FNCE 2014!

By: Nikki Nies FNCE

I’m looking forward to October! Not only so I can officially wear scarves, but because it means we’re only days away from the Food and Nutrition Expo (FNCE)!  FNCE is an annual conference that brings together health professionals under one roof to learn, network and regroup! I’m lucky enough to go this year as it’s in Atlanta and my parents live in a nearby suburbs!

If you’re a budding dietitian and/or health professional, I recommend you go at least once.  The location is different on an annual basis, so wait until the conference is near you! For example, in 2015, FNCe will be Nashville, TN, closer anyone?

In case you’re interested in what sessions I’ll be attending, here’s a tentative schedule!

Objectives: Document patient progress and outcomes with the Nutrition Care Process Terminology (formerly IDNT) using the new ANHII software tool. Advance Nutrition Care Process Terminology documentation expertise within their area of practice in a hands-on documentation experience working with focused case studies in long-term care, pediatric care and adult acute care. Utilize ANDHII in their practice setting to facilitate documentation to more easily collect and measure patient care outcomes.
Time / Location: Saturday, October 18, 2014 from 11:30AM – 3:30PM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B213-214
Objectives: Identify two key challenges affecting food and nutrition professionals . Develop action steps to address identified challenges to implement change. Identify two incentives to motivate colleagues to adopt problem solving techniques to solve your challenges .
Time / Location: Saturday, October 18, 2014 from 4:00PM – 6:00PM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: Exhibit Hall B1
Objectives: Describe principles of sustainable, resilient and healthy food and water systems in the context of the new Standards of Professional Performance. Identify how hospitals, institutions and practitioners can advance healthy food and safe water systems. Demonstrate the benefits of a hospital food system that has successfully implemented sustainable food and water initiatives.
Time / Location: Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 8:00AM – 9:30AM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B302-305 Read
Objectives: Anticipate the nature of questions on the registration examination and the exam format. Effectively navigate the online registration, payment and scheduling to take the registration examination. Utilize key resources, such as the Study Guide for the Registration Examination, to successfully prepare to take the examination.
Time / Location: Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 10:00AM – 11:30AM Georgia WorldCongress Center / Room
Objectives: Recall one requirement of Section 4205 of the Affordable Healthcare Act. Define the challenges of implementing restaurant menu labeling. Define how nutrients are listed on menu boards in restaurants.
Time / Location: Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 1:30PM – 3:00PM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B302-305
Objectives: Identify three career path options for RDNs not choosing to work in a hospital clinical setting. List a variety of career opportunities that RDN and DTR students can pursue when they graduate. Research alternative career paths using the Internet and by networking with contacts.
Time / Location: Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 1:30PM – 3:00PM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B206
Objectives: Communicate the role of health economics research supporting the use of medical nutrition therapy as a cost-effective solution for improving patient outcomes and reducing hospital costs for the malnourished patient or those at risk for malnutrition. Identify effective clinical strategies for achieving interdisciplinary collaboration and incorporating nutrition protocols into the continuum of care. Provide EAL evidence-based nutrition practice guidelines to promote nutrition interventions to treat malnourished patients or those at risk for malnutrition in a timely manner.
Time / Location: Sunday, October 19, 2014 from 3:30PM – 5:00PM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B401-402
Objectives: Describe the proven role of RDNs in providing nutrition and diabetes education in the home and assisting older adults set behavior goals that can positively impact their health. Identify how communities can work together to reduce hospitalizations and health care costs. Describe how advocacy results in improved health outcomes.
Time / Location: Monday, October 20, 2014 from 8:00AM – 9:30AM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B213-214
Objectives: Discuss the unique cultural and health beliefs as well as dietary practices among Chinese Americans. Identify evidence-based educational resources developed specifically for Asian Americans populations. Apply educational and counseling strategies to promote adherence to dietary and lifestyle recommendations among Chinese American clients.
Time / Location: Monday, October 20, 2014 from 8:00AM – 9:30AM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B207-208
Objectives: Describe historical background on previous guidelines and update on GRADE approach to literature review. Discuss highlights of the 2014 ASPEN/SCCM Nutrition in the Critical Care Patient. Explain how guidelines can be brought to the bedside in the ICU.
Time / Location: Monday, October 20, 2014 from 1:30PM – 3:00PM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B102
Objectives: Describe national, state and local policies to improve foods and beverages in public places. List three common challenges and possible solutions experienced when trying to implement policies for healthy foods and beverages in public places. Cite three tips for successful implementation of nutrition guidelines for public places and workplaces and where to find helpful materials and resources.
Time / Location: Monday, October 20, 2014 from 3:30PM – 5:00PM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B302-305
Objectives: Discuss the Expert Clinical Obesity Guidelines, their implications and preventative strategies. Explain the complexities of unsuccessful weight loss maintenance (WTLM) in 55+ women including behavioral issues, biological maladaptations, and physiological dysregulations. Translate current evidence-based WTLM behavioral and nutritional strategies into various healthcare settings.
Time / Location: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 8:00AM – 9:30AM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B312-314
Objectives: Discuss the state of childhood obesity worldwide and different public policy approaches implemented to overcome it. List the issues involved in adapting and implementing the KER International Campaign in other countries. Identify variables that should be taken into account to adapt the KER program, Energy Balance for Kids with Play, in a disadvantaged international environment.
Time / Location: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 9:45AM – 11:15AM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B213-214
Objectives: Describe the role of present health information technology standards and terminology in supporting nutrition data transmission across the care continuum. Depict the success of the IMPACT (Improving Massachusetts Post-Acute Care Transfer) Project and its role in development and support of template transmission standard. Illustrate practical use of the Nutrition Care Process (NCP) and NCP terminology (previously IDNT) to in electronic health records (EHR) with the intention of nutrition data following the patient across care settings.
Time / Location: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 12:00PM – 1:30PM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B103
Objectives: Locate and utilize relevant resources for involvement in international nutrition and dietetics. Identify some of the diverse roles held by nutrition and dietetics professionals around the world. Explain specific steps needed for pursuing a career in international nutrition and dietetic
Time / Location: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 12:00PM – 1:30PM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: B207-208
Objectives: Implement two new change management techniques Identify the key obstacles to change in team environments Develop personal techniques to manage change in unique work settings
Time / Location: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 from 2:00PM – 3:30PM Georgia World Congress Center / Room: Exhibit Hall B1
If you’re attending the conference as well and would like to meet up, don’t hesitate to contact me!  Additionally, what sessions have I missed that you think are “must” attend? I can’t wait to see old and new friends!

