Lifestyle EatingNutrition Education

Spiteful Extra Scoops


Are you trying to become your spouse’s personal nutrition consultant?

You may not even realize the damage you are doing to your spouse’s relationship with food when you make comments about their eating habits. In  Intuitive Eating, (2012) (affiliate link) Evelyn Tribole describes a predisposition which her clients call the “Forget You” Diet. When spouses make condescending comments or suggestions to their partner’s food choices, it elicits a feeling of “forget you!” The partner then eats more than they normally would, just because their freedom with food has been violated and they rebel against the suggested restriction.clip_image002

Photo circa 2008 (We are getting old!!)

My husband calls this the “Eat-out-of-spite” diet. Early in our marriage, or maybe even our engagement, I distinctly remember a time when we were enjoying dessert together. It was ice cream—our favorite. When he finished his portion and started into the carton to scoop more ice cream for himself, I said something like, “You really aren’t going to eat more, are you?!” With that he took two or three additional scoops and spitefully ate more than he would have otherwise, just to show me that he was the boss of his ice cream portions. What a Rookie-Wife mistake that was!  It has been over eight years since that incident (and I am sure many others similar to it) and I am still trying to rescind those statements. It is hard to take back words which should never have been said!

I promised myself I would stop making comments about what and how much my husband ate. However, I had not completely made peace with his food choices. Sometimes, in an attempt to save him from overeating, I would eat extra portions of food even if I was not hungry. Now, what good did that do for either of us?! Other times, I stopped making some of his favorite dishes or desserts because they were too fattening in my eyes. I determined to only serve the most nutrient-dense, low-calorie foods as possible. What happened as a result? He ate his comfort foods while he was on work trips because he knew there would be none served at home. Poor guy! It must be hard to be married to a dietitian sometimes!  The “eat-out-of-spite” diet continued even though I was trying not to say anything about his food choices. However, what I was doing spoke louder than words.  And my actions were not fair. Who gave me the food police badge allowing me to approve and disapprove of what my sweet husband was eating?! In reality, he is quite the disciplined exerciser and eats a pretty balanced diet. Because I had my own problems with letting myself indulge in favorite foods, I took my self-depriving frustrations out on him. IMG_20160711_170827209_HDR

So, what can you do to help your spouse make healthier food choices, without eliciting the “Eat-out-of-spite-diet” in them? Here’s my advice (for what it is worth): Do the same which you would for any other guest at your table. You may offer plenty of food options at each meal. Involve them in your meal-planning, and let them choose some of the meals you will prepare. When eating out, you choose your food and let them choose theirs. Leave the rest up to them. Hands off! No comments. No suggestions. Let your spouse decide which dishes and how much of each they will eat. Then, enjoy the time you have with each other together. You just might be surprised to find your spouse eating much less once you finally let go of trying to micromanage their dinner plate!

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Hearty No-Bake Cookie Bites


I try hard not to spike my overly sensitive blood sugar, but sometimes a girl just has to have a pick-me-up treat in the middle of a hectic day! So, I altered a typical “No-Bake Cookie” recipe into a treat that won’t make me crash 30 minutes after eating it. Even though it is made of whole ingredients it is pretty rich, so I always have to wash it down with a glass of almond milk. Enjoy!


Hearty No-Bake Cookie Bites

1/3 Cup Cocoa

1/4 Cup Butter

1/2 Cup Milk or Almond Milk

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/3 Cup Honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 Cup natural Peanut Butter

3 Cups Old Fashioned Oats



Add cocoa, butter, milk, and salt to a medium saucepan. On medium-high heat, bring the mixture to a low boil, stirring constantly. Boil for just 60 seconds, remove from heat and add honey, peanut butter, and vanilla. Stir until dissolved. Add oats and stir to combine. Roll cookie mix into golf ball sized bites. Let chill for 5-10 minutes. These can be frozen or refrigerated in an air tight container.

Makes 18 Bites.

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Lifestyle EatingNutrition Education

Eating Healthy In College: Part 2


In Eating Healthy in College: Part 1, I discussed some techniques to eating healthy with limited time, space, and money. I showed you some ideas of foods to stock your pantry, fridge and freezer with. Now, I will offer some meal ideas using the foods from that first post.



Breakfast options:

WW bagel, avo, tomato, canadian bacon, fried egg

Berry Smoothie and toast

Hot Rice Cereal

Hearty Whole Wheat Pancakes

  • Breakfast Burritos– Make the whole recipe and store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge to be warmed for breakfast through out the week.

Breakfast Burritos

  • Toasted Whole Wheat English Muffins topped with red bell pepper eggs and/or mashed avocados with a tomato slab.

