Savor the Flavor of Eating Right: Notes from the Diary of A Dietitian


Emily in the kitchen

Emily Rubin, RD, Clinical Dietitian in the Jefferson Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology shares how to Savor the Flavor of Eating Right.

March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is, “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right” which encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives. The American Dietitian Association says it best: How, when, why and where we eat is just as important as what we eat!

People and patients often ask me what I eat. Here’s a typical day:
What could be sweeter on a cold winter morning than peeling, smelling, sectioning and then eating a juicy clementine and enjoying a creamy vanilla Greek yogurt? For lunch, I like to create a spinach salad with grilled chicken (see instructions below), sundried tomatoes and goat cheese -slowly savoring each forkful of flavorful chicken and veggies.  Then, coming home after a day of work and s

melling a home-cooked meal that brings back memories:   Crispy Chicken Parmesan. This is a great, easy dish to get kids or family involved in preparing dinner (see the recipe below), something my own two boys get excited about. I love to see the smile on their faces knowing they helped to prepare this meal.  Life is contemplation; life is activity; life is sharing; and life is delicious food — savor everything.

Here’s how I plan my meals:

Buy in Bulk: Buy a large bag of Clementines -they have a long shelf life. I also buy my yogurts in quantity especially when they are on sale. This breakfast is low calorie and is high in vitamin c, fiber, protein , vitamin D .

Buy prepackaged veggies: Pre-washed spinach or salad is convenient.  Goat cheese and sundried tomatoes come in small packages and can be added to a salad. Put the salad dressings in portable containers. Steam-in-the-bag frozen vegetables are always so tasty without losing the nutrient quantity.

Pan grilled chicken pieces:
Cut the chicken  breasts into small pieces. Sprinkle with pepper, paprika,  garlic  and onion powder , spray nonstick spray, then brown them in large skillet over medium-high heat for seven minutes each side.  Then add a few tablespoons of liquid to the skillet (broth or water) and cook another 10 minutes. Put the chicken over fresh spinach and add goat cheese and sundried tomatoes and a light balsamic dressing.  This healthy lunch is high in Vitamin C, calcium, protein, fiber, and under 300 Calories.

Emily's sons cooking

Emily’s sons cooking

Crispy Chicken Parmesan:
Get kids or family involved in preparing dinner; this makes it fun. Preheat oven to 375. Start with pounded chicken breasts. Dip each chicken breast in flour, then egg and then Italian bread crumbs allowing excess to drip into bowl. Add nonstick spray and one tablespoon of olive oil. Brown chicken on each side for five minutes. Put chicken in oven for 20 minutes, take out and pour your favorite spaghetti sauce over each chicken breast and top each with part-skim mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Continue baking until chicken is no longer pink in the center and the cheeses are melted, about 15 minutes more. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center should read at least 165 degrees F (74 degrees C). ProTip: Place over spaghetti squash instead of regular pasta. This meal is less than 300 calories, high protein, and high calcium tasty favorite.

chicken parm 5

Crispy Chicken Parmesan nutrition information per –  5 oz chicken breast 

Calories 280

Fat 11.8 g


Sat fat 5 g

Mono fat 6.5 g

Poly fat 1.6 g

Protein 38.3 g

Carbohydrate 6 grams

Fiber 2.5 g

Cholesterol 136 mg

Iron 2.8 mg

Sodium 634 mg

Calcium 247 mg



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