Guilt Free Cheese Plate

Thanks Hungry Girl’s, Lisa Lillien for sharing guilt free cheese tips!


Pumpkin Spice Latte Healthy Style!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Healthy Style!

With pumpkin season in full swing, don’t let the name of pumpkin spice latte fool you into thinking it’s a complicated thing to make.  Don’t hesitate to try this healthier version of a coveted drink that’s as easy to make as it is delicious to drink!

Photo Credit: Anytime Fitness 

Foodie on Campus

Original Image by Foodie On Campus

By: Nikki Nies

There’s a famous saying that one’s college years are the best of a person’s life.  While that may be true, there are many aspects of the college experience that must be present for the “best” to be presented.  For many, heading off to college is the first taste of independence.  With the bombardment of offers, temptations and often times free food, it’s no wonder students get a headache with so many dining options.  Many options that aren’t always the wisest in regards to health, I might add.

 However, it doesn’t have to be like that.  You can have you cake and eat it too at college at times.  With Foodie on Campus(FOC): Your Inside Guide is dedicated to providing resources, recipes and latest news to campus students, it doesn’t have to be like that.  The founder and Editor in Chief, Faye Mitchell RD, LDN recognizes that food is an integral part of the college experience.  Instead of implementing restricting rules about eating habits, Mitchell’s team of interns provide an awareness of how to be a successful “foodie” on campus!

Guiding Principles:

Original Image by Arya Ziai via Flickr
Original Image by Arya Ziai via Flickr
  • “Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious.” —Ruth Reichl
  • Keep it positive
  • Food is meant to be enjoyed
  • Diet is a four letter word
  • There are no “good” foods or “bad” foods
  • Everything in moderation
  • Nutrition is science based, not opinion oriented
  • There are no quick fixes or miracle foods
  • Weight is just a number
  • No fat shaming, no skinny promoting
  • Eat for Pleasure – Move for Fun!
  • “The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” ―Julia Child

Nutrition is about understanding that health doesn’t mean one has to trade flavor for health.  There are so many practical, easy swaps that can be made.  There’s no better time to make healthier changes than as a college student!

