Fellow RD Lee Jackson emailed me about doing a guest post on KERF a few weeks ago. As we brainstormed topic ideas, I realized she had a really cool nontraditional RD job that I wanted to know more about. I get emails all the time about the job options for RDs, so I figured a post on Lee’s career path would be interesting, especially since I knew going back to school that I wanted to do something crazy with food too : )
I was so excited to get the opportunity to write for one of my favorite blogs, and I immediately had a list of topic ideas running through my head, cooking for diabetes, arthritis, cancer…..but then Kath suggested, “What about a post about your career as an RD in a nontraditional role?” I have to admit, as a mom and registered dietitian for best-selling trim&TERRIFIC cookbook author, Holly Clegg, I get asked all the time ‘What do you do?’ But then reality hit and I realized I had to ANSWER that question – just what do I DO? As a stay-at-home-mom/work-from-home-mom, the job looks different day to day – heck, minute to minute, and balancing the two can be a little tricky at times, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.
As a healthy culinary expert, Holly Clegg truly is an amazing woman to work with – more of a friend than a ‘boss’ – and she has been a promoter of healthy cooking long before it was cool. In fact, she will tell you that with her first Trim & Terrific cookbook she would hear people say, “Oh no, I can’t give that to my daughter-in-law/friend/sister/etc, she will think I am calling her fat!” We now know how important nutrition is to quality of life, but there was a time when it definitely wasn’t the norm.
There also was a time when the internet wasn’t the norm. Years ago, when I began working for Holly I was pretty green as far as mass communications, social media, public relations go and as Kath can surely attest, so much of any business needs a good foundation in these areas. I knew about calories, but what good is that if you can’t reach people and have them hear and learn what you are trying to teach.
So between cheerios, games on the iPhone (monitoring amount of time spent on the iPhone), diaper changes (and even worse – potty training) nursing an infant, carpool, grocery shopping, preparing dinner, Bible study, laundry, and picking up the house (notice I did not say cleaning up – I am a neat freak – not to be confused with a ‘clean freak’) there is still work to be done – and that is just a Monday. Although it can be overload at times, I love it, and that is why I do it – amongst all the other good stuff; family, friends, work keeps me, me.
Writing has become a big part of what I do. Sure there is plenty of recipe development that Holly has deliciously done over the years (and I have so graciously helped and TASTED many of the recipes). But writing, whether it be in her cookbooks, or for magazines, websites or blogs – it is a majority of what I spend my time doing. And when it is written it must be ‘talked’ about – via Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Stumbleupon – social media must hear about it! You might be surprised to know that though I can calculate nutritional information, when it comes to the hundreds of recipes in her cookbooks we leave that up to the calculation programs built around the USDA nutrient database.
Taping for TV is fun too. After the groceries are bought, the food is prepped, the linens and dishes are set, we load it all in the car to bring to the news station. With the magic of TV you see Holly whip up several of her fantastic healthy dishes and you will find me never too far away (behind the camera guy, although unfortunately my boot – or butt- has been caught in the scene a time or too). We then load it all back up – at least what is left since the tv staff usually likes it when we bring food – and go back home to do dishes. No magic fairies doing dishes in our world, but I do get a yummy dinner out of it!
Holly’s approach to food is healthy, easy food should always taste good, and as a dietitian, this approach I fully support. While helping develop KITCHEN 101:Secrets to Cooking Confidence, we included a “D” by each recipe to signify all recipes that comply with the American Diabetes Association. In Eating Well to Fight Arthritis we added a “D” as well as “G” for gluten-free recipes. We wanted to make these healthier dishes mainstream, showing that eating well can be an everyday thing, not a special diet.
Chicken Fajita Pizza from Holly Clegg’s trim&TERRIFIC KITCHEN 101: Secrets To Cooking Confidence
Fajita and pizza together in one recipe can only mean instantaneous deliciousness.
Makes 8 servings
- 2 cups shredded skinless, rotisserie chicken breast
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 medium green bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced into strips
- 1 (10-13.8-ounce) can refrigerated pizza crust
- 2/3 cup picante sauce
- 1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese
1. Preheat oven 425° F. degrees. Coat pizza pan with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In bowl, combine chicken with chili powder; set aside. In large skillet coated with nonstick cooking spray, sauté onion and green pepper, cooking until crisp tender.
3. Unroll dough and place in pan; starting at center, press out with hands. Bake 6 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove from oven and spoon chicken and onion mixture over partially baked crust. Spoon picante sauce over chicken and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven and bake 10-12 minutes.
Nutritional info per serving:
Calories 219, Calories from Fat 26%, Fat 6g, Saturated Fat 2g, Cholesterol 41mg, Sodium 546mg, Carbohydrates 21g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Total Sugars 4g, Protein 19g, Dietary Exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 2 lean meat
Terrific Tip: Can use a Boboli crust or can pick up your favorite prepared pizza crust.
Enter to win a set of Holly Clegg’s books –
Lee Jackson, LDN, RD is a wife and mommy of James (3) and Madeline (3 months) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As Registered Dietitian with best-selling trim&TERRIFIC cookbook author, Holly Clegg, she enjoys spreading the message that good food really can be good for you.