Product Review: Dave's Killer Bread


I typically find bread to be high in preservatives and low in fiber and protein, so it is not a staple in our kitchen; especially white bread. So, when I was contacted by Dave's Killer Bread (DKB) to try their White Done Right bread, I was skeptical. J.T. on the other hand, was thrilled (grilled cheese on white bread, anyone?)!

Dave's Killer Bread proved to be a great option with 2g of fiber per slice and 3g of protein. The first ingredient is organic wheat, which means it passed my nutrition test. This is great news for many families who don't want to make the change to whole wheat bread, but still want a nutritional punch.

Without preservatives, bread lasts a week and a half at the most, and since we don't eat much bread, I knew the perfect group to share this artisan white loaf with: dietitians! I filled it with chicken salad and took it to a party where it was a huge hit! 

The coolest part is their Second Chances Program. DKB employees often have a criminal background, but are given another chance in life through employment. Haven't we all needed second chances?

Why I like it:
  • Delicious, white bread made with whole wheat flour
  • 10 whole grains
  • No preservatives or HFCS
  • 2g fiber per serving
  • 3g protein per serving
  • Second Chances Program

The only caution is that there are 110 calories per slice so it can make a sandwich higher in overall calories. But, with anything, no need to avoid it (without a medical reason) just look for nutrient dense foods- make your calories count!

For more fun information about bread, read how bread can actually be nutrient dense. Maybe it's not the bread, but the amount of overall calories.  

Try any of Dave's Killer Bread choices today! If you want increased fiber (which I always recommend) go for the 21 Whole Grains and Seeds or Powerseed variety. Sign up for the DKB newsletter for discounts and coupons. Find out where you can buy DKB by using the store locator.

I was sent free product for review but the opinions and views are my own honest opinion. Thank you DKB for sending the bread to try! 


Dietitian Dish: Mafiaoza's


Mafiaoza's is a great little pizzeria in Mountain Brook where you can sit inside and watch sports or grab a table outside and enjoy the Alabama weather. Tuesday's are the best days to go since the special is buy one, get one free pizza slices and 1/2 priced beer selections.

To get the pizza special, you have to choose a single slice and the same toppings.  Last night I went with peppercini's and mushrooms, but my usual is tomatoes and basil. I learned early on that pizza is kinda like frozen yogurt--too many toppings usually results in a less desirable choice-- keep it simple, my friends.

Pricing: You do pay individually for toppings so it starts with a $3 slice, then $0.60 for each basic topping (prices vary). Overall, I had 2 slices of pizza and 2 Abita Strawberry beers on draft for $13. Yes, please!

Their salads are great too, but lets be honest. Cheap pizza and beer is a tough deal to resist.

Dietitian tip: Save money and calories! These pizza slices are huge so add some veggies and eat one slice! Save the second slice and pair it with a salad for lunch the following day.

What are your fave pizza toppings?


Local Living: Garden Plot


If you are a downtown dweller, look into renting a garden plot at Jones Valley Teaching Farm. A small plot can be yours with a donation of $10-$75 dollars. There is a shed with tools so no need to even bring your own.

Which is good, because we rode Zyp Bikes to the garden! ( FYI: $6 per day per bike)

Now, we wait for blooms!


Dietitian Dish: Paramount


Have you ever been in a restaurant and wondered what would be the healthier option on the menu, but not necessarily in the mood for a salad?

Maybe you have ordered what you thought was the healthy option only to find out it was the entire days worth of calories?

Read on to help with navigating restaurants for healthy but delicious options.

First up: Paramount- a fun, downtown Birmingham spot with local beer and some ski ball machines. 

To order: 

The Funboy; a delicious soft pita filled with balsamic mushrooms and arugula. 
Remember to 86 the mayo. If you want to add a side, I would recommend the sweet potato fries.

Be good people.


5 Ideas for Bringing Spring Into Your Home


I love Christmas, but shortly after, I am ready for a sun and flower filled room free of cinnamon scents. Are you looking to spruce up your home for spring? Check out these 5 tips!
1) Swap bed linens. Pack up the heavy, darker winter quilts and store them in air tight bags, or plastic tubs. Brighten your bed with more colors, white sheets, and a lighter, cotton quilt.

2) Bring in some plants. Spring is a time of renewal, plant some new herbs, or bring a new plant into your  home to brighten up the room with flower blooms! Remember to water it (I'm talking to myself, here).

