A little background about myself. My name is Kelli McGrane MS, RD. I have both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Nutrition from Boston University.

EDIT: 3:23 pm MST. Thank you all so much! I never expected to get so much feedback or interest. I apologize for any requests that I didn't get to. I'll try to come back to a few of these later tonight but for now need to sign off. I wish everyone well this weekend!

For several years I worked in both outpatient counseling and nutrition research before taking the leap to work for myself.

Currently, I run my own blog, as well as create content for several health-focused brands.

Many of us are trying to go grocery shopping less. And, even when we do go to the store, are finding limited options.

So, going into the weekend, I want to help you figure out what to make. Simply tell me the ingredients you have on hand, and I’ll give you some ideas.

Of course, feel free to ask me anything about nutrition and healthy eating in general.

Just please keep in mind that as I do not know your specific medical history, I cannot provide personalized nutrition prescriptions.

Proof: https://imgur.com/a/ToeuRhf

EDIT: If you want to see more of my tips and recipes, I share many of them on https://loseitblog.com/, Healthline, and https://www.thehealthytoast.com/

Comments: 1529 • Responses: 42  • Date: 

DoomsdayTheorist1884 karma

Pop tarts. I’ve only tried them toasted and straight out of the bag. Any way to spice these up for a romantic dinner night?

Dietitian_Kel2101 karma

Don't worry I got you. Get the nicest looking glasses you have, alternate layers of pop tarts, homemade creme fraiche, and fresh berries. Then, to really set the mood, dim the lights, light a few candles and you're golden.

Kayfith735 karma

What would you suggest to those that have a very low budget and simply want to make sure their bases are covered? For example I've been eating rice and lentils/beans for a while now, I'm staring to get sick of the flavour and I want to change it up but I'm not sure in which direction I should go.

Dietitian_Kel1185 karma

I'd start with going through your spice cabinet to see if you have any pre-mixed seasoning blends or spices that go well together to help add some flavor variety to your dishes.

Next, while frozen vegetables are a great option, personally I've noticed they can be hard to find and depending on where you live may or may not be a budget-friendly option. If you have inexpensive frozen vegetables, then buy a few bags of those. Otherwise, I'd check out fresh produce. Foods like broccoli, carrots, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and cabbage are all usually inexpensive yet packed with nutrition. Asparagus is also in season so should be less expensive right now.

In fact, I'd try switching up rice with regular potatoes or sweet potatoes for a wider variety of nutrients.

Same with fruits, fresh fruit is likely going to be cheaper than frozen and is super easy to freeze on your own if needed.

For proteins, if you're tired of always having beans and lentils, eggs are another one that pack a ton of nutrition into a small package.

And don't forget about seeds. If your store has a bulk-bin section, look for nuts or seeds that are on sale, or inexpensive. Adding just a tablespoon or two to meals or snacks can help boost calories and minerals, without needing a big volume of food.

I hope these help! Let me know if you have any other questions or more specific recipe ideas!

Kayfith140 karma

Thanks! I'll put it on my list and see if I can fit in in there. (I'm so sick of rice haha)
Though I'm not quite sure what I'm meant to do with cabbage, should I cook that?
Given the suggestions you offered, what would be the first dish you think I should make?
As for spices I've got italiano seasoning, salt, and my roommate left behind some garlic powder before leaving.

Dietitian_Kel178 karma

I'd do a stuffed sweet potato. Simply roast whole sweet potatoes and top it with black beans, salsa, and cheese. You could also do a sweet potato chili like this recipe https://loseitblog.com/2019/09/15/sweet-potato-chili/

For the cabbage, everyone else gave great ideas! I'll also pickle cabbage by shredding it, placing it in a jar with sugar, vinegar, water, and maybe some red pepper flakes. Let it ferment for a week and then use it as a topping for sandwiches or grain bowls. EDIT: sorry, yes add salt!

dem0n0cracy25 karma

What about if you want some healthy fats in your diet? What should we eat? r/StopEatingSeedOils

Dietitian_Kel32 karma

Already looks like people have given you great ideas, but some more I'd add in: Avocado oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and almonds (pretty much any nut or natural nut butter).
Edit: If you want more info on healthy fats, I wrote an article on it here: https://loseitblog.com/2018/11/21/embracing-healthy-fats-everything-you-need-to-know/

Raizzor13 karma

Fatty fish is the single best source of Omega-3. It does not really matter what kind of fish, but Salmon, Herring, Sardines, or Mackerel are probably the best sources.

