1. Have no fear friends!  All the DIY DIETITIAN goodness is continuing, just under a new site & name: handmadehealthy.com

    Pop on over & say hi! 


    — lj 



    Happy 1st day of summer, friends!  What will you do with all this daylight? 

    If you haven’t quite figured it out yet, I challenge YOU to join me in “Walk 100 Miles with Nashville”.  It’s a city-wide health challenge designed to encourage all Nashvillians to get active regularly.  Not only can participating help you stay summer slim, but you’ll also receive a FREE t at the end of August…and let’s be honest, who doesn’t like a free t?!

    To join in on the fit fun, simply create a profile on the Walk 100 Miles website and be sure to log your mileage online OR via the FREE NashVitality mobile app.  For more info on logging & tracking your progress visit this link.

    I’ll be strolling around the neighbs to achieve my miles, but you might want to check out any one of the many greenways Nashville has.  Learn more about local greenways & trails at Nashville Parks & Rec online.  

    And for any of you with a FitBit, lets be FitBit friends!

    So GETS TO STEPPIN’ and lets walk this summer for better wellness!  Comment below to let me know you’re in. 


    P.s. Don’t forget your sunnies and sunscreen and to HYDRATE when it’s hot out!


  3. SO excited about my very first feature on POPSUGAR Fitness!!  Hope to continue to bring you good stuff to help YOU live healthier AND happier :D  Let me know what you’d like to hear about and be sure to catch ALL of my tips to help you feel bolder this bikini season over at POPSUGAR Fitness 



    I’m going on tour kids!  Just kidding…  But I am participating in the “My Writing Process Blog Tour” which I am honored to be involved in.  I was invited by the oh-so-talented Charles from “The Local Forkful” and he’s passing the baton to me!  I’ve never done a blog tour before, but it’s been an interesting and different way to engage with other bloggers/friends, learn something new about them and even a little about myself.  

    Here goes…

    1) What am I working on?

    Right now, I am working on defining my dietetics career.  Kinda vague, I know.  But, the truth is that I now have the opportunity to pursue my passions (food, do-it-yourself, dance, creative communications, hyping up healthy and happy lifestyles, graphic design…) with purpose!  I’ve been feeling a little bold lately (that’s what you get for playing Beyonce on Pandora) and looking to push the boundaries with my nutrition knowledge to see what I can conquer. Uncharted territory here I come!

    2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

    I would say that most registered dietitians who blog have a stronger element of recipe development on their sites.  True to my rebellious streak, I’d rather give voice to the other small (but significant) ways you can have fun with food choices for a healthier lifestyle.

    3) Why do I write what I do?

    I write to share and elevate the awesomeness.  Simple as that.  I like to think that the things that get me jumping up and down with excitement will also make your day that much brighter :)

    4) How does your writing process work?

    Process?  What process?  Hah, I really can’t tell you how any post really starts because the inspiration could come from anything, anywhere.  Ideas do tend to come to me in the most random of moments so I’m usually scrambling to find a scrap piece of paper to jot it down before I forget.  After that, I do like to look at my calendar to see what’s going on and when the post would make the most sense.  This way, I can also plan appropriately for any props, pics, etc. I need to take care of before I send it off to cyberspace.  I like to draft my posts in Google Docs since it’s easily accessible and I reference thesaurus.com frequently to give my content that extra dose of character.

    Now, get excited for the 3 bloggers I have invited to join me on the “My Writing Process Blog Tour”!  Be sure to check ‘em out and tune in next week to learn more about their writing process.  So without further ado, let me introduce you to…

    • Matt from “iBehaviorCoach — Matt is the man with the muscles and the mind to help you get the most out of life!  Take a bit of time to listen to his podcasts or iBC TV for a fun way to start working towards your wellness goals.

    • Lauren from “Adventures of Jack and Me — Lauren and I go waaay back and I’m thrilled to get to feature her here for the “My Writing Process Blog Tour”.  Her honest reflections on family life and losing a loved one will leave you feeling like living life to the fullest.