3) Deep Clean. Throw open the sash and let fresh air flow in while you deep clean your home for Spring. It will give you a refreshing, new start for a brand new season.

4) While you clean, declutter! I have a love/hate relationship with stuff. I love cute stuff but I hate feeling overwhelmed with that same stuff. Instead of just re-arranging your clutter, if you haven't used it within the past year, throw it out. This includes last summer's clothes that you had to have but never wore, socks that have no mate, books you have already read, and that terrible, broken blush that you spent too much money on.

5) Add some fresh scents. Those Christmas candles are tucked away with other decorations and last summer's candle is long gone. Spend a few dollars (TJ Maxx, anyone) on a new, fresh, Spring time scent.

What spring home ideas do you have?

In Defense of Food: 10 Things Dietitians Do


Today, we celebrate those who spend a lot of their life helping others find ways to improve on their own. It is one of the only careers focused on prevention rather than treatment. It is also a rare career in that, while we learn so much about food and food science, a lot of us spend the larger part of our days counseling and motivationally interviewing families. You don't need someone to tell you to eat more veggies, but you may need someone to help you figure out a plan that is feasible for you. Or, let's say your child can't eat by mouth, someone needs to be sure they are getting sufficient calories and nutrition from tube feedings. Do they have CF or Diabetes? Maybe someone needs TPN (or IV nutrition) who should calculate those macronutrients?

An RD is so much more than a foodie who majored in what outsiders may view as home economics. I haven't worked in a cafeteria since college and have no clue what the hospital is offering today. We are scientifically trained, chemically educated (too many Chemistry classes in my opinion), Master's degree holding, clinically trained, healthy eating counselors who really want to see YOU succeed. If there was a special diet pill, we would be the ones who wanted you to have it! Why? A) we'd be rich B) we really want success for you! But, there isn't. Living a healthy, well balanced life takes a lot of hard work and planning. There's no magic and any restrictive diet or special trick that tell's you other wise is a scam---which is why no one likes the dietitian--- it's why people love Paleo, and gluten free, and Atkins, and every other drastic plan out there. The truth is a hard preventative pill to swallow. 

We get a bad rep of "food police" but of all the dietitians I know (which is a lot), we don't usually notice what other people are eating, unless we have been asked to pay attention. Eating is a very personal experience, unique to each individual. It's also an art. Which is why it feels so invasive when someone (a dietitian) tries to change a person's eating habits. We don't spend our time invading your privacy by judging your food intake. Honestly, we just want to eat our own lunch in peace and pray you don't make a "healthy- you're- being- so- good" comment. But, some people are genuinely interested in what Dietitians eat...If you are, next time you eat with an RD, instead of viewing a dietitian as someone who judges what you are eating, relax, and if you want to, take note of how they plan their meals. Is it a piece of pizza + a huge side salad instead of 3 pieces of pizza? Do they have a lean protein and plenty of veggies? Did they pack it? Did they have dessert? 

I have observed dietitians eating/exercising/celebrating for over 4 years now and there are really profound consistencies. Here are some things I have noticed we all have in common:

1) A fruit or vegetable is at every meal, usually a fruit + a few vegetables
2) There is always a source of lean protein
3) We drink mostly water, never sugary drinks!
4) All of us regularly exercise  
5) Occasionally, we have a treat that's worth it- no store-bought cookies or crummy stale cakes- and then adjust the day accordingly. Mostly because we all really love food and are pretty good in the kitchen so we bake some pretty great treats! We notice if it becomes an every day thing, then cut back. Some of us struggle with portion control and sweets too!
6) We always pack lunch and a snack and rarely eat out. If we do eat out, it's for an occasion and not a drive thru. 
7) We eat regularly scheduled meals and plan for splurges. We know we would make terrible mid-afternoon snack choices if we skipped lunch!
8) We don't have cheat days or cheat meals, but understand that eating should be enjoyed. We actually enjoy vegetables and special treats. 
9)We focus on healthy cholesterol and healthy weight vs. appearances and know when to reign in our own eating habits because we constantly evaluate them. 
10) Most of us keep track of each day in some way to help us stay on track, (whether mentally or on a tracker) but we do not use trackers in a restricting calorie way. 

Interested in learning more about what a dietitian does? Read this article.
In honor of being a dietitian, check out a few of these RD bloggers I just love to follow!

