Healthy Passover Recipes

Trout Pate

Trout Pate

Tuesday’s post included tips and recipes for a healthy Easter celebration.  But if you’re celebrating Passover, those recipes might not work.  Here is a full menu, full of suggestions for a healthy Passover.  The passover recipes were developed by  pediatrician, nutritionist, cooking enthusiast and author, Dr. Ellen Bass, along with her niece, Sophia Khan.  Complete recipes can be found at Sophie’s website

Healthy Kosher-Inspired Recipes


  • Trout pate on Matzo. Trout is not only delicious but packed with healthy goodness. It is high in protein and low in fat.  Trout is high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. We’ve lightened this appetizer by using low-fat sour cream. Serve on matzos which are a wonderful fat-free alternate to crackers or as a dip with vegetables.
  • Kale chips.  Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. It is a cruciferous vegetable, like cabbage collards, and broccoli. Cruciferous vegetables are high in Vitamins C and A which are excellent antioxidants. It is low in calories and high in fiber. It can be used in a variety of recipes from soups to chips.


  • Roasted salmon with pomegranate reduction.  Skip the chicken and kugal for this heart healthy alternative.  Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are important in keeping cholesterol and blood pressure low. Pomegranates are one of the oldest known fruits, having originated in Persia. They contain compounds called punicalagins, which are the major component responsible for pomegranate’s antioxidant and health benefits. They not only lower cholesterol but also lower blood pressure.
  • Carrots vichy (carrots long sauteed with sugar)
  • Matzo mac and cheese with Saffron.  This is a fun dish for Passover instead of the traditional kugal which can be loaded with refined sugars.  We’ve taken matzo and made a “mac n’ cheese” for you which lightens up the meal with skim milks and cheeses. We recommend serving it with fish so you won’t break any rules of meat and milk.


  • Lime coconut macaroons. Coconut is high in fiber, vitamins, minerals and gives nutritional value while being a lower fat dessert alternative.

Healthy Recipes for Easter

file000910515558Have you made your weekend plans yet? If you are planning an Easter brunch, why not add a few healthy items to the menu?  Easter is a great time to include colorful fruits and vegetables and to think about ways to cut the fat and calories in other festive favorites.

Recently, the MyPlate program launched a recipe index on Pinterest, a popular social media site.  MyPlate is the food guidance system developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) that helps Americans to achieve and maintain a healthy weight through diet and exercise.  If you’re trying to lose weight, MyPlate will help you develop an eating plan to reach your goals.    The new MyPlate Pinterest site offers recipes arranged by food group that are easy to find and easy to prepare.

Try a few of these for Easter or visit the MyPlate Pinterest page to see all the recipes.  While you’re there, check out the new Healthy Weight Loss Pinterest boards.

Nutritional information is provided for each of the recipes.

Should You Eat Breakfast to Lose Weight Faster?

Should you time your meals to lose weight?

Should you time your meals to lose weight?

Dieters often look for the “secret key” to weight loss.  Some people believe the key to faster weight loss is eating breakfast.  In fact, there are many beliefs about meal timing in general and its effect on metabolism.  Some people believe that you should eat a big meal first thing in the morning, some believe that you should never eat after 7pm at night and still others believe that you should eat every three hours to maximize the number of calories you burn and lose weight faster.  But is there any science behind these meal timing myths?

Meal Timing and Metabolism

Researchers have a difficult time studying meal timing and metabolism.  So far, scientists have been unable to say that any specific meal schedule will cause you to burn more calories.  So will you lose weight faster simply by eating breakfast?  No.  But experts still recommend that dieters plan their meals at regular intervals throughout the day so that they avoid binge eating and decrease the overall number of calories they eat.

If you want to lose weight, the bottom line is calorie restriction.  You’ve got to control portions and eat less.  For some people, eating breakfast helps them do this.  For example, when you eat a healthy breakfast you might be less likely to snack on high-calorie junk food later in the day.  Similarly, if you eat a moderate snack every few hours, you won’t be starving at meal time and this might help you to control portion sizes.  And eating at night?  There’s nothing necessarily bad about eating past 7pm, except that this is a time when you’re more likely to participate in mindless eating – in front of the television or computer – and lose track of the total number of calories you consume.

