Thursday, December 12, 2013

Tip #4- Mandatory R&R!

Can you believe it’s already December 12th?! Time flies when you’re buried in books, right? J

As the week comes to a close, I would like to leave you with possibly the most important tip of all: take time to rest & recover during this holiday break. Let’s use that analogy of the car again. Just like a car can’t take you non-stop from SD to NYC with just one tank of gas, your body will not continue to function properly after days without sleep, food, and peace of mind. So… use this holiday break to pick up that hobby of yours and begin to re-balance your personal wellness.

Although proper nutrition is important, the key to a healthy life is maintaining a balance between your mind and body. Feeding your body a variety of fresh foods allows you to achieve proper nutrition without giving it a second thought! Healthy eating should not be a task to mark off on your to-do list, but something that becomes second nature with time & practice. Use this break to reconnect with your hunger & fullness to set you on the right path to YOUR personal wellness for 2014!

Take a look at these students today at Pines already putting into practice the tips from earlier this week. They are already beginning their journey to a healthier you heading into 2014!

Breakfast time!
I wish you all a very happy holiday season and look forward to 2014! For those of you who make New Year’s Resolutions, don’t forget I am a resource here on campus and am available for one on one appointments to help set you on the right path (!

Also, a gentle reminder for move-out over break so you can return to a clean room in 2014!

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Tip #3: Plan Ahead

Tip #3- Plan Ahead


Happy Monday Folks! I hope you got some rest this weekend and perhaps even made it out to enjoy the INCREDIBLE brunch options at the dining units yesterday.  Check out some pictures of the beautiful chocolate fountain displays and wonderful assortment of fresh goodies for dipping.  (Hey, chocolate is an antioxidant!)

Cafe Ventanas Chocolate Fountain Display-De-Stress Brunch

I am sure many of you are now in CRUNCH MODE and don’t even have the slightest idea what or even when your next meal will be.  No worry if this is the case; you can easily find healthy & delicious meal choices when you visit any of the dining units or marketplaces.  However, we can’t provide them unless YOU come in!

I spoke with a few students anxiously awaiting the doors to open at Pines this morning before heading out to finals. I applauded them for their diligent planning to make sure they woke up in time to fuel their bodies.  Although my enthusiasm towards breakfast scared them a little, I believe they got my point once I told them I was their RD J

Nevertheless, these students recognized the importance of planning ahead. If you know you have a final that will extend into your regular meal times, PLAN AHEAD! Make sure to wake up or leave even just 10 minutes earlier to pop into the markets and grab a quick bite. The Market To Go pre-made sandwiches, wraps, and salads are excellent choices that are conveniently packaged to allow you to chow down on your walk to class.

Although in an ideal world I would LOVE to see you plan a longer period of mindful eating at one of our dining units, I know your time is tight. Just make sure to fuel your hunger before heading into the exam, because just like a car cannot run without gas, your body will not function without food J.

Be sure to check with your Res Life Offices to see where FREE SAMPLES (that’s right…FREE!) of healthy snacks will be distributed this week!

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!

Friday, December 6, 2013

Tip #2: Timing

 Hello UCSD! How are you holding up? I know how stressful the week before finals can be, so just try to take a deep breath and relax.  Next week will be over before you know it and then it’s holiday break time!

Let’s continue on our “healthy tips” for studying. Have you ever heard that you should eat every 3-4 hours to maintain a healthy metabolism? Well, here’s the 4-1-1 on it.
·         Eating every few hours allows you to be adequately nourished to fuel your body for whatever your day has in store for you. You need a certain amount of calories (aka your Basal Metabolic Rate to breathe, brush your teeth, walk to the bus, talk to a friend…etc.; basically everything you do requires energy!

·         Studying uses energy (aka calories). FANTASTIC, right? To make sure your body receives the right kinds of calories, it’s important to time your meals and snacks so that you’re constantly supplying energy to your brain. Aim to get the majority of your calories in during your waking hours (the time you are most alert).

