Monday, December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012 Celebrating One Year of Living Smoke-free

Today is my one year anniversary of living smoke-free. After 45 years of smoking, on December 31, 2011 I quit smoking cigarettes. The decision was easier than I expected. I just got out of the hospital for facial bacterial cellulitis. My face was swollen, my eyes forced closed, and when I tried to speak it was hard to understand me as I wiped away the drool of saliva - all from an infection in my mouth – all related to years of smoking. 

The infection would eventually clear up, but I was left with having all my upper teeth and most of my bottom teeth removed. I never saw myself as vain, but I was horrified at the woman staring back at me in the mirror. I love to laugh and smile. It took over 6 months for dentures to be prepared so I could smile again.

For the young who believe, you have all the time in the world to quit; time passes quickly and some damage cannot be undone. For the older people who believe it is too late; unless you are a fortune teller you have no idea what the future holds.

This year I saved $6,055.50.
This year I earned 70.1 days.
This year I had 1,614,800 Smoke-Free Breaths.
This year I spent quality time with my son, family and friends.
This year I started a garden.
This year I began a photography program.
This year I took the time to enjoy the taste of foods and breathe fresh air.

Thank you Quit for Life Program

Saturday, December 29, 2012

United Nations Declares 2013
International Year of Quinoa

The year 2013 has been declared "The International Year of the Quinoa" (IYQ), by the United Nations General Assembly in December 2011.

“Quinoa is considered to be the organic food of the future and holds great potential in efforts to eradicate poverty worldwide and provide global food security and nutrition.” The United Nations, in connection with the presentation of the International Year of Quinoa created a multi-media exhibit. Events throughout the year relating to the International Year of Quinoa will be headed by the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), in collaboration with NGOs, indigenous peoples' organizations and, the Governments from the Andean region.

The objective of the IYQ Plan is to focus world attention on the role quinoa´s biodiversity and nutritional value plays, in providing food security and nutrition, the eradication of poverty in support of the achievement of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals.

Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds. It is a pseudo-cereal rather than a true cereal, or grain. Quinoa originated over 3,000 years ago in the Andean region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. 

Quinoa Nutritional Information

Quinoa is high in protein, a good source of dietary fiber and phosphorus and is high in magnesium and iron. Quinoa is also gluten-free.

Preparation. Quinoa has a natural bitter-tasting coating called saponins. Most quinoa sold commercially has been processed to remove this coating. However, the directions may require additional rinsing before cooking.

Quinoa can be added to a wide variety of dishes and substituted in recipes using rice or couscous. Quinoa flour can be used in wheat-free and gluten-free baking. To enhance the flavor, stock can be exchanged for water during cooking. Quinoa also can provide a nutritious breakfast with the addition of honey, nuts or fruits.

Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

Recipe Card

United Nations, International Year of the Quinoa (IYQ-2013)  
Facebook, International Year of Quinoa 
Twitter, International Year of Quinoa  

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Twas the Day After Christmas,
a Dietitian's Version

Modified for the Registered Dietitian
by Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RD, LDN

Twas the day after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.
The cookies I'd eaten, the eggnog I'd taste
The holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scale there arose such a number!
The scale must be broken, I said with a thunder.
I'd remember the wonderful meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rare,

The wine and the pastries, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."
Nothing would fit me, I felt so depressed.
I knew it was time to start a new quest.

I picked up the phone, to call a dietitian,
Knowing this path was just the right mission.
I won’t feel guilty, I’ll try moderation,
Fad diets have failed and even starvation.

I’ll follow the plan, set up solely for me,
More Fruits and Veggies are part of the key.
I’ll eat more fiber and exercise I’ll start,
And limit the fat that is bad for my heart.

Yes, I’ll call a dietitian to provide inspiration and
Learn new ways to avoid temptation.

A Happy and Healthy New Year to you.
Remember to eat right and exercise too.

Happy Kwanzaa

"Kwanzaa was created to introduce and reinforce seven basic values of African culture which contribute to building and reinforcing family, community and culture among African American people as well as Africans throughout the world African community. These values are called the Nguzo Saba which in Swahili means the Seven Principles. The Nguzo Saba stand at the heart of the origin and meaning of Kwanzaa, for it is these values which are not only the building blocks for community but also serve to reinforce and enhance them."   - Dr. Maulana Karenga (Founder and Creator)

Kwanzaa is a week-long celebration observed from December 26 to January 1 each year.

