Smart Grocery Shopper:

Do you hate the thought of going to the grocery store? Are you overwhelmed by the crowds at the grocery store? Are you too busy to get to the grocery store this week? Do you always end up with extra foods in your cart as you go through the grocery aisles? Great news, most grocery stores are providing a new way to shop. You can shop for your groceries online from the convenience of your home or from your mobile device. This is a great way to shop conveniently, save money and avoid temptations. Online grocery shopping is a smart way to grocery shop that will help you stick to your healthy meal plans.



Shopping for your groceries online can be fast and easy. You can create a grocery list, choose a pickup time, and make a quick stop at the grocery store on your way home from work. Some grocery stores even load your groceries into your vehicle for you.


Save Money:

Are you the type of shopper that picks up additional food items not on your grocery list? If so, online ordering is the way to shop for you. Choosing your items online can prevent you from picking up those extra items. You can stick to your list and save your wallet a few bucks.


Avoid Temptations:

Shopping in the grocery store can create temptations. The smell of the fried chicken or the freshly baked goods can sabotage your grocery shopping and healthy meal plan. If you shop online, you can avoid picking up extra foods you do not need. This is a great way to stick to your meal plan without the challenges of the grocery store temptations.


Grocery stores in the OKC metro offering grocery pickup:

  • Walmart
  • Sprouts Farmers Market
  • Whole Foods Market
  • Natural Grocers
  • Homeland
  • Uptown Grocery Co.
  • Buy For Less
  • Click Shop Grocery Delivery

Hearty Italian Vegetable Beef Soup

Hearty Italian Vegetable Beef Soup is filled with chunks of ground beef, plenty of vegetables, and generous Italian spices. This soup freezes quite well, making it perfect for easy lunches.

Servings: 10-12 servings


  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced small, about 1 cup
  • 10 medium carrots, sliced thin, about 4 cups
  • 6 stalks celery, sliced thin, about 3 cups
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 16-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, adjust to taste
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 head green cabbage, roughly chopped, about 4 cups


  • In the bottom of a large pot, over medium-high heat, cook and crumble the ground beef along with the garlic and onion. When the beef has browned, about 8 minutes, add the carrots, celery, and water to the pot. Increase heat to high and add the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano, basil, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover with a lid. Once the soup is boiling, stir and reduce heat to medium; simmer uncovered for about 15-20 min. until the carrots are tender.
  • Taste the soup and adjust the salt as desired. Stir in the cabbage. Simmer a few more minutes, just until the cabbage has wilted. Top with cheese, if desired, just before serving. Enjoy!


FREEZER TIP: This soup freezes well and can be reheated in the microwave straight from the freezer or allowed to thaw in the refrigerator and then reheated on the stove or in the microwave. Consider storing it in small containers with appropriate portions for easy meals.


Recipe from:

Fed Up — The Documentary

Fed Up is a documentary on Netflix that centers around being “fed up” with the issue of obesity. Overall, the film has some great points in tracing the development of the food industry as we know it today. As excess weight became a health issue in the United States, there started to be a greater focus on lowering fat intake due to fat having the highest number of calories per gram. Low-fat versions of food products began to hit the shelves, yet many of these products also contained increased sugar content to maintain taste.

Excessive weight gain is a larger issue than pinpointing one bad type of food. Indeed, sugar is a tricky nutrient, tasting delicious and sometimes being hard to identify in foods. The documentary helps viewers see how easy it is to overconsume sugar in a single day. At the end of the documentary, there is a recommendation for a 10-day sugar-free diet. While reducing sugar in your daily diet is certainly not a bad thing, it may be better to regularly limit excessive sugar intake everyday instead of going completely sugar-free for ten days. Ten days is…well, ten days, and while you will likely feel better at the end of those ten days, following a completely sugar-free diet long-term is usually hard to do. By controlling your sugar intake on a daily basis, you are setting yourself up for consuming a few less calories every day, leading to continual, realistic weight loss and a health-conscious lifestyle.

