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Summer’s here and so are those delicious summer vegetables–tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers, Oh my!  Try them with this chilled pasta salad dish.  It will be the perfect side-dish to take to a Fourth of July celebration!  It is kidney-friendly too for those with Chronic Kidney Disease.


  • 12 oz Box Tri-Color Rotini
  • 1/2 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 orange pepper, diced
  • 1/3 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/3 cup cucumber (w/skin), diced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup bottled Italian Vinaigrette dressing
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning


  • Boil pasta. Follow the “al dente” instructions on box.
  • Combine all ingredients in large bowl. Add dressing and mix.
  • Chill for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 12 Servings

Variations:  You may reduce sodium content in this recipe by omitting the bottled salad dressing & adding 3/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 cup of your favorite vinegar (red wine or white wine vinegar work very well for salad dressings).  Also, try adding any other favorite vegetables (shredded carrots, artichokes, sliced spinach, etc) and/or 2 cups of any canned, rinsed beans.

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)

  • Calories: 150
  • Fat: 5 gm
    • Saturated Fat: 1 gm
  • Sodium: 240 mg
  • Potassium: 45 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 25 gm
    • Fiber: 4 gm
    • Sugar: 4 gm
  • Protein: 5 gm
  • Excellent source of Vitamin A & Vitamin C; Good Source of Folate & Thiamin

It’s Your Health! It’s Your Life! Make That Change!

The post Summer’s Bounty Pasta Salad appeared first on Nutrition Pair.

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Impress your Valentine by preparing this deliciously simple Red & Green Pepper Steak! Beef (yes, beef) can fit into a healthy diet!  In fact, in one 3 oz. cooked portion gives you 10 essential nutrients including protein, zinc, iron and B vitamins. Even the Mediterranean style eating pattern allows modest amounts of beef. 


1 T reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 T dry red wine

1 T white vinegar

1 t ginger (fresh or ground)

1 pound London Broil, flank steak or Round Steak, cut against the grain in finger size strips

2 Tbsp olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 small yellow onion, sliced thin

1 red pepper, sliced lengthwise into ¼” wide strips

1 green pepper, sliced lengthwise into ¼” wide strips

1 12 to 14 oz. can of no salt added diced tomatoes

1 cup low sodium beef broth

2 tsp cornstarch


  1. In a medium-sized bowel, combine the soy sauce, wine, vinegar and ginger. Add the steak & toss well to coat.
  2. In a heavy 12-inch skillet, heat 1T of the olive oil over moderate to high heat for about 1 minute. Drain the beef, reserving the marinade, and add the steak to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until no longer pink. Transfer the beef to a platter.
  3. Add another T of olive oil to the skillet and add the garlic, onion and peppers. Cook, stirring for 1 minute until the vegetables are tender but still crisp.
  4. Combine the marinade with the beef broth and cornstarch. Add to the skillet and heat until thickened. Return the beef & any juices to the skillet. Cook and stir until heated through. Serve with rice and enjoy! Serves 4.


Calories:                      325

Total Fat:                     16 g

Saturated:                  4.5 g

Trans:                             0 g

Monounsaturated        5 g

Cholesterol:                 45 mg

Sodium:                       280 mg

Carbohydrates:            17 g

Dietary Fiber:                     4 g

Sugars:                                 8 g

Protein:                             28 g

It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!

The post Red & Green Pepper Steak appeared first on Nutrition Pair.

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This version of the classic spinach dip has been lightened up to be lower in calories, fat and salt.  The addition of artichokes and parmesan cheese delights the taste buds!

Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins A and K. Like other leafy greens, spinach is also high in folate, iron, fiber, magnesium, calcium and vitamin C.

Artichokes are high in fiber phytochemicals .  Artichokes also contain inulin, a prebiotic fiber that can nourish the “good” bacteria that line your intestinal tract and ward off E. coli and other food-borne bacteria.


1 Box (10oz) frozen, cut Spinach                                                ¼ Cup Parmesan Cheese

½ Cup Artichoke Hearts (from a 14-oz can)                           ¼ Cup Light Mayonnaise

2 Medium Green Onions (2 TBS)                                               ¼ tsp Pepper

1 Glove Garlic, finely chopped                                                     ¼ tsp salt (optional)

1 ½ Cups Reduced Fat or Fat Free Sour Cream



Cook spinach and allow to cool.  Squeeze spinach to drain excess fluid.

Drain and finely chop the Artichoke Hearts.

Mix all ingredients in a medium bowl.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Serve with vegetables such as carrots, celery, cucumbers or one of your favorites!

Nutrition Facts:

Makes approximately 10 servings

1 serving = ¼ Cup

Calories:               60

Total Fat:             1 gram                  Total Carbs:        9 grams

Saturated Fat:   0.5 gram               Dietary Fiber:     1 gram

Trans Fat:            0 gram                  Sugars:                 2 grams

Cholesterol:          5 mg                     Protein:                 3 grams

Sodium:               250 mg

It’s Your Health.  It’s Your Life.  Make That Change!