Edible Art: Seven Basic Principles of Kwanzaa.
The colors of the Kwanzaa flag are black, red and green; black for the people, red for their struggle, and green for the future and hope that comes from their struggle. It is based on the colors given by the Hon. Marcus Garvey as national colors for African people throughout the world.

The Kwanzaa art includes the following foods: apples, raspberries, strawberries, black beans, prunes, black berries, black rice, green bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, grapes, and string  beans.

Kwanzaa has seven basic symbols. Each represents values and concepts reflective of African culture and contributive to community building and reinforcement. The following are the basic symbols:

Mazao (The Crops) These are symbolic of African harvest celebrations and of the rewards of productive and collective labor. 

Mkeka (The Mat) This is symbolic of our tradition and history and therefore, the foundation on which we build. 

Kinara (The Candle Holder) This is symbolic of our roots, our parent people -- continental Africans.

Muhindi (The Corn) This is symbolic of our children and our future which they embody.

Mishumaa Saba (The Seven Candles) These are symbolic of the Nguzo Saba, the Seven Principles, the matrix and minimum set of values which African people are urged to live by in order to rescue and reconstruct their lives in their own image and according to their own needs.

Kikombe cha Umoja (The Unity Cup) This is symbolic of the foundational principle and practice of unity which makes all else possible.

Zawadi (The Gifts) These are symbolic of the labor and love of parents and the commitments made and kept by the children. 

The following videos share the history and traditions of Kwanzaa. The first video was created by Sesame Street and the story of Kwanzaa is told through a young  boy; the second video is a Happy Kwanzaa song by Teddy Pendergrass; and the third video is a trailer from "The Black Candle", narrated by Maya Angelou.

Sesame Street: Kwanzaa

Happy Kwanzaa 
Teddy Pendergrass

Kwanzaa, a Celebration.
"The Black Candle" trailer, 
narrated by Maya Angelou.

Wishing the lights of Kwanzaa
brings happiness, warmth and prosperity.

The Official Kwanzaa Web Site
The Official Kwanzaa Web Site, to make a donation  

 Wikipedia: Kwanzaa 

When you learn something from people, or from a culture,
you accept it as a gift, and it is your lifelong commitment
to preserve it and build on it. 
- Yo-Yo Ma

Sunday, December 23, 2012

December, Celebrate Root Vegetables: Beets

The beet is a root vegetable. The most well-known is the beetroot or garden beet. The roots are most commonly deep red-purple in color, but come in a wide variety of other shades, including golden yellow and red-and-white striped. 

Beets are a good source of fiber, potassium and folate. Researchers believe the red pigment (called betacyanin) in beets may protect against the development of cancerous cells and might play a role in reducing the inflammation associated with heart disease.

Nutrition Information

All About Beets

Beet and Red Cabbage Soup

Beet and Red Cabbage Soup
6 servings


3 - 4 fresh medium beets (about 12 ounces)
1 Tbsp. canola oil 
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 ounces)
1/2 head red cabbage, thinly sliced 
4 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth 
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper 
1 medium apple, peeled and diced (4.5 ounces; 128 g)
6 Tbsp low-fat sour cream for garnish 


Wash and trim beet tops, leaving root ends intact. Wrap in aluminum foil and roast at 375 degrees for 1 hour or until tender. Peel when beets are cool to handle. Slice beets into 1/4-inch julienne and set aside. 

Heat saucepan, add oil and onions. Sauté 3 to 4 minutes. Add cabbage, broth, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Stir in beets, simmer 10 minutes. Stir in apples, simmer 5  minutes. 

Serve hot or cold. Top with a tablespoon of low fat sour cream.

Recipe Card/Nutrition Information

Friday, December 21, 2012

Santa Claus and the Dietitian
Santa's List of Healthy Resources
for Children and Families

Santa Claus is a gentle and kind older man. He spends most of his days reading letters and granting wishes from children all over the world. Some children ask for toys, while others ask for food, health, family and peace.

Santa has helpers in every country across the globe. One day Santa Claus called me to ask if I could help with the letters from children who were hungry, overweight, had food allergies or other dietary concerns. I was honored to be one of the first dietitians to become Santa’s helper.

We showed the children “Let’s Move” and they became more active.

We gave the children a special plate, called “
MyPlate” and they started to eat more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

We shared the “
Kids Eat Right” messages and the children became more involved in the family food choices and preparation.

