Subject: Dietitians of the Week

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Dietitians of the Week
Check our Facebook page every weekday for our RD of the Day, as we put a much-deserved spotlight on a dietitian who's either making headlines or writing them and delivering their expertise through the media. Here are this week's featured RDs.

Sandra Arévalo MPH, RD, CDN Twitter
It's mid-October and that means we're creeping toward that annual RD nightmare — Halloween! Sure, nutrition experts get the willies when they think about all the junk our kids (and some adults) will consume around trick-or-treat time.

Our Monday RD of the Day reminds us of the facts and offers some alternatives that may scare your kids at first, but her tips for treats will help avoid anyone falling into the trap of empty calories.

In her Eat + Run column for U.S. News & World Report titled "These Sweet Halloween Treats Are Healthy, Too", Sandra Arévalo MPH, RD, CDN, CDE, starts with the cold hard facts: Childhood obesity affects 1 in every 3 children in the U.S., and 1.4 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes each year. Plus, 86 million are diagnosed with prediabetes.

A diabetes educator and Director of Nutrition Services and Community Outreach at Community Pediatrics in New York, Sandra works every day to keep children healthy, so her sweet Halloween treats are delivered with the care of an expert and the love of someone devoted to children's health.

"These treats come packed with vitamins C, D, E and K and minerals such as potassium and calcium, fiber, protein and good fats," she explains at the conclusion. "They offer fun ways to have children and adults boost their nutritional intake and lower their risk for diabetes, obesity, heart disease and even cancer while boosting their immune system."

For these great health Halloween alternatives, and for her work for the health of children, Sandra was Monday's RD of the Day.

Read the article: These Sweet Halloween Treats Are Healthy, Too

Anita Mirchandani, MS, RD, CDN Twitter
Since most Americans are spending almost 50% of their day focused on their jobs, which includes commuting as well as work itself, the retail market has grown with its offerings of healthy on-the-go type products, writes Tuesday's RD of the Day.

In her article on The Huffington Post titled "The Intersection of Health and Convenience," Anita Mirchandani, MS, RD, CDN, cites the Global Food Forums, one of whose notable 2016 food trends to watch for is "foods and beverages that deliver on both health and convenience."

These on-the-go products, says Anita "focus on a key macronutrient or a combination of vitamins and micronutrients that enable Americans to eat healthy without having to dedicate time they don’t have."

She then lays out five observations (clearly written by an educated professional) about how healthy food options are being made more convenient and available to those who don't have the time to properly plan meals.

"The purpose of this piece is to educate consumers to be on the lookout at their local grocery stores or online channels of such products — with hopes to make smarter, healthier decisions," Anita concludes in a postscript.

We'd say our Tuesday RD of the Day succeeded and is deserving of Tuesday's honor.

Read the article: The Intersection of Health and Convenience

Amy Amyx, RD, CNSC, CD Facebook
Halloween is a fun holiday for children of all ages. As fun as trick-or-treating can be, says Wednesday's RD of the Day, it can also be potentially dangerous in a variety of ways.

Amy Amyx, RD, CNSC, CD, a registered dietitian and certified nutrition support clinician, doles out some professional wisdom in her Ask the Expert column for the Muncie (IN) Star-Press titled "Have a Healthy, Safe Halloween".

Amy starts by reminding readers what the National Safety Council recommends:to ensure Halloween safety and prevent accidents and injury when trick-or-treating. She also covers what the FDA recommends to ensure the safety of treats received.

The dietitian for the past 9 years for the Intensive Care Unit and Progressive Care Unit at IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital then drops some nutritional reality.

"In 2012, more than one third of children and adolescents in the United States were overweight or obese," Amy writes. "While Halloween is certainly not the sole cause of our problem, choosing to give healthier options to trick-or-treaters is one step in the right direction."

She then goes on to recommend a list of sensible and healthier trick-or-treat ideas.

For this common sense advice to help parents and caregivers get ready for Halloween, Amy was our Wednesday RD of the Day.

Read the article: Have a healthy, safe Halloween

Paige Smathers, RDN, CD Facebook
"There’s power in owning what you eat," writes Thursday's RD of the Day on in Salt Lake City.

Paige Smathers, an RDN, CD, who specializes in helping people heal their relationship with food, breaks people down into two camps in her piece titled "Why you should own what you eat".

Paige says that there are those who do own what they eat. Then, there's a second group of "those who have great intentions yet continually fall short and as a result, live in a state of denial about what they do and do not eat."

Those people are the ones who say they never eat sugar or sweets, but can be found in the corner chowing on their kid's Halloween candy.

In contrast, says the host of Nutrition Matters Podcast, a person who owns their eating choices doesn't hide what they eat and is more nuanced about their nutrition.

Paige also stresses not to pass judgment on anyone. Now, I don’t want to you to assume that everyone who makes stark declarations about their eating choices are automatically struggling in a restrict/binge pattern," she urges with a nod to self-examination. "I’m hoping that as you’re reading this, you might be able to see a little bit of yourself reflected in these examples and learn how you might be able to approach food in a healthier way."

More of Paige's advice brings the article home. For the spot-on advice for people to own what you eat and avoid shame or guilt, Paige was our Thursday RD of the Day.

Read the article: Why you should own what you eat

Kelly Strogen, MS, RD, LDN Facebook Twitter
Heading to a game this weekend? College football? NFL? Kid's soccer? In her Goal Getter column on, Friday's RD of the Day offers fans a friendly reminder: "Don't let a tailgate derail your diet ".

As a dietitian, says Kelly Strogen, MS, RD, LDN, it’s hard to look beyond the unhealthiness of most tailgate foods and the amount of alcohol consumption involved.

With many of her clients avid football fans and season ticket holders, Kelly often faces the challenge of keeping them on track with their nutritional needs without infringing on their fun.

"My role, as their dietitian, is to figure out ways that my clients can still be social but not completely ruin their derail their quest towards a healthier lifestyle," the owner of Wayne Nutrition, LLC, in Wayne, PA explains.

Kelly then shares what she calls her "tried and true" tips for navigating tailgates or hosting your own with healthy foods. Those include bringing snacks (she recommends healthy ones), swapping tailgate favorites with a healthy alternative (more suggestions included), and some game time recommendations.

For providing solid professional advice to sports fans that can avoid serious health issues and weight gain, Kelly is our Friday RD of the Day.

Read the article: Don't let a tailgate derail your diet