·         Should you eat late at night if you’re up studying? This is a hard question to answer because it is unique for every person. If you tend to stay up actively cramming into the wee morning hours; then yes, you should be eating healthy snacks to fuel your brain (although I do encourage at least 6-8 hours of sleep).  On the other hand, if you stay up mindlessly munching attempting to stay alert; then no, you should give in to your slumber and hit the books when you are well rested!

Our dining units & markets across campus have a great variety of healthy snacks to choose from. I always tell my students to shoot for 2-3 food groups when choosing a snack. Some healthy snack ideas available at all the HDH Markets include:

·         Yogurt & Fresh Fruit –a GREAT balance of protein and antioxidants to keep you full and flu free

·         Whole Grain Crackers (or bread) & Hummus – full of energy bursting B vitamins to give you that extra push

·         Homemade Trail Mix ( -  an excellent source of fiber and nuts that helps keep  your holiday weight in check J

Sometimes you may just need a little splurge and THAT IS ABSOLUTELY OKAY! I suggest if you’re feeling something daring to check out the Sunday DE-STRESS brunch at the dining units on Sunday, 12/8 to let loose and give into a little chocolate craving.

Be sure to check Facebook & the blog next week to see where FREE SAMPLES of healthy finals snacks will be available from the RD to make sure you are well fed J

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Wrapping Up: Week 10-Tip #1

Welcome back UC San Diego. I hope you all had a wonderful break and got some well-deserved R&R.

As we head into Week 10 (aka fall quarter crunch time), students are beginning the late nights of cram sessions and mindless munching, right?! Considering the stress-eating that typically occurs around finals, I thought this motto from The Village’s Mr. Andrews summed things up best: “Eat bright and your pants won’t be tight!"
Rather than turn to the bag of chips or leftover pumpkin pie your mom sent home with you, I will reveal over the next week some tips on how YOU can eat bright & stay slim while studying.

Tip #1, Eat Breakfast. Think an extra hour of cramming before the big exam will set you up for a better score?  Think again! Research shows test scores improve significantly when one eats a balanced breakfast before the big exam.

When prepping your plate, try to hit at least three food groups; pair a dairy and whole grain source with a protein and/or fresh fruit.  Short on ideas? Try one of the following at our dining units (

·         Steel Cut Oatmeal with Skim Milk, & Fresh Berries

Steel-Cut Oatmeal w/ Berries
      ·         Dietitian Delight (Egg Whites, Whole Grain English Muffin, Skim Cheese, Spinach, & Turkey)

·         2 Eggs Over Easy with Whole Grain Toast & a Banana

·         Plain Yogurt with Fresh Cut Fruit & Slice of Whole Grain Bread

Tight on time? No worries, stop into one of the Markets and pick up one of these great breakfast on-the-go suggestions:

·         Cup of Cereal, Skim Milk, & Banana

·         Kelloggs Protein Bar & Orange

·         Oatmeal-to-Go with Milk

·         Low-fat Yogurt & Fresh Cut Fruit

·         String Cheese, Apple & 1/4C Nuts

Give it your all and start your day off with a nice balanced breakfast, and success will surely be in your future!
Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Turkey Time: Minus 24 hour Countdown!

Happy early Thanksgiving UC San Diego! The holiday season is a time to celebrate and relax with those closest to you. I promise I won’t spend this post lecturing on healthy holiday swaps to make tomorrow, but I will leave you with a little food for thought.

According to Women’s Health, the average Thanksgiving meal racks in at 4,500 calories. ( That’s the equivalent of eating 8 Big Mac’s or 26 Taco Bell Tacos! Rather than gorge on just one meal, make your calories count.  Focus on eating a wide variety of foods that hit all the food groups to leave you feeling pleasantly satisfied, not stuffed. Choose foods that you enjoy, but do so in moderation. Remember the My Plate rules and try to build your plate with this template in mind.
For those of you sticking around campus, I suggest you head on over to CafĂ© Ventanas tomorrow and celebrate the holiday spirit! The festivities begin at 11am with the traditional turkey feast starting at 1pm! If you’re a procrastinator, don’t worry; you can still get tickets at the door.


