so you want to be a nutritionist…{day in the life of an RD, LD}

{Today is a follow-up to my so you want to be a nutritionist… post – I have Kristina LaRue, RD, LD sharing what her day at work looks like. In a few weeks I have another guest post scheduled from a dietitian who works in a more traditional setting – enjoy!}

As a dietitian I wear many hats. I’ve enjoyed it that way since I first began my career. Mostly because I don’t like to get stagnant, however it can create a case of scatter-brained, so I’m always learning what that balance looks like for me.

Graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Nutrition/Dietetics, I did my internship at Oakwood University in Huntsville, Alabama. My internship was a distance program so it allowed me to shadow and learn from the dietitians that are in my local– Orlando, Florida. During college I had dreams of working with sports teams, eating disorders and writing.

I cannot thank my internship enough for the experience and doors it opened up for me. After getting my RD, I started a few jobs. Again I like to keep it interesting! I did project work at the hospital for a food service initiative, started consulting at the YMCA and teaching their diabetes prevention program, consulting with eating disorders and doing freelance writing.

After I finished the project at the hospital I transferred to another local hospital and worked as an outpatient dietitian working with underserved teens in the school system. We taught an afterschool camp for the kids that included Zumba, yoga, training for a 5K, and of course nutrition education and cooking demonstrations.

Currently my day looks very non-traditional, but I absolutely love it! I work for a big media RD, Tara Gidus,, who is the RunDisney Nutritionist and Orlando Magic team dietitian.

We always have a new project going on, so my days never cease to look different. Sometimes I’m cooking at home, other days I’m at Disney, managing social media accounts, or on set preparing for a TV segment.

A big portion of my time is devoted to the University of Central Florida Athletics as I work as the sports dietitian. I’m co-authoring a cookbook, The Belly Fat Diet Cookbook for Dummies, so I spend many hours writing and creating recipes in the kitchen.

I continue to work with eating disorders and do consulting through my blog,, recipe development, nutritional analysis, speaking, writing, and Skype/phone consultations.

A career in dietetics is what you make of it. You can truly pursue your dreams and create a niche for yourself if you desire. I love going to work every day, it’s a lot of fun!

A big Thank YOU to Emily for having me on her blog, A Nutritionist Eats is one that that I’ve been reading ever since I discovered the blogworld. I’m honored she asked me and happy to share my nutrition journey with you.

If you have any questions or want to send me a note please don’t hesitate to email me

{Thank you so much Kristina, your job sounds so incredibly interesting and exciting, I’m a little envious!  Stay in touch with Kristina here: facebook | twitter | linkedin | pinterest}

expo west 2013: favorite finds {part 2}

These are the products that didn’t necessarily make the first list, but they certainly deserve a mention! Some I genuinely think are great products and some are just too interesting not to share!

1. bison bar by epic bar / This is NOT jerky…we were sternly corrected. Think dried meat and dried fruit. I’m still not sure how I feel about it…

2. nuscoop by straus family creamery / It’s a frozen dairy dessert made with organic nonfat milk and cream, agave, whey protein, coconut oil, oat fiber, ghee and a whole lot more – essentially a healthy treat that tastes almost like ice cream. (They can’t call it ice cream because it is so low in fat!) A good way to sneak in some nutrition if necessary.

3. kimchi tortilla chips by food should taste good / Since becoming obsessed with Korean BBQ in the last year, I’ve subsequently also become obsessed with kimchi. I think even if you are wary of kimchi like I used to be, you would still like these chips. I’m trying to think of an amazing korean-style dip to eat alongside them…anyone?

4. savory tea by numi organics / I still don’t know how I feel about these…I have yet to try it and the sample I grabbed is fennel spice, which sounds infinitely better than carrot curry tea.

5. kids mac butternut squash puree / Mac & Cheese gets an upgrade in this convenient frozen meal. Tastes yummy too!

6. organic chia cereal by chia rezza / I have never made chia “pudding” before, but I think I tried it at the show. (Although, I would hesitate to call this pudding…cereal makes more sense) These cereals are made with chia, hemp, dried fruits and buckwheat. The nutrition stats are great, I hope to see them in stores soon!

7. powerful yogurt / Because apparently men need their own yogurt! “Greek yogurt in a man-sized package”

8. almond water by victoria’s kitchen / Sweetened water with almond (and other) flavors, this isn’t something I would drink on its own, but I love their ideas for using it as a cocktail mixer or fun ice cubes or popsicles.

