Dietitian News

Roasted Carrot & Celery Root with Thyme

Roasted Carrot and Celery Root with Thyme

If there was an award for the ugliest vegetable, I have a strong suspicion that the celery root would be a likely winner…that is if anybody remembered enough to think of celery root as a vegetable, let alone know what it looks like. I don’t know which is worse, being an unattractive vegetable or being completely forgotten about altogether.


It almost makes me feel sorry for the vegetable. Celery root is like the vegetable version of the kid who always gets picked last onto teams, gets made fun of by the bullies, frequently drops his books while walking to class or stumbles over his untied shoelace, and is never given an opportunity to really shine. I mean, tell me that doesn’t pull at your heartstrings a tiny bit and make you want to go out and buy a celery root. :)


The truth is, I hadn’t given celery root the slightest bit of attention until a couple weeks ago when I was giving a grocery store tour. On almost every store tour, I challenge the listeners to branch out from their “safe” produce — you know, the carrots, mixed greens, apples, and bananas — and try a new vegetable or fruit, perhaps a new one once a month. It helps build variety into our diets, adds different colors to our plates, and keeps us from getting stuck in a rut. Plus, it’s fun to explore! What you may have disliked as a kid, you may really enjoy as an adult (Brussel sprouts, I’m looking at you!).

Well, not minutes after I had challenged my group to try new produce, one of the ladies looked up at the wall of fresh vegetables and asked what celery root tasted like and how to eat it. Hmm, good question. I honestly didn’t know much about celery root except that it wasn’t actually the root of the celery we’re familiar with and assumed it could be cooked similar to parsnips or turnips. And I certainly had never eaten it before…or at least was unaware of it if I had.


I felt like I needed to give this knobby, gangly vegetable a try — if only to do what I preach. And to know how to answer the next time I got that same question. :)

So, the result? After some research, I bring to you Roasted Carrots and Celery Root with Thyme. A perfect introduction to the otherwise unknown vegetable. The verdict? Absolutely delicious and flavorful! Philip was scooping it up off the pan by the spoonful. #winning


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What Your Gut Needs from You

Whew! What a packed weekend! Not only was there all the excitement about the Super Bowl (well, for most people, that is. I kept it pretty low key), but I also made a trip back to my Alma mater for a girls’ weekend with two of my closest friends from college. If you’ve been following this blog for awhile, you may be noticing a trend — we try to get together at least a handful times throughout the year (such as this time and this time, just to name a couple). And you know what? I absolutely love it!


We switch it up every time with where we’re going to meet up and this time we chose our old stomping grounds in Ames, Iowa, where we all went to college. It was great being back and reminiscing about all the “good times.” Besides all the catching up we did, we cheered on the women’s basketball team at the Hilton Coliseum, ate at some of our favorite places, and took in everything that had changed on campus since the short time we’d been in school…or maybe six years isn’t that short of time? Eek! Time flies by!


Graduation Day — We were just babies!

Even though it’s been six years since I was graduating with my bachelors in dietetics (I was just a baby!), I’m always learning more about the field of nutrition as so many things have already changed since then. I love staying on top of all these current trends, findings, and changes. And one of the “hot topics” in the nutrition arena is your gut microbiome…say what? In other words, all the bacteria living inside of you. Turns out they play a huge role in our health!

A lot of times when we think about what we need to do to adjust our diets in order to stay on top of our health, we don’t think to consider how our gut may play a role in their health – a very crucial role.

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What We Ate Today: What a dietitian’s husband eats

While I was out galavanting around NW Iowa this weekend with my two closest girlfriends from college (what a fun weekend I had!), my husband was back home working the whole weekend on house projects, cleaning up our kitchen from our kitchen demo project (sorry, no pictures…yet! It’s almost done!), and even taking care of my blog for me. Isn’t he great?!

While I was exhausted each night from chatting late into the night (well past my bedtime), my husband was exhausted from working late into the evenings. To add even more to his work list, I asked if he’d be willing to write the majority of today’s blog post for you all. You’re in luck, he said yes!

I’m starting a new series entitled: What We Ate Today. As a dietitian, people often think I must eat perfectly all the time. And this means my family (husband) is roped into eating “health foods,” too. Let’s be honest, this is real life. Our meals and snacks are not always the picture-perfect diet. While we try to eat healthy most of the time, we follow my rules/guidelines I base my blog off of.