Have a wonderful healthy and happy Thanksgiving! Catch ya’ on Monday J

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Mind over Matter: How strong is your willpower?

Happy Monday UC San Diego! I realized over the weekend that we have yet to discuss the one thing that goes hand-in-hand with moderation: willpower.

Willpower means having the ability to exercise control over a strong desire. Take for example the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday. It’s no surprise that my Turkey Day temptations are caused by the bountiful basket of bread at the end of the buffet line (come on, what Italian doesn’t enjoy a nice warm roll?!). Although I know I am pleasantly satisfied after having one, I always seem to experience an intense desire to go back and grab another. This is where willpower comes in.

First, I certainly know that my mother has purchased enough for the delicious leftovers we will have the next day.  Then, I allow myself to recognize that I can enjoy another serving at a later time; this helps me to reconnect with my feelings of being satisfied.

Not sure if this is something you can do? You will never know unless you try. This suggestion comes from our friend Zach over at Muir College: “If you feel your pants squeezin’, moderate this holiday season!” His holiday motto may just be the trick you need to avoid those second helpings! If suddenly you feel that your sweat pants are calling your name, this is your cue to step away from the table and grab your sister, aunt, or dog and head out for a nice walk.

Remember, it’s okay to indulge, but moderation is the key. When you let go of your willpower and allow moderation to turn into TURKEY DOMINATION, your holiday health is torn off its track. This doesn’t mean you can’t get back on the right path tomorrow; however, research shows kicking off the holiday with a downhill spiral only makes it that much harder to get back on your healthy road.

Start practicing moderation now by popping into the Village Market and preordering your Thanksgiving Meal Kit or Grocery Bag. It’s a great deal for those sticking around San Diego this week to allow you to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with your campus family. The Thanksgiving Meal kit is only $56 for a meal that feeds 4 (or more depending on how you practice that moderation!). That’s $4 less than Whole Foods, and you get a WHOLE lot more for your money! (The Whole Foods Turkey Kit has only a turkey breast, mashed potatoes & gravy, cranberry sauce, and green beans for $59.99.)

Suggested Posts to View

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

News Brief: “Just Eat in Moderation & You’ll Have Nothing to Fear?”

Sounds like a little bit of an oxymoron huh? If you’ve been watching the news or following Twitter, then you’ve probably heard of the recent ban proposed by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) surrounding use of trans-fat (aka partially hydrogenated oil) in foods.  Just in case you haven’t, today’s post will help make you an informed consumer.

Ever wonder why a package of mini-donuts has an expiration date six months in the future? Well, you can thank trans-fats for that! Trans-fats are a man-made ingredient found in packaged foods, bakery items, candy, sweets, and a laundry list of other products that assist in extending a product’s shelf-life. Trans-fats are similar in structure to that of saturated fats (found in animal products) but are made from vegetable oils that have had their carbon-carbon double bonds partially hydrogenated. Enough of the science; let’s move on!

Since 2006, legislation mandates that food companies label all food items that contain trans-fats; however, that doesn’t mean that a product labeled trans-fat free is completely trans-fat free. According to the FDA labeling laws, products with less than 0.5 grams of trans-fat per serving are allowed to be marketed as “trans-fat free.” This false advertising has led many to choose a product they believed was a healthier alternative.  In actuality, people are likely consuming small amounts of trans-fats that can add up significantly throughout their day  (i.e. 100 calorie popcorn…guilty!).

Data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that eliminating all trans-fats from the food industry will have a significant effect on the incidence of cardiovascular disease over time. Reports show that 20,000 heart attacks will be eliminated and over 7,000 lives will be saved through banning trans-fats. WOW! Think of the impact this can have on you and your family’s health alone!
Although there is a 60-day period to allow food companies to eliminate trans-fats from their ingredients, you can start TODAY in making smarter choices for your health. Check out the ingredient label on your prepackaged foods; any words beginning with “partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated” indicate the presence of trans-fats.

Not sure which foods to look for? Common culprits include granola bars, packaged baked goods, chips, frozen foods…basically anything that has a long shelf life J
Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Healthy Holiday Motto Contest

Can you believe it? We have 27 days left until fall quarter officially comes to an end. That’s just a little less than 4 weeks to buckle down and get your holiday health in focus.

