lunch, protein, recipe

Curried Turmeric Tuna Salad

 

A few weeks ago, I went to a corner cafe in Hermosa Beach to get some lunch. I looked at the menu and there was a wrap called “KARI.” I instantly ordered it and didn’t read the ingredients because if there is a menu item bearing your namesake with correct spelling, you order it! What arrived to me wrapped neatly in parchment paper was a whole wheat wrap with avocado, greens, sprouts, and an amazing curried tuna salad. I gobbled it down as I marveled over the fact that there was a wrap called the Kari served a few blocks from my house…day made! (Disappointingly, there was not a story behind why it was called the Kari…)

Tuna salad is an easy way to have lunch made for the week. It can be served with crackers and cut veggies or topped on a salad. I like to make a batch to have on hand for lunches/snack for the boy and I to eat during the week (just be sure to limit to 1 can per week due to the mercury content.) Canned tuna provides a good dose of omega 3’s (EPA/DHA) and I am always looking for food based ways to increase my consumption of omega 3’s. The curry and turmeric add antioxidants (the curcurmin found in turmeric is a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to reductions in pre-diabetes, cancer protection, and improvements in circulation)

This salad is crisp and crunchy, with warmth from the turmeric and curry powder. I am leaving for Europe TOMORROW and can’t wait to enjoy my curried tuna sandwich on the 13 hour journey (mints included!).

Curried Turmeric Tuna Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 can solid white albacore tuna
  • 1/4 c organic/paleo mayo
  • 1/2 c nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 heaping teaspoon curry
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4 c minced onion
  • 1/4 c chopped fennel fronds
  • 1/4 dried cranberries
  • fresh ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. EAT! Goes great with whole grain crackers, wrapped in lettuce, topped on a salad, or classically as a tuna fish sandwich.
dinner, healthy, paleo, recipe, side dish, vegan, vegetables

Roasted Delicata Squash with Lemon Tahini Sauce


Roasted squash in the middle of August may not sound exactly tempting, but when I saw these squash at Whole Foods, I couldn’t resist. After cooking, the skin of the delicata squash softens and you can eat it! Meaning, no need to peel the skin, just trim and cook! I love anything that saves me an extra few minutes in the kitchen and so I braved the oven and got cooking.

What sets this recipe apart from other roasted squash is the to die for lemon tahini sauce! Tahini is one of the main ingredients when making hummus but this sesame seed paste is super versatile. It goes great in sauces and dressing to top pasta, vegetables, salad, and more. I love making a tahini dressing paired with a spinach salad and summer berries 🙂

Delicata squash is rich in beta carotene (which converts into Vitamin A). To help your body better absorb this valuable antioxidant, the addition of a healthy fat source (tahini sauce!) can help your body maintain it’s carotenoid and Vitamin A stores.


Roasted Delicata Squash with Lemon Tahini Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 delicata squash, de-seeded and cut into half circles
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 TBS tahini
  • juice from half large lemon
  • 2 TBS water
  • 1 tsp herbs de provence

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place cut squash in a single layer on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Stir squash with your hands to ensure they are evenly coated with olive oil and spices.
  2. Bake in oven for ~30 minutes until squash is softened and caramelized. Halfway through cooking, flip squash allowing them to cook evenly on both sides.
  3. While the squash is cooking, prep the tahini sauce. Add tahini, lemon juice, water, herbs de provence, and fresh cracked black pepper to a dish and whisk together with a fork to combine. I also added a drizzle of olive oil to bring the dressing together.
  4. Remove squash from the oven and drizzle with tahini sauce. Serve immediately.
  5. Dressing will last in the refrigerator in a mason jar for 3-5 days.
baking, blogging, breakfast, brunch, dietitian, healthy

Best Ever Banana Bread 

Its been awhile…but I’ve been waiting for a very special occasion to share a new recipe with y’all! I’m a blogger for Food and Nutrition Magazine’s blog, Stone Soup and had one of my all time favorite eats posted today! Be sure to check out my post on the Stone Soup Blog and read below! 

Looking for a recipe for Mother’s Day brunch? You need a crowd-pleaser — but instead of overloading the table with more egg dishes, appetizers and salads, how about baked goods?

My mom has been making variations of her banana bread for years. Sometimes she will add walnuts or pecans — or, if she’s feeling indulgent, chocolate chips (my personal favorite). Regardless of the additions, it is hands-down the best banana bread I have ever eaten!