So, without further ado, my husband, Philip, is first to show you what he ate one day last week (I’ll be up next, don’t worry):

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Why I’m a dietitian who’s handing out (real) candy for Halloween

Handing out Candy for Halloween

Can you believe this weekend is already Halloween?! What happened to October? I feel like Philip and I have been so busy, both during the week and the weekend, that somehow the fall is slipping past us. While part of me is eager to start thinking about Christmas (I know, I know, I’m jumping past a few holidays) and to decorate for the season (we missed last year since we were moving into our house right before Christmas), the other part of me is wanting this great in-between time to stick around just a tiny bit longer.


Case in point: This past weekend Philip and I were able to squeeze in a run on a trail that is right outside our door and it. was. beautiful. I’m so glad we could get out on the trail and enjoy the remaining fall colors before it gets completely covered with snow.


We also celebrated another couple’s marriage this weekend – the last of the season. Maybe it’s because I’m a girl, but I just love weddings! Such a fun time we had!


While I may already be thinking ahead about how I’m going to decorate our mantle for Christmas, don’t get me wrong, I am looking forward to our first Halloween in a house where trick-or-treaters will be knocking at our door. Growing up in the country where the closest neighbor was a mile away, the thought of having little witches, super heroes, or princesses come to our door was unheard of. And every year since, I’ve been in an apartment where I didn’t have to worry about what to have as a treat for the little trick-or-treaters.

But this year. This year is different. I scoured the grocery store for my favorite candy and chocolate, bought them without a flinch (okay, maybe just a little one), and am ready to hand out candy this year.

Yes, I’m a dietitian who is handing out candy.

I can see both sides of whether or not we should pass out candy to children, and I fully respect whatever individual choice you have made, but here are my reasons for why I chose to pass out candy this year:

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The Value of Family Meals: It’s More than Just Nutrition

Family Meals It's More Than Just Nutrition

Happy Labor Day, everyone! I hope you’ve been able to relax, stay cool, and enjoy this long weekend! I’m doing my best to stay inside due to the fact that every time I step outside, it makes me feel like an extra 10 pounds is weighing on me. The Midwest is great, but its humidity is not my friend. At least this weather is making me that much more eager for the leaves to start changing and for sweatshirts to begin making an appearance.

The unpredictable Midwest weather aside, my long weekend has been full of family, friends, and relaxation. Just what I needed! Philip and I headed down to Peoria, Illinois, to see family and friends. We snuck away for a little bit to relive when we first met three years ago. A little bit of me feels like three years isn’t that long at all, while another part of me is screaming, how has it been THREE years?!? I just met this man that happens to also be my husband. :)


Three years ago, Philip made the trip down from Madison to Peoria to meet me on Labor Day for a picnic (picnic basket and all) on Grandview Drive, a beautiful and scenic drive overlooking the Illinois River. Our picnic turned into us talking for about 6 hours until we realized the sun was starting to set and we had better call it a day. Little did we know that that was only the beginning… :)

We made a trip back to Grandview Drive this past Saturday to enjoy another picnic together. While the picnic didn’t last 6 hours like the last one (re: it was really hot out), it was still just as special and fun to try to remember what exactly we talked about during our first picnic together.


Back in Madison, I’m soaking in the last hours of my long weekend, as I’m sure most of you are. With school just having started this past week, I’m guessing parents are taking a deep breath this weekend before the real craziness of fall activities begin. Recently, I wrote an article for a local paper and thought it’d be worth sharing part of it on my blog for all the families (big or small) who are already wondering how they’re going to get everything done this school year…including family meals. Enjoy!

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Gluten-Free: Fact or Fiction

Gluten-Free Fact or Fiction

Hello, again! I hope you had a fun-filled weekend and are ready for the (hopefully) short week ahead. I can’t believe it’s almost the 4th of July! Summer is flying by too quickly, in my opinion. I have things lined up every weekend from now ’til September and it seems like the weeks just keep picking up pace, too.

This weekend I made a trip up to the Minneapolis area for a bachelorette party for one of my closest friends from college. Her wedding is in just a few short weeks and if this weekend was any indication of how the wedding will be, I know we’re in for a good time.


I arrived home yesterday completely exhausted from the weekend, so today, instead of a recipe, I’m adding another segment to my “Dietitian Ramblings” collection. This week’s topic: gluten. It’s a topic I hear about often what with the gluten-free craze/fad running rampant now. Here are my professional thoughts on the topic:

Is gluten or wheat “bad” for me? Can I lose weight if stop eating gluten? Will I be healthier if I go gluten-free? These questions and more are common concerns I hear frequently thanks to the barrage of — often misleading —information coming at us every day from the media.