    • Karman from “Nutrition Adventures — Karman is my partner in crime when it comes to scheming up world domination.  You’ll love all her tasty treats because guess what, they’re nutritious too!

    Hope you enjoyed this post guys.  Got any writing tips for me?  I’d love to hear ‘em!




    I am absolutely THRILLED to have had the opportunity to be featured in the beautiful Be Wise Magazine’s summer 2014 issue! Check out my super summer tips, including advice on grilling out, summertime snacks, road tripping, hotel hangry, and much more!


    P.s. Shout out Be Wise Editor in Chief, Cecily Hallman, for her relentless dedication to helping others understand their worth!



    A mid-day meal could make your break your day.  But don’t let that intimidate you or be a cause of food frustration.  Instead, check out my 4 super simple brown bag lunch ideas (2 refrigerated and 2 non-refrigerated) that anyone could create!  These balanced, calorie-conscious meals will be sure to fuel you up so you can take on the rest of your busy day. 

    (1) multi-grain tortilla / cheese wedge / deli turkey / veggie spring mix
    (2) romaine lettuce / black beans / shredded cheese / salsa / whole grain tortilla chips 
    (3) light tuna pouch / whole grain crackers / larabar 
    (4) whole wheat bread / nut butter snack pack / carrot snack bag / hummus to go 

    And if you’re looking for a reusable snack bag, you must take a peak at spbang's adorable packs.  
    spbang reusable snack bag
    The best part is they’re dishwasher safe! 

    Lunch on my friends, 




    Happy Picnic Day, people!  If you have plans to pack-up a picnic and enjoy in the wondrous outdoors soon, be sure to follow my essential steps before heading out to ensure you have a healthiest, happiest alfresco feast for all:

      (Umm…How cute is this arrow throw blanket!?) 

      Urban Outfitters Holli Zollinger For DENY Arrow Throw Blanket
      <photo cred

      What time of day are you picnic-ing?  
      How long do you have to prep?  
      How many people are you serving?

      No matter the meal you’re having (homemade or prepared), think about 3 main components for your meal:
      #1) FRUITS + VEGGIES — 2 fists-worth for EACH person (don’t get cheap on them!)
      #2) PROTEIN — 1 palm-sized portion per peep.
      #3) GRAINS — 1 handful per human.

      I love the idea of packing a salad-in-a-jar + a wrap for a complete meal. (Extra picnic points for menu items that can be utensil-less!)

      No time?  How brilliant are these all-natural GoPicnic ready-to-eat meals?! 
      Hummus & Crackers 4.6 A GoPicnic Ready-to-Eat Meal
      <photo cred

      Consider how long you anticipate being out & about.  Pack enough WATER (or other low-calorie or no-calorie drinks) given the time & temperature out!

      And it’s a great idea to freeze drinks ahead of time so they can help keep your cooler cool.

      Perhaps the most important thing about being able to enjoy your picnic is keeping your food cool.  Nobody wants to get sick because food storage was a fail! 

      Store refrigerated items in a thermal tote to keep goods below 40°F.  I’ve had one like this for years! 
      45 Can Eco Blend™ Thermal Tote (Green)
      <photo cred>

      And it’s a good rule of thumb NOT to leave anything out for >2 hours (1 hour is it’s >90°F out).
      Complete your perfect picnic with these must-have items: 
      — hand sanitizer
      — plates, bowls, cups
      — utensils and serving utensils (the cutting knife always gets overlooked!) 
      — napkins, paper towels, moist towelettes 
      — trash bag
      — sunglasses, sunscreen, bug spray
      — entertainment & activity (ex./ music, magazine, board game, frisbee) 

    And if you’re feeling a little grown-up, you gots to check out Stack Wines

    <photo cred

    Happy picnic-ing, friends! 




