Saturday, December 26, 2020

Twas the Day After Christmas,
a Dietitian's Version

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

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.

December 20, International Human Solidarity Day

International Human Solidarity Day is:

  • a day to celebrate our unity in diversity;
  • a day to remind governments to respect their commitments to international agreements;
  • a day to raise public awareness of the importance of solidarity;
  • a day to encourage debate on the ways to promote solidarity for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals including poverty eradication;
  • a day of action to encourage new initiatives for poverty eradication.

The UN General Assembly convinced that the promotion of the culture of solidarity and the spirit of sharing is important for combating poverty, proclaimed 20 of December as International Human Solidarity Day.

Through initiatives such as the establishment of the World Solidarity Fund to eradicate poverty and the proclamation of International Human Solidarity Day, the concept of solidarity was promoted as crucial in the fight against poverty and in the involvement of all relevant stakeholders.

The UN and the Concept of Solidarity
The concept of solidarity has defined the work of the United Nations since the birth of the Organization. The creation of the United Nations drew the peoples and nations of the world together to promote peace, human rights, and social and economic development. The organization was founded on a basic premise of unity and harmony among its members expressed in the concept of collective security that relies on the solidarity of its members to unite “to maintain international peace and security”.

It is in the spirit of solidarity that the organization relies on “cooperation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural or humanitarian character” as well.

On International Human Solidarity Day, let us emphasize the role of human solidarity in building lives of dignity for all on a healthy planet. We must work together to achieve the SDGs and secure the future we want. 


Friday, December 18, 2020

Oatmeal Muffin Day,
Magical Oatmeal Muffins

A muffin is a type of quick bread baked in portions suitable for one person. They come in both savory varieties, such as corn or cheese muffins, or sweet varieties such as blueberry or apple.

Magical Oatmeal Muffins, Rebecca Longshore 
Cooking Light

yields: 12 muffins
2 cups rolled oats
2 ripe bananas
2 eggs
1 cup 2% Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of salt

Topping Suggestions
– cinnamon and apple chunks
– strawberries and blueberries
– chocolate chips and almonds
– strawberries and chocolate chips
– unsweetened coconut
– anything your heart desires


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Place 12 pieces of parchment paper or muffin-cup liners in muffin cups, or spray tin with cooking spray.
2. Throw all of the ingredients in the blender; blend until smooth and creamy, about 1-2 minutes.
3. Divide batter evenly among prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with toppings of your choice.
4. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool muffins in pan for 5 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on a wire rack.

Nutritional Information

Yield: 12 muffins  
1 Muffin =
Calories 115
Fat 2g
Sat 1g 
Protein 5g
Carb 20g
Fiber 2g
Chol 32mg
Iron 1mg
Sodium 156mg
Sugar 8g


Ensure accurate nutritional analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and over 25 years experience. A great service for the Recipe Blogger, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will benefit from the Nutrition information and a Registered Dietitian. Contact:; Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LN, FAND at

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Celebrating Thirty Years Providing Nutritional Analysis for the Media and Cookbook Publishers
Why use a dietitian for nutritional analysis?

2019 marks 30 years working in the area of nutrition analysis for the media, cookbook publishers, recipe bloggers, and websites. It has been an exciting journey and an amazing learning experience. I have worked with creative and dynamic editors, chefs, and writers from such publications as Bon Appetit, Sun-Sentinel (Tribune), Atlanta Constitution, Detroit Freepress, and the Fort Worth Star

In 1986 while working on my doctorate degree, I had the opportunity to conduct an independent study on nutrient analysis software. Those were the days when the operating system was DOS and the monitor was black and green. The purpose was to evaluate the pros and cons of nutrient analysis software. I learned early on recipes are written based on foods as purchased (AP) and in order to obtain a more accurate analysis the foods needed to be converted to the form an individual will consume; this is known as the edible portion (EP). The most accurate nutritional analysis is done in a laboratory and can be costly.

As I explored the Internet, I found numerous recipes without nutrition information, but even worse there were many recipes with inaccurate data. (Here is an example of a recipe I found with wrong information.)

Nutrition information is part of our everyday life. There are millions of people who depend on nutrition information to meet their dietary needs. Some of the diets include low calorie, carbohydrate controlled, high protein, low protein, low fat, low cholesterol, low sodium, high fiber, gluten-free, lactose-free, and peanut allergies.

Why use a dietitian for nutritional analysis?

  • Recipes are usually written based on what the consumer needs to purchase. The individual analyzing the recipe must evaluate the recipe based on the actual food ready-to-eat (unless the food is meant to be eaten whole.)
  • A nutritional analysis program cannot cook or prepare meals. A person must have skills in Food Science, Culinary Arts, Nutrition, Cooking and Preparation Techniques, Purchasing Guides, Yield Factors, and Nutrient Analysis Software. Have you ever wondered how to analyze the following in a recipe? What foods would you choose from the database?