To kick off the countdown, today I will reveal the winner of our healthy holiday motto contest. A BIG thank you to all of you who participated with their great suggestions!  Because I am a firm believer in everything in moderation, I had a hard time deciding on the BEST choice. Rather than choose just one motto, I thought why not choose a theme and have a new motto posted each week?! Thus, the “Mod Squad” team was born.

For each of the remaining weeks, I will post a motto from our “Mod Squad” writers that focus on keeping your health and wellness at the forefront this holiday season.  I will also give suggestions on ways to indulge in holiday treats while beating the stress of finals without wrecking your diet.

So, to get us started please give it up for Ms. Baldeep from Warren.  Her motto is, “At last, the holidays are here!  Don't worry about weight this year; just eat in moderation, and you'll have nothing to fear."

What a great motto to get us rolling! A majority of us wait anxiously to indulge in foods that only come around during the holiday season. Rather than go in with an “all or nothing” approach, take Baldeep’s advice into consideration and remember the value of practicing proper control.

Here are a few examples of proper portion equivalents to keep in mind when you’re taking a look down the holiday table in the weeks to come:

·         Iphone = 3 oz meat

·         Tennis ball = 1 cup of cooked pasta, rice, vegetables or ice cream

·         Light bulb = ½ cup of mashed potatoes, stuffing or grain based side

·         Poker chip = 1 TBSP butter, dressing, or oil

·         Computer mouse = 1 small baked potato

·         Dental floss container = 1 oz chocolate

·         Sunglass Case = 1 slice of pie

Want to try out your portion control abilities? Check out our dining units this Thursday from 11-4PMto enjoy a delicious holiday feast with all the traditional fixins’!

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Baby It’s Cold Outside…

Have you walked outside today? Well, I suggest if you haven’t you head back inside and grab a coat! Although the weather indicates its 62* in La Jolla, that 4 mph wind chill will definitely have you thinking you’re on the East Coast.

When the weather turns so quickly from the 70* temperatures we felt yesterday, it makes me want to head inside and curl up under a blanket.  Anyone else feel this way?  It takes everything inside me to stick to my workout plan and stay active. One thing that truly helps is having an exercise partner. My trainer, aka husband, is an excellent motivator that gets me moving the moment I walk into our house to make sure I don’t get stuck in an anti-exercise rut.

Having lived in Chicago, we are pro on dominating the indoor exercises that can burn a ton of energy in a short period of time.  A few of the go-to activities we incorporate on those chilly San Diego days include:

·         Jillian Michaels Cardio Blast

o   It may sound a little corky but I tell you, she’ll make you use all of your body weight to burn fat and kick start your metabolism!

·         W.O.D. from

o   This is not your mama’s workout! These intense bouts of callisthenic exercises will increase your heart rate and make you wish you had a pile of snow to jump into!

·         Yoga

o   Whether you have a favorite DVD or You-Tube video you like to watch, a nice Yoga session can not only torch a ton of calories but also leave you with a sense of peace heading into the weekend.

Still not motivated? Not to worry, sometimes your body just needs a day off. I suggest heading over to Roots on Muir then to pick up a bowl of the Hot Kettle Chili to warm up and fill you with a great source of fiber and protein! Mindless munching… I think not! 

Remember, Roots is open until 8pm tonight ( and each dining location has a choice of two soups on a daily basis! Check out the soup of the day at the restaurants closest to you using the menu website ( or UCSD dining mobile app!

How do you stay active when the weather wrecks your plans? I would love to hear from you!

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Guest Post - Who to Trust When It Comes to Nutrition

Happy Tuesday Ladies & Gentlemen!

I wanted to wait another week to announce the winner for the Healthy Holiday motto contest. So, for those of you still thinking, your deadline has been extended! Continue to brainstorm and shoot your suggestions to me via email or a comment on the post below. 

I would like to feature today a blurb written by Shelayne Werfel, a UC San Diego Dietetic Intern. Stay tuned for other healthy holiday tips coming this Friday!