9. egg white chips by ips (intelligent protein snacks) / This concept is pretty interesting, they combined popped corn chips with egg whites. Think pop chips + protein. Each serving has 130 calories, 4 or 5 grams of fat 15 grams of carbohydrates and 7 grams of protein per serving – pretty good stats for chips!

10. chobani soho creations / The Chobani booth had lots of great products (though they had just ran out of the key lime flips which I really wanted to try) but they were also serving up some of their creations from their yogurt bar in New York. I was ecstatic because I’m constantly drooling over their instagram pictures – the cucumber + olive oil did not disappoint! Come to the sunnier coast! Chobani Weho Creations has a nice ring to it…

And there you have it. Six hours of eating and drinking – just for you!


expo west 2013: favorite finds {part 1}

This was my 6th year at Expo West and it never gets old. I don’t think it ever will!

Being at the show always brings back lots of memories and is probably part of the reason that I ended up moving to LA. If it weren’t for the yearly trips to Anaheim, which then meant yearly trips to LA, how would I have ever fallen in love with LA?

Anyway, enough babbling let’s get onto the good stuff! There were some really great new products this year. Obviously gluten-free products are still all the rage and it seems that almost every brand has at least 1-2 gluten-free items. I also noticed a lot of meat and jerky products but was surprised I didn’t see more “paleo-friendly” products like bars, cereals, breads or treats. It was as always a mix of healthy, kind-of healthy and organic junk-food.

Here are some of my favorites from the show:


1. habenero pineapple bbq sauce by hak’s / This bbq sauce was ridiculously good. It is currently in Whole Foods on the West Coast but should be making its way to the other regions soon…

2. raw strawberry macaroons by hail merry   / I love their plain macaroons, and this year they introduced strawberry and salted caramel. I was totally expecting to love the caramel, but both Richie and I preferred the strawberry!

3. kombucha by reed’s  / The Reed’s booth was a very popular booth, what with serving cocktails like dark & stormys, moscow mules or vodka + kombucha. Lot’s of fun drinks!

4. frozen burrito + guacamole by evol.  / The frozen burrito is nothing new, but the packet of guacamole on the side is – I love this idea. An instant upgrade to your frozen burritos.

5. unsweetened almond coconut milk by blue diamond / This is my new milk. Part coconut milk, part almond milk, same low-calorie count. Hope to see it in Trader Joe’s or Costco soon!

6. raw onion rings by brad’s / These raw snacks were delicious and not overly-oniony. I’m sure they will be pricey, but for the occasional healthy snack, they are worth it!

7. raw banana nut bread by rawxies / I know I have had this product before but can’t picture it as the packaging has recently changed. The banana nut bread is delicious. You can order them online, right now they are only available in the Kansas City area.

8. goat whey protein by tera’s whey /I’ve loved tera’s whey for years (they are a Wisconsin company) but I had still never tried out the goat protein powder – cool, right? The vanilla flavor (coming soon!) is my new favorite and I will definitely be stocking up on it the minute it comes out. The organic dark chocolate comes in at #2!

9. thai coconut curry hummus by hope hummus / Curry hummus is such a great idea, why have I never thought of that? They also had new cute little tubes of hummus for on-the-go snacking.

Part 2 of my favorite finds are the products that I just have to mention – they are either really cool ideas or really crazy ideas. :)


perfect meatloaf meal

Meatloaf. It’s so meat & potatoes midwest right? Well, this is not yo mama’s meatloaf. (Anybody watch that show?) This perfect meatloaf meal was inspired by a My Fit Foods meal (more on them soon) and I recreated it at home for a bunch of meals this week. I’m really trying to focus on recipes that are easy, family-friendly and don’t require “weird health foods” – the main purpose of this blog is to share ideas to make life healthier in an easy, approachable way. If you have family-favorites that you’d like a nutrition makeover for, let me know!

Lean turkey is the center of this meal, rounded out with sweet potatoes (and a pat of grass-fed butter) and steamed green beans. This meal is filling, healthy and pretty easy to pull together. The meatloaf takes an hour to bake, and while its in the oven you can bake, boil, or microwave the sweet potatoes and steam the green beans. The recipe makes 8 servings so depending on your appetite, you can freeze half of it for later like I did!

Turkey Meatloaf

by Emily Dingmann

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Keywords: bake entree gluten-free high protein low-carb American fall winter


Ingredients (8 servings)

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 pounds ground turkey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or bread crumbs
  • 2-3 ounces tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup BBQ sauce
  • salt, pepper, red pepper flakes


Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine all ingredients until mixed well. (hands work well!)

Form into 2 loaf-shapes on pans sprayed with cooking spray.

Bake for 60 minutes, until cooked through.

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Nutrition facts for 1 serving meatloaf: