Welcome Home!

For those of you who have not noticed the change in my employment on TravelingRD, Facebook and LinkedIn, I was recently accepted to the University of North Texas Health Science Center to work towards my Doctorate in Public Health degree and totally changed my life to attend. Having traveled for work the past 10 years, I am now Fort Worth based again and really enjoying getting reacquainted. In addition, I am doing work for NutriWorks CNC, a sports nutrition company owned by Eve Pearson, MBA, RD, CSSD.

Since I am accustomed to eating out frequently from my travels and enjoy doing so, I will now be discovering many new and exciting places here in my own hometown. The whole downtown and west 7th street area have virtually exploded with appealing retail, living and dining options. My mom says I was living in every other city in the country. Well, I am glad to be home!

She came to visit the other day, so we ventured out to investigate one of the many new options for dining. My mom eats gluten-free so, we did some investigating and found Terra, a Mediterranean restaurant that serves a lunch buffet that turned out to be most enjoyable. True to the Mediterranean lifestyle, there are many appealing options with inclusion of ample fruits, vegetables, legumes and grains prepared with a delectable blend of seasoning and spices. The service is speedy and efficient yet the atmosphere is pleasant and relaxing for those dining in a hurry to get back to work or people with more leisure dining time.

Mom sampled a variety of interesting options…check out her blog post on The Gluten Free Edge to read about her gluten-free experience.

I devoured Kabob-style chicken, potato cubes, Zattar Bread, Caesar salad and Lebni, a thick yogurt based sauce made with olive oil and mint, that is both tart and savory at the same time as well as packed full of nutrients. Staying true to MyPlate dining options, I had my protein, veges, dairy and grains while choosing a cup of fresh fruit for dessert rounded out my selections.

I look forward to exploring more of the new venues and some old haunts back home in Fort Worth. I will be blogging about the new people I meet, events I attend both sporting and school-based and will continue to blog about nutrition. My blog will now include more sports based advice in looking at dining out to eat well and eat healthy by selecting nutrient-rich foods that nourish and fuel your body while pleasing your palate. Enjoy!

As American as Ice Cream

July is National Ice Cream month. Last year, I shared that as a young child, my first words were, “Here comes daddy with the ice cream cones”. Probably not that plainly, but importantly, those were my first words. Still today, there is nothing like the creamy, cold sensation and rich taste of ice cream on the tongue and the feel as it gently slips through your mouth and down your throat and settles quite happily into the stomach. With all of the flavors and varieties available today, I cannot imagine that there is one person in this country who does not love ice cream.

Although my favorite still happens to be Peanut Butter Cup smothered in hot chocolate and my younger daughter continues to prefer Homemade Vanilla straight from the carton, we have managed to branch out some this year to Birthday Cake, Cinnamon and Bing-Cherry Vanilla.

My older daughter prefers frozen yogurt from one of the new gourmet shops popping up all over the country covered with a bizarre combination of toppings. While I know this is not technically ice cream, frozen yogurt is still a rich, creamy frozen dessert made from wholesome dairy ingredients.

America’s dairy farmers work hard every day of the year to provide the American public with these dairy delights. Without our dairy farmers, not only would we would not be able to enjoy that scoop snuggled up next to our birthday cake, frozen yogurt in our fruit smoothie or just a single scoop on a hot summer night, we would lack the many other dairy foods we, as Americans, have come to love and cherish as a part of our lives and traditions. It is this variety of dairy foods that help us to meet our dairy servings prescribed at each meal on the USDA’s MyPlate icon.

Since July is also our country’s birthday, it is the perfect time to enjoy Ice Cream as an All American dessert! As a registered dietitian, I know that the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics maintains that we should enjoy all foods in moderation. This recipe for Peach-Cinnamon Ice Cream from Southern Living is the perfect summer ending to any family’s cookout.

Luckily, we can all enjoy a little scoop of America on our cone or in our cup and savor the fruits of American dairy farmers’ labor every day if we want. So, open the freezer or head out to your local ice cream shop to celebrate our American heritage for National Ice Cream Month with a scoop of your favorite frozen dairy delight!