In honor of Mother’s Day, I decided to pay homage and put a dietitian’s take on the best banana bread ever.

The “3 R’s”: of Baking: “Reduce, Replace or Remove”

I substituted in whole-wheat flour and cut back on the sugar and fat. Applesauce keeps the bread moist and bananas provide enough sweetness that no one will be able to tell I reduced the amount of sugar.

If you feel like getting fancy for your next brunch, you can also turn this delicious banana bread into an even more delicious banana bread French toast! This recipe also makes great muffins — but be sure to reduce the cooking time to 35 minutes.

Mother's Day Banana Bread | Food and Nutrition Magazine | Stone Soup Blog

Mother’s Day Banana Bread

Recipe by Kari Ikemoto, RD

Ingredients

  • 2 mashed, ripe bananas
  • ⅓ cup buttermilk (I make this from scratch: add 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk)
  • ¼ cup oil (I prefer coconut or canola oil)
  • ½ cup applesauce
  • 2 eggs whites
  • 1¾ cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Scant ¾ cup sugar (a little less than ¾ cup)
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon hemp seeds
  • Optional: ½ cup chopped nuts

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Spray pan loaf pan with cooking spray.
  3. Combine banana, buttermilk, eggs, applesauce and oil in a bowl.
  4. In a separate bowl mix the flour, sugar and baking soda.
  5. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients. Stir in nuts or other additions (like blueberries or chocolate chips).
  6. Pour into loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
dietitian, exercise, food blogger, Hermosa Beach, recipe, registered dietitian, South Bay, sports nutrition, workout fuel

Poise Fitness

image1

Well! It’s been awhile! A lot has been going on in the Kari On Nutrition camp. Here’s what’s happened since I last posted:

  • I accepted a position at UCLA as a radiation oncology RD (!!!)
  • Spent a week in Kauai for my birthday (check out my Instagram @kari_on_nutrition for photos!)
  • Collaborated with #RD2Be Tawnie Kroll of Kroll’s Korner on a Q&A post for students (check the post out here!)
  • Had my roomie from my dietetic internship visit from Boston
  • Repeal the Seal and the Kids Eat Right Kraft debacle

Two weeks packed into 5 bullet points…impressive I know!

Sprinkled in between all this was a visit to Poise Fitness in Hermosa Beach. A few of my friends had been telling me about a class they had been taking at Poise, so I decided to take the plunge and e-mail Justin (the owner). After exchanging some e-mails with him, I decided to take the plunge and sign up for a 5:30 AM class (!!!)My friends were right! I loved the class! Each week, Poise focuses on a different goal or movement. The week I came in, the focus was abs. The gym is split into three sections – functional movement (body weight exercises, flexibility, core), cardio (in the form of treadmills), and strength (weights, kettle bells). There are 10 rounds in each section, for a total of 30 rounds, 1 minute each. What I loved the most about this set up was:

  1. There were tablets that showed each movement. Along with the coach explaining the movement, we had a demonstration of how to do the movement correctly, ensuring proper form and optimizing our work out
  2. The movement changed every rotation. Talk about zero workout boredom. By constantly changing what movement we did, I knew that I was getting a total body workout
  3. You could control the intensity on the cardio. I remember during one of our last sets on the treadmill, the instructor was pushing us to increase our speed. I was feeding off his positive energy and upped the speed to 9.0, which I would not typically do in the gym on my own

This class was the ultimate HIIT workout. I wore my Polar heart rate monitor to track my fitness. I like using a heart rate monitor because it allows me to push myself more to get within my training goals to optimize fat burning and maximize my cardio effort. Tracking systems help me to monitor my progress and give me a way to gauge how I can improve. I highly recommend getting a heart rate monitor if you are looking to up the ante on your fitness goals. It’s a great motivator and can help you to challenge yourself to do more.