How does this translate to everyday life? Food labels are now starting to show us “added sugars”. This fantastic little label change helps us see if a food contains natural sugars or if the products have been sweetened up with extra sugar. So, to minimize excessive sugars: (1) choose fresh, whole foods found along the perimeter of the grocery store, and (2) choose packaged products with lower amounts of added sugars.


The Fun of Asking Why

When it comes to different foods, each has its own makeup of nutrients. Historically, vitamin deficiencies were a lot more common in the United States than today, and many of the ways we prevent deficiencies today are so ordinary that we don’t even know we should ask why things are done a certain way. So let’s ask why!

Why is it important to cook rice until all of the water is absorbed?

The rice grain has different parts to it, including the bran, germ and endosperm. B vitamins are found in the bran and germ, which are removed during processing to create white rice. This means the B vitamins are lost; as a result, we add them back through a process called enrichment. Scientists considered two main points when creating the best way to enrich the rice: (1) B vitamins are water-soluble, and (2) rice is cooked with water.

These important factors led to putting the rice into a large, vapor-filled tub. The vapor contains B vitamins, which sticks to the outside of the grain.This is why it is important to allow all of the water to absorb into the rice grain when cooking…because the B vitamins get absorbed into the grain along with the water. If there is any extra water that is poured off at the end of the cooking process, some of the enriched B vitamins are washed away.

Why is milk not usually sold in clear containers?

Milk naturally contains a B vitamin called riboflavin, which is important for many various cellular reactions in the body. Riboflavin is sensitive to light, being easily broken down when exposed to UV light, sunlight and fluorescent lights. Thus, when milk is packaged, we find it in opaque plastic jugs at the grocery store and in small, paper cartons at schools.

Sometimes we just accept things as they are, but it’s fun to ask why things are the way they are, too.

Holidays with Diabetes

Holidays for Everyone with Diabetes: (Prediabetes, Type 1 or Type 2)


The holiday season does not need to be a minefield for persons with diabetes, no matter the type.  Keeping in mind what our goals are can open the door to this festive season.  Let’s look at the goals for each of these diagnoses.

Type 1 Diabetes is an autoimmune disease. It is characterized by the daily need for insulin replacement, usually in the form of multiple insulin injections per day or an insulin pump. The main goal is blood glucose control by balancing food, insulin and activity. Knowing how much carbohydrate one is consuming, whether food or drink, and how much insulin is needed for that amount of carbohydrate usually keeps blood sugars under control. When the primary goal is regulating blood sugars, there is some flexibility with the specific types of foods, as long as the food/carbohydrate is “covered” accurately by insulin. Calories are a secondary concern for those who are watching their weight.

With prediabetes, the overall goal is to prevent progression to Type 2 Diabetes.  The goals are usually to increase activity/fitness and to control or lose weight, both of which combat insulin resistance. Therefore, calorie intake is an important goal.  People with prediabetes often have difficulty with high blood pressure and/or cholesterol so watching amounts of sodium and saturated fats play into their game plan.

In Type 2 DM, people start with the same concerns as prediabetes and then add concerns about side effects from medications and/or insulin. It really depends upon where a person is in the progression of this condition. Calories usually continue to be a concern, along with health in general, so it is important to monitor sodium and fat intake while increasing physical activity. Moderate, consistent carbohydrate intake helps keep blood sugars balanced so the makeup of the meal continues to be important.  People with Type 2 who are on an insulin pump or are taking a long acting and possibly a rapid acting insulin have a little more flexibility with the types of foods they eat. However, they also need to keep in mind their other goals of controlling blood pressure, blood fats and weight.