  1. A marinade you discard
  2. The salt when preparing pasta
  3. A pinch or handful
  4. 3 lb Chicken, directions: cook and remove skin and bone 
  5. Breading
  6. Apple, cored and peeled
  7. Alcohol in a heated dish

  • To own professional nutrition software with yearly maintenance fees can be expensive. In addition, there is the cost of an educated person to run the software. Updates are vital in our fast-paced food industry with changing government regulations.
Consider adding nutritional analysis to your online recipes. A great service for the Recipe Blogger, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will benefit from the Nutrition information and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.

Take a short quiz to see if you have the knowledge and skills necessary to analyze a recipe? 

Looking for nutrition analysis for your recipes?  With over thirty years of industry experience, I offer my services below market value in order to meet income criteria for continued health benefits.  This allows me to work from home and care for my disabled son.

Contact Sandra Frank, EdD., RDN, LD, FAND at from Dietitians-Online.

From "As Purchased to "Edible Portion" How to Analyze a Recipe Using a Nutrient Database. Purchasing nutrient analysis software and learning how to use the program is only useful if you have the knowledge to convert “as purchased” ingredients to the “edible portion.” This book describes how to read a recipe and enter the correct ingredients and amounts, in order to provide an accurate nutrient analysis. The book is an essential tool for anyone working in nutrient analysis. Recipes are usually written based on what the consumer needs to purchase. The individual analyzing the recipe must evaluate the recipe based on the actual food-ready-to-eat (unless the food is meant to be eaten whole.) A nutritional analysis program cannot cook or prepare meals. A person must have skills in Food Science, Culinary Arts, Nutrition, Cooking and Preparation Techniques, Purchasing Guides, Yield Factors, and Nutrient Analysis Software.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

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

How to Roast Beets

Beets, Pineapple, Onions
and Goat Cheese Salad

Serves: 1

1/2c Beets, cooked, diced
1/3c Pineapple, crushed and drained
1/4c Onions, diced
1/2 oz Goat Cheese
Garnish with Basil and Chives

Directions. Use a cookie cutter at least 2-inches high. Layer each food and pack it down with your fingers before adding the next ingredient. Garnish with Basil and Chives.

Nutrition Information

Ensure accurate nutritional analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and over 30 years experience. A great service for the Recipe Blogger, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will benefit from the Nutrition information and a Registered Dietitian. Contact:; Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LN at

Seven Foods and Five Drinks for a Very Merry Gluten-Free Holiday
Guest Blogger: Michelle Stewart, RDN

7 Foods for a Very Merry Gluten-Free Holiday

1. Sugar cookies and Gingerbread men (made with GF flours: rice flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, and xanthan gum) 

  • Gluten-Free Flour Blend: To make flour blend, combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour, and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Use the appropriate amount for the recipe; store remainder in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Stir before using. 
2. Glazed Ham (toss out the glaze and make your own gluten-free glaze)

3. Quinoa, mushroom, or wild rice stuffing instead of traditional turkey stuffing

4. Meringue Cookies

5. Gravies thickened with cornstarch instead of flour

6. Gumbo with gluten-free Roux (made with sorghum flour instead of all-purpose flour)

7. Corn Bread (avoid store-bought mixes, and make it gluten-free at home with gluten-free flour blend and gluten-free baking soda)

  • To make flour blend: combine 2 cups rice flour, 2/3 cup potato starch, 1/3 cup tapioca flour, and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum. Use the appropriate amount for the recipe; store remainder in a container with a tight-fitting lid. Stir before using. 

5 Festive Gluten-Free Cocktails:
1. Homemade eggnog (warm or chilled)
2. Spiked Apple Cider
3. Rum Hot Toddy
4. Pomasa (Pomegranate juice and Champagne)
5. White Sangria

**Other alcohols that contain gluten:
Malted beverages

Guest Blogger: Michelle Stewart, MPH, RD, LD/N, CDE 

Michelle J. Stewart is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian and better known as The Nutrition Planner. Founder of Michelle Stewart Consulting & Associates who has been leading the way to a healthier you for more than 25 years. She is zealous when it comes to wellness from the inside out and empowering whomever she comes in contact with to take charge of their health and wellbeing. It is all about balance and moderation, her motto is “EAT LESS MOVE MORE”. Michelle is a Certified Diabetes Educator, and also holds certifications in Adult, Adolescent, and Childhood Obesity and is a Certified Wellness Coach. A Master’s In Public Health keeps her abreast of the latest health concerns and on the cutting edge of intervention. Focusing on aging and longevity with a holistic approach to living your best life is her pathway to inner peace and happiness.

