Weekly Round-Up

Here’s a look back at last week…

Beat the Heat

H.O.L.Y. smokes it was hot.  Here on the central coast we are known for our year-long sunny and 75 weather, but Mother Nature decided to mix things up and send us a scorcher.  We were in the upper 90’s and 100’s.  Very few people have air conditioners, so needless to say, the beaches were packed.  Jaime and I decided to beat the heat by heading out past Lopez Lake to Big Falls.




Hello perfect swimming hole.


We brought lunch, and other necessities…


Caught a one-eyed salamander. {not my arm…}


Saw Bambi.


Can I just gush?  I love where I live.










The Moves

The heat definitely put a damper on my workouts, which really shouldn’t be an excuse.  I did get up early to run a couple of times this past week, but lifting got left behind… oops.  Two 4 milers and a 6 miler.  That’s it.  That’s all she wrote.  Better than nothin’ I suppose.

Here’s the plan for next week:

+ Monday :: 3 mi + arms
+ Tuesday :: 4 mi + abs
+ Wednesday :: 4 mi
+ Thursday :: Legs
+ Friday :: Rest
+ Saturday :: 7 mi + abs
+ Sunday :: 3 mi + arms


Giving Back

This Saturday was the Coastal Tri-Counties Dietetic Association’s Spring Fling event.  This year’s theme was,“Giving Back to the Community,” spotlighting food insecurity.  I think it’s important to share the work of dietitian’s at the local level, especially in light of the Mother Jones controversy.  [Check out this article for some good insight – more on all this later.  I have lots of opinions.]

Our featured guest was Dave Schmit, former “Chef to the Stars.”  Chef Dave is dedicated to serving meals utilizing rescued food for the patrons of the Maxine Lewis Homeless Shelter.  Dave presented a lecture on his service to the homeless shelter, as well as provided a cooking demonstration with take home recipes.

I think the most important take home message was that the homeless are not starving; they are malnourished, and still need healthful food.  The needy don’t need our leftover boxes of ridiculously salt-filled mac and cheese {although all donations are appreciated}; we need to feed our homeless wholesome, nutritious foods that will help them feel and think better. 

As a clinical dietitian serving many homeless here in San Luis, this really struck a note.  If we took a look at the lab values of the homeless population, most likely they would be prescribed some sort of therapeutic diet for chronic conditions.

Chef Dave is an excellent model of nutrition for the homeless in our community, making use of 200-300 lbs. donated produce, and about 20-40 lbs. of meat to prepare balanced, nutritious meals!

If you’re here in the San Luis Obispo area, learn more here on how you can volunteer and get involved serving your community.


FODMAPs Update

This past weekend, I competed my Fructose and Special Case Fruits {containing fructose and sorbitol} challenge.  Let’s just say, it was fun or pretty.  My belly was about the size of a basketball for the majority of the weekend – so bubbly, crampy, and bloated.  I definitely do not tolerate dried fruit, as well as mango and HFCS.  I think I could possibly handle small amounts of raspberries, apples and pears – just as long as I don’t go and have the whole piece of fruit for a snack or part of my meal.  I may revisit this challenge once again more methodically – one fruit at a time while eliminating things I just know don’t sit well with my tummy.

I am back on the strict Low FODMAPs for the next three days, and then I challenge Fructans – wheat, garlic, onions; and Fructan/Polyols – brussels sprouts, cabbage, broccoli, snow peas.   My plan is to extend this challenge to be more methodical the first time around.  Instead of a two day free-for-all, I’m going to spread things out over 4 days like this:

Day 1 :: Wheat
Day 2 :: Garlic
Day 3 :: Onions
Day 4 :: Fructan/Polyols

I’ll keep you updated!

 Have a Great Week!


Polenta Three Cheese Pizza

know how hard it is to bake a gluten-free pizza crust.  Sticky, dense, or rock-hard… You might as well serve up melted cheese on a cardboard box.  Bleck.

But never fear, Polenta Pizza to the rescue!  Crisp, fiber-full, and just the right density.  I don’t even miss regular wheat pizza!