Knowing what type of diabetes and the treatment goals help open up the mysteries of food, blood sugar control and the holidays.  Diabetes is not just one condition with the same goals, but several different ones with different treatments and goals.  The age lines are blurring today so just knowing “childhood onset or adult onset” doesn’t work anymore. Knowledge of each person’s condition is crucial in the game plan.  Overall, a goal for anyone, with or without diabetes, would be to enjoy this special time of the year with those who are important and loved, with the lights, decorations and food as a backdrop and not the main focus. Let our BN dietitians know how we can help!


How Time Has Changed the Definition of “Malnourished”

If you were asked to describe the term “malnourished”, what would you say? How would this person look? Are you yourself malnourished? More than likely, images of starved children in poor economic countries come to mind. But the question is, “what exactly defines the term malnourished?”

There used to be 2 terms that referred to malnourished: kwashiorkor and marasmus. Kwashiorkor refers to not eating enough protein while marasmus is traditional starvation. However, now malnourishment has a set of criteria composed of 6 characteristics of a person:

  • Weight loss
  • Reduced functional strength
  • Not eating enough calories to support the body
  • Swelling
  • Loss of fat under the skin
  • Loss of muscle mass

Notice that nowhere in these 6 factors is overall body weight or BMI mentioned. This means that even someone who is overweight or obese can be malnourished. It does not say that a person has to be less than 100 pounds or have bones prominently showing.

“Nourish” is defined as “to sustain with food or nutriment; to supply what is necessary for life, health, and growth.” Even when not referring to food, someone could say, “This lotion left my hands feeling nourished and smooth.”

Why do dietitians push for vegetables over candy? The nutrients. They both provide energy, but they don’t provide the same profile of nutrients. Calories are essential, but nutrients nourish. For example, if someone was overweight, we regularly don’t describe them as malnourished…but let’s say they were only consuming Cheetos, donuts, and Coke for their meals. This type of diet can lead to malnutrition because while calories might be sufficient, nutrients to help the body repair itself and keep things functioning properly are lacking.

Any size of person can be malnourished. Malnourishment often becomes apparent in the context of a medical diagnosis. This is not to say that everyone who is overweight/obese is malnourished, but the premise is that malnourished isn’t always what we have seen historically when food wasn’t as abundant as it is now. The bottom line: eating a diet focused on nutrient-rich foods helps prevent malnourishment. Choose nutrients over calories.


The Specific Carbohydrate Diet

In the 1950s, Dr. Sidney Valentine Hass was treating patients with gastrointestinal disorders.  One of those patients was a young girl with ulcerative colitis.  Dr. Hass led to her remission in about 2 years time through diet and fermented foods.  The young patient’s mother, Elaine Gottschall, then went on to write a book titled Breaking the Vicious Cycle, Intestinal Health Through Diet to share this information with the world.  This diet is now commonly referred to the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or SCD.


The SCD eliminates grains, starches, and most dairy and sugars to minimize the amount of incompletely digested carbohydrates in one’s diet.  This can help the gut flora be more health-promoting and minimize the amount of irritants entering the gut.


The diet has been shown to be quite effective in people with ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn’s disease (CD) and other GI or inflammatory diagnoses.  Many pediatric studies have shown the remission of their UC, normalized weight and height, and a resolution of symptoms.  The diet can be used as a tool to “heal” the gut and then foods can be added back in as tolerated.


As you can imagine the diet is rather time consuming.  Some study participants spent an average of 10.5 hours a week preparing food.  If this sounds interesting to you, check out some of the following websites.  Besides the time and effort there are no side effects to this therapeutic option.  You will be healthier and hopefully free of flare ups.



Deal or No Deal

Working in a place of foodservice gives me some great insight into some of the food mannerisms of the average American. People in the United States emphasize the value of the dollar. This is everyday life, and we likely fail to realize how much we place value on how big our meals are with respect to how much we pay for it. It is easily reflected when you examine restaurant promotionals like “2 for $20” or “large pizza for the price of a medium!”