According to my Polar:

  • Max heart rate: 173 bpm
  • Average heart rate: 128 bpm
  • Calories: 606
  • 61% fitness (cardio)
  • 39% fat burning

To re-fuel my muscles after this workout, I like to combine protein, carbs/fiber, and healthy fats. This will replenish my muscles and keep me satisfied until lunch. A favorite post workout breakfast is my power breakfast sandwich. It’s a perfect mix of complex carbs to replenish muscle glycogen and healthy fat to provide satiety and a dose of fiber. The addition of 1 egg provides 6 grams of protein, to help with muscle rebuilding, and increase the meal’s staying power. I choose sprouted bread because it is higher in fiber and I feel is more nutritious than other whole wheat varieties. There are no fillers/additives and the ingredients are all items I can pronounce 😉

Power Breakfast Sandwich

Ingredients

  • 2 slices sprouted bread (like Ezekiel), provides 30 g carbs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 egg
  • handful of spinach

Directions

  1. Toast bread.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray (I prefer coconut oil spray). Crack egg into pan and cook until desired level of doneness.
  3. Mash avocado on the toast with a fork. Sprinkle fresh cracked pepper and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Add salt if desired.
  4. Top toast with avocado and handful of spinach.
  5. Eat & enjoy!

image2

What is your favorite post-workout breakfast? How do you re-fuel your muscles?

A special thank you to Poise Fitness for having me! It was a great workout and I can’t wait to come in again (aka tomorrow!).

Note: Poise Fitness provided me with a free class. All opinions expressed in this post are my own. 

dietitian, dinner, main dish, nutrition, recipe

Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos

Currently I am battling a nasty cold/bronchitis/the flu that has made my senses a little stuffed up and my mind a little boggled. When your sense of taste/smell has been compromised, I say go with extremes. I have found that when seriously congested, I can only taste foods that are either very spicy or very sweet- no in betweens. Similar to taste changes that occur when a patient is going through chemotherapy (ex.due to side effects of treatment) or natural taste changes as we age, we need to make slight changes in the preparation of our foods so that food will be palatable and nourishing.

My chipotle lime marinade is a great recipe that plays up spice and citrus to battle through my congested sinuses. It is spicy, smoky, zesty, and easy! It can also be used with chicken or other proteins. I’ll use it to top salads, tacos, burritos, or make enchiladas with.


Chipotle Lime Fish Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 cod fillets (you can also substitute chicken breast or tilapia)
  • 1 can chipotle in adobo
  • 2 limes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 TBS chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 2-3 TBS olive oil
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Remove chipotle peppers from can and dice.
  2. Place fish or chicken in a large zippered bag or covered container. Add chipotle, juice of 2 limes, bell pepper, onion, garlic, spices, herbs, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Shake bag or stir to combine. Ensure that the marinade is evenly distributed on the fish.
  3. Marinate over night!
  4. Heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Pour in fish with marinade. Cook until the fish is opaque and browned on both sides, about 5-7 minutes per side.
  5. Serve with fresh cilantro, shredded cabbage, and salsa. Top with sautéed marinated peppers.

#karionnutrition

dietetic intern, dietetic internship, dietitian, grad school, rd exam, RD2Be, studying

Studying for the RD Exam

Studying for the RD exam = the most stressful, annoying, terrifying, semi-fun (barely!) thing you get to do AFTER you have just spent 10 months as a dietetic intern/slave/student/professional handout creator. Especially when all you want to do is go outside and play beach volleyball!

I’ve never been one to love to study. I’m a procrastinator by trade and typically put things off to the last minute. However, based on everything I’ve read and advice from friends and preceptors, this was one of those circumstances where that mentality wasn’t going to work for me. So I buckled in for a long summer hanging out with Jean Inman.

I was fortunate that one of my preceptors gave me her copy of Jean Inman. It’s expensive BUT TOTALLY WORTH IT. I briefly looked online and found one on Craigslist, so older versions or used copies are available if you are looking to save some money. Girls in my internship split the cost and made copies of the materials. No matter which way you do it, I would recommend utilizing her guide.

However, I couldn’t listen to the CDs. They put me to sleep and I knew there was no way I could sit and pay attention. Instead, I focused on reading the material and creating notes and flashcards of the material I didn’t know. I think this helped me to streamline the material and organize what I knew vs. what I didn’t know.

The best way to prepare yourself is via practice tests. The practice tests were invaluable when it came to preparing me for the actual exam. I used a combination of the Inman tests and the StEp practice tests from the Academy. Fortunately, our internship paid for us to have access to the SteP guide. I liked the StEp guide because it provided feedback and cited sources for the questions. As a researched based profession, I found this especially helpful.

