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Summer Squash Salad

Typically, I enjoy summer squash (zucchini and summer squash) grilled or sautéed in a skillet, but last night we enjoyed the squash uncooked in a salad.  zucchini saladThis is a quick fix side dish when you don’t feel like heating up the grill or stovetop. Simply cut (washed) zucchini and summer squash into very thin diagonal slices.  Toss with a lemon and mustard dressing. Top with feta, pine nuts (these 2 ingredients make everything taste special) and garnish with fresh herbs (mint, basil and/or parsley).

zucchini salad with fetaAlternatively, you can sauté the squash in a skillet with olive oil and top with dressing, feta, pine nuts and herbs after.

I hope all is well with you! This past weekend, I visited Old Saybrook, CT (the home of Katherine Hepburn) with my sister’s and Mom for a girl’s weekend away.  What a cute little town! It was so nice to relax with my sister’s & mom -shop, run, relax.  All good! Life is so busy…it is so important to take a little break!

This Wednesday night, I am speaking about the low FODMAP diet at the CCFA-Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America’s Boston Support Group at Massachusetts General Hospital.  Here are the details/directions.  The low FODMAP diet can be helpful in managing symptoms in those who have inflammatory bowel disease that also suffer with IBS symptoms.  Tomorrow, I will also be touring a garlic oil manufacturing plant to learn more about commercial products that are suitable for FODMAPers. And, of course,  I continue to work diligently on my slides for various upcoming talks. :)

On another side note, I finally, updated my subscriber list…so those of you having trouble getting my posts should be getting them now.  It will be easier to subscribe and easy to unsubscribe per your preference.

And now…for the recipe of the day!

This recipe is inspired from a Blue Apron recipe. A fabulous home delivery meal service. Recipes are NOT all low FODMAP but many are easy to tweak.  I imagine that a low FODMAP menu option will be available at some point! At least, I hope so!  

Summer Squash Salad


  • 2 small zucchini squash (washed, trimmed)
  • 1 small summer squash (washed, trimmed)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil OR garlic infused oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (FODMAPers choose one without onion)
  • 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Fresh herbs: parsley, mint, basil as desired
  • (I used 1 TB fresh chopped mint and parsley)
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In medium bowl, combine zucchini and summer squash.
  2. Whisk together in small bowl lemon juice, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper, to taste
  3. Drizzle dressing over squash.
  4. Toss in feta, pine nuts and herbs, as desired.
  5. Serve immediately.
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Hey FODMAPers…and friends… I am heading out to Paris (Yay!) for a well needed vacation with the love of my life.

I am unplugging from my blog and all of my work for 2 weeks.

We all need to take a back seat and float downstream to re-charge…it’s an important part of living a well-balanced life.

Starting now…I am unplugged.  Catch up with you in a couple. Hope you too can take some time to …



And the winners are….

First and foremost….thanks for all the fabulous, generous, kind and wonderful comments you left on the blog since my last post.  It’s so nice to know that SO many of you out there are on your way to a happy and healthy digestive tract.

I have been working on some behind the scenes blog stuff.  Getting ready to launch my new site {Yay!} and hoping that it will be easier to navigate.  Working on the ‘back end’ of the blog is just busy work but it will help the blog be more organized–and that has been an ongoing goal of mine.

I having also been testing some recipes that I will be sharing with you soon enough. Today, I created a FODMAP friendly version of my friend, Meg’s delicious biscotti recipe.  Super yummy!  You will love this little sweet treat.  I might even post it tomorrow if I get my act together!

So…the winner’s of my 21 Day Tummy and 21 Day Tummy cookbook are….Kristin, Melissa and Ashley.  Congrats ladies! The winners have been notified via email….and the books will be shipped out soon!

But no worries…YOU still have a chance…I have more books and will be doing another give-a-way soon…promise!

Going Nuts! Give-A-Way!

I was recently asked to participate in a cookbook project created by the National Peanut Board. I submitted one of my favorite peanut based recipes….Of course, I chose my fabulous peanut butter granola bar recipe.  And today, I received the finished cookbook!  It is SO darn cute and is LOADED with delicious peanut-y recipes.cookbook

I feel serious love for peanuts, do you? Mmmmmm good!