The Importance of Skepticism and Scientific Literacy

These days, almost everyone has something to say about nutrition, and most people aren’t qualified to say anything.  Remember that nutrition is a science: not an opinion, not a celebrity fad, not an ancient Chinese tradition, but a field founded on research which is often difficult to interpret without a specialized educational background. 
Just like you wouldn’t want someone without an MD to perform surgery, you don’t want someone with no background in nutrition to tell you what to eat.  The trusted credential in the nutrition world is the RD (registered dietitian credential).  This requires a bachelor’s degree from an approved nutrition curriculum, a minimum of 1200 hrs. supervised practice, RD exam completion, and  continuing education units to ensure that your knowledge reflects the latest scientific advances. 
Some dietitians use the acronym RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist, but be wary of anyone who simply calls themselves a “nutritionist.”  This term does not represent any credential or education and is not regulated, so you can call your cat a nutritionist without fear of legal trouble. 
Be curious if someone tries to talk to you about nutrition or if you are seeking nutrition counseling, ask the person about their credentials.  Look up the credentials of the authors of diet books.  Even the most trusted credential is not a guarantee (every field has its quacks), but the more educated someone is, the less likely they are to be promoting pseudoscience.  To be a smart and safe consumer, always be a skeptic.

Great sources of nutrition information online include:  (Office of Dietary Supplements)  (National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine)  (diet book reviews by the Academy for Nutrition and Dietetics, the professional organization for registered dietitians) (official website for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans)

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Health & Wellness Week at Warren

Hello there! I can’t believe it’s already Friday! Has this week flown by to anyone else? Thank goodness for a three day weekend, right?!

Over the past week I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time with the Warren community and I have to say, you guys definitely have “All the Right Moves”.  As a Taste Bud team member, I am always trying to get the word out about healthy eating and wellness to the college communities. Luckily, a few of my phrases stuck with a group of the RA's I dined with this summer and they have invited me to their events to talk nutrition and distribute healthy food.

On Monday I was able to demonstrate healthy snack ideas that can be prepared in rooms with items I picked up at Earl’s. Some of the options included:

·         Banana Bites
             o   Whole Grain Bagel Thins/English Muffins with Almond Butter & Fresh Banana Slices

·         Greek Yogurt Parfaits
             o   Nonfat Greek Yogurt with ¼ cup granola & banana slices with a sprinkle of cinnamon

·         Sinfully Sweet Trail Mix
             o   Recipe found here on the Taste Bud Website:

Nutrition Note: Purchasing this item from the marketplaces not only is convenient, but will also save you money.  One ounce of the Sinless Sweet Snack Mix ($.76/oz) is less when compared to similar brands at Vons ($.80/oz) and Whole Foods ($1.25/oz).   ADDED BONUS... you can use your dining dollars and avoid the added sugars blends often put in premade varieties J

Students were amazed by the quick, healthy meals they could prepare with just a few ingredients picked up at the market right outside their bedroom window.  All of our markets across campus offer a variety of these simple items to prepare healthy snacks in your room.  Also, this was a great opportunity to chat about the other dining restaurants available on campus. Eyes were opened to the possibility of heading over to Muir to try the completely vegan menu at Roots. I am even meeting a group of them there today to check out the unique and delicious menu choices.  Interested as well, meet me there at noon!

Last night I was able to participate in the “All the Right Moves” program over at Warren plaza. The event was a great mix of promoting fitness and nutrition all in one.  Zumba, a high aerobic style of dance, was offered for an hour from 3-4pm, in which many members of the Warren community joined forces. After a heart pumping hour of cardio, students joined me over at the Taste Bud station to enjoy a cup of Vegetarian Chili and chat about the many offerings available to them to dine healthfully on campus. It truly was a great event.

Roots Vegan Chili Presentation
Interested in learning more about a particular topic or planning something for your community? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Let the Holiday Countdown Begin!