When talking about omega-3 fatty acids, the primary acids your body needs are Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). Plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids mainly contain alpha-Linolenic acid (ALA) which is converted into DHA and EPA in your body. But modern studies show that this conversion is really inefficient (<5%) which is why those sources are not as viable.

In case anyone wants to buy pure Omega-3 or fish oil capsules, always check the label for the EPA and DHA content and do not trust a generic "omega-3 fatty acids" declaration. If the label does not break down how much of the product is EPA and DHA, the manufacturer wants to hide something.

Dietitian_Kel39 karma

Agreed that fatty fish is the top choice when it comes to omega-3's. But for those who are vegan, sea algae is another great source to look for (particularly if taking an omega 3-supplement).

FlowSoSlow467 karma

I've heard that canned or frozen vegetables can have more nutritional value than fresh. Something about the nutrients getting locked in while with fresh veggies they leach out over time. Is this true?

Dietitian_Kel1453 karma

That's a great question!

Generally speaking, fresh produce is usually picked before they fully ripen. Whereas frozen produce is usually picked and frozen at its peak. What this means is that fresh produce generally has less time to develop vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants compared to frozen.

Now, for vegetables, they're usually blanched before being frozen which does result in some losses of nutrients (especially vitamin C). But, as you mentioned, fresh produce does start to lose it's nutrients over time.

Still, most studies have not shown a clinically significant difference in nutrient levels between the two. Of course, this will depend on how fresh your "fresh" produce really is that you're buying. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25525668/

At the end of the day, it's just important that you're getting in fruits and vegetables. So I recommend that people choose whichever works best for their budget and lifestyle.

Gettafa386 karma

What do you think of the apps that claim to do this? I'm curious as to your educated views; my anecdotal evidence is that they're shite.

Dietitian_Kel328 karma

I think it depends on what you're using it for. If you just want some ideas, then they can be helpful to get you started. But as others have already mentioned, it's not going to take into account your personal preferences, dietary needs, lifestyle, etc.
EDIT: I'd also add that those apps are only as good as the recipes in them too. So while they can give you some great ideas, I still think it's good to have other blogs/sites/people to bounce recipe ideas off of.

INFECTEDWIFISIGNAL196 karma

Can I tell you that you're awesome for doing this?

Dietitian_Kel140 karma

Aw thank you! Happy to help!

Archer2408148 karma

Will switching from whole milk to something like 2 percent really make a significant difference in body weight?

Dietitian_Kel314 karma

It depends on how much milk you're drinking a day. Calorie-wise, 2% milk has about 30 less calories. So, if all you're doing is adding a little bit to your coffee or cereal in the morning, likely no. But if you're drinking a few glasses a day, then it can add up.

However, I'd also mention that whole milk may keep you feeling full for longer. If I were you, I'd use an app (I personally use LoseIt) and see if you notice a difference in overall intake or weight after 1 month of switching.

angeliqu14 karma

Follow up question, is the extra calories the only reason 3.25% milk (versus 2%) is recommended for children under 2?

Dietitian_Kel59 karma

If there are any pediatricians on here, please feel free to correct me. But from my understanding, whole milk is recommended for young children since many of them are picky eaters - and they don't eat the same volume of food as all of us -- milk is often a major source of nutrition for kids. So those extra calories can be helpful for the child's growth.

There are some observational studies that have linked whole milk consumption with a reduced risk of kids being deficient in vitamin D (which needs fat in order to be absorbed) as well as a lower BMI (for example: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/104/6/1657/4668588). However, these studies usually compare whole milk to skim milk, not 2%.

CatchingRays145 karma

I bought a big ham and have been eating off of it for about a week, but it's starting to turn gray. Any suggestions?