Here’s a few interesting peanut facts:

1.  Peanuts have more protein than any nut, with more than 7g per ounce.

2.  The fat in peanuts is mostly good fat, the heart-healthy kind we should eat more often.

3.  With 30 essential vitamins and nutrients, peanuts are a Superfood!

I love peanuts and they are a great low FODMAP nut choice, in fact, the peanut butter cut off is about 4 Tablespoons per serving which is a pretty hefty portion!

Here’s my post in the book. Yay!kates recipe

Would you like a chance to win this cookbook AND all these great give aways from the National Peanut Board?give a way

Well, just leave a comment and let me know how you incorporate peanuts into your diet…and you may just be the lucky winner.  And, I know you will LOVE this great new cookbook!


Philadelphia and FNCE 2012

This weekend, I headed to Philadelphia to meet up with about 10, 000 registered dietitians for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics annual meeting, AKA #FNCE (Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo).

Not the place you’d want to be caught eating twinkies and drinking soda…Ha!

I will tell you it is a BIG conference with many talks about health and nutrition–a bit overwhelming at times–too much to see and do all in just a few days.

But I focused on 2 subjects–digestive health and blogging.

I attended a talk on fructose but it was sponsored by Coca-Cola so I  knew full well that it might be just a bit biased. :( I always circle the talks I am interested in going to in my program book as there is so many to choose from and it keeps me focused!

I did learn a bit about how much of this stuff [fructose] we consume as a nation– especially in our teenage population. And yes, it’s crazy too much. The average fructose intake in the US is about 49 grams per day per person.

If  this was all from table sugar, which is 50% fructose and 50% glucose,  that would translate to about 25 teaspoons of sugar!!

Ten percent of males ages 15-50 and ten percent of females ages 19-22 consume greater than 100 grams of fructose or about the equivalent of 50 teaspoons of sugar per day if it all came from table sugar.  YIKES. And no surprise here, yes, the majority of fructose in the US diet comes from added sugar NOT fruits and vegetables. [SAD] :(  High amounts of fructose in the diet in this range are associated with adverse health risks.

As a reference, the American Heart Association recommends sugar consumption be limited to 6 teaspoons of sugar for women and 9 teaspoons of sugar for men per day.  Learn more from the American Heart Association here!

I always attend any lecture that involves celiac disease and gluten expert, Alessio Fasano.   Dr. Fasano is a world renown researcher and pediatric gastroenterologist at the University of Maryland specializing in the role of gluten in celiac disease and  other disorders including autism. While many people believe that celiac disease causes digestive symptoms (and it can) the most common symptoms are fatigue and anemia. Carren Sellers, MMSc, RD also spoke at this session highlighting some of the challenges of following the gluten free diet.  She reminded us that hidden gluten can be found in lipstick (especially the long-lasting), flavored coffees, imitation seafood and even French fries so education and vigilance with the diet is key.

I also attended an informative blogging session, moderated by Rebecca Scritchfield and 2 Food Network bloggers and registered dietitians., Dana Angelo White and Toby Amidor. This session provided key strategies to make your nutrition blog better.

But was so humbling and extremely exciting for me was that my blog was featured as one of the moderator’s favorites. {I had NO idea prior to the session}  So while I was sitting listening intently for more blogging tips…low and behold a picture of my blog pops up on the big screen.  Wow. Amazing.  

The moderator spoke a bit about my blog and my focus on #FODMAPs.  She also mentioned that I include my dog, Lucy in occasional posts.  Wow….Lucy is now famous! Ha! :)

Here is my girl, very happy to see her Mama who was away for a few days!

Another interesting talk was titled, Beyond Belly Aches: Identifying and Differentiating Between Allergies and Intolerances.  I was unfortunately unable to attend this talk but was able to download the power point presentation so thought I would share a few points with you.

Food Hypersensitivity is an umbrella term that includes food allergy symptoms and food intolerance symptoms.

Food allergy symptoms are immune system mediated and can include: allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis (eczema), asthma, diarrhea, stomach cramping, vomiting, anaphylaxis, itchiness, uticaria (hives) and conjunctivitis.

