Friday, May 11, 2018

My Healthy Pick At: WHITE DOG CAFE (Wayne, PA)

The White Dog Cafe is a quintessential Main Line restaurant where you will find most well-to-do people in the area dining on a regular basis. I know friends that travel from afar to go to their brunch there, but I have not been. That being said, I make it there every few months for dinner, but definitely not regularly. The menu is pricey (except for their great happy hour specials!) and I also find it difficult to navigate in terms of making a healthy selection. I struggle to find something satisfying for my clients to choose when they go there. The salads need extreme modification, or a healthier appetizer is usually not a lot of food and will leave someone feeling like they haven't had a meal. Months ago I got the salmon with lentils and cauliflower mash, which sounds like it should be healthy, but as with any good restaurant, it was loaded with butter and salt. But I get it, to be a good chef, you have to use a lot of butter, people love that!

Anyway, I went back again last month for my fiance's birthday, and also because I had a $15 gift card, thanks to my Birthday Pak. I went in with the mission to find something that I really enjoyed and that I could recommend to clients. Mission accomplished! I inquired if I could change the steak in the "Thai Steak and Noodle Salad" to chicken. They were very accommodating and allowed me to make that switch. I was also able to get the Thai vinaigrette on the side. This meal was right up my alley since I love the flavors of Thai food, and it was pretty healthy. While there were (refined grain) Udon noodles, there was not a significant portion. I was pleasantly surprised with the quantity of vegetables, and the amount of chicken was perfect. Since I ordered this delicious and satisfying meal, I have recommended it to several local friends and clients.

So I am pleased that I have finally found something I can recommend at White Dog as a dietitian. Don't get me wrong, the food is terrific, which is why it's a popular spot... but generally difficult to eat at if you are trying to eat healthy and/or watching your waistline. So give it ago and see how you like it!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

My Healthy Pick at: TERESA'S CAFE IN WAYNE, PA

When clients come to me and are looking for easy ways to lose weight or decrease salt in their diet I have one main recommendation: LIMIT EATING OUT! I generally advise to my clients that the more you eat out, the harder it is to stay slim and have a well balanced diet. Most restaurants are going to add more butter, oil, and salt to foods, sometimes unbeknownst to you. They sneak butter in places you would not guess... everything is made better with butter!

However, I am guilty of eating out for dinner at least once or twice a week, on average. I find eating out enjoyable and I don't want to deprive myself of fun social situations. This is something I stress with my clients as well: you cannot become a hermit in order to control your eating... that is the sign of a more serious problem. So, you have to learn how to make good choices when you do eat out. Hence, I decided to start a series of blog posts entitled "My Healthy Pick at: ______" where I go around to local restaurants and give my recommendations for more healthy items at these institutions. 

My first healthy pick is from a place I rarely eat at, simply because my friends prefer the right hand side (Teresa's Next Door) for the ambiance, nice bartenders, and the fact that the draft beers are on that side. The left side (Teresa's Cafe) is lovely, but it is a different (Italian) food menu, vibe, and you don't have as quick access to the beers. However, I had several clients say they had no idea what to order at Teresa's Cafe, so I decided to go investigate and come up with a recommendation for them at that location.

Upon reading the Teresa's Cafe menu, I decided something that I would enjoy, but would be healthy is their "Roasted Veggie Salad". However, this is lacking a protein... so I decided to add scallops. In hindsight, I only received 3 scallops, so for that price I should have opted for roasted chicken breast and hopefully received a little more protein. I asked for the dressing on the side (as I always advocate!), and found I didn't even need it. The roasted vegetables had oil and salt and were flavorful enough. I found that I couldn't even finish the meal as it was an ample serving of veggies, definitely Wayne Nutrition approved! So, next time you are at Teresa's Cafe in Wayne, and looking to order healthy, try the Roasted Veggie salad w/ roasted chicken breast (or shrimp!).

In the next few "My Healthy Pick at" posts, I will hopefully move to Teresa's Next Door, Christopher's, The Great American Pub, and other Wayne or Main Line/KOP spots. Stay tuned!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Chocolate PB Banana Kefir “Milkshake”

This recipe appeared in the 2018 February edition of Radnor Life & Style Magazine:

Kefir is one of the foods (and one of the few beverages that I recommend besides water) that I recommend quite frequently to my clients, especially for those with gastrointestinal problems. Kefir is cultured milk that is loaded with billions of healthy probiotics. You can find it at most supermarkets now in the yogurt aisle. Some have a lot of added sugar, so I have most of my clients get the plain, which only has sugar from the natural lactose in milk. Below is a recipe that I have clients make when they are looking for a dessert-like treat, that is more voluminous and nutritious than a bowl of ice cream. It’s something that tastes indulgent but actually is fairly healthy as far as desserts are considered.


·         ½ c plain low-fat kefir
·         ¾ c unsweetened chocolate almond milk (shelf-stable)
·         ½ medium frozen banana
·         1 tbsp Chocolate PB2 (or other powdered peanut butter)
·         1/2 scoop Trader Joe’s Chocolate Whey protein (or another chocolate protein that does not use artificial sweeteners)
·         ½ c ice

1.      Pour kefir and almond milk in blender.
2.      Break up frozen banana
3.      Add protein, PB2, and ice.
4.      Blend and enjoy!

NUTRITION- makes 1 serving
200 calories, 5 g fat, 29 g carb (3 g fiber), 14 g protein, good source of Calcium and Vitamin D (analysis performed using Diet Master Pro software)

Picture Source: Nature & Health website