Hi, I’m Kara and this is my food/life/nutrition resource blog. And my first post, to boot! Oh, and I’m a Registered Dietitian (RD), AKA a nutrition expert. Dr. Oz gots nothing over me.
What’s that you say? If this is a food blog, then where are the delicious pictures of food where I tell you it’s the best thing you’ll ever eat and command you to get in the kitchen right now to make? Don’t worry, it’s coming and chances are I’ll probably say that. But first, I wanted to take a few posts to introduce myself and the blog. You know, get to know each other a little bit more.
Check out my About Kara page to find out more, but I’m a Midwest girl through and through who happens to love food and just plain nutrition, in general. I grew up in small-town Iowa (like population-of-100 small), moved just two hours away to go to college at Iowa State University, and stayed there for six years to earn my Bachelors in Dietetics and Masters in Nutritional Science.
But I wasn’t quite done with school, and certainly not the Midwest. I moved to Illinois for a year to do my dietetic internship (a mandatory internship in order to complete the many steps of becoming an RD).
Fate would have it that I would find my husband during that year (that’s another story for another time), who happens to also live in the Midwest…in Madison, Wisconsin. So after a year of being in Illinois, I moved on up to Wisconsin, passed the exams to become an RD, got married, and settled into life as a wife and an RD. Whew!
Which brings me to this blog and what it’s all about. As an RD, I know a thing or two about living well and eating healthfully and I hope I can pass along some of this knowledge to you. But I also know life is about enjoying it and restrictive diets can be…well, restrictive and not enjoyable. In the Midwest, people like eating and gathering together at the table—myself included. I don’t think we should feel completely restricted in what we’re “allowed” to eat—there’s no way I’m passing up Mom’s Orange Tapioca Jello at Christmas (if that’s not Midwest, I don’t know what is)! In a food- and diet-crazed world, there are a lot of “rules” by which people want you to abide by in order to “be healthy”. In my life, though, I have five main ones (guidelines, really) that I try to fit into my daily life and, therefore, will be the ones my blog will represent as well.
Guidelines to Live By:
1. Everything in Moderation
Yes, this even includes desserts. Before I get too far into this blog, there are two things you should probably know about me: 1) I love sweets and 2) I can’t get enough peanut butter. Oh, and 3) I love to run…which I guess is good based on my first two favorites. I’m glad we have that taken care of.
Depriving ourselves of food only makes us want it that much more. Diets are ineffective solely because of that—the diet can’t last and you’ll always go back to what you couldn’t have while on your diet. But allowing ourselves the freedom to have foods, helps to control our intake.
2. Make Modifications
In the Midwest, casseroles, jello salads, and meat and potatoes are staples. I wouldn’t call them the healthiest, but making simple changes can drastically improve their nutritional quality. Limiting the salt, choosing leaner meats more often, adding more color to meals, using low-fat dairy products, or baking rather than frying are all easy things I usually try to do. Now as for desserts…they only get modified some of the time. If I’m enjoying a dessert, I want to really enjoy a dessert. Everything in moderation, right?!
3. The More Color the Better
A plate full of one color is no fun, plus it doesn’t have all the nutritious vitamins and minerals that a plate full of colorful fruits and vegetables has. I like to add vegetables into recipes that don’t normally call for it; it gives it more freshness, texture, and flavor, too.
4. Enjoy the Meal
Practicing mindful eating is a good habit to form and one I’m still working on. It takes practice, but I’m really trying to listen to my body to decide whether I’m actually hungry or if a piece of chocolate just looks good. Mindful eating also means savoring everything about the foods I’m eating—the texture, the flavors, the mouthfeel—so I can enjoy it that much more. When I pay attention to the meal I’m eating and actually think about each bite, rather than scrolling through Facebook on my phone while I eat (guilty), it helps me get more satisfaction from the meal and realize when I’m satisfied sooner—rather than when I’m to the pants-too-tight-full point.
5. Live a Healthy Lifestyle
Living healthfully is so much more than just eating healthy. Sleep, physical activity, and healthy relationships are of equal importance if we want to lead a healthy life. That’s why this blog doesn’t just focus on food, but also about life and what I’m doing to stay active—and hopefully motivating you along the way!
So there you have it. Those are my rules (or guidelines). Sure, there’s always going to be more rules and suggestions to get overwhelmed by, but for me, these five are enough for me to try to achieve on a daily basis. I hope to make these the core of my new blog—a blog on enjoying life and the food you eat.
Check back to find out how this blog even came to be! In the meantime, feel free to find out ways to keep in touch by visiting my Contact page. I’d love to hear from you!