Food Intolerance symptoms are non-immune system reactions include: migraines, headaches, joint pains, stomach aches, constipation, intestinal problems (diarrhea), hyperactivity, aggression, temper tantrums, sound sensitivity, fatigue and depression.

It is amazing how food intolerances can impact so many different parts of the body adversely for some individuals.  It’s so important to find the right diet for YOUR body. 

I have been to Philadelphia many times but this visit with Russ in tow, we sampled food from every corner of the city.

Breakfast-Always oats, nuts, strawberries  and a hint of brown sugar.  No need to get my sensitive stomach in an uproar first thing.

A 30 minute work out in the hotel gym always energizes me.

Since Russ and I hit quite a few restaurants, I wanted to share our favorites!  Zavino Wine Bar and Pizzeria, Amis and Barbuzzo.

Barbuzzo has the most amazing salad with Tuscan kale, pistachio pesto, grapefruit and roasted beets.  It was the best salad I have ever tasted.  Is it low in FODMAPs? NO! But it was worth it. :)

We also enjoy Mercato…and were lucky to meet up with my nephew Brent and his fiancé Jen.  A wonderful way to end my FNCE experience.

I have to say I was EXTREMELY impressed with the food and atmosphere  at the restaurants….delicious and very hip and cozy.

Well, I am happy to be back home.  And ready to get cooking again.  So stay tuned for some recipes and thanks again for all your great recipe inspirations.

What’s your favorite snack on the run?  Leave a comment for a chance to win a low FODMAP booklet–the latest from Monash-3rd edition! 

Latest on FODMAPs

I know all of you that follow my blog are not ‘all about FODMAPs’ so bear with me while I just provide some well-needed updates to my FODMAP peeps.

Last week, I was BEYOND excited when I found a little brown envelope addressed to me…all the way from Australia!

Last September I was very fortunate to travel to Melbourne, Australia and meet Jane Muir, the head of  FODMAP research at Central Clinical School, Monash University.  Jane was SO kind to send me the 3rd edition of the low FODMAP diet booklet.  This book provides all the FODMAP basics and the latest in foods that are allowed or not allowed on the diet. To me, this booklet is like GOLD!  I love learning more and more about FODMAPs.

Here I am with Jane (second on the left) in the laboratory where many of the FODMAP analysis was done.  Their lab recently moved which has put some of the testing at a standstill.  Yes, we are still waiting on chocolate and coffee.

I highly recommend that all FODMAP dietitians and followers purchase this little booklet. Why?  For one, the proceeds are used to fund more research and there is plenty more foods to be analyzed, including foods from around the world.

Secondly, you will have all the latest info. in one little handy booklet.

The latest booklet provides a few tips for the vegetarian FODMAP follower.  And just to provide a few new kids on the block: nori seaweed and tempeh made the low FODMAP diet for vegetarians.  Another new tip included in the booklet– Soy milks made from ‘soy protein’ tend to be lower in GOS than those made with ‘whole soybeans’.   BUT there is a bunch more…so BUY the booklet!  Here is the link!

It’s not cheap to send the booklet across the globe, so for those of us in the US there is a price to pay to get the booklet to you.  BUT, I think it’s worth it.

My other lastest project is to compile a list of brand name product labels to help my clients find appropriate foods. It’s quite cute, don’t’ you think?    If you have found a FODMAP friendly product that you JUST LOVE…please, please share…and leave a comment on the blog.

I hope to get a few of the new Aussie low FODMAP booklets as give-a-ways on the blog…so check on back if you’d like a chance to win!

Until later…bye!

UPDATE!!! I reached out to Jane Muir and we have some GREAT news! Reduced postage rates to order the new booklet!  FODMAP Booklet—3rd Edition Order Form

And the new composition info due out in September is slated to be downloadable!


Weigh to GO! Nutrition Services

Who wouldn’t want 2 registered dietitians to come into their home and teach you how to cook a wonderfully healthy family meal?

Meet Liz and Jeanne…of  Weigh to Go! Nutrition Services.  Weigh to Go, a Massachusetts area service, offers in home cooking classes- teaching basic cooking skills or menu planning for someone with a specialized dietary requirements, think…allergies or celiac disease or perhaps just an family that wants to eat healthier.  Not only do these two enthusiastic culinary talents provide personalized cooking instruction in your own home, they also take the show on the road and provide corporate workshops as well. Check out this deelish dish…

Have a few girlfriends interested in learning how to cook a healthy meal, invite Weigh to Go and have a cooking party!