    If I could live anywhere in the world, all I know is that a beach would be involved.  And I recently got to fulfill my little life’s fantasy by taking some time off to visit the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Oahu.  Lemme tell you friends, it was nothing short of pure bliss.  I just fell in love with the idea of embracing a simple lifestyle in a beautiful place with passionate people.  **SIGHHH** I wanna go back!  But until then, here are some of my Hawaiian highlights for ya: 

    • Waimea Canyon State Park had gorgeous overlooks.  (And if you’re lucky, it’ll rain just enough for a rainbow to appear!) 
    • Hamura Saimin is a local favorite for ramen bowls, but I personally LOVED their Chiffon Pie.
    • Setting sail with Capt. Andy’s crew to see the Na Pali coast at sunset was one of my favorite activities from the entire trip!  Our Chef was even kind enough to share with me his recipe for the purple sweet potatoes (which are jam packed with antioxidants) we enjoyed that night.  (See recipe below.) 
    • The Coconut MarketPlace Farmers Market was just a hop, skip, & a jump from our hotel so we picked up some local produce, including dragon eyes (aka longan) & mangos. 
    • Sadly, we got rained out at Anini Beach.  (Be prepared for showers when on the “Garden Isle”!)  So we went chasing Opaekaa Falls instead. 
    • Ate one of the best meals in Kauai at the The Green Pig food truck to pig out on some seriously yummy porky grinds.  Then after, walked off our feast at the Kapaa Bike Path (across the street) at sunset. 
    • We island hopped to Honolulu and walked along the famous Waikiki Beach when we got in.  (It’s quite the popular place with many more people than anything we ran into in Kauai.) 
    • We stuffed our faces with Leonard’s Bakery malasadas.  These amazing Portuguese donuts are covered in sugar, sometimes cinnamon, sometimes stuffed, but all the time delicious!   
    • Then we only had the energy to be beach bums at Kailua Beach Park.  But don’t worry, the fasha & I got to snorkel with sea-life at the Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve
    • And our last hoorah involved driving the entire North Shore of Oahu.  While I didn’t witness any 20-foot waves, it was a lovely way to see other areas of beautiful Oahu. 

    Capt. Andy’s Purple Sweet Potatoes: 

    After this Hawaiian adventure, I can’t help but dream about a life in paradise.  Who’s ready to pack up and move with me?! 





    The parfait — part fruit + part granola + part yogurt…and part delicious!  This nutritious little layered concoction has become a popular offering at even the most local of establishments.  But no need to shell out the big bucks for this balanced breakfast.  Simply choose your favorite fruit + low-fat granola (I’m loving Ladera Granola’s Original variety which includes a short list of all natural ingredients) + low-fat Greek yogurt.  Easy peasy!  You could even make a batch of individual servings ahead of time, just pre-portion a serving of your granola to add at the end so it maintains all its crunchy goodness! 

    What’s your favorite way to enjoy granola? 


    P.S. HUGE shout out to Julie at www.juliebloom.net for her amazing shots!  I hope to work more with this super talented little lady. 



    I think it’s safe to say we all have spring fever.  Warmer weather just could not some soon enough!  And for those of you who get to break away from the daily grind, I have just a few tips to ensure you have a healthy & happy spring break: 

    • PACK SNACKS: portable, shelf-stable goodies are always reliable (like whole-grain cereal & crackers, unsalted nuts, tuna packed in water, individual PBs, dried fruit)  
    • KEEP HYDRATION HANDY: the fluids should be flowing no matter if you’re on the road or in the air — ladies aim for at least 91 ounces per day and gents at least 125 ounces per day of low or no-calorie drinks. 
    • STICK TO A SCHEDULE: skipping meals & snacks will only leave you feeling hangry and set you up for overeating later on 
    • SAMPLE & SAVOR: allow yourself to enjoy small servings of extra special eats instead of depriving yourself of these tasty treats 
    • SLATHER ON SUNSCREEN: while 10-15 minutes of sunshine can provide your body with Vitamin D, too much sun exposure can be harmful to your health.  Look for a lotion that’s water-resistant, "broad-spectrum" to protect you from both UVA & UVB rays with an SPF of at least 15. (And remember to reapply!) 
    • "YOU BETTER MOVE, YOU BETTER DANCE": You better listen to Pitbull & Ke$ha!  Getting active whenever you will help you have the healthiest, happiest vacay yet. 