We told the families about the “
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics”, so children with special dietary needs could find help.

At the end of the day, Santa Claus and I sat down with some hot cocoa and a bowl full of fruit. We smiled knowing we were able to answer the wishes of so many children.

Our work was not done; we knew there would be more letters from children needing our help.

Have a Happy Holiday and a Healthy New Year

 - Santa Claus and the Dietitian

Santa's List of
Healthy Resources 
for Children and Families
Let’s Move  is about putting children on the path to a healthy future during their earliest months and years. Giving parents helpful information and fostering environments that support healthy choices. Providing healthier foods in our schools. Ensuring that every family has access to healthy, affordable food. And, helping children become more physically active.
Choose MyPlate.  The website features practical information and tips to help Americans build healthier diets. 
Kids Eat Right your source for scientifically-based health and nutrition information you can trust to help your child grow healthy. As a parent or caretaker you need reliable resources and you can find them here, backed by the expertise of nutrition professionals.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is your source for trustworthy, science-based food and nutrition information. The worlds largest organization of food and nutrition professionals, AND is committed to improving the nation's health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.
When you donate to Feeding America, you are doing more than helping provide meals. You are sending hope and joy to hard working families that are struggling with the difficult decision of whether to pay the bills or pay for groceries.
Action for Healthy Kidsbelieve there are ways to reduce and prevent childhood obesity and undernourishment. Learn how Action for Healthy Kids is working with schools, families and communities to help our kids learn to be healthier and be ready to learn.
Healthy Children  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and its member pediatricians dedicate their efforts and resources to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents and young adults. Healthy Children - Nutrition; Food Allergies in Children
Team Nutrition; Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ Materials. Campaign launched by USDA's Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) to encourage and teach children, parents, and caregivers to eat healthy and be physically active every day. Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ is about making America's children healthier. It's about practical suggestions that will help you motivate children and their caregivers to eat healthy and be active. Eat Smart. Play Hard.™ Campaign messages and materials are fun for children and informative for caregivers. Building Blocks for Fun and Healthy Meals; Fact Sheets For Healthier School Meals

We Can. The We Can! GO, SLOW, and WHOA Foods fact sheet (pdf) can be posted on the refrigerator or used when grocery shopping. The We Can! Parent Tips - Snack (pdf) 100 Calories or Less tip sheet can help consumers choose vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat (1 percent) milk for healthier snacks.
Fruits and Veggies More Matters

National Dairy Council® (NDC); Child Nutrition; Fuel Up To Play 60 sponsored by National Dairy Council and the National Football League, in collaboration with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school program that encourages the availability and consumption of nutrient-rich foods, along with at least 60 minutes of daily physical activity.
The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is a federally assisted meal program operating in public and nonprofit private schools and residential child care institutions. It provides nutritionally balanced, low-cost or free lunches to children each school day. The program was established under the National School Lunch Act, signed by President Harry Truman in 1946.
The School Breakfast Program (SBP) provides cash assistance to States to operate nonprofit breakfast programs in schools and residential childcare institutions. The program is administered at the Federal level by FNS. State education agencies administer the SBP at the State level, and local school food authorities operate it in schools.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The Edible Christmas Tree

A fun and healthy project for the family to enjoy.

Styrofoam Cones, assorted sizes (Can purchase at a craft shop
Toothpicks (Young children should be assisted by an adult)
Assortment of Fruits and Vegetables, such as Cantaloupe, Honeydew, Grapes, Watermelon, Mushroom, Arugula, Broccoli, Kiwi, Mango, Carrots, Tomatoes, Figs, Blueberries, Strawberries, Peppers, Squash, Carambola, Pomegranate Seeds, Cheddar Cheese, and Goat Cheese

1. Wash your hands.
2. Wash the fresh fruits and vegetables.
3. Wash your hands again.
4. Cut fruits and vegetables into a variety of shapes. Make sure the pieces are large enough to fit onto a toothpick.

5. Start at the bottom and work your way up. Use the largest fruits and vegetables first.
6. Be creative

7. Top your Christmas tree with Carambola (Starfruit).
8. Sprinkle Goat Cheese over the tree.
9. Serve with a low fat vanilla yogurt.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Gifts that Make a Difference

There are gifts you can purchase to support causes; gifts to educate and foster awareness and gifts to show you care about a loved one's health. These gifts make a difference in a person's  life. The gifts listed below is just samples of what is available. Please check the websites to view the entire catalogs.