Dietitian_Kel313 karma

First of all for food safety, I'd remove any parts that have turned grey. Also, if the ham in any way doesn't smell good anymore, I'd unfortunately say you should toss it.

But, if there are still pieces that are salvageable, I'd quickly use them in a dish that you can freeze portions of in case you don't get to them.

If you have eggs, you can make really easy egg "muffins". Just whisk together 8 eggs, thrown in the diced ham, 1/4 cup of any milk or dairy free alternative, shredded cheese, salt, pepper, and 1/3 cup of shredded cheese if you have it. If you have any veggies you can throw in, even better! Grease a muffin pan and pour the mixture into each cup (should make about 12) Bake at 350 F for 18-22 minutes. You can freeze them if you want after they're baked so no need for them to go to waste.

snowblader1412141 karma

Hey Kelli, I have a little bit of a different request. I am a professor in a food science and nutrition department at a university in California (although my alma matter is up the road from you in Medford!). My background and research is in foodservice/ hospitality, but I have a lot of RD track dietetic students in my classes. The trouble in finding is that a lot of them really don’t like food all that much. In turn, they don’t really care about understanding the fundamentals of cooking. I really feel like we need more people like you who straddle the divide of understanding both nutrition and satisfying meals. How do I convince my students of this? Also we have some frozen pork chops and a few potatoes for which I need some recipe inspiration. Thanks!

Dietitian_Kel139 karma

That's a great question! It depends on what your students want to do with their nutrition careers. It could be helpful to have guest speakers from different areas of nutrition that can talk about about basic food science and culinary knowledge has helped them progress in their careers.

I've worked in inpatient, outpatient, and research and in all of them, knowing how to cook was essential. For inpatient, we were constantly doing recipe creation to make diet-specific meals tastier. After all, adequate nutrition is a key part of the healing process. In outpatient, well almost every client asks about how to cook and there are many jobs out there that want you to be able to do healthy teaching kitchens. And for research, if the participants don't like the study meals, they won't be compliant.

So maybe bringing people in could help. Another idea would be to have them come up with recipes that meet certain nutrition criteria. In one of my classes I remember we had to create one base cookie recipe and then adjust it to fit a variety of different conditions. So we had to find a way to make it low fat, lower in sugar, gluten-free, etc.

As for pork, I always love a good pork "fried" rice with frozen veggies and a whole grain. You could also do a simple mustard rub and bake the pork. Then serve with a German-style potato salad.

pathemar97 karma

I've got way too much canned tuna and not enough ideas. What do?

Edit: I also can't eat gluten :(

Dietitian_Kel205 karma

Great that you have tuna on hand, but it can be hard to come up with creative uses.Some ideas for you:-Stuff an avocado with it. You could toss the tuna with some lime, Greek yogurt, cilantro, paprika, and salt first.-Make tuna cakes (instead of crab cakes) and serve lettuce wraps. If you have old bay seasoning, mix some of that with Greek yogurt or sour cream for an easy topping. EDIT: Started to give you pasta ideas and then remembered you're gluten free! You could buy gluten-free pasta and make a pasta puttanesca

Cesst92 karma

I have all kinds of meats in my freezer and my pantry is fully stocked with spices, pasta etc but I have no veggies currently other than potatoes and zucchinis. what should I cook?

Dietitian_Kel224 karma

With the potatoes and zucchini you could make a simple hash. Add some oil to a pan (awesome if you have a cast-iron but not necessary), once hot add chopped potatoes, cook until they start to soften slightly then add chopped zucchini. Add some seasonings like salt, pepper, dried thyme or oregano, and paprika (smoked paprika would be really good). Cook until the veggies are lightly browned and softened. You can also add ground or sliced meat into the hash, crack some eggs on top, or serve it as a side dish.

Another option with the zucchini would be to make zucchini "fries" by coating zucchini wedges in whisked eggs, Italian seasoning, and bread crumbs. Bake at 425 F for 20-25 minutes.

I don't know if you like soups, but a chicken and potato soup would also be an easy and comforting option!