An experienced and dynamic public speaker who specializes in the African American community, Ms. Stewart has participated in countless seminars and workshops all over the country. She was a panelist on health care topics at the African American Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C. where former Vice President Dick Cheney was the keynote speaker and the Healthy Breakfast keynote speaker at the annual National Newspapers Publishers Association convention in Chicago. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

International Tea Day

International Tea Day is observed annually on December 15. It has been celebrated since 2005 in tea producing countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, India, and Tanzania.

International Tea Day aims to draw global attention from governments and citizens on the impact of the global tea trade on workers and growers and has been linked to requests for price supports and fair trade.

Regarded for thousands of years in the East as a key to good health, happiness, and wisdom, tea has caught the attention of researchers, who are discovering the many health benefits of different types of teas.

Types of Teas and Their Health Benefits
From green tea to chamomile, teas are full of flavonoids and other health rewards.

Studies have found some teas may help with cancer, heart disease, and diabetes; encourage weight loss; lower cholesterol, and bring about mental alertness.

Health Benefits of Tea: Green, Black, and White Tea
Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but many consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries.

All these teas have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness.

The more processed the tea leaves, usually the less polyphenol content. Polyphenols include flavonoids. Oolong and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have lower concentrations of polyphenols than green tea, but their antioxidizing power is still high.

Here are some studies exploring the potential health benefits of tea:

Green tea. Made with steamed tea leaves, it has a high concentration of EGCG and has been widely studied. Green tea’s antioxidants may interfere with the growth of cancers; prevent clogging of the arteries, burn fat, counteract oxidative stress on the brain, reduce risk of neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, reduce risk of stroke, and improve cholesterol levels.

Black tea. Made with fermented tea leaves, black tea has the highest caffeine content and forms the basis for flavored teas like chai, along with some instant teas. Studies have shown black tea may protect lungs from damage caused by exposure to cigarette smoke. It also may reduce the risk of stroke.

White tea. Uncured and unfermented. One study showed that white tea has the most potent anticancer properties compared to more processed teas.

Oolong tea. Limited research related to lowering bad cholesterol levels.

Pu-erh tea. Made from fermented and aged leaves. Considered a black tea, its leaves are pressed into cakes. Pu-erh is being studied in its relationship to reduced LDL cholesterol.

Health Benefits of Tea: Herbal Teas
Made from herbs, fruits, seeds, or roots steeped in hot water, herbal teas have lower concentrations of antioxidants than green, white, black, and oolong teas. Their chemical compositions vary widely depending on the plant used.

Varieties include ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, rosehip, mint, rooibos (red tea), chamomile, and echinacea.

Limited research has been done on the health benefits of herbal teas, but claims that they help to lose weight, fight off colds, and helps with sleep are largely unsupported.

Here are some findings:

Chamomile tea: Its antioxidants may help prevent complications from diabetes, like loss of vision and nerve and kidney damage, and stunt the growth of cancer cells.

Echinacea: Often touted as a way to fight the common cold, the research on echinacea has been inconclusive.

Hibiscus: A small study found that drinking three cups of hibiscus tea daily lowered blood pressure in people with modestly elevated levels.

Rooibos (red tea): A South African herb that is fermented. Although it has flavonoids with cancer-fighting properties, medical studies have been limited.

Health Benefits of Tea: Instant teas
Instant tea may contain very little amounts of actual tea and plenty of sugars or artificial sweeteners. For health’s sake, check out the ingredients on the label.

Can Tea Be Bad for Your Health?
Most teas are benign, but the FDA has issued warnings about the so-called dieter’s teas that contain senna, aloe, buckthorn, and other plant-derived laxatives.

1. Types of Teas and Their Health Benefits, WebMD
2. Health Benefits of Tea - Learn About the Effects of Tea on Health, Including Its Role in the Prevention of Many Diseases, Arpita Basu, Ph.D., RD, Today's Dietitian
Flavonoids: The secret to health benefits of drinking black and green tea? Harvard Health

December 15, National Cupcake Day
A Special Blueberry Cupcake

Blueberry Cupcakes

1 large white potato, peeled and cut into small chunks
3/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cup cake flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup canola oil
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 cup blueberries, fresh, plus fresh blueberries for garnish