Leave a shoutout to your favorite RD blogger below!

Mercedes Half Marathon Recap


My favorite running buddy, Kathleen, (plus my favorite supporter, JT) and I were at it again this weekend. We have completed four half marathons together. Kathleen has me beat by one that she ran in Savannah solo this past fall. We first ran and finished the Mercedes Half in Birmingham, Alabama two years ago as our second race. Our first was in Gatlinburg for the Santa Hustle and our most enjoyable one was the Seaside School Half in Florida last Spring. The weather was simply amazing! We opted to do the Mercedes again this year because I am getting married and couldn't commit to a weekend of travel, so Kathleen graciously agreed to stay local with me. The Mercedes race is a pretty big deal. It's a Boston qualifying race so people come from all over the world to run. It's always fun, but we are already talking about our next one since seeing new cities by running is one of our favorite things to do!

This half marathon was our slowest yet at a 2 hour and 7 minute time. There are quite a few reasons why we finished in more time than our previous runs. We did stop at water stops and we took a restroom break around mile 8. Both of those really add up when seconds count in a race. However, we were both really relaxed for this race and enjoyed jogging and talking. It seems I have lost my competitive streak in my old age, just kidding...I did squats at the gym two days before the half and boy, was that a huge mistake. The tops of my quads ached from working them out just two days before so it made my running stride a little off which resulted in more pressure on different parts of my calves and feet than I am used to. Needless to say, they ached more in this race than the previous ones and I will be forever reminded not to try a new workout routine two days before a long race. Lesson learned, friends. Overall, another successful Mercedes Half Marathon! I did get the post race message for the first time and it made my legs instantly 25% better! You can probably find me in that post race line from here on out. I would definitely recommend trying it.

After the half, we met J.T.'s family and friends at the bowling alley to celebrate his dad, Frankie's, birthday. Bowling is not my sport, but Frankie, J.T. and the other guys were pretty good! We even got to see Gracie...she was the cutest one there, but she's not a fan of the bowling alley.

Three games later, my fitbit was happy, but my body was shot so I headed home while they went to dinner.

What race should we do next? Share your favorite half-marathon below!


Lake House: Big Chill Retro Appliances

Last summer, America fell in love with these Big Chill  appliances. Ok, maybe only local Jasper, Alabamians, but I am convinced that if America saw them, they would have fallen in love, too.

My brother, Joey, added them to his latest lake house project and they did not disappoint!


Recipe Redux: Lightened Up Zuppa Toscana


An Olive Garden favorite-- lightened up!
Don't be scared of the kale; JT loved this soup!

  • 1 pound Italian chicken sausage
  • 6 pieces uncured turkey bacon, chopped
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 small red potatoes, chopped
  • 1  cup 1% milk
  • 3 cups kale, washed and well chopped
  1. Using a medium skillet, saute the Italian sausage. It should easily crumble. Set aside.
  2. In a medium stock pot, saute the turkey bacon. When it is halfway cooked, add diced onions and garlic and continue to saute until onions are translucent/tender (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add the 8 cups of chicken broth and the 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to medium and stir in the potatoes. Cover and cook for about 30 minutes (until potatoes are soft). 
  5. Add the 1% milk and the sausage, cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in chopped kale, season with pepper and serve!

Ibotta App Review


I used to have great visions of being a master coupon-er. Then, after spending way too much time comparing coupon savings with generic brand prices, I took my envelope filled with coupons to the checkout and ended up saving $5... I gave up.

That was before I found Ibotta. It is an app that allows you to look through and "unlock" coupons you would use. Instead of saving a bunch of coupons for things I don't ever buy, I skipped around to things I may buy. I typically go for the generic brands for dish washer detergent and household items, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized my dishes are really never that clean...Maybe it won't hurt to buy name-brand, I thought...then I saw $1.00 coupon which made the price the same as the generic anyway. Win/win.

So, how does it work?

You select your location and store, "unlock" coupons, go shop, then take a picture of your receipt bar code. In a matter of minutes, your rebates are sent to your paypal or venmo account.

You still have to be sure you buy the right size and brand, but having it on your phone makes it so much easier. It took no time at all to be sure I bought the 12 pack of Bounty paper towels to save $3.

If you sign up, use this link and I will earn 5 more dollars! Then, come back and post your referral link in the comments section. 

What apps help you with daily chores?!