Krobst76 karma

I've got a good amount of celery left and I never know what to do with it that tastes good unless it is in a recipe. Do you have some standard go to flavours that go well, or just a great recipe I can fall back on? I like to cook, so the recipe may be challenging.

SpringCleanMyLife108 karma

Idk how you feel about this, but whenever I have leftover Celery I use it to make ants on a log for my afternoon snack.

Cut the Celery, spread peanut butter, toss some raisins on top. Sometimes I drizzle honey over it too.

Also no idea why my autocorrect capitalizes Celery.

Dietitian_Kel93 karma

Ants on a log are always a good option for any age ;) Dipping into hummus is another good option.

Dietitian_Kel108 karma

A simple use would be to make a salad with shaved celery, sliced apples, fresh parsley, some good quality EVOO, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.

If your spice cabinet is well-stocked, one of my favorite uses for celery is to use it in a tabouleh with za'atar seasoning. Boil bulgur (or any other chewy whole grain) along with the seasonings until cooked, but still chewy. Let the grain cool (ideally in the fridge). Mix in chopped nuts (like walnuts or pistachios), chopped celery, any fresh herbs you have (dill or parsley are best), red onions, lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Option to also stir in some Greek yogurt or sour cream or feta cheese.

blurble859 karma

Good morning, and thank you for posting!

I'm a not-very-good home cook, but can follow instructions on a box, even whip stuff together without directions and have it be generally passable as food.

I don't usually stock meat unless I find a deal, but I almost always have on hand a plethora of vegetables (Canned: diced/crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce/paste, corn, black beans, peas, green beans. Dry: rice, beans. Fresh: onions, garlic, potatoes) and basic dried spices (table/kosher salt, ground pepper, garlic/onion/chili powders, cumin, oregano, Italian mix). And I'm a vinegar-head, generally keep 4-5 kinds (balsamic, red wine, rice, white) around for cooking or light dressing.

Most of my 'whipped together' meals turn out to be a chili, or individual veggies with butter/salt/pepper, or what amounts to a spiced veggie hash.

Any recommendations for something a little more... *chef's kiss*?

Dietitian_Kel78 karma

Love all the veggies you have on hand! To give a simple oomph of flavor, try adding in ingredients that have an umami quality to them. Miso paste is one of my secrets for making sweet potatoes or winter squash taste over the top. Lightly toasting nuts or seeds in a pan or your oven is another great way to do this (and add some crunch)!

If you like vinegar, I'd also check out umeboshi plum vinegar - it's salty, sour, and sweet all at the same time.

Grain bowls are a great way to add a little more pizzaz as you can play around with cooking your grains in different types of stocks or adding seasonings during cooking. You can toss them with a simple vinaigrette, let them cool in the fridge, and end up with a delicious base for adding veggies or beans onto.

With those ingredients you have on hand, if you can get a hold of some fresh zucchini, I'd try making a ratatouille.

sephstorm40 karma

What can I do that is easy with lean ground beef? I also have various pastas.

Dietitian_Kel78 karma

To change things up from traditional Italian-style pasta dishes, you could do a noodle stir-fry. Cook any long noodles until they are al dente and set aside. In a pan, stir-fry your ground beef and any fresh or frozen veggies you may have on hand. You can make a simple sauce using soy sauce (ideally low-sodium), rice wine vinegar, a little honey or brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and red pepper flakes. Serve over the noodles.

If you have quinoa or rice, you could do a simple taco skillet. I created a vegetarian recipe here: https://loseitblog.com/2020/01/02/one-pan-quinoa-mexican-skillet/ but you could just brown the ground beef first and mix it in with everything.

GrimR3eaper9939 karma

I am a guy applying to become an RD next year! I didnt get in to grad school this year but im excited to try again! I live in Canada so things are a little different. My question is, what would you recommend for a someone going into the grad school?

Dietitian_Kel36 karma

That's awesome you're looking to become an RD!

My main recommendation would be to start thinking about what area of dietetics are you most interested in. Reach out to RDs (right now that's likely over email or the phone than in person) and get a feel for what different jobs look like.

