Weekly Wisdom and So Damn Lucky Top 5 Nutrition Noshes

Nosh One. Wisdom. 

Weekly Wisdom: So Damn Lucky.

Do you ever just sit back and think about how damn lucky you are?

I did this past week. 

I am so damn lucky to have family and friends who love me and don't think I'm lame. I am so damn lucky to have gone through an abundance of great things in my life (so far) and have gone through some sucky things to be sincerely grateful. 

I am so damn lucky to wake up each day, go to the gym and move my body, live in a home I love, have a job I love, have a car to get me where I need to be, eat/drink anything I want and all these other material things, I am not sure I really deserve sometimes. 

Sure, everyone is going to have their moments and everything is not going to be perfect but that's when we need to sit back and really realize how lucky we are. And if you find yourself not feeling very lucky, work harder, be strong and make it happen for yourself. 

Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation. 

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast with RD2Be Sarah Menzel

Today’s conversation is with Sarah Menzel, one of my first clients I worked with who diagnosed with Celiac Disease and who is now studying to be a Registered Dietitian.

A little over 5 years ago, I remember high school Sarah and her mom coming to visit me at work because Sarah was newly diagnosed with Celiac Disease and were in need of help grocery shopping. I would have never guessed a few years later, Sarah would head off to Iowa State and decide to become a Registered Dietitian herself. I have enjoyed getting to know her over the years and work with her off and on during her undergraduate career. Sarah shared more of her own personal story of becoming interested in nutrition as a profession and is looking forward to applying for her internship this fall.

Nosh Three. Week in Review. 

This past week was Spring Break in the Des Moines community and it completely baffles me how it is taken very seriously around here. Kids are out of school, I mean like elementary, middle and high school and many of these families travel. It is so foreign to me because when I was growing up, Spring Break was not a thing. Not until my college years and even then, it was a once and done (a week in Chicago and a week in Mazatlan was pretty fun). The even more amazing thing about Spring Break in Des Moines is the population decreases, drastically. Traffic is amazing, no long lines at any store and you can pretty much do whatever you want without an influx of people. 

1908 Draught House Downtown Des Moines Iowa

It just so happens, National RDN Day occurred during Spring Break this year and I had the day off on March 14th. Luckily, my friend Jason was also celebrating Spring Break with a staycation. I threw all caution to the wind, called up Jason and celebrated appropriately:  with cocktails and cheesecurds at Draught House 1908. Jason had to fill out his brackets and I enjoyed a couple Stiegl Radler's and some cheesy, fried goodness, as any decent Registered Dietitian should on this day. 

Pimms Cup at The Continental, East Village, Des Moines

We continued the celebration in downtown Des Moines and wandered to the East Village, where I celebrated RDN Day with a Pimms Cup from The Continental Lounge.  I thought this was a very friendly "Dietitian Choice" with cucumbers and oranges that are packed with nutrients like Vitamin C and pantothenic acid to give me energy! It was also about 60 degrees that day and a more spring like cocktail was in order. 

The Republic on Grand, Des Moines, IA

Good thing I got extra energy because then we relocated to my first trip to the trendy The Republic on Grand. Situated on the 6th floor of the AC Hotel by Marriott (which looks like such a great hotel to stay at if you visit Des Moines) they have an open air outdoor lounge overlooking downtown which brought in the cool breezes of warmer weather while we enjoyed The Traveler Cocktail. I loved the Iowa grown aronia berries, fresh raspberries and sprig of thyme to finish it off. It was the perfect "day cap" to end my RDN Day celebration during Spring Break. 

The Traveler Cocktail from The Republic On Grand, Des Moines, Iowa

Celebrating St. Patricks Day, Omaha, Nebraska

I then took a couple days off and headed to Omaha to hop a party bus to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with my girls Brandy, Lori and Carlena on a little pub crawl. I was a little worried because we had crazy ice the night before and the bus was leaving at 9 am. I arrived a little late to my old stomping grounds from my college days and met them at the Marleybone. It was like a time warp back to my 20s. 

There are pots of gold at the end of every rainbow!

Lori got extremely festive and you can't really tell but she has gold shoes on! There is always pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. I loved her outfit!


There is nothing safer and more fun than a party bus!

It was a fun day of meeting new friends on the bus and of course, dancing, singing and lots of laughs during the day. 

1912 Benson, Benson, Nebraska

We made a few stops that day, which all reminded me of being at Creighton!  Barry O's, The Dubliner, Marleybone and Barrett's were all places we hung out in college. We also went to a new place, 1912 Benson, which is where I caved and have my one and only green beer.  I swore I wasn't going to do it, but it was hard to not be nostalgic for my younger years. 

I am surprised we all made it through the day and managed to stay awake until 10 pm. It am so glad the weather did not mess with my plans to be with my girlies who I am very lucky to know. 

Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week. 