Don’t miss a bite of FOC’s’ daily updates, sign up today! Follow @foodieoncampus AND like on Facebook!


Cleaner Eating on a Budget

By: Nikki Nies IMG_9404

I recently wrote about the proper measures one may need to take to ensure home safety.  While, that is important, it’s equally important to recognize how all healthy eatomh can fit into a household budget.  Obviously, I don’t know what your family and/or financial circumstances are, but I can make generalizations that you care about your family’s well being, that you want to know where your food is coming from and if you can save a buck or two while eating frugally, why not?

If you found yourself nodding ‘yes’ to any or all of my above generalizations, then proceed to my next point. There seems to be three kind of grocery shoppers, those that stick to non-GMO, organic, pesticide, hormone and antibiotic free, those that pick and choose the foods that are “cleanly” bought while opting to buy the nonorganic counterparts when desired.  And then there’s those like me, may recognize the benefits of “cleaner” produce and products, that are non-GMO, organic, antibiotic, hormone and/or pesticide free, but don’t see how those concepts fit into  our budget.

I can’t help, but look at prices.  However, I’ve doing a lot of reading lately and I firmly believe that these distinctive three groups could be under one umbrella, purchasing cleaner foods in a cost effective manner.

Friendly Suggestions on How to Stretch Food Dollars:4colorsealgif

  • Stick to foods that have the 100% organic, “organic” made with organic ingredients–skip the sections that have “natural”, “hormone free” and/or “free range.”
  • Opt for generic organic brands
  • For each week, plan meals around circular sales and/or dry goods you already have to spare at home
  • Compare different organic variations, including dried, fresh, canned or frozen.  When cooked correctly, all these organic variations can be  equally delicious!
  • Shop around to find “your” store! Perhaps, a closer grocery store has a better organic variety and/or generic options!
  • Always make a grocery list!
  • Join a local food cooperative to learn the latest local news on events, programs and locations to purchase organic products
  • Plant or join a local community garden to grow your own organic produce
  • Limit meat to less than three times a week as meat is naturally more expensive than vegetables, legumes and beans
  • Clip coupons or gather from online newsletters or magazine subscriptions
  • Shop at supermarkets that carry their own generic organic brands (i.e. Aldi)
  • Check out local farmer’s market
  • Buy in season
  • Buying in bulk will not only be less expensive long term due to larger quantity, but due to less packaging costs

I promise, with my next grocery trip, I’m heading straight to the organic section! For those that have been eating only or predominantly organic, how are you able to stretch the dollars?  How can we best incorporate organic foods into our lives seamlessly?

Photo Credit: Back to Her Roots 

Sources: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/how-to-eat-organic-foods-on-a-budget


Whole Grains: Breaking Barriers Conference

WGCRegOnlineBannerBy: Nikki Nies

Have you always had an urge to go to Boston, MA?  Better yet, are you a consumer, scientist or part of the culinary world? Since you have to be one of three stated options, you have to attend the Whole Grains: Breaking Barriers Conference in Boston, MA that is on November 9-11th, 2014!

Need to know info:

Where: Hyatt Boston Harbor in Boston

When: November 9-11th, 2014

Why: Because there are so many great sessions scheduled!

Sunday Nov. 9, 4:00-8:00 pm
• Breaking Barriers: an overview of challenges and successes
Sara Baer-Sinnott, President, Oldways
• Whole Grain Trends and Consumer Attitudes
June Jo Lee, VP Strategic Insights, The Hartman Group
• Chefs’ Panel: If You Menu It, They Will Come
Martha Rose Shulman, columnist, NY Times (moderator)
• Cooking Demonstrations and Networking Reception

Monday Nov. 10, 8:30 am – 7:00 pm
Morning: Celiac, Gluten Intolerance and the “No Grain” Movement
Keynote: Everything You Need to Know About Gluten
• What’s Gluten and Who Should Avoid It
• Why are Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity on the Rise?
 Alessio Fasano, MD, Director, Center for Celiac Research
• Today’s Wheat: Fact and Fiction
Brett Carver, PhD, Professor, Oklahoma State University
Wheat Belly and Grain Brain: the Pitfalls of Pseudo-Science
 James Hamblin, MD, Senior Editor, The Atlantic
• What Did Paleo Man Really Eat?
David Katz, MD, Director, Yale University Prevention Research Center
• Health Limitations in Gluten-Free and Grain-Free Diets
Pam Cureton, RD, LDN, Clinical/Research Dietitian, Center for Celiac Research