I say this as going in I had no idea what specifically I wanted to do in the field. And now looking back, there were aspects of each class where I wish I had asked more questions or gotten to know one of the professors better. Plus, depending on your grad program, we had so many different projects that were based on the area of nutrition you wanted to go into.

I'd also start getting an idea of foods that other people eat. It sounds funny, but once you start counseling it's important to get a feel for different dishes and ingredient combinations that people like.

Finally, if you want to do anything like recipe creation or private practice, I'd get a blog or professional site up and running now. Hope this helps!

airhoodz37 karma

My live in significant other has celiacs. Normally we eat lunch and breakfast separately, but staying home were finding it tough to find lunch foods we both like that are gluten free.

I’m not a salad fan, so normally I’m a sandwich person, but she can’t eat the breads and often most of the loaf goes to waste. We were doing lunch meat with cheese wraps but that gets old fast.

Any suggestions on easy/cheap gluten free lunches? Something easily prepped would be great.

Dietitian_Kel80 karma

Absolutely! Grain bowls are my go-to for easy lunches as you can make a big batch of ingredients for the week. You could do brown rice or quinoa, raw or roasted veggies, chickpeas (really good if you roast them) or meat, and then change up the sauce. Peanut sauce, a homemade teriyaki using gluten-free soy sauce, or salads are all good!

Another idea would be to make zucchini or sweet potato noodles for hot or cold pasta dishes.

And similar to the wrap idea, collard greens make for great wraps!

Hope these help!

Dietitian_Kel38 karma

One other idea for the extra bread, you could make a breakfast strata, where you cube up the bread, pour whisked eggs, a little milk, seasonings, and veggies (if you have them), bake and then freeze individual slices for later.

armagin23 karma

Ok, challenge time. I'm a retired chef and I've been stumped on this one:

I have an abundance of ricotta and cabbage in my fridge. What do?

I have most other basics lying around the house, and I could look something up, but this is more fun.

Dietitian_Kel39 karma

My first thought would be to make lasagna-style rolls but with cabbage instead. So make your ricotta filling, wrap it in cabbage and place in a pan with marinara sauce.

I also like the idea of trying to make it a little more lemony. So you could do the same as above but do a lighter lemon cream sauce instead and then sprinkle over some toasted pine nuts or almonds.

Swiftysmoon21 karma

I may be a bit late, but I have a disease that makes it difficult for me to swallow food, and a pantry full of stuff I don't know what to do with.

(I have lentils, kidney and black beans, chickpeas, frozen peas, i have an eggplant. Sun dried tomatoes, tuna, rice, sweet potatoes, red potatoes, lemon, carrots, spinach, oats, coconut milk, tomato paste and quinoa. I have basically every spice you can think of.) The most important thing is that everything is easy to swallow.

I've been making a lot of hummus, mashed potatoes, apple sauce, mushy peas, and soups, but I need ideas to vary this because I'm living off of ice cream and apathy at this point. I'm struggling to figure out how to balance my diet. Is there any way you can help?

Dietitian_Kel32 karma

If you don't already, I'd invest in an immersion blender (hand-held) so that it's easy to puree any soups that you make without having to ladle them into a blender. This way you could make a variety of soups like broccoli and cheese, or potato chowder.

Curries could also be a good idea. Again, I'd blend everything, but the flavors would be a welcome change.

Baked egg dishes could also be good for you as they're nice and soft, but not "another" soup. Just make sure that any vegetables you put in are either blended with the eggs first.

Do you like cottage cheese? With a little pepper and salt it's a good snack that's high in protein.

Tyuikou20 karma

I have sausages, pork, peppers, tomatoes, onions, parsley, eggs and chicken. I also have rice, noodles, and cornmeal. M kinda tired of basic stews. What should I cook?

Dietitian_Kel41 karma

With those ingredients, the first ideas that come to mind are gumbo and tamale casserole.

Riodancer19 karma

I'm gluten-free and have 3 small tubs of Thai basil pesto. What dishes can I make with it? Everytime I search for recipes I get how to make the pesto, which is not what I need.

