Protein 101-Guest Post Written for Grateful Plate!

We’ve teamed up with Grateful Plate to write a few nutrition focused blog posts for them! Check out our post below and then head on over to their website to learn more about their health-minded meal delivery service. 

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Protein comes in many different forms, from animal derivatives to plant-based.  Proteins are made up of amino acids.  There are 20 amino acids, 8 of which are essential for us to get from our food sources.  The remaining are produced by our body, so it is not necessary to always consume them from food. Amino acids and protein are commonly referred to as the building blocks of life.  Protein, when digested, is broken down into these amino acids, which each have specific functions. In general, they are used for repairing tissue, digestion of food, and growth.  General recommendations for protein intake is 56g for the average sedentary male and 46g for sedentary females. Our body uses the most energy to digest protein compared to all other macronutrients. This means diets higher in protein can help our body to burn more calories throughout the day.

Quality of protein does matter when it comes to our body’s function.  Animal sources of protein are meat/poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy.  These sources contain all 8 of the essential amino acids our body needs to survive, which is why they are considered the highest quality protein sources.  They contain the most bang for your buck calorie-wise, as a 3oz serving of chicken has approximately 110 calories and 24g of protein.  It is suggested to have diets rich in lean poultry and fish while limiting red meat.  Eggs are a great source of protein, as well as B vitamins. They are one of the quickest and easiest ways to incorporate high-quality protein into your diet.

Animal sources aren’t for everyone, though, and there is definitely a shift to eating a more plant-based diet.  Plant-based protein sources include legumes (beans, peas, lentils, peanuts), nuts, and seeds.  There are also foods such as tofu and tempeh, which are derived from soy.  Quinoa, though considered a grain, is the only plant-based source of protein that also contains all 8 essential amino acids. For those who eat only plant-based sources, it is recommended to eat a variety throughout the day to make sure the body is getting all 8 essential amino acids to prevent deficiency.  Plant-based proteins also pack a large amount of fiber, making them great for our digestive system as well as keeping you full for hours.  Unlike meat or poultry, these sources can be bought in large quantities for lower prices, making them a great staple to have on hand.

Every week the menu at Grateful Plate changes, but one thing is consistent, there is always a variety of protein options to choose from to meet all needs. The great thing about the menu is being able to mix and match a variety of protein sources in your meals throughout the week.  For those who eat both animal and plant-based sources, we recommend choosing their Citrus and Thyme Salmon, the Italian White Bean Stew, and the Za’atar Seared Chicken.  We feel that it is important that even if you do eat meat, sometimes you should choose plant-based options as well for overall gut health.  For those who follow a strictly plant-based diet, we suggest the Moroccan fava bean soup, the Vegan Tofu Lasagna, and the Spring Wild Rice Salad. This gives you variety in the plant-based sources you are choosing, which helps you to meet all your essential amino acids needs as mentioned previously.  Not feeling anything on the main menu? Now there is the option for a la carte proteins to make your own meal! This is a great new option that allows you to be in control of what your meal is.  We love this idea! While this is just an example of one week’s menu selections, know that every week there will be various protein options to choose from, making Grateful Plate an excellent choice for meal delivery service.

 

xoxo,

Liz and Melissa

 

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Mission Taqueria Review!

Is there anyone out there that doesn’t love tacos? No? Great, we didn’t think so. This past #TacoTuesday we followed up our SoulCycle class with dinner at Mission Taqueria. Prior to this visit, Liz has been there for Happy Hour and Melissa’s been there for dinner a few times. We both love the atmosphere and knew there were healthy options available on the menu!

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What To Look For on the Menu

We have a few recommendations for what to look for when you’re going out to eat. First up, try to preview the menu beforehand. We perused the dinner menu prior to our visit and had a good idea what we were going to order (and of course, split because #WorkWives). Next, look for a few keywords on the menu to guide you in your healthy eating journey. For Mission’s menu, we were wary of any items that used the words “fried”, “crispy” and “mayo”. There words basically mean they are higher in fats (and not the healthy kind) and calories. We’d recommend avoiding the following items:

  • Fried Mahi Mahi tacos
  • Fried Green Tomato Tacos
  • Green Chile Croquettes (croquettes = fried),
  • Queso fundido (hot melted cheese = high in fat/calories)
  • Sweet Potato Tostones (tostones = fried)