Breakfast English Muffins

  • Cold cereal with nuts and fruit



Lunch options:

Tuna Mix with Veggies and Crackers

  • Baked potato with broccoli, cheese, Greek Yogurt, green onions

Baked potato

  • Hearty Quinoa Salad– You can make this salad out of your brown jasmine rice instead of the quinoa if needed.

Quinoa Salad


  • Greek yogurt mixed with honey, fruit, and nuts

yogurt fruit nuts

hummus and veggie snack

  • Ants on a Log- Celery filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins.

ants on a log

  • Cottage cheese with grapes or cherry tomatoes

snack cottage cheese and tomatoes

  • Cliff or Luna Bar
  • Apples and/or carrots with peanut butter


  • Stir fry with cashews over brown jasmine rice

stir fry with cashews and jasmine rice

Chili Cheese potato

Tuna mix lettce wrap

  • Chicken Caesar Salad (or any other bagged mix) with garlic cheese bread
  • Grilled or baked chicken with steamed veggie mix


Happy Studying!!

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Meals for OneRecipesSandwiches & Wraps

Avocado Panini with Red Pepper Hummus


This panini is full of fresh flavors that speak to all your hungry senses. Use my Hearty Roasted Red Pepper Hummus instead of cheese and mayo to satisfy your craving for a dairy-free lunch. Enjoy!


Avocado Panini with Red Pepper Hummus

2 Slices whole wheat bread
1/2 Avocado, sliced
1/2 Vine-Ripe tomato, sliced
3 Tablespoons Red Pepper Hummus
4 leaves spinach


Spread hummus on both slices of bread. Layer one slice of bread with avocadoes, tomatoes, and spinach. Top with second slice of bread. Grill in panini press for 1-3 minutes.

Makes 1 Sandwich


Tomato-avocado-hummus panini on grill


If you are like me, you don’t own a panini press. (Maybe Santa will bring me one this year for Christmas.) Until then, I improvise with anything flat and heavy. I literally press my sandwich between my electric griddle and a large cooking pot!

panini press

Get creative! You could press your sandwich using a skillet with a 5 pound weight inside—whatever it takes. Flip your sandwich half-way through the cooking process so it is cooked evenly through. Viola! There’s your panini-pressless-panini-maker!

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Appetizers/ DipsGluten-FreeMeals for OneRecipesSandwiches & Wraps

Hearty Tuna Sandwich Mix


This tuna sandwich has a flavorful and nutritious twist that appeals to all ages. For my anti-sandwich eaters, I serve the mix as a dip with crackers, and they love to pack it in their lunchbox on school days. I like to eat it as a lettuce wrap with a big romaine or green lettuce leaf. Enjoy!

Hearty Tuna Sandwich

1- 5 oz. Can Tuna (in water)
3/4 Cup Greek Yogurt
1/4 Cup Real Mayonnaise
1 Cup celery, chopped
1 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
2 Dill pickle spears, chopped (optional)
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, minced (optional)
2 Tablespoons green onions, chopped

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Serve as a sandwich or as a dip with crackers. Enjoy!


Hearty Tuna sandwich

Great on toasted whole wheat bread, bagels, or English muffins!

Tuna Mix with Veggies and Crackers

Delicious as a meal or an appetizer when served as a dip with crackers and veggies!

Tuna mix lettce wrap

For a gluten-free option, wrap the mix in a lettuce leaf!

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Gluten-FreeRecipesVeggie-Lover Dinners

Balsamic Chicken and Veggies


The selling point of this chicken is the balsamic sauce—it’s savory and sweet and delicious! You will love the way it flavors the chicken and veggies, but you will also love dipping some crusty bread in the drizzle left over on your plate. This recipe is an adaptation from Better Homes and Gardens at I tweaked a few things in order to make it fit the needs of my family.

Balsamic Chicken and Veggies

2 Pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts tenders
2 Tablespoons olive oil

1/3 Cup Italian bottled dressing
1/4 Cup Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons honey

4 Carrots, julienned
2-3 small zucchini, sliced in rounds (you could also do green beans or asparagus here)
4 Vine-ripe tomatoes, sliced in sections (sliced bell peppers are also good)



Combine all dressing ingredients in a jar with a lid. Shake until well mixed. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large stove-top skillet on medium high heat. Place chicken tenders in the oil and cook chicken for 5-6 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once. Pour half the dressing over the tenders. Turn to coat with dressing. Remove from skillet, cover and keep warm.

Add carrots to skillet. Cook for about 2 minutes and then add zucchini. Cook until vegetables are crisp-tender or about 5-6 minutes. Add tomatoes for last 1 minute. Transfer vegetables to serving dish.