The post Spinach-Artichoke Dip appeared first on Nutrition Pair.

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Angie is from Southeastern Virginia and this dish is native to that area. It is a delicious, thick, rich tomato & butter bean stew.  We like to keep this warming in the crock-pot during the Holiday season to warm up our visitors! Note: this recipes is adapted from the famous “Virginia Hospitality” cookbook authorized by the Junior League of Hampton Roads (Angie’s mother’s favorite cookbook!).


4 chicken breasts
1 onion, quartered
2 ribs celery, diced
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
16 ounces frozen shoepeg corn (white,sweet corn)
10 ounces frozen small butterbeans
16 oz. canned no salt added tomatoes                                                                                                                                                6 small potatoes, cubed (no need to peel)
1/3 cup ketchup
2-3 Tablespoons vinegar
1 Tablespoon brown sugar                                                                                                                                                                  16 oz. unsalted chicken broth (We like “Kitchen Basics” brand)                                                                                                  1 teaspoon Reduced Sodium Worchestershire
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco
1/4 teaspoon marjoram
2-3 Tablespoons butter or tub margarine

Place chicken in large pot and add enough water to cover well. Add onion, celery, salt, and pepper. Boil until chicken is completely cooked. Do not discard water in pot.  Remove chicken and place on a dish in the refrigerator to cool.  Add the corn, butterbeans, tomatoes, potatoes, ketchup, vinegar & brown sugar to the pot of water.  Add the 16 ounces of unsalted chicken broth.  Cook over low to medium heat for 2 hours or until potatoes are tender. Remove chicken from the refrigerator & cut into shreds.  Add to vegetables along with Worchestershire, Tabasco, marjoram, and butter.  Simmer an additional 15 to 30 minutes.

Serves 6-8.

Note: Vary amount of water for thick or soupy stew. Add a cup of low sodium chicken bouillon after the first or second serving.

Nutrition Facts (8 Servings):

Calories:           300

Fat:                  4.5 gm

Saturated Fat:  2.3 gm

Sodium:            290 mg

Carbohydrate:  49 gm

Dietary Fiber:      9 gm

Protein:             18 gm

It’s Your Health. It’s Your Life. Make That Change!

The post Brunswick Stew appeared first on Nutrition Pair.

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We like this homemade granola as a topping for yogurt or by itself with milk for a quick breakfast or mid-day snack! Change up the nuts & dried fruit—it’s different & delicious every time!  Whole grains, such as oats, are high in fiber & can help to reduce cancer risk. Nuts are high in unsaturated fat and can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.


Old Fashioned Oats-6 cups

Unsalted Nuts of choice (at least 3 varieties-almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts, etc.- your choice!)-3 cups total

Seeds of Choice (pumpkin, sunflower, etc) – optional-1/4 cup total


Blackstrap Molasses-2 T

Canola Oil-4 T

Honey- 4 T

Coconut flakes, unsweetened or grated coconut – ¼ cup

Dried fruit of choice (raisins, Craisins, dates, etc) – ½ cup

Parchment paper


Mix oats, nuts and seeds in a bowl. Add salt and canola oil and stir. Add blackstrap molasses and stir.  Bake on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and flip mixture around with a spatula. Bake another 7-8 minutes, remove from oven & flip mixture around again w/spatula.  Repeat until the mixture looks golden brown & crunchy (2-3 times is usually adequate).  Watch mixture carefully so that it does not burn! Remove from oven & drizzle honey over entire mixture. When mixture is completely cool, sprinkle with coconut and dried fruit of choice. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes 24 servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:

Calories                         230 Protein                        5 gm Carbohydrate            23 gm
Fat                              14 gm Sodium                       8 mg Fiber                          4 gm
Saturated Fat                1 gm    

Nutrition Pair

 It’s Your Health.  It’s Your Life.  Make that change!

The post Homemade Granola appeared first on Nutrition Pair.

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Diabetes Management from a Personal & Professional Perspective

By John Lamberson of Nutrition Pair

I have always maintained that diabetes saved my life and helped me meet my wife, and colleague.

Being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes a year after graduating college was tough, but in the end, it was a good thing. Diabetes encouraged and motivated me to change careers and return to school to obtain a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. It was in graduate school where I was lucky enough to meet my wife Angie, and little did we know that Nutrition Pair would become our life.

One of the driving forces for me to become a registered dietitian (RD) was based on how I was counseled after my diabetes diagnosis. Unfortunately, the entire experience was not a positive one.

The dietitian working with me was adamant about how I needed to avoid certain foods and reinforced how I would have to give up many of my favorites, including pizza and orange juice. I was determined to not let diabetes control me and have used my disease to benefit my life and the lives of others.

Similarly, Angie’s road to becoming an RD was based around helping others as well. Her specific interest in diabetes came later after working in public health and ultimately seeing my experience with the disease.