Afternoon: Choosing Healthy Carbs
• Glycemic Impact: Eat the Right Carbs, not “No Carbs”
Furio Brighenti, DrPH, Professor, University of Parma (Italy)
• Health Benefits of Whole Grains and the Role of Intact Grains
Nicola McKeown, PhD, Assoc. Professor, Friedman School / Tufts
• Making Wheat Gluten Free: New Research in Sourdough Methods
Marco Gobbetti, PhD, Professor, University of Bari (Italy)
• Traditional Processing: Sprouted Grains
Peter Reinhart, Chef and Author, Johnson & Wales

Marketing Case Studies Workshop

• Networking Reception

Tuesday Nov. 11, 8:30 am – 1:30 pm
Marketing Successes That Break Barriers: Inspiration for Companies & Consumers
• School Foodservice Success Panel: Making Whole Grain-Rich Work
   Samantha Weiss, MPH, RD, Boston Public Schools
Mellissa Honeywood, RD, Cambridge Public Schools

• Retail Success Panel: from Supermarkets to Convenience Stores
Carrie Taylor, RDN, LDN, Lead Registered Dietitan, Big Y Foods, Inc.
Jim Bressi, Director Food Research & Product Development, Kwik Trip, Inc.

• Manufacturers’ Success Panel: Why Positive Messages Sell Best
   Dennis Gilliam, EVP Sales & Marketing, Bob’s Red Mill
Chuck Marble, CEO, Elevation Brands
Anna Rosales, RD, Nutrition Manager, Barilla

• Whole Grain Sampling Day: Synergies from Coordinated Events
Cynthia Harriman, Director of Food & Nutrition Strategies, Oldways/WGC
• The Whole Grain Stamp, Past and Future
Mallory Cushman, Stamp Program Manager, Oldways/WGC

The best part? The conference ends on Tuesday, allowing you plenty of time to share all your findings and learnings with your colleagues and friends in the same week! Win win! Register today!

Photo Credit: Whole Grain Council 

Source: http://wholegrainscouncil.org/get-involved/attend-our-conference

Kosher Kitchen

032210-kosher6By: Nikki Nies

While I’ve enjoyed writing for this blog for the last year and half, I’ve also used it as a channel to challenge myself to learn new concepts and review important points. Being aware of cultural and religious customs of others than yourself not only makes you more appreciative of the differences, but provides an obvious respect to how the differences are actually quite similar. If you’re like me,you recognize those differences, but don’t want to offend other parties by admitting you can’t articulate the exact differences.  So, today, with Rosh Hashanah upon us, there’s no better time to learn what it really means to have a ‘kosher’ kitchen.

In the Jewish community, the separation of meat and dairy products is crucial for the celebration of multiple holiday. The mixture of these two food groups is prohibited in Jewish law, which derives from the book of Exodus in the bible, which forbids [a goat] in a mother’s milk. This Jewish law prohibits against cooking a mixture of milk and meat, eating a cooked mixture of milk and meat and deriving any benefit from a cooked mixture of milk and meat.

During my research, I learned that creating a kosher kitchen does not have to be a daunting task, but one that is appropriate for the holidays. Prior to the revamp of a kitchen, one can start with purchasing only products that are certified kosher. If you’re not sure if a product is kosher or not, it’s best to put aside or discard.  It should be noted some new purchases will be necessary, including, but not limited to: dishes, some additional pots, plastic drainboards, and basins for the sink.

Many of the dishes and/or utensils will require the immersion into a mikvah before use.  Next, decide which drawers and/or kitchen cabinets will be used for the meat and dairy.  Labeling such designation may be helpful.  Many of the kitchen equipment and utensils will be permitted to use after koshering.  Koshering can be done by heating the item with a blowtorch or immersing it in boiling water.  The method of koshering will be dictated by the material the equipment is made of and/or its use. Once, it’s been decided which items need to be koshered, an appointment with rabbi needs to be made.

kosher-labels-LAccess to a kitchen for kashrut observance with two sinks, two stoves and separate working areas, would be ideal, but it’s not necessary! To ensure separation, there should be two sets of dishes, pots, trays, salt shakers, draining boards, draining racks, silverware, sponges, dish towels, tablecloths, cleanser and/or serving dishes. A practical way to accomplish this feat is planning the sets of meat and dairy utensils around a color scheme–red for meat and blue for dairy.  However, whatever color scheme works for you should be used!