This was the perfect vehicle for my FODMAP “cautious” lactose challenge.  Bring on the cheese, baby!  {BTW, this girl tolerates milk products just fine!}

Polenta Three Cheese Pizza

Serves 4
Adapted from Living FODMAP Free

gluten free


  • 36 ounces (2 packages) pre-cooked polenta
  • 3 Tbs water
  • 2 Tbs corn starch
  • 2 Tbs gluten-free all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs green onion, chopped {omit white part for Low FODMAP friendly}
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 1 Tbs green onion, chopped
  • 1 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 C shaved parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 C goat cheese
  • pepperoni (if desired)
  • 1/2 C spinach


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Place one package polenta in Kitchen Aid Mixer, using whisk attachment to break apart.  Repeat with second package.  Add water, corn starch, gluten-free flour, and 1 Tbs green onion.  Mix until smooth and forms dough ball.  Add additional water by the tablespoon if necessary.
  3. Press dough out evenly on to a pizza pan and bake for 35 minutes {Or until cooked through. Test this by using a toothpick – if it’s cooked, the toothpick will come out clean}.
  4. Mix green onion and tomato sauce together.  Spread over cooked pizza shell.
  5. Add cheese, and other desired toppings, and place in oven for an additional 25 minutes, or until cheese turns golden brown.
  6. Remove and let stand 5-10 minutes before serving.




This crust is to die for.  Crisp and light, not too dense.

I chose to add some green onions to my tomato sauce, because I wanted a little extra flavor.  I am still avoiding garlic and onion, so my tomato sauce contained the basics – tomato and basil.  I used Pomi, which took me forever and a day to find at the grocery store.  Next time you are at the grocery store, just try and find a pizza sauce without garlic and onion.  Practically impossible!


gluten free salad pizza recipe

And please don’t forget to add some veg to the pizza.  Let’s be civilized, here.

spinach pizza gluten free recipe

polenta pizza gluten free recipe

gluten free pizza slice

Ohhhh yes, yes, yes.  That’ll do!



Moves. Menus. FODMAP update. And other business.

Happy Monday!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  I was little under the weather {allergies/sinus infection?}, but that made for a fairly productive couple of days for blog updates.


New Things On the Blog!

First off, I created a new Facebook page!  I decided it was time this site got its own little corner of the social media giant instead of tagging along on my personal page.

Stephanie RDN facebook

Next up, I’ve joined the fabulous ladies at Recipe ReDux.  It’s a recipe challenge site created by RD’s to improve or create healthy, delicious tasting dishes.  Each month we are assigned a theme or special ingredient for recipe development inspiration.  I’m so excited to take part!  Keep an eye out May 22nd for what I’ve conjured up!

Recipe ReDux

Lastly, you can check out some of my favorite recipes on Healthy Aperture– another site founded and moderated by RD’s.  Think of Healthy Aperture as an image-based recipe box filled with nutritious recipes developed by Registered Dietitians and the like.

my healthy aperture gallery



After spending two weeks removing all FODMAPs out of my diet {and feeling great!}, I have now progressed into the Challenge Phase of my FODMAP Elimination Diet.  Yesterday was my “Lactose Cautious Challenge.”  I had a little cream cheese on my morning toast and cream in my coffee, goat cheese on my polenta pizza {recipe coming soon!}, and a cup of vanilla froyo – for science, of course!  No GI problems!  Not that I really expected any issues anyways…

Today I throw caution to the wind and go full-out lactose heavy.  As I write this, I am sipping on a glass of fat-free milk {something I never do…}.  I’m also thinking Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, and ice cream {once again, for science!} will be on the menu.

The difficult part about the Challenge Phase is making sure you consume only lactose and no other FODMAPs.  For example, I need to choose yogurt that doesn’t contain honey, HFCS, inulin, fruit juice concentrate, or any other FODMAP.

Tomorrow I go back to strict elimination for 3 more days before I methodically repeat the process with fructose, fructans, polyols, and galactans.  Wish me luck!



Week 3 Run on the Sly Half Marathon Training:

Monday :: 3 mi Legs + Abs
Tuesday :: 4 mi + Arms
Wednesday :: 4 mi + Legs + Abs
Thursday :: Shoulders + Tri’s
Friday ::  Rest!
Saturday :: 6 mi + Legs
Sunday :: 3 mi



I’m thinking something along the lines of these recipes, which coincidentally are all brought to you by the Healthy Aperture recipe gallery!

+ Ginger-Soy Glazed Salmon
+ Rice “Krispy” Popcorn Chicken
+ Berry Chicken Salad {+ apples, pears and dried fruit for my Fructose Challenge}


That’s all folks!

Have a great week!