Now that Halloween has come and gone, retail stores and markets are in full force promoting the holiday season. Walk into any Target or Costco and there are aisles filled with chocolate Santas and snowmen cookies calling your name.  Isn’t it amazing how quickly the fall quarter flies by?!?  We are just weeks away from Thanksgiving and the rest of the holidays this time of year. 
Before we get too far into the season and the holiday baking begins in full force, it’s important to set goals for yourself to make sure your health does not take a back seat for the next two months. The other day I heard a colleague say she is pledging a “maintain don’t gain” campaign to promote balance and moderation this holiday season. I thought it would be really cool to kick off the holiday season on the Taste Buds blog with a similar motto.I would LOVE to hear from you on what YOU would like the motto to be this holiday season.Don’t wait til January to take a step in the right direction to a healthier you; send your suggestion now! You can comment here, send me an email at or post to our HDH Facebook page.
I look forward to hearing from you. I plan on posting the holiday motto a week from today, so let the brainstorming begin! The winner of the blog motto chosen will receive a special treat from the RD herself.
UPDATE! Here’s a follow up to the healthified pumpkin cookies. I ended up using two mini Baby Ruth candy bars and Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt pieces to top off a few of the cookies.  Even with those little goodies added, the cookies totaled in at only 70 calories and less than 2 grams of fat per serving. My neighbors were shocked and I went home with an empty plate. Not a bad way to kick off the holiday season!!!

Healthified Pumpkin Cookies
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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Can you believe it?! It’s already October 31st, a solid six weeks into fall quarter. Have any big plans to celebrate Halloween tonight?

Whether you are headed out to costume party or decide to hang low and snuggle inside, I have a few suggestions to relish in the fall spirit.   

Parties are a great way to socialize and celebrate the Halloween festivities with friends however can derail your diet in minutes after a trip through the buffet line. A Snickers here, a handful of Reeces there, and BAM… you have consumed more saturated fat in five minutes than you did the entire day.
Rather than mindlessly munch, prepare yourself for the party by bringing your own culinary creation. I am headed to a neighborhood party tonight but now I will be tight on time. A quick Google search sparked my memory of a box of pumpkin cake mix I purchased last week. I am a huge fan of the Funfetti Cake Cookies, and thus will be attempting a healthified Pumpkin version tonight, using 2 egg whites mixed with 4 oz. of unsweetened applesauce with a little drizzle of dark chocolate (or 2 miniature crushed candies of your choice) to top them off! Stay tuned for the final product… Nutrition Note: 1 box will yield 30 cookies, each less than 130 calories J

If you prefer to stay in, no worries; I usually do tooJ. With the chilly weather and early sunset, why not plan a delicious pancake breakfast for dinner?  I came across this Sweet Potato Pancake recipe a few months back and absolutely fell in love with it ( After a few modifications, it is now my go to creation when I am craving a sweet for my main meal.
Sweet potatoes are not only an excellent source of vitamin A and C, but they also pack a ton of fiber! Top pancakes with peanut butter (I like PB2-85% less calories than regular peanut butter), sliced bananas and a drizzle a.k.a. large dollop of maple syrup!  Don’t forget to pair with a glass of milk to get your dairy in! Pancakes doctored up like these are a great way to meet the 4-5 food groups recommended per meal. 

-1 small baked, mashed sweet potato (skin off)
-1 egg white
-1 tsp. cinnamon
-1/2 tsp. baking powder
-1/2 cup flour of choice (I used whole wheat)
-1/4 cup sugar sweetener of choice (I used Splenda)
-1/4 cup of milk of choice (I used unsweetened almond milk)

Preparation: Using a hand mixer, beat sweet potato with egg white and milk. Gradually add in dry ingredients (you could use a separate bowl & mix first like the traditional method, however I have not found much difference in mixing all together at one. Plus, it’s one less bowl to wash J)


All of these ingredients are available at your neighborhood market! PB2 is coming soon as well J Stay tuned!

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Halloween Week Begins!

How to Have a Happy Healthy Halloween

At Halloween, we are annually bombarded with ooey-gooey delicious treats. Whether you opt for a bag of miniature candies, the Tombstone Cookies (aka crushed Oreos with a Milano sticking out the top) that are oh so popular with the little ones (heck, adults too!), or the sweet-n-salty Candy Corn Chex Mix, the caloric content of these tasty treats can cause you to consume upwards of 500 calories in one sitting. How is this possible? Well, think about it. Who can really have just ONE serving?