Additionally, start separating your meat and dairy in the fridge.  Yes, every kitchen layout is different, but I’m sure there’s a way to make the necessary accommodations, even if that means having to get the creative juices flowing!

As you can see, I’m not expert on the ins and outs of a kosher kitchen.  I’m always open to hearing about personal touches and/or traditions that occur that I may overlooked.  Please share any stories that you feel comfortable with!

Photo Credit: The Kitchn and Jewish Recipes 

Sources: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Judaism/kosherkitchen.html



Your Kosher Kitchen


Nourish to Flourish


Source: http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442478348

Copycat Snacks

By: Nicole Arcilla

A new school year has begun and students are well on their way into the first semester. No doubt parents all over the country were looking up ideas for quick lunches and snacks to pack for their kids. [Quick—how many recipes do you think were pinned on Pinterest before the first day of school??] For some parents, it’s a struggle to think up creative lunch and snack ideas to send off with their kids. Many parents will rely on the school to provide meals and snacks. But not to worry – there’s always plenty of options kids can choose from at school! Plus with all the school food regulations there’s got to be plenty of healthy choices too, right?….RIGHT?! Maybe not.

Screen-Shot-2014-07-22-at-4.41.50-PMBefore we get into the issue at hand, let’s add in a little more context:

In 2010, President Obama signed into law the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act. This act aims to improve child nutrition and provide funding for free school lunch programs. In addition to these goals, the act also required that the USDA establish national nutrition standards for food sold and served in schools.  In 2013 the USDA proposed new food rules. After reviewing public comments and much revision of the rules, the USDA published “Smart Snacks in School.” The rules required any school participating in the National School Lunch Program to comply to the new guidelines by July 1st, 2014.

So what exactly does the Smart Snacks in School rules do? These rules set strict guidelines for competitive foods – specifically foods that are sold in vending machines or in à la carte lunch lines, and even fundraisers and student school stores. Essentially, in order for a food product to be sold at school, it must be able to check off every single requirement of the Smart Snacks in School rules — including not exceeding the set limits on calories, fats, sugar, and sodium. Depending on the product, other rules may apply, but for now we’ll look at these basic rules.

Naturally, food companies weren’t going to give up and simply pull their products out of the school market. Instead they went back to the drawing board and reformulated their recipes. These new items have successfully checked off every single box on that Smart Snacks checklist (but barely). Snacks like Doritos, Goldfish, Cheetos, and others are now lower in fat, sodium, calories, etc…at least that’s how they are inside of schools. Now, this is where the problem starts: the packaging of these approved food products look incredibly identical to the original packaging that you see sold in stores. From the eyes of a child, there is zero difference between the Smart Snacks and the original snacks sold in stores. Cara Wilking, J.D., a senior staff attorney with the Public Health Advocacy Institute, states that this is exactly what food companies are trying to achieve – to use near identical packaging in order to “co-market traditional junk food to children in school”.

Earlier this year Wilking released a brief on these school approved snacks, now called “Copycat Snacks”.  In her brief Wilking explains that having similar packaging may allow the child to believe that traditional snacks sold in stores are just as healthy as the ones sold in their schools. Who can blame them? At first glance the packaging of these snacks are too similar to notice any difference. Moreover, most of these Smart Snacks aren’t even sold in local grocery stores — so children and their parents wouldn’t exactly know to look for those “Smart Snacks” packaging and logo. See for yourself and look through the pictures Wilking provides in her brief. Be honest – would you have noticed the difference?

Wilking and several other attorneys are well on their way to resolve this issue by working with other organizations such as the Center for Science in the Public Interest. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity has increased drastically in the last three decades. By 2012, more than one-third of children were classified as obese. Today, the numbers are reaching a sort of plateau, but that doesn’t change the fact that so many children are at risk for even more health complications as adults or even experiencing them now. Considering these facts and numbers, it’s important that continued action is taken to help improve the food environment of the children, particularly the ones in school. Schools are, after all, the one place that children spend majority of their days in. Luckily, the Smart Snacks in School rules are actually an ongoing process and the USDA will continue to make improvement before finalizing the rules – so there’s plenty of opportunity to improve this current situation with the Copycat Snacks.

How would you handle the situation with these Copycat Snacks? What message do you have for the food companies?

Photo Credit: Smart Snacks in School