For more info, contact Liz and Jeanne at or check out there site here!  Fees vary so best to consult with them directly to design your personalized menu.

And FODMAP followers, this crew can help you cook up some tasty belly friendly dishes too!


Health book give-a-way!

I am loving this great book co-written by my colleague Vicki Shanta Retelny, RD, LDN– a dietitian, culinary instructor, nutrition therapist and consultant!

 This very easy to read book covers healthy food options for a variety of health conditions such as heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, allergies, migraines and even sleep conditions.  And we all know that food is medicine, so this book is a great resource to help you connect the dots between health and the role of food.

So this morning I decided to try one of the recipes in the book and of course the Berry Oat Bake caught my eye.  I just can’t help that sweet tooth of mine.  Since this was a last minute decision, I needed to modify the recipe a bit to accommodate the ingredients I had on hand.

Vicki has so many enticing recipes in this book such as Nutty Couscous, Watermelon and Spinach Salad, Savory Roasted Root Vegetables, and even Kale Fritters…yum!

If you would like to WIN a copy of Vicki’s fab book, just write a comment after this post and I will pick a random winner.  Well, actually, my son Brennan will pick a number and whoever’s comment is in that spot, they win. YEAH!

Check out this healthy dessert…

Berry Oak Bake anyone?

I started to make the crumble.  The recipe called for flaxseed and I, of course, had some on hand.  Flaxseed has a mild nutty flavor and is a source of soluble fiber and omega-3’s– both great for heart health! Flaxseed should be ground to provide the most health benefit.  Keep this seed in your refrigerator so that it will stay its freshest.

The recipe also called for canola oil and I did not have any available, so being a coconut loving person, I added some coconut oil to the recipe instead.  OOOOOhhhhhh…that coconut oil infuses such a nice aroma!

I like that the recipe calls for maple syrup too-an easy to digest natural form of sweetness.

Since I didn’t have any walnuts handy, I deleted from the book’s recipe, but I bet they would have added a nice touch.  Plus nuts are SO good for you.  Nut intake is inversely related to heart disease, the more nuts you consume-your risk for heart disease lowers. Did you know that?  Go Nuts!

Just don’t go overboard–they have lots of calories too.

My recipe adaption for the yummy Berry Oat Bake

Yield: 3 servings

1 ½ cups frozen berries

1 cup old-fashioned oats

3 TB. coconut oil

1 TB flaxseed meal

1 ½ tsp. maple syrup

½ cup whole wheat pastry flour

1)   Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2)   In medium mixing bowl, mix oats, oil, flax, maple syrup and flour.

3)   Place berries in small casserole dish or use 3. 4 ½ in diameter tart pans and top with even amounts of crumble.

4)   Bake 25 minutes.  Let sit for 5 minutes to cool a bit.  Eat up!

Want to win this GREAT book?   What’s your favorite healthy food?  Leave a comment.

FODMAPs & me

You may say, what the heck  are FODMAPs?  And I would tell you ALL about FODMAPs, in fact, I would tell you more than you may want to hear.  You see, FODMAPs are a group of carbohydrates and fibers found in many common healthy foods such as watermelon, onions, garlic, wheat, apples and pears to name a few foods and FODMAPs are not tolerated by many people with a sensitive gastrointestinal tract.  FODMAPs is an acronym for fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols. (Is that too much information?)

I am fascinated with FODMAPs.  I have learned so much about these troublesome sugars and fibers but always want to learn more.  Why you may ask?  Seventeen years ago, while pregnant, I had a healthcare complication that required two-thirds of my small intestine to be removed to save my life and the life of my growing baby boy.  As you can imagine, my life and my gastrointestinal tract has never been the same!  The silver lining of this horrendous surgery was that I am a registered dietitian and I was fortunate to know what, when and how much to eat to make my body heal and feel its best.