As a dietitian, I too struggle with balancing portion size and moderation when it comes to the sweets, so you are NOT alone! However, there are some tactics I use to help make sure I don’t go overboard and lose all control as the holiday season begins to get fully underway.

·         Recipe redo. Being an obsessive pinterest-er, I typically create numerous boards around the holiday season. I pick out my top favorite recipes & prepare them with simple swaps to make a “healthier alternative”.  I suggest replacing butter or oil in recipes with pureed pumpkin or applesauce. This lowers the saturated fat of your recipes AND increases the fiber! Try making the cake recipe into muffin tins so you can freeze half for a later date J.

·         Plan ahead. If I know I am going to a party where there will be an abundance of goodies, I take a quick walk through to see what is available. I put my eye on two or three of the “must try” treats and forego the ones I can get anytime. Does this work every time? No, I’m human! But, it helps me stay on track so I don’t feel like going home and crashing in a ball because of my self-induced sugar coma J.

·         Mindfully munch.  As hard as it can be to control yourself and not rip into the bag of Snickers on your way home from class, resist! Wait until you are somewhere where you can truly enjoy each bite. Allow yourself the ability to tackle your sweet of choice one bite at a time, engaging in a “mindful munch.”

·         Pick & pair. Craving the Death by Chocolate Cake that your roommate made? Dig in (with an appropriate 2x2 slice); just make sure to pair that with a glass of milk. The protein from the milk will assist with the spike in your blood sugar that occurs after eating a simple carbohydrate based snack.

For something sweet to make, check out Earl’s market on Warren to pick up some delicious apples and caramel sauce. Cut your apple into slices, drizzle with a light caramel, then top with chopped candy (I like Snickers) & voilĂ … Candy Apple Nachos (courtesy of butterwithasideofbread)!


~ Candy Apple Nachos ~

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!


Friday, October 25, 2013

Final Stop: Revelle College

The last stop on our Campus Eats! Tour is Revelle, the first college within the UC San Diego college system. Adjacent to the La Jolla Playhouse and a short walk from La Jolla Shores, Revelle College is packed with fantastic views, ocean breezes, and unique eats!

Who knew HDH bought a food truck to feed our forces at this end of the campus?!  “INCREDI-BOWLS” serves up a variety of cuisines (mac & cheese, taters, & breakfast bowls) in [drum roll please]…an incredible bowl! For a hearty breakfast to carry you through the afternoon, try the Chicken n Tots or Gator Bowls. Spice up your afternoon lunch break as you breeze through the Plaza with a Sesame Sensation or Tae Kwon Bowl. Our handy mobile app shows which Incredi-bowl is being served:


For fare that’s a bit lighter, Roger’s is nearby and stocked with lots of Market-to-Go items from the cooler. Craving a sweet? Try the tasty new Chocolate Coconut Yogurt Parfait. The Protein Plate is a great choice if you prefer something salty, packed with Babybel cheese, whole wheat crackers, almond butter, a hard-boiled egg, sliced apples, and grapes.


Just a short walk east of Revelle towards the Medical Center lies Club Med, which offers grab ‘n’ go or made-to-order options that include pastries, salads, sandwiches, flatbread pizzas, soups, and desserts.  Jon and his team are open for breakfast & lunch, and they recommend you try out some of their new menu offerings like the Chicken Banh Mi or Roasted Veggie Turbo.  Grab your sandwich and head outside to dine on the patio while catching a few rays of San Diego sunshine.

Seasonal Flatbread Pizza

Although our Campus Eats! Tour has come to an end, I still have plenty of fun tips and insider info to come. Stay tuned for the upcoming series on (recipe) Treats & Tweaks that you can make for your Halloween festivities. They’re delicious AND nutritious!

Interested in learning more about a particular topic? Feel free to email me at or follow HDH on twitter & check Facebook for upcoming events featuring the Taste Buds!