School’s Out for Summer

The school year officially ended Saturday. With so many seniors trekking out on their career paths, I spent countless hours conducting “exit interviews” to assess their knowledge, goals, and to say goodbye.  I’m sad to see so many leave, but I am excited to see how far they go! In one particular meeting, a student said to me, “I still remember the very first thing you taught me: Nobody ever got fat eating fruits and vegetables.” This is a direct quote and principle I teach again and again. If my students learned anything, I hope this was it! We all need an overall nutritious diet high in fruits and veggies for a better, healthier life. Not only can they help you maintain a healthful weight, but they are dense in nutrients and phytonutrients that help fight off a majority of Continue reading

Happy Little Pears

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo was held last week and I attended a fascinating session with Ed Diener, PhD, a professor of psychology from the University of Illinois. He discussed how happiness is a behavior that increases health and longevity; in other words, happy people are healthier and healthy people are happier. Dr. Diener’s research explained the lifestyle that makes people the happiest and healthiest, and it included an overall nutritious diet incorporating fruits and vegetables, exercise, and daily physical pleasures, such as enjoyment of food. As a dietitian, my clients and students always expect to have to eliminate beloved foods to live healthful lives. Although many of us overindulge and need to include more healthful choices, there is a place for all foods in our lives! As I tell my clients, Continue reading

Eat Right with Pears!

Nutrition professionals came together last month to discuss current topics and culinary trends impacting the nutrition world at the American Dietetic Association’s annual Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo. I was there with USA Pears, educating professionals about how pears fit into a variety of healthful diets; so, it was no surprise when the October issue of the Journal of the American Dietetic Association appeared on my doorstep with a cover picture of a pear and the headline, “Fruits and Vegetables: Promoting Greater Intake.” From obesity, diabetes, and heart disease prevention to vegetarianism and sports nutrition, increasing global produce consumption is what is trending in nutrition right now. Study after study has shown the health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables, and unfortunately, a recent study suggested that only 2.2% of men and 3.5% of women meet current recommendations Continue reading

Meet Your Needs with Pears

I’m working in a coffee shop today for a change of scenery and am astounded at the sheer number of coffee and tea beverages available, many bursting with excessive caffeine, sugar, and fat. According to the American Chemical Society, coffee is the primary source of antioxidants in the American diet.¹ This is not because coffee supplies so many antioxidants, but rather, because Americans drink so much of this caffeinated beverage. Although coffee does have nutritional benefits, this information suggests to me that Americans simply don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables! MyPyramid, the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) food guidance system² recommends most adults consume 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 to 3 cups of vegetables each day to achieve optimal health; however, in 2005, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that only 32.6% of U.S. adults consume fruit 2 Continue reading