Dietitian_Kel31 karma

I'd try a cold gluten-free noodle bowl (soba noodles would be really good I think), with sliced chicken breast or browned tofu, some shredded carrots, and steamed broccoli. Before adding the pesto, I'd toss the noodles and veggies in rice vinegar, a little soy sauce, ginger, and garlic.

Roast carrots and then serve it on top. Or really, any roasted vegetable would be good with this over it!

You could also add it to a simple stir-fry.

As already mentioned, it would be an awesome marinade for chicken, fish, or tofu.

still_kickin17 karma

I've been putting on weight as I'm snacking way too much and stress eating. I live life in a wheelchair and can't exercise which exacerbates my situation.

I know it's not the kind of help you offered, but do you have any suggestions to help?

Thanks a ton.

Dietitian_Kel26 karma

That's such a good question and one that I'm sure you're not alone in.

While trying to keep healthier foods in the house, like apples, veggies, air-popped popcorn and so on can help make stress eating choices healthier ones, the key is getting to the root of the issue which is your stress.

Are there activities that help relieve stress? For example, do you like to read? play an instrument? draw? or paint? Or have you tried mediation apps to help find some zen? Finding an outlet to put that stress somewhere else is extremely helpful right now.

Another option is making tea whenever you feel stressed. Green teas and herbal teas in particular can help give you flavor while also helping you to relax.

I didn't personally write it, but a dietitian who's expertise is in mental health wrote a really good article about dealing with stress and anxiety that you can check out https://loseitblog.com/2020/04/09/how-to-manage-food-anxiety-and-stress-when-youre-stuck-in-the-house/

HairyCracc15 karma

What’s the best to wat more / less of for someone who wants to lose a few pounds, is already watching his food intake but doesn’t want to go all the way to ‘counting calories’ ? ‘Asking for a friend..’

Dietitian_Kel41 karma

If your friend doesn't want to count calories, my top tips are always: eat more fruits, veggies, and lean proteins, and reduce the amount of sweets and caloric beverages. I'd also make sure that you're getting some form of protein at every meal and snack. Foods like Greek yogurt, beans, lentils, chicken, turkey, bison, cheese (just watch portions) are all examples.

I'd also say that even if they don't want to count calories, using an app out there (like LoseIt for example) can still be helpful just for noticing trends in what you're eating and changes in weight. This way you can make adjustments based on data.

vdnhnguyen14 karma

Does working about food all time make you feel hungry more?

Jokes aside, what should I do with a lot of dried seaweed? I've make enough miso soup that I want to look for something else :)

Dietitian_Kel18 karma

Actually, I just had to go grab a slice of banana bread that I'd made because it is making me quite hungry answering these questions :)

I'd make homemade poke bowls. Start by making cooking rice (awesome if you have sushi rice, but any type will work). While the rice is cooking, heat 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, a dash of sugar and and salt in a pan until sugar has dissolved then pour it over your rice.
Top the rice with chickpeas, avocado, any fresh veggies you have, and crush dried seaweed over the top along with sesame seeds if you have them. I also like to lighty toast my dried seaweed before adding it.

ejmreadit13 karma

I have young kids. I have NO time to think about me. I HAVE to eat packaged snacks or I end up eating nothing at all. Hanger is a serious issue for me- not just mood, but ability to focus too (sometimes a risk, like when I try to drive while hungry). Any suggestions?

Dietitian_Kel25 karma

Sure! Some easy things to keep on hand that are packaged:

  • Greek yogurt
  • String cheese or baby bell wedges
  • Hummus (I'll buy a big tub then portion it out into mason jars, then add some celery and carrot sticks.)
  • Healthy protein bars (I like LARA Bar's protein bar line as well as Square Organics)
  • Bob's Red Mill oatmeal cups (or make your own overnight oats - Trader Joes also has pre-made overnight oats)
  • Individual-sized peanut butter packets, squeeze it onto bites of an apple or banana
  • Steamed edamame
  • Mix popcorn with nuts and dried fruits for a DIY trailmix that isn't too calorie-heavy

Tess479 karma

Hi- I have a thought and I am just a regular at home cook. I was thinking about doing twice backed sweet potatoes. The kicker is I have this feeling that I want to put bananas in the mix with the scooped out sweet potato. Then top with a cheese? and nuts?

