Author Archives: Rebecca

About Rebecca

Registered Dietitian

Chili’s Ultimate Stacked Burger Calories Make it the Ultimate Gluttonous Choice

Dining out can be a fun way to socialize, but it can also be a gastronomic disaster if you’re not careful. In this past year we’ve seen restaurants trend toward the ultimate calorie and sodium shock factors, first with the KFC Double Down (more like double over) and now with the Chili’s Ultimate Stacked Burger.

The Chili’s burger advertises “two big mouth burger patties stacked a mile-high with melted American cheese, mayo, applewood smoked bacon, pickles, lettuce, tomato, and crispy onion strings.” In this description alone we can translate that the burger contains a total overload of fat, cholesterol, and sodium. If you were making a burger at home, it would not look like this. The size of this burger is unrealistic and raises the “unhealthy” ingredients to out of control. (more…)

Walnut Week: Chef Greg Higgins Talks Healthy Cooking

All this week, I’m covering walnuts. From nutrition to culinary uses, I’m exploring what top fitness, nutrition, and culinary experts have to say about this “bumpy” nut. Up next is my interview with Chef Greg Higgins. If you’re into “green eating,” this is your guy. Find out what he has to say about how you can eat healthy and green:

1. As a restaurant chef, what is essential for creating healthier menu options? Whether it is swapping out butter for a healthier oil, or lower-fat dairy, etc., how do you keep high-taste intact while still offering healthful options?

We use olive oil as our primary cooking and flavoring oil. That in conjunction with a steady supply of local, seasonal and sustainable fruits, vegetables and whole grains.


Petra Kolber’s Home Exercise Tips

Renowned fitness expert and spokesperson for California Walnuts, Petra Kolber, shares her ideas for exercising at home and setting realistic goals.

For those unable to dedicate hours at a gym every day, what’s a good short exercise to do at home?

Walking is the perfect cardio exercise that can be done anywhere and has great health benefits. Even a quick 10-minute walk around the block will give you results.


Walnut Week: Mollie Katzen Dishes on Recipe Trends

It’s walnut week here at Diets In Review. I’ve been blogging some great interviews with top fitness, culinary, and health experts on all things walnuts, and of course, healthy eating. If you’ve missed my posts, you can always catch up at our walnut week roundup page! Next up, an amazing interview with cookbook author Mollie Katzen. Read what she thinks you should eat to get healthy:


Walnut Week: Google Chef Charlie Ayers Talks Healthy Cooking

All this week, I’m dedicating my blogs to walnuts. If you’ve missed the content so far, be sure to catch up. You can find out what fitness guru Petra Kolber thinks you should do to stay energized this summer, and read about the latest research on the health benefits of walnuts.

This interview is with chef Charlie Ayers, former chef at Google, author of the book “Food 2.0” and member of the California Walnuts Chefs Council, a group working to make restaurant meals healthy and delicious at the same time. Read what he has to say about healthy cooking and check out his healthy recipe using walnuts: Walnutty Egg and Bell Pepper Gratin.

1. As a restaurant chef, what is essential for creating healthier menu options? Whether it is swapping out butter for a healthier oil, or lower fat dairy, etc., how do you keep high-taste intact while still offering healthful options?

It is important to give your guests compelling flavor profiles, so that they are satisfied and not missing the added fats that are normally associated with restaurant foods. We tend to use a lot of ingredients that are versatile and can be either applied to Latin American or Asian cuisines. We make all of our own dressings; our ketchup is made in-house with no high fructose corn syrup, and instead use an organic brown sugar in small amounts as a sweetener. I try not to use added fats when working with product that already has a naturally high fat content, and I try and bring out the flavors of the foods with the combination of using fruit and vegetable juices instead of adding additional fats. (more…)

Walnut Week: Energizing Tips for Exercisers

This week, I’m dedicating my blog posts to walnuts. I got the chance to chat with renowned fitness expert and spokesperson for California Walnuts, Petra Kolber. I asked her about keeping energy levels up through the summer.

Summer has arrived! Do you have any tips for staying energized in the hot summer weather?

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Both water and electrolytes are lost during exercise and both of these need to be replaced to prevent dehydration, and in turn, reduce the risk of heat exhaustion.


Walnuts Pack a Nutritional Punch

This week I’m dedicating my blog posts to walnuts. You’ll learn about their health benefits, why top chefs love to use them in cooking, and why fitness experts love to suggest them as healthy snacks.

First up, nutrition. For a bumpy nut, walnuts are well-rounded when it comes to nutrition. Yes, they have fat and calories, which can be scary for dieters, but did you know that some fats are essential – meaning we have to get them from food. Omega 3 is the biggie, and walnuts have it. Also, a small amount of walnuts can help make meals satisfying. Read on to find out why you should be adding walnuts to your healthy grocery list.


Make Small Changes to Improve Your Health

Healthy eating should not make you stressed out. Making small changes to move toward a more nutritious eating and snacking plan can help by leaps and bounds in the long run, because you repeat these changes over and again. My interview with Fox 5 DC gave great pointers on tips you can use to start living healthier.

Americans are notorious for drinking their calories. Replace your high-calorie beverages with drinks that don’t use up your calorie budget. Fruit2O, the company I’m working with to inspire people to make a commitment to small changes, has a drink with no calories, but it is fruit-flavored (their new Essentials line has added vitamins and minerals too). Another idea is to mix sparkling water with 1/2 cup of 100% juice for a refreshing, low calorie beverage.


Michelle Obama Announces Calorie-Cutting Initiative

In a live press conference First Lady Michelle Obama discussed an exciting announcement in regards to the ‘Let’s Move‘ campaign and the ‘Partnership for a Healthier America’ who have begun to seek a solution to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity. The Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, comprised of 16 food companies, have pledged to cut one trillion calories from the food they sell, and change products to reduce calories, fat, sugar, sodium and portion size.

The four main pillars of the Let’s Move program are to make schools healthier, increase the amount of physical activity children get at school and at home, give parents the information to make healthy decisions, and increase access to food for all families.


School Lunch Program Asks Kids to Cook

Childhood obesity has been a hot button topic years in the making. From the First Lady’s interest in the issue, to Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution show, America is well aware of how school lunches and nutrition are affecting our youth.

A new documentary series, Food Forward, which focuses on the ever-changing food system and its effect on different populations, recently visited Pacific Elementary School near San Jose, California to film their school lunch production. Every day, the fifth and sixth grade students make 100 meals from scratch with the help of staff. That’s right, the kids are involved in the cooking! (What a novel idea… home ec, anyone?)