Food Hacks: Registered Dietitians Have Your Back

Spring is on its way and now’s a good time to dust off your New Year’s resolutions, with a little help from a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN). If you’re ready to come out again from the dark winter months but, would like to take some successful shortcuts to help achieve a more healthful lifestyle, you’re in luck.  dietitians-coach-you-on-nutrition

Truth be told, Registered Dietitians may not always be icons of nutritional balance and moderation. We sometimes express different viewpoints, however it’s a shared interest in food and health that attracted us to our career. Our professional credentials (RD or RDN) signify that we have an advanced education and accredited experience. Those shared qualifications give credibility to RD or RDN help in personalizing the science of incorporating healthful eating and physical activity into your lifestyle.

I work for the International Food Information Council, which employs some of the best examples of the dietetic profession. In celebration of March 11, National Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist Day, we asked our expert Registered Dietitians (and one RD to be!), Sarah Romotsky, RD; Kris Sollid, RD; Marianne Smith Edge, RD; and our dietetic intern, Stephanie Johnson to reveal their personal secrets to nutrition success.

These are the tricks or hacks that you might notice when an RD is ordering at a restaurant or cooking at home. Even our friends and family wonder what our secrets are. So, we are lifting our veil of personal practice and laying it all out for you. Here are some of the hacks that we use to help us manage our weight, health, and conscience.


Healthful Eating Hacksadd-fruit-to-salad

  • Use fruit in season. In the spring and summer, add fruit like sliced peaches or strawberries to salads. In the fall and winter, add fruits like apples, dried dates and cherries to meat dishes for a little sweetness.
  • Use herbs and spices generously to bring flavors of veggies alive….and don’t skimp on the garlic!
  • When baking, use low/nonfat versions of cream and sour cream or milk to reduce calories, not flavor.
  • Keep fruit in sight. Whatever’s in sight is usually the first food grabbled when hungry. You’ll use it as a snacking alternative!
  • Eat nuts as a snack. They reduce hunger, so that you don’t go too crazy with treats.
  • Think before eating, and decide what will really satisfy your appetite. Then, enjoy a small amount.


Recipe Hacks

  • Treat your sweet tooth with Banana Cream Pie. Start with a thin layer your favorite cereal, add a ripe banana mashed with a vanilla pudding cup, and top with a dollop of whipped topping.
  • Cool down with a No-Blender Smoothie. Mash a banana with 1 T of peanut butter in a bowl. Pour into a glass with 1 cup of milk, protein drink, almond milk, or soymilk. Add ice and stir.


  • Lighten up your dessert with these Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls. Use 1 T almonds (ground or almond meal), 1 T of chocolate protein powder, 1 T peanut butter, and 1 tsp honey/agave/simple syrup. Mix all ingredients together, and roll into bite size balls.
  • Jonesing for pizza? Try an English Muffin Pizza. Take an English muffin (Sliced in half), spread 1 T tomato sauce on each half, sprinkle with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper, top with 1oz of shredded cheese (split between the two halves), and bell peppers. Bake at 450° F for 10 minutes.
  • Try a few Sweet Potato Fries. Slice sweet potatoes into your desired fry shape and thickness. Toss them in olive oil, cumin, coriander, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Bake at 450° F for 15-20 minutes, depending on thickness.



Fitness Hacks

  • Working out can feel intimidating. Make physical activity part of your daily routine. Walk up every set of stairs or escalator you go by. Don’t stand when you can move!
  • Walk up and down stairs in hotels when on extended travel, and always bring sneakers!
  • Drink coffee before exercising, both the fluid and caffeine give your exercise a boost.

They aren’t too scary, right? There are many great things about your friendly neighborhood RD or RDN, but one of the best is that they can help you work within your lifestyle. Living healthfully doesn’t have to mean crazy, repressive diets. It can be about making little changes that add up to big results. With a teammate and coach like an RD or RDN, you can stay on track without losing your mind.

We hope you’ll share these expert tips with your friends and families. Oh and don’t forget to thank an RD/RDN for their dedication to helping everyone reach their optimal health through diet and exercise.