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
4 teaspoons dried egg whites (equivalent to 2 egg whites)
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons blueberry preserves or jam
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 12 (1/2-cup) muffin cups with paper liners.
Place potato in a saucepan, add water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and mash until very smooth. Measure out 3/4 cup and let cool slightly. 
3. Whisk whole-wheat flour, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl.
4. Beat granulated sugar and oil in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Beat in egg, 1/2 teaspoon extract, and the 3/4 cup mashed potatoes until combined. 
5. With the mixer on low, alternately mix in the dry ingredients and buttermilk, starting and ending with dry ingredients and scraping the sides of the bowl as needed, until just combined. 
6. Fold in 1 cup blueberries. Divide the batter among the prepared cups. 
7. Bake the cupcakes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 22 to 24 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.
1. Once the cupcakes are cool, bring 2 inches of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler. 
2. Combine 3/4 cup granulated sugar and 3 tablespoons water in the top of the double boiler. Place over the simmering water and heat, stirring, until the sugar is melted, 2 to 3 minutes. Start beating the mixture with an electric mixer on high speed.
3. Add reconstituted egg whites, cream of tartar and a pinch of salt. Continue beating until the mixture looks like a shiny, thick frosting, 5 to 7 minutes.
4. Off the heat, beat for 1 minute more to cool.
5. Add 2 tablespoons blueberry preserves (or jam) and 1/4 teaspoon extract and beat on low just to combine.
5. Spread or pipe the frosting on the cooled cupcakes and decorate with fresh blueberries on top

Nutrition Information 

Food Groups: 1 fruit, 2.25 Starch/Bread

Ensure accurate nutritional analysis for your recipes utilizing an extensive research database and over 40 years experience. A great service for the Recipe Blogger, Media, Cookbook Publishers, Writers, Chefs, and Recipe Websites. Your readers will benefit from the Nutrition information and a Registered Dietitian. Contact:; Sandra Frank, Ed.D, RDN, LN at

Friday, December 11, 2020

Gingerbread Decorating Day - Healthy Gingerbread House Ideas

#GingerbreadDecoratingDay - Healthy Gingerbread House Ideas

Gingerbread House Ingredients

Hanukkah Gingerbread House
How-To Guide to Hanukkah Gingerbread House

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 percent are victims of famine or other emergency situations. More than 90 percent are suffering from 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 percent 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. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

National Farm-City Week - Harvesting Healthy Choices

Farm-City Week is celebrated each year.  The purpose of Farm-City Week is to bring about a better understanding between rural and urban people by increasing their knowledge and appreciation of each other as partners in progress.

Farm-City: Harvesting Healthy Choices
Statistics indicated that about one-third of American children ages 6 to 19 are overweight, and a growing number of young people suffer from cardiovascular disease, high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.

Farm-City theme of “Harvesting Healthy Choices” gives farmers an opportunity to join forces with their city neighbors to show healthy food choices available.

Harvesting Healthy Choices allows the opportunity to talk about the health benefits of locally grown produce and other foods:
- the bone-building power of milk;
- the leaner choices in beef, pork, and poultry;
- the importance of folic acid-rich peanuts to expectant mothers;
- the cancer-fighting properties of soybeans;
- the antioxidant power of blueberries 

What’s more, modern agriculture produces healthier animals, more nutritious grains, and year-round access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Healthy food doesn’t just mean tofu and bean sprouts. A 5-ounce portion of lean beef or pork can be part of a balanced diet, and milk, cheese, bread, and even fried catfish still have a place on Alabama’s dinner table. 

Eating well and living well is about choices – and is important to all ages in helping us create a healthier state. For more information on a balanced diet which includes fruits, vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy products please visit the Department of Agriculture’s “My Plate” Nutritional Guide at


Sunday, October 25, 2020

October, National Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Joan E. Guthrie Medlen, RD and Down Syndrome Nutrition

Every October, the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) reminds the world in a big way about the gifts that people with Down syndrome bring to their communities through a special video presentation on a jumbo screen in the heart of the Times Square.
The Times Square Video presentation kicked off Down Syndrome Awareness Month on the morning of the New York City Buddy Walk. This year, our third-party volunteers chose over 200 photos from over 1,000 submissions for the Times Square Video. The featured photographs highlight children, teens and adults with Down syndrome working, playing and learning alongside friends and family. These collective images promote acceptance and inclusion, which is the foundation of NDSS and the National Buddy Walk Program.

Joan Guthrie Medlen, M.Ed, RD and
the Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook

Joan E. Guthrie Medlen, a mother of a child with Down syndrome, a registered dietitian, and the author of “The Down Syndrome Nutrition Handbook: A Guide to Promoting Healthy Lifestyles,” encourages parents to start teaching healthy habits early but stresses that it's never too late to start, no matter what age.

Joan became involved in issues related to people with Down syndrome after the birth of her son. “As we all know, parents of kids with disabilities are involved in the big picture immediately – like it or not! I chose to work in the field of nutrition/health promotion for people with Down syndrome over 16 years ago. It’s a choice I've not regretted.”

Introducing Cooking By Color:
Recipes for Independence by 
Joan E. Guthrie Medlen, RD

Meet a family who shares their
amazing story of love and living

About Buddy Walk
The Buddy Walk® was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Today, the Buddy Walk program is supported nationally by NDSS and organized at the local level by parent support groups, schools and other organizations and individuals.

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