In honor of this years St. Paddy's Day, the playlist this week is made up of the great jams we had on the bus while making the tour of Omaha. Playlist is available on Apple Music and Spotify.

That One TIme We Were On A Party Bus Workout Playlist of the Week on Apple Music and Spotify

Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now. 

On my way home on Sunday, I needed a snack to get me through the 1 1/2 hour drive. I planned ahead with some samples I was lucky to get of the new KIND Snacks Protein bars*, a bag of Fritos and a large bottle of Smart Water. Doesn't that sound like a snack of St. Paddy's Day champions? These bars are soooo delicious and satisfying. I really enjoy the Crunchy Peanut Butter flavor. There are 12 grams of protein, healthy satisfying fats and an great crunch I really enjoy. If you haven't tried these, I highly recommend them for a little extra protein in your day. There are 3 other flavors:  White Chocolate Cinnamon Almond, Toasted Caramel Nut and Double Dark Chocolate Nut. 

What I Love Right Now: KIND Snacks Crunchy Peanut Butter Protein Bars

I am so damn lucky. 


*Samples of KIND Snacks protein bars were sent to me to try. All opinions about the bars are my own. 
*All establishments in this post did not sponsor my views and are mentioned because I like to have adventures and enjoy trying new places. 


Weekly Wisdom and the Sweetest Top 5 Nutrition Noshes

Nosh One. Wisdom. 

Thoughts on Daylight Savings Time: I Don't Know If I need a Cookie, Cupcake and a Piece of Cake, a Shot of Vodka, a Hug or 1 Week of Sleep.

Happy National Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day! Well that was a mouthful. As I celebrate my fellow RDN's and myself, I really want to give a shoutout to Daylight Savings Time for making me 50 different ways of being confused, tired and hungry!  Why does it have to be this way?  I know there is science and other noted points to explain the reasons why I am all 3 and why over 70 countries practice it, but can I just forgo it and do my own thang? 

Why does Daylight Savings Time make me more hungry?  Simply put, a loss of sleep. There have been a few studies claiming sleep deprivation may increase our intake of about 500 calories a day 
and I believe it. 

Less sleep results in decrease of Leptin (fullness hormone) 

Decrease in Leptin = increased appetite 

It can take up to a week to get back in your sleep groove, resulting in a little weight gain over the course of the week after we switch those clocks forward. 

So what does a sleepy, hungry, and confused human do?  1) Try not to complain too much 2) Be an adult and try to be responsible, shut off your phone/TV and go to bed a little earlier 3) Eat whatever you want, it's only a week 4) Hug someone super tight 5) Vodka is delicious. 

Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation. 

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast featuring guest Dave Sherotski

Today’s conversation is with Dave Sherotski, who’s favorite things are Food & Booze, Fitness, Fun, Friends, Family & Philly

I think I may have a slight crush on my guest today because you should see his food photos he shares on Instagram and THEN you should read the witty captions. I started following Dave through other RD’s on this social media platform and knew by his second post, I would be a follower for life. Dave is creative in the kitchen and creative with his words, has always had a passion for cooking creatively since he was a kid cooking with his dad and grandpa because the women of his family refused to cook holiday dinners, has auditioned and competed for spots on a couple popular cooking shows and has currently found himself a food fan base.

Connect with Dave on Instagram

Nosh Three. Week in Review. 

First Birthday Girl!

How cute is this First Birthday Girl?  At the beginning of March, I was able to joyfully share in the celebrate of my godchild, Miss Finley. Her face is so serious here!  

Cupcakes and Kringla

Her mama and my friend Stacey, make some beautifully delicious cupcakes with pink strawberry frosting and sprinkles!  Which is the best way to celebrate a birthday. 


I think being child #4 also gives you a little more freedom in this busy house because Finely even got to grab her own kringla and go to town sitting on the dining room table, looking adorably cute in her pink tutu. 

Goddaughter Finley with Birthday Kringla

I am very lucky to be her Godmother with my friend Laura. I know this beautiful girl is going to rock this world and I look forward to watching it all happen. Here is to many more years to grow and conquer Finley!

Celebrating National School Breakfast Week with Des Moines Public Schools

Did you celebrate National School Breakfast Week?  I headed to Wright Elementary to provide a little Pick A Better Snack education and the kiddos were really rambunctious (so were the teachers) because it was also the start of spring break!  These years theme was "I Heart School Breakfast" and I just loved the shirt I got to wear.  

Did you know kids who eat school breakfast:

-Have higher levels of achievement in reading and math
-Score higher on standardized tests
-Have better concentration and memory
-Are more alert for school
-Maintain a healthy weight

Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) provides all kinds of breakfast options for the kiddos and I am so happy they do. There are a lot of kids who do not have access to breakfast and need help, kids who forget to eat, or kids that do not have a way to put breakfast together in the morning. DMPS also provides FREE school breakfast for all 38 of their elementary schools. I am a HUGE supporter of school breakfast and it always looks delicious. DMPS uses Nutrislice, so everyone can access the menus and nutrition information for all their meals.  That morning they were having Savory Beef, Sausage, Egg and Cheese cups at Wright Elementary. I would have loved this as a kid!