The final step to studying for the exam was mental toughness. This past summer, I was fortunate to watch a lot of professional beach volleyball. Watching these tournaments and athletes up close, you can tell which players have the mental edge. It’s what separates the Kobe Bryants and Kerri Walshs of the world. Those players with mental toughness, close out games and make their serve when it counts. The extreme focus and dedication are what have led them to greatness. This is the mentality I used to approach the exam.

I focused on my strengths and didn’t spend too much time studying information I already knew. I kept my cool, trying to think about what would an entry-level RD be expected to know? Most entry-level clinical RDs would not be thrown into an advanced field of dietetics practice without any resources to refer to. I used this thinking throughout most of my RD exam preparation. I did not spend my time memorizing specific lab values or medications but instead focused on understanding nutrition concepts and how to apply them in situations to problem solve.

On the day of the exam, I was nervous (who wouldn’t be????) but I knew that there was no amount of morning cramming that’s going to help you pass. I remained calm and knew that if I got to 125 questions and the screen went blank I passed. There weren’t very many surprise questions. I did get asked a few questions about steroid medications that I wasn’t as prepared for, but I think they may have been test questions. I passed and was grateful that I did not over study. After taking the exam, I realized that for me and my test taking skills, I studied the ideal amount of time.

The time frame for my studying wasn’t too long. I felt that with the amount of schooling, work experience, and the internship, I was either prepared or not. I intensely studied the exam for 1 week. The month prior, I spent a couple of hours a week reading over Inman and taking the StEp practice exams. I’m the most frustrated about how intensely I studied the first domain (my weakest area) only to discover that I got asked zero memorable/hard questions.

The best advice I can give is to know your study habits and what works best for you. Focus on the areas that you are weakest in and be open to different study material options. Don’t stress out about memorizing the material! To me, the exam was very conceptual. Focus on problem solving skills and read every question thoroughly!

Lastly, here is a round-up of blog posts from other RDs that I found helpful when studying. These helped me to formulate my study plan and also what resources are out there!

All Access Internships

Ancestralize Me

The Lean Green Bean

Hope that helps! Best of luck to any future RDs 🙂

#karionnutrition

dietitian, running, training

Nike Women’s Half Marathon #WeRunSF

In honor of the San Francisco Giants winning the World Series, I thought this post was very fitting! I was rooting for the Royals because my boyfriend’s brother-in-law is a scout for them. They made a great run but unfortunately the Royals couldn’t outlast Bumgarner. In the end I was glad the Giants won, especially for my CRM family.

#WERUNSF! Conquered. The. HILLS.

It’s been awhile since I have done a long distance race. Between my internship, studying, job hunting, and life in general, running took a back seat, something that should have never happened. I’m not very fast or a very efficient runner but I can get out and log some serious miles (when I feel like it). As a runner, I had already tackled a Tough Mudder, 2 full marathons, 2 half marathons, and one extremely brutal, uphill 22 mile trail race. The Nike Women’s Marathon has been on my running bucket list for as long as I can remember. I’ve had friends run it over the years and read various blog posts about others who had run it and knew that at some point I would run it.

image6
The runners lining up to start

WELL…that chance came this year! Since I was back in school completing my internship I was able to use the student entry and was on my way to San Francisco. After receiving word that I was accepted to run the race, I convinced my boyfriend to join in on the fun! We spent the summer training and going for runs, though were definitely not running as much we should have been.

image3-1
My name on the Nike store wall

Come the weekend of the race, I knew I wasn’t prepared but I set my goal to less than 2.5 hours (my half PR is 1:55 and that was when I was running and training A LOT). Arrival at the expo was unreal! There were tons of people in Union Square and some amazing sponsor samples. I especially loved the Suja Juice and Vega Protein powder combo for a post race re-fuel.

image9
My gear all laid out the night before the race!

The race day weather was absolutely perfect! Foggy and cool, perfect for PRs (or in my case no PRs!). The course was well planned with only one major hurdle – a half mile steep hill climb at mile 10. Once you made it up that hill it was easy peasy! I finished under my goal of 2.5 hours but ran the slowest half marathon I’ve ever run. It’s perfect motivation for my next half marathon and what I need to do to improve!

Matt and I at the starting line
Matt and I at the starting line
image7
Tiffany’s Finishers Necklace
image5
A foggy SF morning with my Tiffany’s blue box!

Have you run in the Nike Women’s Running series? Let me know in the comments, I’d love your thoughts! I’m looking forward to my next Nike Women’s Race! I’m also deciding in the next couple days whether to run the LA marathon again…