Sure, much of my work is with weight loss, though here’s the kicker, I actually de-emphasize the scale. More importantly, it’s the lifestyle and behavioral changes that ultimately will provide my clients with the abundant energy and life of their dreams. The phrase the no diet diet came to my mind. (Darn, it’s already taken.)
Diets have been around for centuries. Why do people diet? If dieting worked, wouldn’t everyone that went on one be skinny? Of course! In reality it’s quite the contrary. Continue reading
I moved down to Texas quite a number of years ago and when I had my first New Year’s was served black-eyed peas. It turns out it’s a Southern tradition—supposedly black-eyed peas bring luck and prosperity.
Apparently, the tradition started with the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah. But if you are in the South on New Year’s Day or even New Year’s Eve after the strike of midnight you might be served black-eyed peas. Continue reading
One of the easiest ways to decrease sodium in the diet is cooking at home. People often think it’s difficult to do so and takes up too much time. Not so! In this third video recognizing High Blood Pressure Education Month, registered dietitian nutritionist, Cindy Kleckner demonstrates Penne Pasta with Zucchini Yogurt Sauce & Walnuts. It’s a perfect recipe that combines essentials of heart healthy cooking with 100% whole wheat pasta, low fat Greek yogurt, veggies and walnuts, an excellent source of plant-based omega 3s. (Recipe follows video)
Penne Pasta with Zucchini Yogurt Sauce and Walnuts
1 pound zucchini (about 3-4 medium zucchini)
2 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup plan Greek yogurt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound whole-wheat penne pasta
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted
2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
- Cut the zucchini into thick slices and place them in a saucepan with a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover the saucepan and steam for 5 minutes.
- Pulse the zucchini in a blender or food processor for 30-60 seconds with the garlic, olive oil, yogurt and pepper.
- Cook the pasta al dente as directed on the package, usually 8-10 minutes.
- Mix the pasta with the sauce from the blender and top with the walnuts and cheese.
Yield: 5 servings
Each serving: 215 calories 9g protein 9g fat 2g sat fat 50mg sodium 1g dietary fiber
In the US today about 68 million people are living with high blood pressure (hypertension). It’s a serious condition that can lead to coronary heart disease, kidney failure, heart failure, stroke and other health problems.
Two leading deaths related to high blood pressure include heart disease and stroke. The good news? There are lifestyle changes that can help including the DASH Diet (Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension) and low sodium cooking.
In this video, culinary expert and registered dietitian nutritionist Cindy Kleckner demonstrates another simple recipe from her book co-authored with Rosanne Rust – Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies. Recipe follows the video.
Chicken Kabobs with Tzatziki Sauce
3 cups plain Greek yogurt, divided
3 garlic cloves, 1 minced and 2 crushed
3 Tbsp lemon juice, divided
1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp fresh dill, chopped
½ tsp oregano
1 tsp tarragon
1 tsp parsley
Freshly ground pepper
4 large chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
Lemon wedges for garnish
- For the tzatziki sauce, combine 1½ cups yogurt, the minced garlic, 1½ tbsp. lemon juice, 1 tbsp of the dill and the cucumber. Mix well, cover, and refrigerate for a few hours to develop flavors.
- For the marinade, combine the remaining 1½ cups yogurt, the crushed garlic, 1½ tbsp. lemon juice, the remaining 1 tsp dill and the oregano, tarragon, parsley, and pepper in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Cut the chicken into 2-inch cubes. Reserve ½ cup marinade. Toss the chicken with the remaining marinade in a shallow glass baking dish, cover and refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium-high. Brush the hot grill with oil to prevent the chicken from sticking. Thread the chicken onto skewers and grill for 8-10 minute. Turn and baste with the reserved marinade during grilling until the chicken is browned and thoroughly cooked. Do not overcook.
- Serve with tzatziki sauce and the lemon wedges.
Yield: 4 servings
Each serving: 245 calories 42g protein 3g fat 1g sat fat 130mg sodium 1g dietary fiber
Source: Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies, December 2012, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
- Super Simple Low Sodium Cooking with Culinary Expert Cindy Kleckner (neilyonnutrition.wordpress.com)
Beans for low sodium cooking with Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Cindy Kleckner
Cindy Kleckner, registered dietitian and co-author with Rosanne Rust of the Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies and I were talking about some of the benefits of these little powerhouses of nutrition.
This is an adaptation of our discussion at the Cooper Nutrition & Health Expo in March during National Nutrition Month. (To see the video go to “In honor of Meatless Mondays, the benefits of beans.”) Continue reading
16oz whole wheat rigatoni, dry
Leftover from rotisserie chicken (3/4c white, 1/4c dk meat)*
2oz sugar snap peas
3/4 red onion
40 cherry or grape tomatoes
1c chopped carrots
1/3 c Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette
2T balsamic vinegar
Cook pasta. Mix all ingredients. Chill before serving.
*Can leave out for vegan dish or substitute shrimp.
Nutrition information per serving:
Video: Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Cindy Kleckner talks about the benefits of beans!