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Detox Your Body: How it can fit into a healthy diet

 Whew, what a weekend! I need another weekend just to recover from my weekend. It was a great one though — fun, productive, relaxing, and celebratory! Here’s what we fit into a single weekend:

I ran my first race of the season on Saturday morning. I couldn’t have asked for a better race to start the season off; it was perfect weather, a great course around Lake Monona (one of the two lakes in Madison if you’re unfamiliar with the area), and (most importantly) the food at the end was a full on smorgasbord.

Lake Monona 20K

The rest of Saturday afternoon was spent cleaning out our garage (this is the productive part of the weekend). It was the final “room” that needed to be cleaned out since we moved into our house in December. What a great feeling to have everything finally all cleaned and its place!

A date night of sushi and ice cream (we’re keeping it classy) followed our productive day and the fun just kept on going into Sunday with a wedding for two of our close friends from Madison. Couldn’t be any happier for the couple!

It certainly felt like summer was here — or at least just around the corner — this past weekend! With all this spring cleaning and donation trips to Goodwill going on, it got me thinking about the importance of spring cleaning our bodies, too. Instead of a normal recipe post today, I thought I’d share a little bit about my dietitian thoughts on detoxing…

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Copycat LaraBar Chocolate Brownie Granola Bar

Copycat LaraBar Chocolate Brownie

The question is, are these a dessert or a healthy snack? Don’t you love it when you have that problem?

Do I eat this as a morning snack at…umm..9:00 a.m. (I eat my breakfast early, okay?) when I know it’s impossible for me to make it another three hours until lunch? Or do I count this as an after-dinner dessert, because, let’s face it, anything with chocolate in the name could and should be considered a dessert.


Well, I’ve got some great news, because no decision making is needed for this one — it works as both healthy snack and healthy scrumptious dessert! Yippee!

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How Meal Planning Works for Me

How Meal Planning Works for Me_Paprika

Well, I think the holiday season is officially here. I’ve started my holiday baking, attended our first Christmas party of the season, aaaand I’ve come down with a nasty head cold. Just in time for all the holiday cheer. Yesterday all I could bring myself to do was sit on the couch and continue to stare at our fall decorations that are. still. up. Ugh. So, according to Facebook and Instagram, everywhere is looking more like Christmas except for our apartment right now. Because, right now it’s just cluttered with used Kleenexes.

That said, I’m cutting right to the chase today. Last week I talked about how to make meal planning work for you and today I’m going to fill you in on how meal planning works for me. I know you guys were all just dying in suspense as to what I was going to be sharing about today after the cliff hanger I gave last week…right? Humor me a little…I’m not feeling well.

There’s no right or wrong way to go about meal planning, but I’ve found that Paprika, a recipe manager app, works the best for me by far. I’ve been using it well over a year now and I still can’t get over how handy and helpful it is. If you don’t get anything out of this post, I hope I can get across to you how much I love this app! And just to throw this out there — no, I’m not getting any compensation for promoting Paprika and I wasn’t asked to talk about it. I am truly just that excited about it.

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How to Make Meal Planning Work for You + A Fun Way to Show off your Weekly Menu

How to Make Meal Planning Work for You

Welcome to another week, friends! How was everybody’s Thanksgiving? Filled with family, food, and friends, I hope. Like I mentioned last week, I had an extended visit at the in-laws and, boy, did we pack a lot in! All four siblings were home, so we made it into a Thanksmas holiday.

We had your typical (yet delicious) Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday and followed it with the traditional Hoerr family Christmas on Friday, which always includes a candlelit fondue dinner and the opening of presents (the kiddos barely made it through the day with their eager anticipation). To cap off the night, in keeping with the fondue theme, there’s always chocolate fondue for dessert and we all sat around the fire, sharing highlights from the current year and how we can be praying for each other in the upcoming year.


Aaannnd (as if that weren’t enough celebrations for one weekend), to top it all off, we had an early celebration for yours truly’s birthday with pizza and cupcakes on Saturday — nice and simple after a couple days of extravagant eating.

I don’t know about you, but after the holidays where food is everywhere — as much as I love the food — it feels so nice to get back to a normal week of eating and routine. My body definitely appreciates it.

One way that helps me stay on track and continuously form a routine with meals is forming a meal plan every week. Seriously, guys. This works. Meal planning/not having time to make meals/not knowing what to make at night/resorting to fast food is one of the biggest concerns I get from clients. Sound familiar? Believe me, you’re not alone. And if you’re already doing some form of meal planning, give yourself a pat on the back because you’re one step ahead of most people!

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