Workout Round-Up + Menu Planning

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  I love starting my week off with a celebration!

And hello, it’s May!? Can you believe it?  I swear Christmas was just yesterday…  I’m not complaining though – I will take sundresses and two-pieces over wool coats and boots any day of the year {maybe that’s why I love California so much}.

Living in a college town there are plenty of Cinco de Mayo parties going on tonight.  What can I say, Cal Poly likes to get down with a margarita, or two… Let’s take a look back in the archives and find you a dish to bring to your fiesta:

Mexican Inspired Meals

Chile Chicken Tacos + Cabbage Lime Salsa

healthy recipe chile chicken tacos

Tortilla Soup

Tortilla Soup

Chunky Carrot Guacamole

Carrot Guacamole

All to die for!


Moving on!

Let’s take a look at this coming week’s moves and meals.


Monday :: Yoga + full body lift
Tuesday :: 3 mi + leg day lift
Wednesday :: 3 mi + upper body lift
Thursday :: lower body lift
Friday :: Rest
Saturday :: 5 mi run
Sunday :: 3 mi


+ Grilled Polenta Pizza {with a FODMAP friendly twist}
+ Chicken and Vermicelli Confetti Salad
+ Slow Cooked Thai Pork with Red Peppers


I just nabbed Jaime’s mini Crock-Pot from storage this weekend, so expect to see more slow-cooker recipes in the upcoming weeks!  YAY!

Speaking of food, my Low FODMAP diet is going fantastic so far! It’s been much easier to follow than I had expected, and in general, I’m eating much more clean.  It’s so nice to see my bloated tummy flatten out, and most of the unpleasant side-effects have dwindled down to an acceptable amount.  My running has also improved!  I’m not getting horrible side stitches mid-run or that awful cramping post-run.

Another unexpected bonus that I have noticed this past week is that I am thinking so much more clear!  I don’t forget what I am saying mid-conversation, word-finding issues have improved, and I’m not getting mentally burned-out by the end of the day.  I’ll take it!

I have one more week of the strict elimination diet, then I will be adding lactose back.  I’ll keep you updated!


ALSO!  If you haven’t done so already,

remember to update your RSS feeds and bookmarks to the new URL: StephanieRDN.com!




Weekly Menu + My New Diet

You may have noticed yesterday I posted a gluten-free recipe, something I haven’t done in about a year and half… It wasn’t because I just had some left over gluten-free flour that I needed to use up, or because I was trying to provide a trendy gluten-free recipe to you, my dear reader.  It’s because I am I am going back to gluten-free.  Actually, I’m taking it a little further than just wheat; I am going Low FODMAP.

I was first introduced to the Low FODMAPs diet two years ago during my undergrad while shadowing a fabulous dietitian, Carol Plotkin at On Nutrition in Rochester, NY.  I adopted a handful of the recommendations for a short period of time, and the results were amazing!  No more stomachaches, bloating, gas … and other unpleasant side effects.  Plus, I lost a little weight, got way faster, and felt more energized!

Now I’m not trying to convince you to go Low FODMAP, and let me note – this is not a weight-loss diet – but if you struggle with IBS symptoms, you may give it a try to see if you can find relief too.

So let me give you a brief review on what a FODMAP is…

Oligosaccharide {fructans and galactans}
Disaccharide {lactose}
Monosaccharide {fructose}
Polyols {sugar alcohols}

FODMAPs are specific types of carbohydrates that are rapidly fermented in our GI tract.  As the healthy bacteria in our gut digests and consumes FODMAP carbohydrates, they produce gas and draw in water.  For people with IBS, these normal physiological processes are exaggerated resulting in undesirable side effects.

So what are some of the big culprits?

  • Fructans – Artichokes, asparagus, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, chicory (Inulin), snow peas, onions, garlic, wheat, and rye
  • Galactans – Chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans, and soy products
  • Lactose – Milk, yogurt, ice cream, riccotta, and cottage cheese
  • Fructose – Apples, pears, peaches, mangos, water, coconut, dried fruits, fruit juice, honey, agave, and high fructose corn syrup
  • Polyols – Sugar alcohols, apricots, plums, nectarines, watermelon, cauliflower, and mushrooms

Currently, I am starting with a very strict elimination phase, where I am cutting out all  FODMAPs for two weeks.  I have never done an elimination type diet, and while I do have a pretty good idea what gives me grief {fructans, galactans, and fructose kill me, whereas polyols and lactose I tolerate fairly well, with the exception of sugar alcohols}, I think I will gain an even greater insight into foods I can tolerate and those I just plain can’t.