A common order I receive is “light ice” or “no water.” While these requests may enhance the flavor of a drink and seemingly provide you with more product for your money, are you really winning the game? One pound of fat equals roughly 3,500 calories. This means that if you consume an extra 100 calories each day of the year (100 kcal x 365 days) that your body doesn’t need, you will gain ~10 lbs each year (36,500 kcal ÷ 3,500 kcal/lb). One hundred calories don’t seem like much, but it can have a negative impact on your health if this is kept up over the years. An extra 100 kcal would roughly be the size of one piece of bread or less than half of one regular bag of M&M’s. With this in perspective, this scenario of a little bit extra could play out as easily as someone at work bringing in a sweet snack for the office to munch on.


These small mouthfuls can lead to serious, unwanted health changes. In the end, if we order something slightly altered so that we get more food/drink for the amount we are paying, are we really winning when this results in excessive weight gain and subsequent higher medical bills? Maybe that menu deal is really no deal at all.


Changes Need a Place to Begin

There have been some recent changes to kids’ meals in fast food places. Panera Bread just recently came out that they were targeting kids when they began to offer the entire menu in smaller portions. The CEO of Panera Bread called out the other big names in fast food (Burger King, McDonald’s, and Wendy’s) to make changes to their kids’ menus. A McDonald’s rep stated they had already started to do this in the past when they started offering apple slices, clementines, and yogurt; replaced soft drinks with fat-free milk and apple juice; and decreased the size of french fries.


Do these changes mean that kids will automatically start eating salads and a bunch of greens instead of mac’n’cheese? Maybe not, but we’re moving in the right direction. Competition by these food chains is good not only for their business, but also in terms of improving nutrition. Health has never been such a focus for the public before now, and the more that nutrition science grows, the better off we will likely be in our physical health.


These changes are not only good for kids, but they can also make for suitable, smaller-sized meal options for adults, too. Just like with adults, kids need slow changes when it comes to eating healthier. Small steps often lead to lifelong changes. Giant, aggressive leaps often lead to rapid, failed attempts. The option for healthier choices need to be present before the healthier choice can be made. Let’s appreciate the progress.


Below is a link to an article on Panera’s changes.



Nutrition and Cancer Prevention

Everyone hears that a proper diet and exercise regimen can help prevent chronic disease such as cancer. How does that work exactly? A complex topic that can be understood a little bit easier by looking back at basic cell biology. Cells replicate and divide in order to be renewed and function at their best. The body has natural protective mechanisms that ensure this replication process starts and stops appropriately. Cancer develops when cells replicate uncontrollably, and the “stop” button is missed.


Fruits/vegetables play key roles in keeping cells healthy and dividing in a controlled fashion. How? Compare candy and broccoli for a second. They both provide energy (calories) for your cells to use; candy only provides energy, while broccoli provides energy plus vitamins/minerals/phytochemicals to help keep cells repaired and healthy, minimizing the chances that cell renewal will go rogue. This doesn’t mean chocolate causes cancer; it means it simply doesn’t provide nutrients that emphasize cell repair and health. Broccoli also has fiber, which promotes more frequent stools. This bowel movement helps get foodstuff out of the intestines faster to reduce contact time that intestinal cells have with cancer-causing agents. Diets high in fruits/vegetables (esp. non-starchy) are associated with lower risks of colon cancer.


Another diet component to consider is alcohol consumption. While regular foods/drinks have specific places in the GI tract to be absorbed, alcohol is unique in that it can be absorbed at any point in the GI tract once consumed. When alcohol is absorbed, it also denatures parts of the cells and speeds up cell division. This increases the chances of cell division controls being disrupted, which can lead to the uncontrolled cell replication that causes cancer. Thus, this is one reason moderate alcohol consumption is encouraged, among other things.


Proper nutrition does not necessarily prevent cancer, but it can certainly help protect against it. BN dietitians are able to help with nutrition for cancer and can help you set up a diet that will help protect against a cancer diagnosis in the first place.