Now onto the good stuff! We recommend going with any options that use the words “grilled” or “roasted”. This means that they’re not coming with any type of breading or cooked in a lot of fat. Examples on the Mission Taqueria Menu include the Grilled Wild Shrimp, Roasted Lamb Tacos and the Grilled Mushroom Tacos. We’d also recommend any sauces likes salsa, relish or vinaigrette over something with queso or mayo. When it comes to portion size, Mission Taqueria provides you with just enough to feel satisfied but not overly full. All of the tacos are homemade and are a reasonable size, coming with three per order. We also recommend trying Ceviche (raw seafood marinated in lime juice), Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Grilled Asparagus as an appetizer or side to share.

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What we got

  • Wild Shrimp Tacos (so good!)
  • Chicken in Mole Negro (not a lot of flavor)
  • Mixto ceviche…disappointing. Had olives (not in menu description) and seemed to have more filler that seafood. Would definitely try the 3 other varieties tho
  • Hot sauce on the table (super spicy, super good)
  • Guac and chips for the table (Guac = healthy fats! Be careful with the chips though because they are fried).
  • Prosecco and a Spicy Margarita. Prosecco is a sparkling wine that is about 80 calories per glass. The Spicy Margarita was on the smaller side and used fresh lime juice as opposed to a super sugary margarita mix.  Remember to follow up each cocktail with a glass of water to stay hydrated!

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Disclaimer: We recommend NOT going to Mission Taqueria on a #TacoTuesday without a reservation if you have a large group! We popped in after our spin class with a group of 6 and were seated well over an hour after we got there. Normally not a big deal, but spinning makes us hungry!

Overall, there are plenty of healthier options to eat here.  As always, we never say no to any food and moderation is key.  If you want a fried dish, maybe skip that extra margarita to help save calories.  We highly recommend Mission Taqueria, if you haven’t been, you are missing out! Where should we venture to next? Leave us a comment with suggestions!

xoxo,

Liz and Melissa

What Registered Dietitians Do

As National Nutrition Month continues, we wanted to shed light on what registered dietitians do.  Our profession encompasses many different roles, most of which surprisingly do not include wearing hair nets in the kitchen of a hospital (insert eye roll here for how many times we have heard that).  Registered dietitians can work in hospitals or clinical settings, in public health, or for a foodservice department.  We can work as professors teaching nutrition courses or run our own private counseling practice.  There is also a role for us in the social media and blogging world, too.  The possibilities are endless.

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In the hospital setting, often known as clinical nutrition, we provide medical nutrition therapy to patients. Currently, this is our main job, with social media and blogging on the side for fun.  Clinical dietitians see patients in the hospital for various reasons.  On admission, patients are screened for weight loss and poor appetite, both of which can slow down their healing process if present.  Dietitians fully assess these patients and come up with a plan in coordination with the rest of the care team on how to make sure the patient maintains adequate nutrition throughout their hospitalization.  If patients continue with poor nutrition status, they may require placement of a feeding tube or supplemental I.V. nutrition, known as TPN.  The dietitian then becomes responsible to manage these.  We determine how many calories and how much protein a patient needs on a daily basis, then choose which formula is most appropriate for the patient to receive. We also manage the nutrient composition of the I.V. nutrition regimen, including electrolytes and doses of vitamins/minerals.  This care is quite complex and takes months to years of training to master.

Public health dietitians often work in community settings such as schools, food banks, and government-assisted programs.  These dietitians may be responsible for setting up school meal programs or implementing nutrition into the school curriculum.  They help with menu planning and budgeting, ensuring the school lunches can be nutritious while also affordable.  Dietitians in these settings may also work for programs such as WIC or SNAP.  They help run meal delivery programs that assist the sick or elderly.  Dietitians also work in food banks, where they teach healthy cooking demonstrations to children and adults, as well as setup nutrition programs throughout the community.  There are many roles a dietitian can play in the public health setting.

