About Me

Note from Maria: I am a Registered Dietitian with a Master of Public Health Degree in Nutrition from UNC at Chapel Hill. I have a passion for helping people with nutrition & wellness, especially moms. Women & moms provide care for everyone else often at the expense of considering their own needs. I hope to provide good resources to you to help you make nutrition and wellness a priority.

Monday, October 28, 2013

National Chocolate Day!

Apparently today is National Chocolate Day, sadly I learned about this on Facebook. I did an official google search and it appears to be legitimate. How exciting, this is a holiday I can embrace!! The true meaning of most holiday's has been lost and they often become stressful!! However, Chocolate should be celebrated. I know I am a dietitian, but we we like treats too, just keep them in moderation. Remember that dark chocolate in small quantities, about an ounce or so, has been shown to have health benefits. Dark chocolate in moderation may help lower your blood pressure and it contains anti-oxidants. So enjoy a little chocolate every so often and maybe today we all have an extra piece!!

Here links to previous posts with some of  my favorite recipes containing chocolate:

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

October is here - time for Pumpkin Muffins

As a very good friend of mine suggests, this is not fall, but pumpkin season. I too am a big fan of pumpkin almost anything! Here  is a recipe for pumpkin muffins made with whole grain flour, oats and calls for less sugar than most.

Nonstick cooking spray

3 1/2 cups of whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup of brown sugar
1 cup rolled oats
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 -15 oz can of plain pumpkin (not pie mix)
4 eggs
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 tbsp canola or grapeseed oil
2 tsp vanilla extract

3/4 cup of raisins
3/4 cup of dark chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 2 -12 ct muffin tins with cooking spray. In bowl combine all dry ingredients. Add pumpkin, eggs, oil and vanilla and mix well. Stir in raisins and chocolate chips. Batter will be thick. Place batter into muffin tins and bake for 20-25 mins or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Makes 24 muffins.

These are also great with a little bit of low fat cream cheese spread on top. Enjoy!!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Walk for a Cause....

I have a child with life threatening food allergies. Having severe food allergies requires planning everyday to prevent a possible reactions. Once a year in the Triangle, we have a walk to help raise awareness and money for research to cure food allergies. This year is on Oct. 12 in Cary, NC at Koka Booth Amphitheater. Please sign up today if this is a cause you are interested in helping. If you don't live in the area, you can go to FAAN's website to look for a walk near you.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Creamed Spinach Smoothie

Here is a smoothie recipe that is savory instead of sweet.

Creamed Spinach Smoothie

1/2 cup 2% cottage cheese
1/2 cup garbanzo beans (canned - rinsed/drained)
1 cup fresh spinach
1/2 cup 1% milk 
1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup crushed ice
hot sauce to taste

Blend all ingredients in blender and pour into a cup. A whole meal in a glass. It contains about 270 calories, 8 grams of fat, 22 grams of protein, 11 grams of sugar and 5 grams of fiber. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Announcing Maria Kennnedy RD LLC - My New Practice

I am starting my own practice located within Western Wake Wellness. Check the website, we offer many great services!  http://westernwakewellness.com/.

Here is a list of some of the nutrition issues that I can help you with:

• General Healthful Nutrition & Disease Prevention
Weight Loss
PCOS and Insulin Resistance
High Cholesterol
Preconception and nutrition during pregnancy
Postpartum/Breastfeeding nutrition care
Allergies and food intolerance issues including Celiac
Gastrointestinal disorders such as Crohn’s or diverticulitis /diverticulosis

My office visits consist of a nutrition assessment and a plan to help you improve your health through nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. If this sounds like something you are interested in learning more about, please email me at mariakennedyrd@gmail.com. I accept insurance from Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, Coventry and United Health Care. Insurance benefits vary from plan to plan. Blue Cross of NC pays 75-100% of nutrition services most of the time depending on your plan.

Please let me know if I can help you!!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pizza Muffins

Here is the recipe I promised for Pizza Muffins

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1 cup shredded low fat cheddar cheese
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
2 eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup frozen spinach
1/4-1/2 cup pizza sauce
1/2 cup part skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 F. Mix all dry ingredients and then stir in cheddar cheese.

In separate bowl combine yogurt, eggs, butter and then stir in spinach. Pour batter into a muffin pan (12 muffins). Spoon pizza sauce onto each muffin and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.

Bake 20 mins or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool muffins. Refrigerate or freeze, defrost at room temp.


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Healthy and fun school lunch ideas

My 9 year old daughter suggested I write about healthy ideas for lunches since school starts on Monday, what a great idea!!  Many of these ideas are good for grown ups too!!  So here it goes.....

  • 100% whole grain bread such as grain bagels/mini bagels, English muffins, pita bread, tortilla wraps. 
  • Filling ideas: leftover meat, low fat/low sodium deli meats (no nitrates), cheese and/or veggies, hummus and veggies, chicken and corn, ham and avocado, pimento cheese, egg salad, tuna salad, chicken salad, grated carrot and cheese, or cream cheese and jam (no sugar or artificial sweeteners added). 
  • Whole grain raisin bread with cream cheese
  • Make pinwheel sandwiches by laying meat and cheese flat on a tortilla, then roll up like a jelly roll and cut into slices. 
  • For younger kids, using cookie cutters, cut bread into fun shapes for sandwiches. 
  • Homemade healthy "lunchables" with whole grain crackers (such as triscuits or kashi), low fat cheese, low fat/low sodium deli meat. Even better made with leftover meat instead of processed meat such as grilled chicken strips with honey mustard sauce. 
  • Pizza "lunchable" with white wheat sandwich rounds, a container of pizza sauce to spread and shredded low fat mozzarella cheese. This is one of my child's favorites.  
  • Veggies as carrot sticks, celery sticks, cucumber slices, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, sliced zucchini, with dip or hummus. 
  • Celery filled with cream cheese or nut/seed butter
  • Fruit such as pomegranate seeds, melon, berries or clementines.
  • Cheese cubes or sticks
  • Popcorn on the stove popped the old fashioned way and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese. 
  • Snack mixes with whole grain cereals, pretzels, dried fruit, whole grain crackers and a few yogurt raisins or dark chocolate pieces. 
  • Fruit & cheese skewers using small “stirrer straws” 
  • Frozen go-gurts which will be almost thawed by lunch time. (also use an ice pack to keep it from getting too warm)
  • Homemade whole grain muffins or mini muffins. Have your children help you bake them. They can be sweet or savory such as pizza muffins. You can make a big batch and freeze them. I will post pizza muffin recipe this week in a separate post. Here are some of  my other favorite muffin recipes http://divanutrition.blogspot.com/2013/05/banana-oat-muffins.htmlhttp://divanutrition.blogspot.com/2012/09/pumpkin-muffins.htm 
  • Boxed milk (preferably low fat plain white milk)
  • Bottled water 
  • 100% fruit juice. Kids should only have one serving of juice per day. 
Other tips:
  • Prep lunches the night before so that everything is ready to go in the morning. 
  • Place perishable items in the refrigerator until morning which can be quickly added to the lunch box with an ice pack or two in the morning. 
  • Use fun containers. They make lots of great ones with ice packs.