Find a Charity You Can Trust
Charity Navigator

and more....

Gifts to Support a Cause

The Humane Society is the nation's largest animal protection organization. They work to reduce suffering and improve the lives of all animals by advocating for better laws; investigating animal cruelty; encouraging corporations to adopt animal-friendly policies; conducting disaster relief and animal rescue; and providing direct care for thousands of animals at our sanctuaries, emergency shelters, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and mobile veterinary clinics.

Take Me Home features a colorful crew of fur babies patiently waiting to be next in line for a warm and loving home. Created by passionate animal artist Marie Mason, this tee was inspired by the ongoing and daunting task of finding loving homes for countless four-legged friends. These colorful graphics are featured on a soft cotton tee that is one in a series
 of rescue-inspired tees.

Gifts to Educate
and Foster Awareness
Books by Dietitians
 Dietitians-Online Books by RDs 

National Nutrition Month® March 2013 at the
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
 Check out the 2013 National Nutrition Month® catalog for an exciting array of products featuring the Eat Right Campaign.
 Perfect for colleagues and clients alike!


Classic T-shirt

Fitted for ladies, this colorful pre-shrunk 100% cotton 6.1 ounce white t-shirt is a great way to promote nutrition. Features double-needle stitched neckline, sleeves and bottom hem. Seamless collar. S, M, L, XL, XXL (add $3 for each XXL)

Gifts to Show You Care
About a Loved One's Health

Friday, December 14, 2012

Best Choices at the Vending Machine

Vending machines have a history of containing foods high in sugar, calories and fats. With the desire to choose healthier alternatives, new foods are being added to vending machines.

More information can be found at Kids Eat Right

Thursday, December 13, 2012

December 13, National Cocoa Day

Save Calories and Fat by using Skim (Nonfat) Milk, 
instead of Whole Milk. You still receive the
benefits of the calcium and vitamin D.
Skim /NonFat Milk
90 Calories
0 g Fat;
250 mg Calcium
124 IU / 3.2 mcg Vitamin D
Whole Milk
149 Calories
8 g Fat;
276 mg Calcium
124 IU / 3.2 mcg Vitamin D

The Polar Express, "Hot Chocolate Song" 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

December 12, Gingerbread House Day
with a Healthier Look

The Gingerbread House is decorated with Fresh and Dried Fruits, Nuts, Vegetables, Peanut Butter and Low Fat Cottage Cheese. Peanut Butter will take the place of the icing traditionally used. The cottage cheese and cauliflower will be the snow and a wonderful dip when you are ready to serve.

Before you get started, remember to wash your hands. Also, we need to wash the fresh fruits and vegetables.
When making the gingerbread house, leave any perishable items in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them; that includes the cheese and fresh fruits and vegetables.

Have fun and be creative.

Gingerbread House Ideas

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December 11, UNICEF is Founded
Providing Children Worldwide with
Food, Clothing and Health Care

UNICEF  was created on December 11, 1946 by the United Nations to provide children with food, clothing and health care. UNICEF believes nurturing and caring for children are the cornerstones of human progress. UNICEF is active in more than 190 countries and territories through country programs and National Committees.

History of UNICEF
Sir Roger Moore narrates a brief history of UNICEF, telling the story of a small UN agency founded to bring relief to the children in countries torn apart by WWII to the global force for health, education, and child protection it is today.



Poverty contributes to malnutrition, which in turn is a contributing factor in over half of the under-five deaths in developing countries. Some 300 million children go to bed hungry every day. Of these only eight per cent are victims of famine or other emergency situations. More than 90 per cent are suffering long-term malnourishment and micronutrient deficiency. (State of the World’s Children, UNICEF, 2005)

In all developing regions, children in rural areas and children from poor households are more likely to be underweight due to lack of nutrition. (Progress for Children, UNICEF, 2010)

884 million people lack access to improved drinking water sources, and 84 per cent of them live in rural areas. (Progress for Children, UNICEF, 2010)

In wake of the floods, malnutrition threatens
thousands of children in Pakistan

Shop the UNICEF store and help children in need.
Every UNICEF card and gift you buy supports the efforts
to save children’s lives around the world.

UNICEF: "Let's Heal the World"
Young people from different nationalities across the globe
are sending a message of peace and hope through music, 
as part of a UNICEF partnership with Limkokwing University 
of Creative Technology to help create a world fit for children.