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Dietitians who work in foodservice are in charge of creating menus that meet the nutrient requirements of the population in which they are working. For instance, hospital foodservice dietitians not only have to create a standard breakfast, lunch, and dinner menu that rotates daily, but also make adjustments to this menu to suit the various dietary restrictions of patients.  This means that from the standard menu there could be dozens of variations including low salt, diabetic, renal failure, low fiber, etc.  It also means accounting for food allergies and making sure food trays do not become contaminated for patient safety.  This takes an enormous amount of time and energy with attention to detail.  Dietitians in foodservice may also work with athletes, tailoring the menu to meet the high calorie and carbohydrate demand athletes need to perform at their peak.  This means changing the menu depending on what stage of training the athlete is in and what their body needs at the time.  This again requires a lot of attention to detail and planning.

 

As mentioned in our previous blog post discussing the difference between dietitians and nutritionists, dietitians go through many hours of school as well as an internship before they can sit for their credentialing exam.  All dietitians are trained during their internship in the various areas we discussed in the post.  Many dietitians will start off their career in a clinical setting and then advance into other areas of the field. Dietitians also have the luxury of being able to piece together different part-time positions allowing us to work in multiple areas of the field, creating a career that is unique to us.  Are you a fellow dietitian? If so, what area(s) do you work in?  If you are not a dietitian, we would love to hear your thoughts on what you learned from this in the comments!

xoxo,

Melissa and Liz

 

Smoothie Time!

First we brought you Squash Week. Then we brought you Bowl Week. Now, we bring you…Smoothie Week! We thought it would be very fitting since the first day of Spring is March 21st. There’s something about smoothies that are just so light and refreshing, just like Spring!

We love smoothies for a quick breakfast in the morning (easy to drink on your commute to work!), as a snack or for a post work-out recovery drink. Concocting the perfect smoothie can be kind of confusing  , and we often get questions about “the perfect smoothie ingredients” (should i use almond milk or cow’s milk? Are bananas “too carby”?). Read on for a few of our smoothie tips, recommendations for what to put in your perfect smoothie and of course, recipes!

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Smoothie Tips

  1. Portion Control! You know those Starbucks Venti drinks? If you’re smoothie is that big, YOU’VE GONE TOO FAR. Keep it to 8-16oz.
  2. Minimize the fruit, maximize the veggies. Veggies in a smoothie? Yes! Whether its a handful of greens, frozen cauliflower or shredded carrots, adding veggies to your smoothie increases it’s overall nutritional value and limits the sugar content.
  3. Watch your sugar. We like to sweeten our smoothies with natural sugars from fruit or other natural sources like honey, maple syrup or dates.
  4. Pump up the protein. You’ve heard us talk about the importance of protein in your meals and that still goes for smoothies. We love to add protein powders, like Further Food Collagen (use our code for 10% off, TWOHUNGRYWORKWIVES) or 100% whey. If you’re looking for a plant-based option we recommend hemp or pea protein as well. If you don’t like using protein powders, Greek yogurt and Cottage Cheese have a good amount of high quality protein, too.
  5. Play with “superfoods”. We love to add little extras to our smoothies to reap the most benefits. Whether is Cinnamon for blood sugar control, Turmeric of immunity protection or Maca to prevent fatigue, adding about a teaspoon of a superfood powder adds health benefits or enhances the taste.

 

 

 

Smoothie Ingredients

  • 1/2-1 cup veggies (spinach, kale, frozen cauliflower, zucchini, cucumber, etc)
  • 1/2-1 cup fruit (banana, mangoes, berries, etc)
  • healthy fat (nut butters, coconut oil, full fat yogurt)
  • ~15g protein (protein powders like collagen, whey, pea; yogurt)
  • 1-2 Tbsp fiber (chia seeds, flax seeds)
  • 8-16oz liquid (nut milk, coconut milk,cow’s milk, water)
  • optional: Superfoods like Maca, Turmeric, Cacao, Matcha)

 

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Green Pina Colada Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • ½ cup diced pineapple, frozen
  • 1/2 banana, sliced and frozen
  • 2 tbsp light coconut milk
  • 1 package frozen pureed coconut (found in freezer aisle, or sub 2 tbsp shredded coconut)
  • ½ cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 (5.3oz) container Siggi’s® vanilla skyr
  • 1 scoop Further Food® collagen peptides

Directions:

  1. Blend together spinach and almond milk until smooth green mixture forms
  2. Add in remaining ingredients and blend on high
  3. Pour into a glass or bowl and top with chia seeds, toasted coconut, and pineapple slices
  4. Enjoy!

