Monthly Archive for: ‘December, 2011’

Weekly Wisdom – Smart secrets for sensible celebrations

December 19, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

Smart Secrets for Sensible Celebrations:
Practice “healthy” indulgences (part 2)

  • Splurge wisely; choose ‘must-have’ foods
  • Practice party plate portions; the key word is ‘small’
  • Balance the beverages - limit alcohol, soda & other sugary beverages. Those tasty holiday drinks are often high calorie & don’t keep you satisfied for long.

Trash Talk – More tips for ‘sustainable’ holiday gift giving

December 14, 2011
Leslie Phillips
, President & COO

More Tips for ‘sustainable’ holiday gift giving:

  • Consider a donation of time or money to a local charity 
  • Give the gift of livestock, trees, or fresh water through support to foreign organizations in honor of friends
  • Give homemade gifts in re-usable containers (like mason jars) that they can return for refills next year! 

Weekly Wisdom – Practice ‘healthy’ indulgences

December 13, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

Smart Secrets for Sensible Celebrations: Practice ‘healthy’ indulgences

  • Eat healthfully when not celebrating
  • Don’t starve yourself the day of the party; eat smaller, healthier meals beforehand
  • Bring a nutritious dish to potlucks - salad, fresh fruit, etc. There will probably be plenty of high-fat, high calories foods!


‘Tis the season… of overindulgence?

December 7, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

In the season of overindulgence & post holiday weight gain, I thought this column from appforhealth was timely.
Enjoy the read!

While research shows that few people who lose weight keep it off for good, and there are several reasons why keeping pounds off is so hard. Despite the fact that our bodies naturally may want to return to your heavier weight, there are studies based on individuals who have lost significant amounts of body weight and have kept if off for years. You may not be able to do all 10 of them, but try to do as many as you can

  • Be clear on what motivates you:

Make sure you got more to gain from keeping the pounds off long term.

  • Believe in your abilities to master weight control:

Loose the self-doubt, develop a strong will and can-do attitude.

  • Get and stay active:
  • Simplify your eating:

Set rules for yourself to control your food options and amounts. Perhaps you only have dessert at the end of a restaurant meal or at an ice cream shop and don

  • Develop better coping skills:

There WILL be ups and downs in life

  • Track your progress:

Yes that means record what you eat, how much activity you do and more. Suffice to say as much as record keeping is a pain, studies regularly support their importance.

  • Weigh yourself regularly
  • Know your weight by weighing often. Figure out how often is right for you.
  • Develop a relapse prevention plan:

Have a plan in mind before you need it. Put it into action as soon as a few pounds on the scale stare you down.

  • Put a support system in place:

Continuous support is a must. What
Know what works for you.

Weekly Wisdom – Obesity is the #1 risk factor for cancer

December 5, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian,

Did you know that obesity has been named the #1 risk factor for cancer? Not genetics, not tobacco smoke.

  • The good news….2 things we can control - diet & exercise - will influence our risk.
  • How to decrease your risk: eat simple fresh foods….a plant based diet.
  • Exercise regularly!

Restaurant Review: Blue 5 in Roanoke

December 2, 2011
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

I had dinner at Blue 5 in Roanoke this past week.  The restaurant has been around for at least a couple of years…which is about how long I’ve wanted to try it!  It’s known about town not just for great upscale/new southern food, but for outstanding local entertainment.

I always like to try several dishes when I go to a new place, and my dining companion was up for it.  We started off with fried green tomatoes with a shrimp rémoulade sauce.  The tomatoes were ok…they were cut too thin, so the tomato itself got lost in the beer batter style crust.  The batter itself was tasty, and the rémoulade sauce was perfect!

Next course was Caesar salad.  The salad itself came to the table rather dry-I honestly couldn’t tell if it had been dressed at all.  We asked for an extra side of dressing, and after that found the salad to be quite tasty, particularly the buttery sour dough croutons.

They don’t serve your typical roll…instead they serve heavenly little corn muffins.  Crispy outside, light & fluffy inside, not too sweet, brushed with butter and just a hint of garlic.  DELICIOUS!

For entrees, my companion had the sweet & spicy salmon.  It reminded me a lot of a dish I used to do during my country club days in Charlotte.  The glaze was a nice combination of sweet & spicy, though I feel it would have been a bit better with a little more vinegar kick-sort of like an NC bbq sauce.  The fish was obviously fresh and cooked to perfection.  I personally would have paired it with cheese grits, but it came with mashed potatoes & asparagus, which were very tasty as well.  As a side note, I did find it disappointing that a restaurant of their style & reputation would be serving asparagus in November.  I guess the local & seasonal movement has not hit everywhere…yet.

I had a Cajun jambalaya pasta.  The andouille was delicious, as was the shrimp, chicken & very spicy sauce.  The pasta was properly cooked, and the dish overall was excellent.

The piece de resistance however, was dessert.  Both my companion & I are crème brûlée connoisseurs, so our expectations are high whenever we order it.  Blue 5’s coconut crème brûlée did not disappoint.  It was perfectly cooked, still a little soft & creamy, not too eggy (which I hate). The best part for me was the crunchy bits of coconut on top.  I’m not sure how they did it-it didn’t seem to be toasted, but it was deliciously crunchy, pairing beautifully with the perfect layer of crunchy sugar brûlée.

The entertainment was great too-a couple guys playing some bluesy tunes while we enjoyed our meal.  Overall, I give Blue 5 two thumbs up & a strong recommendation!

January featured recipe: Butternut Squash Soup “Shots”

Makes 3 cups, 24 shots

1/2c — butternut squash
1t — olive oil
6T — onion, diced
6T — carrot, diced
1/4c — celery, diced
1/2 — small clove garlic
1t — ginger
1/2c — stock
1 pinch — each curry powder, cinnamon & black pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Peel, seed & dice squash. Spray with oil, sprinkle S&P
  3. Roast at 350° until tender, about 45 minutes
  4. Saute onion, carrot, celery, garlic & ginger in oil until softened Add stock & squash; bring to slow simmer
  5. Remove from heat & puree soup, add curry, cinnamon & black pepper
  6. Serve in small cups or glasses