Saturday, February 27, 2016

In the news: Eggs Are NOT Bad and Avocados are GOOD for Heart Health!!

This month two interesting studies were reported in the topic of diet and heart health- one centering around eggs and the other focusing on avocado...

A study looking into the impact of dietary cholesterol on heart health has shown that in men with the 
APOE4 gene, one that increases sensitivity to dietary cholesterol, eating one egg per day did not appear to increase risk of developing heart disease. The study included male participants between the ages of 42 and 60 year old. Their average dietary cholesterol consumed was 398 milligrams and no one reported consuming more than one egg per day, on average. (One medium-sized egg has approximately 200 mg of cholesterol). The study authors note that moderation is key though-  "there might well be a point when cholesterol or egg intakes may become so high that they may increase the risk of heart disease. However, in our study we could not assess what might be too much, because we did not have enough people with extremely high intakes." Click HERE to read more about the research!

The avocado research was a meta-analysis which looked at looked at 10 avocado studies with 229 participants, investigating the impact of avocados on cholesterol levels. Researchers found avocado consumption (1 to 1 1/2 per day) significantly reduced total cholesterol,  "bad" low density lipoprotein cholesterol  and triglycerides when they were substituted for sources of saturated fat. Avocado consumption did not impact "good" high density lipoprotein cholesterol though. The best amount of avocado to eat and how often still remains to be determined and more studies investigating the impact on cardiovascular health are warranted, per the researchers.  You check out a synopsis of the study HERE.

So one egg per day and a serving or two of avocado appears to be a good thing when it comes to preventing heart disease.


Sunday, February 21, 2016

Recipe Redux Post # 43: PB Cookie Dough Smoothie in a Bowl

February’s Recipe ReDux is “Break Out of Breakfast Boredom” and we were encouraged to share how we “wake up our breakfast” calling upon our creativity in the kitchen.  I have made many smoothies recipes before but I have never made a “smoothie in a bowl “ version so this challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity.  The key concept to smoothies in a bowl is that they are thicker, which means it is best for you to serve them in a bowl and eat them with a spoon!  Frozen banana is one of my mainstays for a smoothie base so I used a large sized one, combined with less milk and added oats to thicken things up.  Adding some peanut butter, vanilla and a touch of brown sugar gave the smoothie an amazing flavor reminiscent of cookie dough!!  Topping it off with chocolate chips makes for pure heaven. I hope you will give it a try and also check out all the other awesome breakfast recipes from the great Recipe ReDux crew.


1 large frozen banana, cut into chunks  
½ cup milk (I used unsweetened almond milk which works great)
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 packed teaspoon packed brown sugar
1/4 cup oats
a pinch of salt
1- 2 teaspoons mini chocolate chips


Blend all of the above ingredients for 30 sec-1 minute on high speed until a smooth mixture is formed. Pour into a bowl and serve with a spoon.

Makes 1 smoothie, one serving

Serving size: 1 smoothie Calories 390 Protein 9  g Carb 61 g Fiber 7 g Sugars 23 g Fat  14g Saturated fat  3.5 g Sodium 170 mg


Saturday, February 13, 2016


It’s hard to believe that as of this April, it will be 17 years that I have been working as a registered dietitian and that I have been a diabetes educator for 8 of those years as well! It has been an amazing journey so far and I have truly enjoyed being able to interact with and help patients lead healthier lives.  During the many consultations I have conducted throughout the years I cannot tell you how many clients, namely those with diabetes, have asked me “Marie, can you come to the supermarket with me?….I do not know what to eat!!”  Well, this March I am going to do just that- CONDUCT A GROCERY STORE TOUR!! I have been given the opportunity to team up with One Touch and VONS to lead an Eating Healthy With Diabetes  Grocery Store Tour in partnership with the store pharmacist to provide nutrition education to those registered for the tour, which happens to be free of charge!  Here is the scoop on what the tour is all about:

The tour will begin will a wonderful introduction and informative talk by the pharmacist, which will include an overview of diabetes, prevention tips, glucose monitoring guidelines and a discussion about the plate method.

Then comes my cue to do the nutrition education segment and 90 minute tour! I will review carbohydrates/proteins/fats and their relation to blood sugars, meal planning,  carbohydrate counting suggestions, using exchanges and understanding food labels. After that we are off to cruise the isles of the store together and I will be able to discuss in detail the different categories of foods at the store, how to make good choices and to consume sensible portions to promote blood sugar control, weight management and heart health.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, pre-diabetes, a family history of diabetes (and is trying to be proactive in prevention) or just wants to learn more about healthy eating and diabetes I strongly encourage you/them to register.

My tour will take place on Saturday March 12th at 10 am and is located at VONS  Redondo Beach, 4001 Inglewood Avenue.  You can register for my tour or any of the other tours across California and the US by clicking HERE.

Hope to see you there :)


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