Triple Berry Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 ripe banana, sliced and frozen
  • 1 cup mixed berries (blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, strawberries)
  • ½ cup milk of choice
  • 1 (5.3oz) container plan greek yogurt

Directions: place all ingredients in blender and blend on high until smoothie. Top with chocolate chips, toasted coconut, fresh berries, or any other topping of choice!

Registered Dietitian vs Nutritionist

Happy RD/RDN Day to all of our fellow dietitians! For those of you who are not “getting crazy” today while celebrating, read on to find out the difference between what a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist (Health Coach, Nutrition Coach, etc) is!

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FNCE 2015

The titles “dietitian” and “nutritionist” are often used interchangeably.  While all Registered Dietitians are nutritionists, not all nutritionists are Registered Dietitians.  What’s the difference, you ask?  While we do not mind being referred to as either a dietitian or nutritionist, there are several steps beyond taking courses in nutrition that are required to become a registered dietitian. In honor of National Registered Dietitian Day, we are here to break down the difference between the two.

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Internship Graduation 2014

There are multiple criteria to become a Registered Dietitian, which include:

  1. Earning a minimum of a bachelor’s degree with coursework approved by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  Optional master’s degree if undergraduate work is not completed in nutrition. (Master’s degree will be required by 2024).
  2. Complete an accredited, supervised practice program for a minimum of 1200 hours in a clinical and food service setting.
  3. Pass the national board exam administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration.
  4. Complete 75 continuing education credits within the nutrition field to maintain registration every 5 years.
  5. Upkeep of state licensure which requires an additional 30 continuing education credits every 2 years (only applicable if the practicing state requires this).

Beyond these requirements, many dietitians go on to become specialized in specific areas of practice.  This entails many hours of studying and an additional board examination.  We both have taken a board examination for clinical nutrition, which focuses mainly on nutrition support in the adult population. This title is Certified Nutrition Support Clinician, or CNSC for short.  Dietitians can also become specialized in geriatric nutrition, oncology nutrition, sports nutrition, and so on.  These certifications count towards the 75 continuing education credits we must earn every 5 years.  Having to take these courses and exams requires us to stay very up-to-date with emerging nutrition science findings.  Registered dietitians also use evidenced-based practice, which means all of our guidelines come from extensive research in the field.

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CNSS RD’s celebrating our coworkers wedding!

Only registered dietitians are licensed to work in hospitals and provide medical nutrition therapy to patients.  While RD/RDNs can prescribe diets and nutrition support recommendations, nutritionists cannot. Nutritionists, like dietitians, can work one-on-one with clients for general nutrition counseling, but they cannot work in a hospital setting.  While nutritionists must take course work in the field prior to earning the title, they are not required to continue education throughout their career unless mandated by the state in which they practice.  As a dietitian, if we fail to maintain these credits, we lose our registration/license  While both a dietitian and nutritionist can offer counseling in healthy eating and weight loss, registered dietitians have stricter criteria to be met overall in order to practice. Registered dietitians are the experts in the field of nutrition, thus when seeking out nutrition advice, it is recommended to look for someone with RD/RDN in their title.

In summary, this is one of our favorite quotes from a Women’s Health article comparing dietitian vs. nutritionist

“Just because someone calls themselves a “nutritionist,” “health coach,” or “wellness consultant” on Instagram, doesn’t mean that you should let them make your food choices or guide your weight-loss journey. Instead, take your weight-loss nutrition advice from someone with some letters after their name—and know that R.D. and R.D.N. point to experts who have met the most rigorous requirements.”

Want to find out more about becoming a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist? Check out The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics or send us an email! Also check out our “About” section to learn more about each of our paths to becoming RD/RDNs!

xoxo,

Liz and Melissa

National Nutrition Month!

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It’s our favorite time of the year…National Nutrition Month! Every March the nutrition community comes together to celebrate nutrition education and making informed, healthy food choices. This year’s theme is “Go Further with Food”…what the heck does that mean?! (actual THWW quote). Well, we’re going to explain to you what we think it means and give you a few tips on how YOU can go further with food this month!

