat of a fresh coconut is compared to the shredded stuff used in baking.

This recipe can be made without the coco, but I'm a chocolate lover. This dessert is full of wholesome ingredients and tastes amazing! You don't have to feel bad about indulging in this delight, just be sure to keep your serving the correct portion size!

Creamy Chocolate Coconut Pudding (serves1-2)

Ingredients:

1 cup fresh coconut meat, from one young Thai coconut
1/4 cup fresh coconut water
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or 1-2 packets sucralose (Splenda)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of fine sea salt
4-5 large ice cubes

Directions:

Combine the coconut meat, coconut water, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, salt, sweetener and ice cubes into a blender container, and blend until very smooth and creamy. For best results, use a high-powered blender.

Adjust sweetness to taste and serve immediately or refrigerate for an hour-pudding will thicken.

This next recipe is one provided by Mayo Clinic, and is a very simple, underrated way to enjoy fruit. Grilling! The warm, smokiness of the grill really infuses great flavor in whatever you're cooking. In this case pineapple is the fruit of choice. Another first experienced in this recipe: using a pineapple cutter. This is a very unique kitchen gadget but it makes the tedious (and a wasteful) task of cutting a pineapple much less fuss! And much less of a mess!

Grilled Pineapple

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1 firm yet ripe pineapple
  • 1 tablespoon grated lime zest

Directions:

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler (grill).

To make the marinade, in a large bowl, combine the olive oil, cloves, cinnamon, honey and lime juice and whisk to blend. Set aside.

Cut off the crown of leaves and the base of the pineapple. Stand the pineapple upright and, using a large, sharp knife, pare off the skin, cutting downward just below the surface in long, vertical strips. Cut off any remaining small brown "eyes" on the fruit. Stand the peeled pineapple upright and cut it in half lengthwise. Place each pineapple half cut-side down and cut it lengthwise into four long wedges; slice away the core.

Place the pineapple in the bowl with the marinade and stir to coat the pineapple.

Place on the grill and cook about 3 to 4 minutes, basting once or twice with the remaining marinade. Turn the fruit and move it to a cooler part of the grill or reduce the heat. Baste again with the marinade. Grill until the pineapple is tender and golden, about 3 more minutes.

Remove the pineapple from the grill and place on a platter or individual serving plates. Brush with the rum, if using, and sprinkle with the lime zest. Serve hot or warm.

I'm Blogging National Nutrition Month


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