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Homemade 4-Bean Soup – in honor of National Homemade Soup Day!

I love Mondays! Really I do—especially because I work for myself. My boss is the best!

One of the reasons for my love of Mondays is Meatless Mondays! After enjoying a beautifully cooked steak and piece of salmon Sunday during my friend Walker’s Super Bowl party, it was time to lay low on the animal protein. (Love that about being a flexitarian—I don’t deny myself red meat, it’s my occasional treat.)

Walker super bowl party

I volunteered to bring soup to Walker’s party—perfect time of year for that. AND this week there is a special day for homemade soup. Join me in celebrating National Homemade Soup Day today won’t you? Continue reading

Popcorn: One of the best, most natural gluten-free snacks



Just like whole wheat, oats, quinoa, brown rice, and corn, popcorn is a whole grain, the lowest calorie whole grain. Per one cup serving:

  • popcorn, air-popped – 30 cal
  • popcorn, oil-popped – 55 cal
  • corn – 130 calories
  • oats – 160 calories
  • brown rice – 216 calories
  • quinoa – 222 calories

Due to the sheer volume you can consume, popcorn is terrific in filling up the belly. I love topping it with nutritional food yeast. What? If you’ve never heard of nutritional yeast, I know it might sound less than appealing, however if you’re familiar with it, you know what a great product it is. Takes like chicken. Just kidding. It actually has an appealing cheese flavor. Per 1/4 cup it has 45 calories, 6g protein and 3g fiber. Nice!

Bob's Red Mill Nutritional Food Yeast

Bob’s Red Mill Nutritional Food Yeast

It’s an excellent vegetarian cheese-like product.

Watch and/or read the transcription on how to make paper bag popcorn. It’s simple, quick, and friendly on the budget!

Video transcription

What’s your favorite snack? One of my favorite’s is popcorn. It is a fabulous whole grain snack—can’t do any better than that. However, popcorn comes in lots of different ways. Of course you have movie theater popcorn, which I must admit I do indulge on occasion. We all have our treats and that’s one of mine—not very often though.

And then of course you have microwave popcorn. It comes in different flavors—light, extra butter and so forth. Then there is whole popping corn, plain whole corn. When I was growing up—I’m dating myself—we used to make popcorn on top of the stove. Put some oil in a pan and listen to it pop. Lots of fun.

Paper bag popcorn

But, I am going to show you a way to make it really simple and in the microwave.

All you need is:

  • a brown paper bag
  • 1/3 cup of whole corn and
  • a microwave

Depending on the power of your microwave about roughly 3 minutes or so. You fold over the top just twice, put it in your microwave and what you are left with is a bag of popped corn that is sodium free, saturated fat free, preservative free, no coloring added, one ingredient versus over ten in the convenience package. Yes it’s convenient but what we get when we’re buying more convenient product is more preservatives, coloring, flavors and so forth.

I love whole grains. I love whole foods. I try to encourage them as much as possible. Really inexpensive too by the way—a great budget buy. Make your own popcorn.

So let’s get popping and we’ll see you at the movies!

Jennifer Neily, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Registered Dietitian Nutritionist | Wellcoach® Certified Health Coach
For a 30-minute complimentary Ditch Dieting Forever Strategy SessionBOOK NOW!

Let’s talk organic with The Plant-Powered Dietitian™ Sharon Palmer

In this last of 4 video/blog transcriptions, The Plant-Powered Dietitian™ Sharon Palmer and I talk about  organic and what are the extra (if any) benefits of eating organic versus conventional produce. Eating organic Sharon palmer piccan be an extra expense, so buying locally grown foods can be an excellent alternative. Regardless, eat more fruits and veggies whenever you can! Continue reading

Reap the benefits of a plant-based diet without being a strict vegan!

Sharon palmer pic

Sharon Palmer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist known as The Plant-Powered Dietitian™ and I discussed the wide spectrum of vegetarian diets. You don’t have to be a strict vegan or vegetarian to reap the health benefits of a plant-based diet. In this blog transcript of our 2nd of 4 YouTube videos, we talked about the different types of vegetarian diets and how flexible you can be with what fits your needs best. Continue reading

An interview with Sharon Palmer: The Plant-Powered Dietitian™

Sharon Palmer, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist from California, and I spent time talking about the health benefits of a plant-based diet. This is the first of a series of 4 videos transcribed for my blog. Here we discussed Sharon’s inspiration to write a book called The Plant-Powered Diet: The Lifelong Eating Plan for Achieving Optimal Health, Beginning Today, and why eating more plant foods and cutting down on meats, is beneficial to health. Even small changes will go a long way! Continue reading

BEST source of omega 3 for a vegetarian/vegan


algas (Photo credit: como_un_pez_en_el_agua)

Omega 3s and vegetarians: What plant source is as good as fish?

Dietetic intern Charlotte Collins and I spent time talking about omega 3s in a series of three videos.

This first video was about what to look for in a supplement, this video speaks to the vegans and vegetarians on what options to pursue. And lastly we’ll discuss krill oil. Is it worth it? To view the video or click here. Continue reading

6 simple tips to eat healthier now

Eating better may not be as hard as you think. An overhaul of the diet isn’t necessary – just start doing one thing at a time. (Prefer to watch versus read? Look below for video.)

Here are 6 simple tips for healthy eating – one tip at a time and you’ll be eating healthier before you know it!

  1. Double the number of vegetables on your plate and downsize the starchy carbs. Save 75% if not more of your caloric intake.
  2. Buy fruits & veggies on sale or at least when in season; they will be much less expensive. You can always buy frozen and have them year around – fruits and vegetables. They’re often just as nutritious as their fresh counterparts.
  3. Go meatless on Monday or at least one day of the week. You will save the saturated fats in your diet, increase fiber AND you will be helping the environment. Check out
  4. Drain and rinse canned beans first and cut sodium content by about 40%.
  5. If you eat rice, make sure you eat brown rice or wild rice which are both whole grains. And you will be getting more vitamins and minerals as well as more fiber than its white counterpart.
  6. If you do dairy, make sure you are drinking nonfat or skimmed milk or soy milk. And if you drink whole milk (which btw is 3.25%), then you may want to switch to 2% first before ultimately going to nonfat or skimmed milk. Nutritionally, they are all the same except for the saturated fat and the calories in them. And if you don’t like that ‘blue water’ then you may want to switch to lactose-free milk or organic milk, which have a much richer consistency than regular nonfat milk. I think you will enjoy it more!

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