Through personal and professional experiences, we understand the added responsibility one must take on to live with and manage diabetes. We quell any concerns one might have, by looking at diabetes as a “family disease.” What we mean is that diabetes management can be heavily influenced by those supporting the person with diabetes. We see the “family” as not just the client’s household members, but also the support we provide as healthcare providers.

When we counsel, we provide knowledgeable and supportive information with tools the client can use that are personal to them and meets their specific needs. Doing this also helps us to develop an individualized meal plan tailored to their favorite foods, because as RDs, food is what draws us! We believe that finding ways to enjoy your favorite foods is paramount to living with and managing diabetes.

A trusted diabetes management tool we utilize to help clients maintain enjoyment with food is low calorie sweeteners (LCS), including sucralose, which is used in the original SPLENDA® Sweeteners. SPLENDA® Sweeteners are a game changer for diabetes meal planning.

We often get asked about the safety of low calorie sweeteners. We feel confident in using and recommending SPLENDA® Brand Sweetener (sucralose), as we’ve reviewed the breadth of evidence behind it and note it has a well-documented safety profile backed by over 20 years of research. One of the most extensive review papers to date on sucralose also confirms that there are no safety concerns from extended daily use in various populations, including people with diabetes. What’s more, long-term, well-designed clinical studies also support the role of sucralose as a safe strategy to manage carbohydrate intake that does not impact blood sugar or insulin levels, which are important findings that we translate for use personally and professionally.

We use SPLENDA® Sweeteners in some of our personal recipes too. This time of year, we love to make summer oatmeal and SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener gives it a touch of sweetness without all the carbs and calories of sugar! SPLENDA® Sweeteners allow us to enjoy all foods together without raising my blood sugar levels, and helps me to monitor my total carbohydrate intake. I enjoy adding SPLENDA® No Calorie Sweetener, along with cinnamon, berries and dried cranberries, to my oatmeal for a little extra sweetness and flavor.

A second tool that allows us to extend our support in diabetes management is through an exciting trend in healthcare, and that is telehealth.

Consistent counseling that offers face-to-face communication is so important when working with clients who are managing their diabetes. We’ve run into problems setting up meetings, or not being able to visually see their meals and food choices. This is especially true because we are in a rural setting and some of our clients need to drive over an hour to our office. Additionally, some of our elderly clients have a difficult time traveling. To help alleviate those barriers, we use Healthie, a telehealth system, to further extend our services and support in diabetes management.

To effectively counsel for diabetes management via telehealth, here are 3 critical tips we would recommend:

  1. Establish Rapport

When meeting in-person is a challenge, telehealth provides a great replacement option with live video capabilities. This allows us to establish a rapport right at the initial meeting even if conducted virtually. With telehealth, we broaden our reach, helping even more clients manage their diabetes at their convenience. We also have clients share their blood glucose levels with us directly through our secured telehealth platform so we can make the appropriate dietary adjustments.

  1. Be Present and Mindful to Help with Active Listening Skills

Telehealth sessions can also be conducted via just audio. If that’s preferred, we do encourage clients to be in a quiet environment free from distractions. A great tip for these types of counseling sessions is to be present and focus closely on how a client answers your question. This type of approach demands that the dietitian develop their listening skills. If you cannot see the client, you cannot rely on body language and energy level as counseling ques. Remember to not only listen to what is being said, but also to how it is being said. Picking up on changes in speed of response, energy level of response and tone of voice can provide clues on how your client is really doing. Avoiding disruptions and using active listening skills are important during video sessions as well.

  1. Document Sharing

Telehealth gives you the ability to extend your educational tools seamlessly through document sharing. To help us illustrate our point, Healthie has a screen share feature. Clients can easily upload photos of their meals or share laboratory work. We like to utilize the SPLENDA® professional site for current diabetes management practices, as well as source education materials for our clients. Some resource we are currently using with clients include Nutrition Tips for Diabetes and recipes.

As healthcare providers, we highly recommend referring to the SPLENDA® professional site for client education resources when conducting a telehealth session for diabetes management. To learn more on how the SPLENDA® Brand can help support your clients in controlling their blood sugar levels and with weight management, request your free SPLENDA® Professionals Toolkit. You’ll receive samples, valuable coupons, recipes, along with health and safety information.

Remember, diabetes management is not a “one size fits all” approach. Meeting your clients where they are – literally, via telehealth and finding out how to adjust their dietary choices so they can reach their goals are important in achieving a balanced and successful diabetes management plan!

Nutrition Pair has partnered with the SPLENDA® Brand for this blog post and have been compensated. However, the opinions expressed are our own and we have not been paid to publish any positive comments.

Angie and John Lamberson are a married couple of Registered Dietitians, Certified Diabetes Educators, and Certified Integrative Health Coaches. They are co-owners of Nutrition Pair, LLC visit them at NutritionPair.com.

The post Diabetes Management from a Personal & Professional Perspective appeared first on Nutrition Pair.

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