Does this already exist? If not, what do you think?

Dietitian_Kel17 karma

I've seen bananas in sweet potato casseroles before, so I don't see why it wouldn't work. Nuts would be good. Cheese though, I'm not so sure about. I'd make the potatoes, taste, and then decide on whether or not cheese would be good. I think spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and/or cardamom could be good additions.

saucymuffin9 karma

How do I make bomb taqueria-style salsas for tacos? What’s the secret?!

Dietitian_Kel21 karma

I can't say this is my area of expertise, but from making salsa at home this is my go-to formula: Roasted tomatoes + roasted garlic + roasted tomatillos (if you can find them) + roasted chili pepper (I use Serrano peppers). Once everything is roasted, puree in your blender.

celebral_x8 karma

I just wanted to say thank you for taking your time!
Also, is popcorn healthier than potato chips? Since I fell for a lot of "alternatives which should've been healthier but weren't"-tips, I simply want to ask. :D

Dietitian_Kel10 karma

Generally yes, it all depends on the ingredients you add to the popcorn. If popping it yourself, I'd stick with a drizzle of olive oil, sea salt and some fresh or dried herbs. Nutritional yeast is also really good on air-popped popcorn. If buying at the store, look for brands that have minimal ingredients.

bitofapervert8 karma

Slightly off topic but do you know much about diets based around blood type? Is there any credibility too it?

Dietitian_Kel28 karma

From what I've seen, there's overall very little research on the blood type diet, and the research that does exist has not found it to be credible.

pieperson527 karma

I need to start making lunches to bring to work that I can prep and keep in the fridge all week. What something thats relatively cheap but also keeps well throughout the week? Normally i do barbeque chicken and rice, but I havent branched out from there yet.

Dietitian_Kel10 karma

If you like BBQ chicken and rice, a next good option would be an enchilada casserole (basically enchiladas, but instead of rolling up each individual one, you'll layer the tortillas and filling like you would a lasagna. I have a recipe here: https://loseitblog.com/2020/04/06/stacked-veggie-enchiladas/

Teriyaki rice bowls would also be good or burrito bowls. Cold pasta salads are one of my favorites as the weather starts to get warmer. I'll buy spinach tortellini, cook it until al dente, then toss it with a homemade Italian dressing, white beans, fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers. It stays good for at least 4-5 days.

infinitelyelastic6 karma

I’m a big fan of canned tuna and anchovies, and i can do some good recipes with them. However, when i bought canned sardines and mackerel, i somehow felt stuck with them. They are canned with olive oil, and of good quality. Any suggestions? Don’t have restrictions, so go wild! Thank you for this ama!!

Dietitian_Kel13 karma

For the mackerel, you could do a Niçoise Salad:
Add canned mackerel, boiled fingerling potatoes, hard boiled eggs and boiled or steamed fresh green beans on top of lettuce Top with a simple dressing: dijon mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and salt.

You could also make mini fish cakes by mixing sardines with plain yogurt, an egg, bread crumbs, old bay seasoning, and fresh thyme.

I've also seen recipes for beer battered sardines if you want something a little more summery and out of the box. You could fry them traditionally or make it healthier using an air fryer if you have one.

Heathen-candy5 karma

We've got a side of salmon and I'm not 100% sure what recipes to do with it.

We're relatively well stocked with pasta/rice, I've got cous cous but not sure that would go?

My spice cupboard is quite varied with what I'd consider basic spices, I've got soy sauce, fish sauce, mirin, rice wine vinegar etc.

I've got garlic but no fresh ginger

Dietitian_Kel10 karma

Sounds like all the ingredients for a really good Thai-flavored salmon dish. I'd make a marinade with 1-2 tablespoons soy sauce, 1/2 cup rice vinegar, 1-2 tablespoons fish sauce, some garlic, few tablespoons brown sugar or honey. Place salmon in foil (make the foil like a bowl, pour in the sauce, seal the foil, then bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes. It'd be great over rice.

