Connect with Nutritionista

The Eatery

A new application called The Eatery serves as a food journal and a way to monitor your eating habits. When I first downloaded the app, I was taken aback by the rating system and lack of calorie counting found with other applications. However, I find that this application truly aligns with the American Dietetics Association (ADA) motto, “ALL FOODS FIT!” On this app, no foods are demonized or stigmatized. You can simply log your intake and have your followers and the online users rate your snapped photo as either FIT or FAT.  

The goal here is to promote healthy eating habits through awareness and community support and feedback. As a Registered Dietitian, I find this to be a great tool to connect with my clients and see how they are eating. Net net = a very fun, visual and social way to keep an otherwise tedious food journal!


MESH Interview

Last month I had breakfast with my good friend Tasha Passarelle Ferguson's. Tasha and I decided to share an omelet and mixed grain cereal with almond milk. While we dined I shared with her my diet tips and tricks. Here is the link to Tasha's Fabulous blog MESH!



Farmers Market with The Nutritionista

I love farmers' markets for inspiration and fresh ingredients. I'm an avid devotee because local farmers' markets bring together like-minded people who support local economies and the environment.

Take a look at these articles from my recent trips to the West Hollywood and the Beverly Hills Farmers Markets.


The Potent Pomegranate

November is National Pomegranate Month. It is a time to enjoy and celebrate this amazing fruit!

It is said that the pomegranate is indigenous to Iran and thus prominent in Persian homes, including mine. Used in traditional dishes such as Fesenjan, also know as Pomegranate Glazed Chicken with Walnuts, is a thick stew of braised chicken made with pomegranate juice and molasses as well as walnuts. Depending on the cooking method, it can have a sweet or sour taste and is always served with traditional saffron infused Persian basmati rice.

The use of health claims has been widely in the Western food market to sell food products. The capitalization of these claims has most recently been used by Lynda Resnick, founder of POM Wonderful juice. Resnick cleverly made pomegranates, in the form of juice, available for the American population to enjoy and was the brains behind its attractive packaging and marketing slogans such as “Overpower Your Genetics.”

Her ability to capitalize on the current trend and the multitude of current research and studies endorsing the high antioxidant factor and health benefits of pomegranates has generally brought more awareness to the potent fruit. To date, POM Wonderful has invested well over $25 million in pomegranate studies, and many of the studies found throughout this project has involved her product and her funding.

Recently, the FTC targeted POM Wonderful juice, stating that their ads made “false and unsubstantiated claims” about their products. That POM Wonderful juice would “prevent or treat heart disease, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction.”



There is very limited nutrition information for this red hot fruit. Although several reports exist on the web, they all appear to be from the same data derive from a single report by (summarized from the USDA).  The simplest conclusion about the nutritional value of the pomegranate is its relatively low yield of macronutrients and micronutrients, being a significant source only of vitamin C (10% RDI).

It is said that dried fruit bears higher amounts of antioxidants due to their more compact and concentrated form, however, most of the fruits antioxidant benefits stem from its medicinal parts including the root, the bark and skin.

The potential value of pomegranate as a health food from research to date appears to lie in its phytochemicals, particularly those with antioxidant functions. Consequently, research to date suggests a unique pomegranate antioxidant phenolic group, punicalagins, and other flavonoids discovered in the aril pulp may aid in the treatment of several chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, some cancers, heart disease, diarrhea and atherosclerosis.

These studies however, have little relevance without determining the absorption and metabolism of these phytochemicals, their antioxidant properties or bioavailability. More research is still needed to prove such claims.


Pomegranate Glazed Walnut Sauce


1 C pomegranate juice

1 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

1½ C coarsely chopped walnuts

1¼ C vegetable broth

1 Tsp ground turmeric

S & P

¼ C olive oil

1¼ C chopped red onion


Prepare fresh pomegranate juice with molasses and vegetable broth, set aside

In a food processor combine walnuts, turmeric, salt and pepper, set aside

In a large, deep nonstick skillet sauté onion until it becomes translucent

Add both wet and dry ingredients with the onions. Bring mixture to boil; reduce heat and cover for 20 min

Stir the sauce and allow it to simmer for an additional 10 minutes on med low heat without cover

Serve over chicken or tofu and steamed brown rice


Dandelion Greens

The people of Greece follow a modern Mediterranean Diet that’s regarded by the World Health Organization as the healthiest diet in the world. However, many Greek-American populations have moved towards a more western style of eating and have failed to adhere to their traditional Mediterranean diet. This and other lifestyle changes have linked Greek-Americans to nutrition related diseases that are not present in their native Greek Islands.

Dandelion, native to the Greek Islands has shown to have antioxidant properties as well as health benefits including relief from liver disorders, diabetes, urinary disorders, acne, jaundice, cancer and anemia. It also helps in maintaining bone health, skin care and weight loss, among others. Dandelion also is rich in vitamin-C, which has proven to function as an antioxidant.


1½ lbs. dandelion greens

2 Tbsp pure olive

1 Tbsp lemon juice


Wash and drain dandelion thoroughly to remove all grit and remove stems

Place dandelion leaves in just the water that clings to them in a large pan

Cover and cook until tender

Drizzle with oil and lemon juice

S & P to taste