Going further with food entails using healthy eating to fuel your unique lifestyle. Whether you’re training for a marathon or just running after your 2-year-old, getting in the proper fuel takes some planning! This National Nutrition Month is all about using meal planning to fuel your life, but also to prevent food waste. As two work wives who already love to plan our meals out, preventing food waste is an added benefit to our healthy lifestyles.

So, how can you go further with food this month? Read on for a few tips to incorporate into your life this month!

  • Take inventory.
    • What do you already have in your kitchen? Beans and quinoa in the pantry? leftover rotisserie chicken in the fridge? Veggies in the freezer? Sounds like a perfect meal! Make sure you take stock of what items you already have before you start the meal planning.
  • Make a plan.
    • Do you need meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner? Or maybe just breakfast and dinner because you buy lunch at work? Either way, take into account how many meals you’ll need for the week and then make your meal plan! Example: oatmeal with frozen berries for breakfast each day, turkey chili for lunch and fish or chicken with veggies for dinner.
  • Make a list.
    • Now that you’ve got your meal plan and kitchen inventory ready, make a list of everything else you need at the store. Having a list helps keep you organized when walking into the jungle that is Whole Foods (or Wegman’s) AND helps you prevent food waste by buying less (no one likes having a big bag of spinach go to waste in the fridge!).
  • Utilize your freezer.
    • Speaking of that leftover bag of spinach…why not put the extras in a plastic baggie in the freezer? It’s perfect for adding to a later meal like smoothies, stir fry or soups! Do you love batch cooking but know you only need soup three days for lunch this week? Put the rest of it in Tupperware and stick it in the freezer for next week! Utilizing your freezer with excess produce or meals ensures that you’re saving food for later and preventing food waste.

Graphic_NNM18_GoFurther_FINALHow will you be going further with food this month? Let us know!

xoxo,

Liz and Melissa

Dinner Bowls!

 

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Bowl week continues! One of our favorite meals for lunch or dinner is to add pre-made options into a bowl for a simple, healthy meal. We typically meal prep items on Sundays (i.e. roasted veggies, cooking quinoa, etc) but we also love easy items we can add pre-made, like Rotisserie chicken. Don’t forget about your freezer aisle either! Frozen veggies work great in a last-minute bowl, especially roasted corn and cauliflower rice.

When assembling our bowl, we always include our four pillars: complex carbs, protein, fiber and healthy fats. Like we said earlier in the week, these four items keep us full and satisfied until our next meal!

Examples of these ingredients include:

  • Complex carbs: Grains (quinoa, rice, Farro), starchy vegetables (sweet potatoes, corn), green vegetables (spinach, swiss chard, Brussel sprouts), and legumes (beans, peas).
  • Protein: Beans (chickpeas, black beans), fish, chicken, beef or tofu.
  • Fiber: Vegetables!!!
  • Healthy fats: Avocado, Olive oil, Tahini, nuts or nut butters

You can dress your bowl up any way you like, but we provided three different options for you to try out depending on your mood: Vegan Buddha Bowl, Mexican Cauli Rice Bowl and a Salmon Red Cabbage Bowl.

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Vegan Buddha Bowl

Bowl Assembly:

  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 small sweet potato, roasted or microwaved
  • 1/2 cup sautéed Red Swiss Chard
  • 1/2 cup Roasted Brussel Sprouts
  • 1/3 cup Roasted Chickpeas
  • 2 Tbsp Barre3 Maple Tahini Dressing

 

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Mexican Cauli Rice Bowl:

Avocado Cream Sauce:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 cup Siggis® plain skyr
  • Cilantro to taste
  • Salt/Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil

Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Adjust salt/pepper per taste preferences.

Bowl Assembly:

  • 1/2 cup cauliflower rice, steamed
  • 1/3 cup roasted sweet potatoes
  • 1/3 cup roasted tomatoes
  • 1/2 avocado, diced
  • Avocado Cream Sauce
  • Rotisserie Chicken
  • Red onion and cilantro for garnish

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Salmon Red Cabbage Bowl

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Bowl Assembly:

  • 1/2 piece roasted salmon (about 3-4oz)
  • 1/3 cup Roasted Corn
  • 1/3 cup Roasted carrot chips
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup Red Cabbage (sautéed with olive oil and Apple Cider Vinegar)

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What do you like to put in your lunch/dinner bowls?

Questions or comments? Send us an email or send us a message on Instagram!

xoxo,

Liz and Melissa