The Best Meal Schedule for You

The “secret key” to healthy weight loss is finding a personalized meal schedule that helps you control portions and eat less.  The best way to get that schedule is to meet with a registered dietitian.  During your appointment, an RD will get information about your daily activities and create a unique plan that fits into your life and your routine.  Not sure how to get started?  Learn more about meeting with an RD, then talk to your primary care provider to get a referral.


McCrory MA, Campbell WW. ” Effects of eating frequency, snacking, and breakfast skipping on energy regulation: symposium overview.” Journal of Nutrition, January 14, 2011.

American Dietetic Association. ” Position of the American Dietetic Association: Weight Management.” February 2009.

Paul M La Bounty, Bill I Campbell, et al. ” International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: meal frequency.” Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition March 16, 2011.

20 Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

file000724487216We all know that we should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.  But how often have you gone through an entire day without eating of full serving of either?  Let’s face it, you won’t find veggies in the vending machine, very few fast food restaurants include whole fruit on the menu, and it’s not likely that you’ll be able to order a salad for lunch at Starbucks .  If you want to eat more fruits and vegetables, you need to plan ahead.  But it’s easy to do, once you get the hang of it.

Tips for Eating More Fruits and Vegetables

As part of National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is promoting the Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day program.  They are encouraging all of us to eat a healthy diet that is customized to fit into our busy and sometimes complicated lives.  If you want to lose weight, they encourage dieters to meet with a registered dietitian to get personalized help.  But if you just want to eat a healthier diet, they provide this handy tip sheet to help you make better meal and snack choices.

My favorites? I like to make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla.  These are easy to pack for lunch and kids like them too. I also like to stock my freezer with frozen vegetables to steam or stir-fry or throw into a salad.

Does Juice Count As Fruit?

I follow a blog called Weighty Matters written by a Yoni Freedhoff,  a writer, practicing family physician, Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, and founder of Ottawa’s Bariatric Medical Institute.  This morning he wrote an interesting blog about fruit juice.  He answers the question of whether or not juice should count as a fruit with a resounding “no.”

“Juice is sugar water with vitamins. It has drop per drop the same amount of sugar as soda pop and in some cases more (like that grape juice which has double the sugar of Coca-Cola – 10 staggering teaspoons a glass). Liquid calories don’t satiate, and they don’t pack the fiber and phytonutrients of actual fruit.”

Of course, some juice products are better than others, but in general, your best bet is to choose whole fruit rather than juice.

Want more tips about foods to eat and foods to avoid?  Check out the North Memorial Healthy Weight Loss website.  Or better yet, make an appointment to see a registered dietitian. Get a referral from your primary care physician to get started.

Working with a Registered Dietitian: FAQs

The best way to get personalized diet and nutrition advice is to work with a registered dietitian.  But if you’ve never gone to an RD, you may have questions about how it works, how much it costs and why it’s the best program.

I spoke to Karen Palmer, RD, LD, CDE, to get some answers.  Palmer, a Diabetes/Nutrition Educator at North Memorial Medical Center answered a few frequently asked questions about working with a nutrition professional.  Some information was also provided by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

FAQs About Working with a Registered Dietitian

  • What’s the difference between a nutritionist and a registered dietitian?  According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, some RDs may call themselves “nutritionists,” but not all nutritionists are registered dietitians.   RDs are required to complete academic and professional training in order to maintain their credential.  In some states, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist.
    Palmer explains that the academic training to become an RD includes a wide range of scientific classes including food and nutrition sciences, biochemistry, physiology, microbiology and chemistry.  After that, an RD completes an accredited, supervised practice program at a health-care facility, community agency or food service corporation.  Finally, they pass a national examination administered by the Commission on Dietetic Registration and complete continuing professional educational requirements to maintain registration.
  • How can I get an appointment with an RD?  Meet with your primary care provider to get a referral to see a registered dietitian.
  • How much does it cost to work with a registered dietitian?  In most cases, health insurance will cover the cost of working with an RD as long as you get a physician referral.  Check with your provider to get details.
    If insurance does not cover the cost, prices can vary. According to Palmer, meeting with an RD in a medical clinic can run about $250 but many private practice professionals charge less.
  • Can a registered dietitian help me lose weight?  A RD is a food and nutrition expert who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living. Your registered dietitian uses their nutrition expertise to help you make unique, positive lifestyle changes so that you reach your health and weight loss goals.
  • Can’t I just find an online weight loss program?  It’s easy to find weight loss programs on television, online or in magazines, but those diets are not personalized, they may not be nutritionally balanced, and may not be safe to follow.
  • What happens when I meet with a registered dietitian?  During your first meeting, you’ll talk about your lifestyle, your eating habits and your exercise plan.  Then, a personalized meal and physical activity plan is developed and explained.
    You’ll talk about eating away from home, how to read nutrition labels, how to modify recipes and other ways to eat a healthy and satisfying diet.  You might choose to see your RD for future appointments to get more help, support and encouragement.
  • Will the RD tell me not to eat my favorite food?  No.  It’s important that you follow a realistic diet that is based on your eating style.  Your RD will work with you so that you can eat all foods in moderate and reasonable portions.  They want to help you develop a lifelong eating program – not just a “diet” to follow until weight goal is met.