So here’s what I have planned for this week’s Low FODMAP menu:

+ Pork Chops + Baked Sweet Potatoes + Corn
+ Seared Ahi Tuna + Brown Rice + Mixed Asian Veg
+ Chicken Thai Quinoa Salad {inspired by this recipe}

And workouts for the week:

+ Monday – Chest & Biceps
+ Tuesday – Legs & Abs // 3 mi trails
+ Wednesday – Rest
+ Thursday –  Shoulders & Triceps // 3 mi
+ Friday – Legs & Abs
+ Saturday – 4 mi trails
+ Sunday – 3 mi

I’m upping my running this week after feeling like a slacker since this past weekend’s SLO Marathon.  I may or may not be feeling the racing itch!  Hopefully my new diet will help get me back in good shape for running season!

Happy Tuesday!

The Low FODMAP Diet

Hey y’all!

Hope you are having a lovely Wednesday morning!

Ever since our Dietetic Internship preference list was turned in, I have been feeling as though a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  Things are out of my hands now.  What’s meant to be, will be!

Doris Day always makes things better!


Speaking of making things better, I have been having terrible, horrible stomachaches lately.  This is something that I have struggled with since I was a little girl.  It was also one of the reasons that prompted me to go vegetarian.

So in order to make myself feel better, I have made an executive decision to try out a Low FODMAP Diet.

[This is not a weight-loss diet.]

Have you heard of the Low FODMAPs Diet before?

FODMAP stands for fermentable oligo-, di- and mono-saccharides and polyols.

Okay, normal people language please:

FODMAPs are poorly absorbed carbohydrates that become the favorite foods of some of the normal, healthy bacteria living in your gut.  When the bacteria eat FODMAPs, a lot of gas is produced. Plus, FODMAPs tend to draw a lot of fluid into your intestine causing bloating, gas, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, or pain.  Studies out of Monash University show that when individuals (most often those with IBS) reduce these rapidly fermenting, short-chain carbohydrate FODMAP foods in their daily diet, they are able to find relief from these symptoms.

FODMAPs foods include certain natural sugars, as well as certain types of fiber.

  • Fructose :: fruit, honey, and juices
  • Lactose:: milk and milk products
  • Sugar polyols such as sorbitol and mannitol :: some fruits, vegetables, and artificial sweeteners
  • Fructans :: wheat, rye, onions, and garlic.
  • Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) :: legumes such as chickpeas, kidney beans, or baked beans.

Now, this list makes it sound like you can’t have any fruits or veggies, which is just not true.  Here is a list of some generally, well-tolerated foods.


  • 1/2 medium ripe banana
  • 1/2 C blueberries
  • 1/2 C cantaloupe
  • 1/2 large grapefruit
  • 1 small orange
  • 1/3 C citrus juices
  • 1/2 C pineapple
  • 1/2 C grapes
  • 1 medium kiwi
  • 1/2 C strawberries


  • 1/2 C artichokes
  • 1/2 C bell peppers
  • 1/2 C beets
  • 1/2 C baby carrots
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 C peas
  • 1/2 C kale
  • 2 C leaf lettuce
  • 2 C raw spinach
  • 1/2 C squash or zucchini
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 1 large pickle

Avoid the Following:

  • Agave syrup
  • Brown sugar
  • Chicory
  • Inulin
  • Coconut milk
  • Chocolate and cocoa
  • Fruit juice concentrate
  • Honey
  • Molasses
  • Wheat
  • Sugar alcohols

For a more comprehensive, in-depth description, check out this article at Today’s Dietitian.
How about a grocery list of Low FODMAP foods?  Check out the list complied by Kate Scarlata, RD.
I also have some printed handouts, so give me a shout out if you are curious for more!


Yesterday was my first day following the Low FODMAPs Diet, and I must tell you, I felt awesome when I woke up today.  Not gassy or heavy feeling.  YAY!

I will keep you updated on my progress and let you know if my stomachaches go away for good!

And of course, when I learn more, I will be sure to get you all the info!



Today’s Dietitian, “The FODMAPs Approach”
Today’s Dietitian, “Successful Low-FODMAP Living”
Candid RD
Low FODMAP.com