After my surgery, my interest in digestive health grew and  I stumbled upon some very compelling research out of Australia.  A group of researchers from Monash University near Melbourne, Australia, had developed a novel diet which they coined the  “FODMAPs” approach.  They determined that certain sugars and fibers cause uncomfortable symptoms such as gas, bloating, diarrhea for many individuals who have a very common condition called irritable bowel syndrome. (IBS).  Since I have learned about this diet approach to help manage IBS, I have in turn helped countless clients feel so much better!  It’s been truly amazing.

Next month, in just about a week, on September 2, the Monash University researchers are presenting a conference for dietitians. I am beyond thrilled because I will be one of the dietitians in the audience! Yes, I am heading to Australia to learn the LATEST research!  Because the diet is a bit complex and the research and food analysis is tedious and ongoing, I am sure the researchers will presents some new and exciting information.  For more info on FODMAPs-check out my FODMAPs tab on this blog which contains grocery shopping lists, check lists, menu planning, digestive health articles and more! My book ,The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Well with IBS provides an introduction to FODMAPs and many FODMAP-friendly recipes.

So Mates, I am off to Australia!   Catch up soon.

Spice it up!

Anyone that has used fresh herbs in cooking knows that the flavor of your food POPS and makes almost any dish more special.  The same can be said when you get creative with dried herbs and spices.

I love perusing magazines and online for interesting recipes.  Lately I have been drawn to recipes made with saffron, cardamom, and garam masala…all spices that I really don’t know much about BUT want to know more!  I think everyone should step outside their usual spice box, right?

Last week, while vacationing on Nantucket, I stumbled upon a new spice store in Nantucket called Ambrosia in town on Centre Street. The store had a bit of an old apothecary feel to it with a nice fresh scent of spices permeating the air.  Ambrosia has a whole wall dedicated to special spice drawers. Check them out!

Each drawer was labeled a different spice and inside were samples to smell-clearly labeled with a gold seal with additional jars available for sale. The little drawers screamed, “Open me up!.”  How fun…I smelled lots of spices. And bought some garam masala.

Spices not only add wonderful flavors to your favorite dishes but many have medicinal qualities too. Here’s a few of my latest spice interests and their many health benefits:

Tumeric is a bright yellow spice that is often used in Indian dishes.  My colleague Ann, introduced me to a wonderful corn dish that incorporates sautéed corn, olive oil, turmeric, cumin and cilantro and it has become one of our family favorites.  Tumeric has been used in cooking since 600 B.C.and it’s medicinal qualities come from curcuminoids which are also responsible for giving turmeric it’s yellow color. Tumeric is believed to function as an anti-inflammatory and may also have an anti-tumor/cancer effects. If you have ever enjoyed a curry dish, then you too, have had a bit of healthy turmeric.

Cardamom has a wonderful aroma to it, so… enticing! Cardamom can be purchased ground or in pods. Ground cardamom is not as full flavored as the pods. It’s best to use small amounts of this spice, in general, as a little bit adds a big punch of flavor. Believed to be a powerful digestive aid, cardamom is a key ingredient in Chai tea.  Cardamom is featured in my first photo, it’s the bigger green larger pod- size spice in the dish.

Garam Masala is a spice blend created with up to 12 spices including: black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, coriander, cumin, cardamom, dried chilies, fennel, mace, nutmeg and more. This mixture provides a variety of health benefits. Cinnamon is helpful for managing blood sugar levels and may help ward off pain in the joints as it has some anti-inflammtory compounds too. Cloves and cinnamon contain eugenol which has been know to help kill unhealthy viruses and bacteria. Cloves are also a source of manganese and import nutrient for bone health. Cumin is considered a natural remedy for allergies.

In all their aromatic glory, spices not only make your food a whole lot tastier, they likely will make it a whole lot healthier too!

So I bought my little bottle of Garam Masala and really wasn’t sure what to do with it.  But shortly after I purchased it I noticed a “recipe tweet” on my twitter feed from @chowandchatter  “eggplant chips with garam masala”  Now that sounded right up my ally…so when I got home, I picked up some eggplant (they are fresh and in season)…

and whipped up some chips.  And they were tasty!  And my house smelled really good.

Check out the original post and recipe here.

Do you have a new favorite spice to share? Any fun spicy recipes?