If you want the expertise and personalized support of a registered dietitian, connect with us at North Memorial to get started.  Make an appointment to see your primary care provider and ask for a referral.

How to Get Diet Help from a Registered Dietitian (RD)

Reach your goals with help from an RD

Reach your goals with help from an RD

During National Nutrition Month, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is helping Americans eat healthy diets that are both satisfying and nutritious.  As part of their Eat Right, Your Way, Every Day campaign, the organization is promoting the message that anyone can improve their health with delicious food choices.  One of the best ways to do that is to work with a registered dietitian.

What Is A Registered Dietitian?

An RD is a food and nutrition expert that has met specific academic and professional standards.  Many registered dietitians work in medical settings with patients who need to change their eating habits in order to improve their health.  They counsel and educate patients based on the client’s own personal needs and lifestyle.   Working with an RD is the best way to get a personalized program for healthy eating.

How Can I Work With a Registered Dietitian?

If you need to lose weight or improve your eating habits, follow these three steps to work with a registered dietitian.

  1. Meet with your physician.  Talk to your doctor about the ways in which your diet might be affecting your health.  In many cases, your primary care provider can provide a referral to a registered dietitian.
  2. Find a registered dietitian.  If your doctor’s office doesn’t have a specific RD that they work with, you can use the Registered Dietitian Finder at to find one in your area.
  3. Work together with the dietitian.  When you meet with the RD, you’ll talk about your eating and exercise habits.  So before you go, think about important parts of your daily routine that affect your food choices.  Together, you and the registered dietitian will develop a program that fits into your lifestyle.  Watch this video to learn more.


Learn more about healthy eating at North Memorial’s Healthy Weight Loss website.  Then check back on Thursday, when I’ll answer your frequently asked questions about working with a registered dietitian.

Healthy Ethnic Food Suggestions

Mangos can be part of a healthy diet

Mangos can be part of a healthy diet

Anyone can eat a healthy diet.  This month, as part of National Nutrition Month®, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is helping people of all cultural backgrounds to improve their health with better food choices.  Vandana Sheth, a spokesperson for the organization, explains their mission.

“Eating is not a ‘one-size-fits-all’ proposition. RDs make recommendations that accommodate the food preferences, cultural traditions and customs of the many and diverse groups who live in our country.”

Better Ethnic Food Choices

As part of the Eat Right, Your Way Every Day program, the Academy has provided a list of healthy ethnic menu ideas.  These foods meet the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines and program.

  • Fruit chutney (Asian Indian)
  • Grilled pineapple as part of a chicken shish kabob (Middle Eastern)
  • Mango or other tropical fruit smoothie (Latin American)
  • Baked pumpkin sprinkled with cinnamon (African)
  • Polish beets (European)
  • Stir-fried greens (Asian)
  • Cactus salad (Latin American)
  • Succotash (Native American or Southern U.S.)
  • Couscous (African)
  • Quinoa (Latin American)
  • Naan bread (Asian Indian)
  • Egg noodles (German).

I Want a Personalized Program!

If you are looking for a complete program, tailored to your own cultural traditions and lifestyle, a registered dietitian can help.  During your first meeting,  an R.D. will explore your eating habits, your lifestyle and your cooking preferences.  Based on that information, you’ll work together to come up with a plan that fits your needs.

Be sure to visit the blog next week to find out more about working with a registered dietitian.  Or if you are ready to get started right away, find out how to get a referral to see a North Memorial registered dietitian today.