If you want to use couscous, I'd do a more mediterranean style salmon with dried herbs, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.

AnupPar5 karma

I start my work at 6 AM and have a very light breakfast like an apple or some almonds. I want to loose weight. What would you suggest a good breakfast would be and time for it?

Dietitian_Kel9 karma

If you're looking to lose weight, my top recommendation is to make sure you're getting protein at breakfast. Ideally you want around 20 grams in the morning (of course depending on your individual needs you may need more or just slightly less). And ideally you'll want to eat within 2 hours. I wrote an article about why protein is important for a client here: https://loseitblog.com/2019/08/25/power-of-protein-at-breakfast/

Also, on my own blog, these protein bars are my go-to recipe for a high protein, easy breakfast option. (https://www.thehealthytoast.com/healthy-homemade-peanut-butter-cookie-dough-protein-bars/)

I also love overnight oats as you can make a big batch on Sunday and grab and go the rest of the day. Another easy option would be to make egg muffins and pair with a piece of fruit.

CommunismDoesntWork2 karma

If all I care about is brain health, what should i eat everyday? What shouldn't I eat?

I read recently that spicy foods might cause dementia in the long run based on a study done on East Asians. If I eat spicy salsa as a low calorie snack everyday will it make me dumber?

Dietitian_Kel9 karma

I'd recommend looking up the MIND diet. Essentially, it's a diet that's developed by neuroscientists that has aspects of the Mediterranean diet, but with a focus on ingredients that have been linked with brain health.

In summary, foods to try to eat on a daily basis include leafy greens, berries, nuts, olive oil, and legumes (like lentils and beans). They also recommend eating fatty fish (like salmon) twice a week.

I have not seen studies that suggest spicy foods could cause dementia and I would be highly skeptical of the study. Feel free to link to it if you want me to take a look, but in general many spices have actually been found to have anti-inflammatory effects that may be beneficial for brain health.

I'll also end with there's no one food that will cause dementia. We still have a lot that we don't know, but like nearly every other health issue, it's likely a mix of genetics and a bunch of lifestyle factors (think diet, stress, exercise, and smoking) that all contribute.

ImTheGodOfAdvice2 karma

Should I get waffles or pancakes? :(

Dietitian_Kel8 karma

Tough one. Waffles can be made into sandwiches and go great with chicken. So more of a meal. But I've always been more of a pancake person myself ;)

Clean_Livlng1 karma

Cheese, butter, flour, bananas, rolled oats, peanut butter, avocados.

What interesting things can I do with these?

Dietitian_Kel3 karma

Those ingredients have breakfast and snacks written all over them (and are some of my favorites).

I'd mash the bananas with peanut butter and oats. Add a little honey and some chocolate chips. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

You could also make a smoothie. I'd first slice and freeze the bananas then throw the frozen bananas in a blender along with some oats, peanut butter, 1/4 or 1/2 an avocado, some milk, and spinach if you have it.

MadHawkxx1 karma

I am skinny fat, and have fat on sides and bottom of tummy which never goes away. I am a vegitarian not a vegan, what would you suggest me to eat. It's pretty hard to look at each items nutrition value and it gets confusing with what they mean with one "cup" of this when they can give exact measurements like 50gms and so on. What should I eat, if I don't exercise much?

Dietitian_Kel5 karma

I'd start by writing down what you eat in a week and looking for patterns. Are you eating a lot of beans, lentils, whole grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables? Or are you eating more refined carby, snack-type foods? Also take a look at your beverage intake - if there are any sugary beverages I'd start with reducing those.

Next, I'd try to make sure that you're getting a good amount of protein in. Whether it's tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils, yogurt, or eggs, aim to have a source of protein in every meal or snack.

Finally, I know you say you don't exercise "much" but are there exercises you do sometimes? Or would be willing to do? Even body weight exercises at home or buying a few kettlebells could help with building muscle - which is important for overall health, not just for looks reasons.

And finally, think about regularly recording what you eat. I like using apps that help me look at my macronutrients (protein, fat, carbs) as it's a better indicator of my diet than just calories. Hope this helps!