Give the remaining dressing another few shakes and pour into the skillet. Heat until warmed through and then use it as a drizzle upon serving the chicken and veggies.

Serves 6-8.


vegetable pre-prep

Chef’s Tip: Gather all the ingredients you will need for the meal before starting. Mix up the dressings or marinades first so they have time to blend flavors. Pre-heat your oven, or start water boiling next. Then, chop your veggies. Now  you are ready to begin the mixing and cooking process. This will help you prepare meals faster with less hiccups along the way. Happy cooking!

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Hot Rice Cereal


I made too much rice for last night’s dinner. But I had a plan for it, so I left the rice in the saucepan and put the whole thing in the fridge to chill. In the morning, back onto the stove the rice went and just minutes later, I had hot rice cereal. You will love the way this fills your kitchen with the aroma of cinnamon!

Hot Rice Cereal

2 Cups cooked rice (my favorite is Brown Jasmine)
1 to 1 1/2 Cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 to 2 teaspoons honey

Fresh peaches, chopped
Chopped nuts
Apples…(you get the idea)

On medium heat, add milk to a saucepan of cooked rice. Stir until warmed through. Add cinnamon and honey before serving. Top with your favorite toppings. Enjoy!

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Gluten-FreeRecipesVeggie-Lover Dinners

Lazy Day Beans and Rice


When it’s the end of a long, busy day, sometimes it is impossible to muster the energy to make an elaborate meal. The cure? Beans and rice. I promise this is not a punishment for my family, though. They LOVE beans and rice—especially when topped with guacamole or fresh mango salsa. By the time your rice is cooked, dinner is ready and on the table. Enjoy!


Lazy Day Beans and Rice

2- 15 oz. Cans Pinto Beans, drained
8 oz. Tomato Sauce
1 teaspoon Garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon Cumin

1 Cup Brown Jasmine Rice
2 cups water

2 Avocadoes, ripe
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 Roma Tomatoes, chopped
Garlic Salt and Cumin to taste


1. Add 1 cup rice to 2 cups water in a medium saucepan. Cover and boil as directed on the package.

2. Meanwhile, combine beans, tomato sauce, and spices and simmer on low heat until warmed through.

3. Make guacamole by mashing the avocadoes with a pastry blender or an immersion blender. Add lime juice, tomatoes and spices.

4. Serve beans atop cooked rice and top with guacamole or my Peach/Mango Salsa. Enjoy!

Makes 6 servings.

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Mango Banana Flax Smoothie


This smoothie is not only refreshing, but it is packed with protein. You see, I am hypoglycemic, and eating foods high in sugar make my blood glucose spike and then fall drastically. The flax seed in this smoothie adds enough protein and fat to help my body slowly metabolize the sugar. Enjoy!


Mango Banana Flax Smoothie

1 Cup Water
1 Cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
1 Banana, peeled
1 Cup Frozen Mango Chunks
1 Tablespoon Ground Flax seed

Add all ingredients to blender in the order shown. Blend until smooth and serve immediately.

Serves 2.

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Cucumber Caprese Salad


Is anyone else drowning in cucumbers this summer? I planted about four too many plants this year, and we are having a hard time eating them all. It’s a good problem to have… Winking smile  This salad is helping us enjoy our cucumbers in a new way. It takes less than 10 minutes to make and needs no time to marinate. The best part is that the kids love it! My son said,  “Hey! I actually like this salad. I ate all of it!”  Need I say more?


Cucumber Caprese Salad

4 to 5 Medium Cucumbers, cut in rounds
5 Vine-ripe tomatoes, sliced in sections
2 Mozzarella sticks, cut in rounds
1 Tablespoon fresh Basil ribbons

2 Tablespoons Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Clove fresh garlic, minced fine
salt and pepper to taste

Combine cucumbers, tomatoes, mozzarella and basil in a large bowl. Shake the ingredients for the vinaigrette in a jar with a lid. Pour the vinaigrette over the cucumber mixture and stir to combine. Serve immediately.

Serves 6.


When I slice my cucumbers, I like to leave a little skin on for color and added nutrition. Most of the fiber and cancer-fighting antioxidants are nestled inside the peel of most produce. You could choose to leave all the skin on, but my texture-sensitive kiddos eat cucumbers best when half the peel is gone.

Cucumber peeling

I could have made this salad with fresh mozzarella, but I don’t usually have that on hand. I do, however, always have string cheese on hand as snacks for the kiddos.  This is just a small way to simplify the grocery list.  Use kitchen shears to cut the mozzarella sticks into thin rounds to make the process even faster.

Cucumer Caprese instructions

The vinaigrette is strong enough in this salad that there is no need to marinate it. Serve it right away!

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