I’ve long been a fan of beans. Not much of a meat eater so it’s a great way for me to get my protein. I had the pleasure of chatting with Cooper Clinic registered dietitian Cindy Kleckner at the annual Cooper Nutrition Expo during National Nutrition Month about the benefits of beans. Cindy is co-author along with Rosanne Rust, MS, RD, LDN Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies. It’s loaded with information and features 150 of Cindy’s sodium-friendly recipes. Here is one of my favorites using beans. I love hot artichoke dips but usually they’re loaded with lots of cheese making for a rather unhealthy, high calorie appetizer. Not Cindy’s version!
Hot Artichoke Bean Dip
(page 181, Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies)
- 1.5 cups reduced-fat sour cream
- 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- two 14-oz cans artichoke hearts, well rinsed and drained or four 4-oz jars of marinated artichoke hearts
- one 15.5oz can Great Northern beans, well rinsed and drained
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese, reserving 1 tablespoon for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, divided
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- nonstick cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, 1 can (or 2 jars) of artichoke hearts and beans in food processor. Pulse until smooth. Add the remaining artichokes, Parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon of the parsley, and garlic. Pulse until artichokes are coarsely chopped.
- Coat a 2-quart baking dish with nonstick spray. Spoon the mixture into the dish and sprinkle with the remaining parsley and cheese.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Yields 24 servings
Per serving: 50 calories; 3g fat (1g sat fat); 5mg cholesterol; 80mg sodium; 5g carbohydrate; 2g fiber; 2g protein
Serve with your favorite unsalted whole grain crackers, pita chips or bread cubes.
Cindy Kleckner, MS, RD, LD – co-author of Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies – and I sat for a chat about her book, high blood pressure and sodium. (Scroll to the end if you prefer to see the interview on YouTube.)
|Neily||Tell me Cindy, what was it like when you were invited to co-author this book?|
|Cindy||It was really exciting. My co-author was Rosanne Rust, lives in Pennsylvania. She has written 3 other books. So when I had the opportunity, it was real fun for me to be able to exercise my creativity as a culinary expert along with my registered dietitian skills.|
|Neily||Definitely, that’s great! So let’s talk about hypertension. Hypertension being the fancy, medical term for high blood pressure. Who is at risk for developing hypertension?|
|Cindy||We have to look at age first. As you advance in age, you have more of a tendency to have high blood pressure: men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 50 are more at risk. Certain ethnic populations such as African-Americans, people who are obese are a great concern, people who smoke. All those things play into it: if you drink excessive alcohol, if you don’t manage your stress very well, those are the things that put as at most risk.|
|Neily||And what is it: one of 2 people over the age of 60 have high or develop blood pressure?|
|Cindy||Exactly! One in 3 Americans..that is about 76 million people right now. And it really puts as at risk for spending a lot of money in healthcare costs.|
|Neily||Definitely. So, the book talks about the DASH diet. Tell us what the DASH diet is about.|
|Cindy||DASH stands for ‘Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension’ and the original study showed that people who incorporated fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, watched the type of fat they were eating, how much they were eating, if you incorporated more fat-free, low fat dairy products and substituted beans for some of your animal protein and also reduction of sodium and salt – those are the things that constitute the DASH diet that really help to prevent high blood pressure.|
|Neily||Great! So I imagine, those principles are probably things that you might have incorporated into the recipes: and there are a 150 recipes in the book?|
|Neily||Great. So tell me a little more about the recipes in the book. Am I going to have to be a culinary expert to make them?|
|Cindy||No. Not at all. In fact the goal is to get fresh food on the table fast. Smaller number of ingredients that are very flavorful to take away the salt you have to add, herbs and spices and all that and also, we try to appeal to all masses – so adults, children (there is a section on feeding kids) and also vegetarians. So it is very diverse.|
|Neily||Great. So if I buy this or somebody bought this book for say their mother or father, for example, then there is something for everybody to eat in the family.|
|Cindy||Exactly. It’s a good book for prevention, as I said, incorporating a lot of flavorful ingredients. I think everyone will love it.|
|Neily||Great. Excellent. Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies. Please tune into the next couple of videos because we are going to make a couple of recipes from here!|
Just about a month ago a book arrived in my mailbox—Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies. I was so excited and couldn’t believe it was published already! It seemed only months ago that a colleague Rosanne Rust, MS, RD, LDN a registered dietitian and already an author of three Dummies series books emailed me. Was I interested in co-authoring this book or did I know anyone? As much as I want to be an author, I wasn’t the person for this particular job, but I thought I might know someone who was!
Registered dietitian and culinary expert Cindy Kleckner proved to be the perfect person. I’ve known Cindy since our years together at the Cooper Clinic. She continues to give nutrition lectures and culinary demos for the Cooper Fitness Center at the Craig Ranch location in McKinney, Texas. Most recently she was doing 4-week kitchen boot camps. I knew she had a repertoire of recipes well suited for this book. It’s very exciting to see this project complete. Congrats Cindy and Rosanne!
Here is our interview for the book.