Monday, June 27, 2011

Health Food Conquest

As my "about me" section explains, I'm a graduate student finishing my Master's in Mental Health Counseling while finishing another degree in Dietetics in order to acquire certification as a Registered Dietitian. My end goal is to be able to help people with various eating disorders, specifically those of the food addiction and overeating variety.

In order to be successful at this, I feel I need to know what I'm talking about. No point in telling someone, "Swap out white rice for quinoa, it's much healthier for you" if I've never eaten quinoa myself. What if it's utterly disgusting? What if it has an essence of cardboard and sweaty socks? Is that fair to recommend that to my clients? And if it is a super ingredient, wouldn't it be my job to be able recommend a tasty way to prepare it? Yes. Overall I think people know what they should eat, it's the challenge of making it palatable that they have trouble with.

So I'm taking a bit of a food adventure. I'm going to try some of these "health" foods that I've read so much about, and then I'll write a review about it. My initial first impressions, and then some possible ways to revamp it into something delicious. Some (like tofu) I have tried before and absolutely detest, but in the name of health, I'm going to have myself a little cook-off and see if I can make it delicious.

So right now I've got on my list; quinoa, tofu (eww), buckwheat pasta, lentils, oatmeal, brussels prouts, sardines...yup, I'm going to do it. Is there some incredible health food you wish you could eat (lettuce?) but just don't have the palate for? Leave me a comment and I'll add it to the testing list. I need to do this, people. If I'm going to be able to be a reliable dietitian someday, I need to have some expertise in this area besides just knowing the nutrition information on the back of the package.

So any requests? Anything you want to add to your diet but aren't sure how? Any recipes you use to make these foods delicious? Let me know, and I'll incorporate it. Oh and for the sake of everyone, I'll try and use wine somewhere in the ingredient list...if at least only for my own liquid courage during the taste-testing.

The Not-So-Secret Confessions of a First Time Mom     To-the-TOP Tuesday   


  1. Just stopping by to say hello. Check out my new Blog hop Making Goals Monday Sarah.

  2. I know it's not exactly healthy but if you batter and deep fry tofu (tempura style) it's really yummy.

    I'm not a tofu fan normally.

    Oh, broccoli is a super food and really nice steamed with some soy sauce.

  3. I eat anything as long as I can manage the calories I take in. I'm into calorie counting.

  4. Thanks for following me. I am already following you

  5. What a good idea!

    I can recommend a great cookbook that has recipes for half your list. My Kitchen - Vegetarian, it's not all beans and tofu. I've reviewed it on my blog, so take a look. You will need to cut a lot of the fat out of the recipes, but easily done, and still taste fantastic.

    I recently started eating quinoa mainly because I love saying it (keen-wa)! Once you get used to the fact it sprouts, it's great in soups, etc.

    Good luck!

  6. When we were in the Dominican for our honeymoon they had fantastic lentils. Served them in a gravy type sauce with small chunks of beef over steamed rice. (Yes, I realize this SCREAMS unhealthy - but I figured it might give you an idea for something to revamp in a healthy way)

  7. i'll SO be popping back to see the recipes you put up - i LOVE getting new reciopes!!!!

    *kiss kiss*
    Erika @ ~Tiptoe Butterfly~

    Hi Blogger Friends today is the LAST DAY to stop by and ENTER~Light as a Feather necklace GIVEAWAY~ it’s an almost $50 value!

  8. Marlee, take a suggestion from an Asian here!

    Have you encountered bitter gourd? Try this very healthy vegetable side dish and let me know how would it taste for an upcoming American dietitian like you. =)

    A crisp and healthy side dish. Served best when cold.


    Vegetable Mix:

    2 medium sized bitter gourd seeded
    1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
    1 small carrot, sliced
    4 cloves of garlic
    Pickling Solution:

    1 cup vinegar
    1/4 cup water
    6 tbsp sugar (or sugar substitute)
    1 tsp fine salt

    Wash bitter gourd. Cut in half lengthwise to remove pulp and seeds with spoon. Slice into 5mm thickness.
    Mix in 2 tbsp. salt. Rinse after 15 minutes Drain well.
    Combine carrots, onions, and garlic.
    Prepare boiling solution by boiling vinegar, water, sugar and salt. Set aside for it to cool down. Note* When sugar substitute is being used instead of sugar, add sweetener only during the cooling period.
    Pour pickling solution over vegetable mixture. Toss.
    Place in a jar. Serves best when cold as a side-dish.

    Smiles from,

    Andy at

  9. Quinoa is ok but not something I'd eat on purpose. I'm really interested to see how this turns out!!

    The Tuckerbag

  10. I hate beans, but I know they can be a great source of protein. (Hummus and green beans don't have the same targeted hatred.)
    Anyway, I've been doing a similar study that I like to call Vegetable Mind Games, but I can't bring myself to talk about beans. If you can find a way to help me get over that hurdle I would be incredibly grateful.

  11. Love this idea! Both my boyfriend and I love good tasting food, but the problem is my boyfriend's metabolism is pretty slow, despite playing soccer at least twice a week.

    We've been trying to find yummy healthy foods for him, but we've discovered that to make much of the healthy stuff taste good, we've ended up making them unhealthy! (think butter soaked brussel sprouts)

    So we've resorted to portion control for him... which doesn't help when I'm half is size and eats as much, if not more than him.

    I'll be keeping an eye out for these entries and I'll let you know how your suggestions fare when we try them out!

  12. Thanks for stopping by The Mom Adventures - I'm following back now! :) Did you enter my $100 CASH Giveaway while you were there?

  13. Seriously, are you following my blog yet? 'Cause if not you should be. I'm a total foodie and I absolutely believe in "everything in moderation". Altering ingredients in your favorite dishes can make things better for you, while not slackin' on the taste factor :)
    Hundreds of recipes and a cookbook coming to shelves this fall!! I may just have to send you a cookbook!!!!

  14. This is exciting, I love getting tips and tricks on new/healthier foods that I can incorporate into my routines.
    I'm forever trying new recipes and I'll be sure to pass them on if I find any that might fit this experiment of yours. (Have you tried Taboulleh salad made with Bulgur wheat...?)

  15. Looks like a great plan. I like your blog, and am a new follower from the Tuesday Blog Hop. Thanks for stopping by Kreative Karing! Have a great day!

  16. Tofu I love, but ONLY the firm kind. I can't stomach the texture of the silken type - eeewww.

    I usually cut my FIRM tofu into cubes and dry fry each side then add it to a stir fry with soy sauce and peanut butter (about a tablespoon). The peanut butter melts in nicely and covers the tofu. I make sure the tofu gets most of the soy and peanut butter because apparently it takes on the flavours of what it is cooked with. My sister who is a huge meat eater even loves this recipe.

    I would love some ideas on eggplant - I have had it while eating out and it is quite nice, but I have no idea how to prepare this myself. Eggplant scares me - hellllp!

  17. thanks for linking up to the NOBH! I look forward to reviewing some of your food reviews:)

  18. Quinoa will be a great ingredient to have a few tasty recipes for. Since it is considered a protein is offers a great alternative to vegans/vegetarians you may see and a fabulous alternative to beans! Happy Cooking. please stop by, as i post lots of recipes with healthy ingredients and we are a "going green" family of 7. found you through the july NOBH. Katie

  19. I love tofu!! Sadly my favourite ways are deep fried tofu (to make it crispy) then in a sandwich with spinach, carrot etc! Or cheesecake!

    Not exactly healthy :D

    However tofu scramble is nice!

    I also love quinoa, lentils...basically all the foods people run away!

    Found in NOBH!


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