    Safe travels spring breakers! 




    Can it be true?  Are food labels finally getting a facelift?  Perhaps, according to the FDA’s most recent proposals to update the nutrition facts label in order to help consumers make more informed food choices.  

    Sneak a peak at my Talk of the Town feature on “
    What New FDA Proposed Nutrition Labels Meanto learn what’s new and what this means for our favorite food products! 




    Who doesn’t love a good place to breakfast & brunch?  Well I’ve got one addition to add to your list.  (BONUS: They have healthy eats too!)  You must go to The Row Kitchen & Pub.  If you’re feeling a little naughty, their Biscuit Beignets & Le Country Boy are delish.  Just promise me you’ll give their lighter sides a chance too :) 

    Happy brunching!




    Pistachios are my favorite nut!  These little green guys are packed with nutrition.  So much so that they’re just bursting out of their shells!  Check out what makes 1 ounce of pistachios (49 nuts) such a healthy choice: 

    • only 160 calories
    • contains both monounsaturated & polyunsaturated heart-healthy fats
    • 3 grams of dietary fiber
    • 6 grams of protein
    • 342 micrograms of the antioxidants lutein & zeaxanthin (great for eye health!) 
    • as well as the nutrients: Vitamin B6, copper, magnesium, potassium, phophorus, & thiamin 

    So get crackin’ & enjoy some pistachios today! 



  14. Sooo I may or may not have seen the adorable Hayley Williams from Paramore at the Franklin Frothy Monkey the other day & totally fan-girled out!  Here’s to fiery-flavored hair & Friday fun, peeps :D




    Have you been to the Omni yet?  Lemme tell you, it is an experience that every southern lover in Nashville needs!  I had the pleasure of checking out the full-service Omni Nashville Hotel in true VIP-style with my fellow Nashville Food Bloggers.  We spent an evening wining & dining at their Kitchen Notes Southern Dining & it did not disappoint folks!  Just take a peak at our evening’s menu: 

    1. Deviled Eggs Chef Inspired for the Day 
    2. Low Country Crab Cakes Corn Bone Bisque
    3. Sweet Potato Tater Tots Sorghum Honey Mustard 
    4. Black Kale Salad, Romaine, Fennel, Apple, Radish, Reggiano Cheese, Torn croutons, Garlic dressing
    5. Winter Squash Latte, Vanilla Bean Foam 
    6. Nashville Hot Pork Shank, Maple Butter, Blue cheese Waffles
    7. Bison Meatloaf with raisin BBQ, Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Collard Greens
    8. Golden Tile Fish Blackened, Roasted Local Vegetables and Barrel Aged Green Pepper Aioli
    9. Cast Iron Seasonal fruit Cobbler a la mode (it was cherry!) 
    10. Chef Andrews dessert of the Day 

    Ermehgerd.  The squash latte, meatloaf + collard greens, and tile fish blew my tastebuds!  (And I didn’t even mention the trio of delicious biscuits we nibbled on before this fabulous food coma.) 

    To top it all off, we scooted down to Barlines for THE BEST (George Dickel) whisky cocktail I’ve ever I had called the “Lincoln County Maple Smash”. 

    Special thanks to the Nashville Food Bloggers (especially Beth Sachan) & all the super gracious folks at the Omni (Tod Roadarmel, Kellie Keyes, & company) for all the food & fun.  This downtown hotspot is a definite must (no special occasion required)! 


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