Happy Birthday and Retirement Connie!

The end of the week was a busy one!  My Mom came down for the weekend, which was really fun because we always have a great time. We had an extra special event and that was celebrating my friend Jason's beautiful mama, Connie. Connie celebrated her birthday AND her retirement all in the same week, so a surprise party was in order. She was sooo surprised!  It was great!

TV Segment Prep with Sola Sweet Foods and Sweetener

I also geared up for a Sunday morning news segment with KCCI. This one was a little different and it was fun to have a friend on TV with me. Hy-Vee started carrying a new sugar substitute Sola® and a line of their products made with this sweetener. It is very unique and the products are tasty with minimal blood sugar impact. It may be a great option for individuals trying to control their blood sugars. All of the ingredients are made from foods you would find in nature like fruits and vegetables. There is little aftertaste and you use the same measurement in cooking as you would sugar. 

TV Segment with KCCI Channel 8 Des Moines, Iowa with Sola Sweet, Alyx Sacks and Chef Ryan Turner

I was joined by Chef Ryan Turner who created an amazing cook book for Sola®. It has over 300 recipes and all of them look pretty delicious. Chef Ryan is a true believer in real food, real ingredients and enjoying a healthier lifestyle. Something this dietitian can appreciate. 

Easy, Creamy and Delicious Chocolate Avocado Pudding Recipe, Keto Friendly

This was the recipe I choose for TV and I am so glad I did. I have been eyeing these avocado mousse recipes on Pinterest but there were so many, I really did not know which to choose. I liked Chef Ryan's simple and Vegan recipe option located on the Sola® website (link below), which you can choose any sweetener you like. I did make mine with Sola, but you can easily use sugar, agave, honey or another substitute that measures equally like sugar. 


  • 2 large, ripe avocados
  • ½ cup (120 ml) unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) good-quality, unsweetened cocoa powder (I like Navitas Organics Cacao)
  • ½ cup (95 g) Sola® sweetener
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pinch salt
  • Fresh raspberries to garnish
  • Chopped raw pistachios to garnish
  1. Place the almond milk, Sola® sweetener, and sifted cocoa powder into a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil, whisking constantly.
  2. When the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to a steady simmer and continue to cook for two minutes until it is smooth and syrupy. Remove the pan from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  3. Scoop the avocado flesh into a food processor or high-powered blender and blend until smooth. Add the chocolate mixture and continue to blend until smooth and glossy.
  4. Spoon the mousse into four serving glasses, and place them in the refrigerator to chill for at least one hour. Garnish with fresh raspberries and enjoy.
Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week. 

My podcast guest this week really influenced my playlist this week. Every Friday on Instagram, he shares his #FoodFetishFriday post. In Dave's honor, I give you my food inspired workout playlist of the week on Apple Music and Spotify

#FoodFetishFriday Inspired Workout Playlist of the Week on Apple Music and Spotify

Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now.

This whole blog has been about sweetness in some way and I just had to share what I love right now from my Gramma. I received a sweet note from my Gramma Alice for my birthday and I just was so touched to get it in the mail. There is something to be said for actually writing someone a note and sending it in the mail. No emails or text messages that take no thought or effort, but a personalized note filled with love. My challenge to you this week is to be sweet and write someone. It doesn't have to say much, just make the effort, go the extra mile. Thank you sweet Gramma for sending me this.

Handwritten Notes from Loved Ones


~None of this blog post is sponsored. All opinions and thoughts are my own. 


Weekly Wisdom and a Dietitian Goes to the Farm Top 5 Nutrition Noshes

Nosh One. Wisdom.

Quote about food production and farming

I was very fortunate to grow up in small town Iowa surrounded by all types of farms. Being around this lifestyle made me not only appreciate animals and crops, but also appreciate the dedication and values farming creates. Farming is a business, but it is also a legacy, passed on to future generations. 

As I have become a food and nutrition expert, I have also taken an interest in where my food comes from and who is providing or growing this food for me. Of course I find myself asking questions but I also value the importance of finding answers. All of us are interested in food and we should also be interested in food production. We need to educate ourselves to make informed choices about the food we consume and where it comes from. 

If you have never wondered, you need to start. Everyone should visit a farm, everyone should visit multiple farms. Talk to a farmer, let them tell you about what they do, how they do it and why they do it. Their story and farm will provide you with more information about your food than any nutrition label ever will. 

Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation.

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast Promo Photo

Today’s conversation is with Sarah Cortese, a registered dietitian with a lot of sass and a love for
collecting cookbooks.

A couple of podcasts ago, I mentioned a Registered Dietitian Summit I went to sponsored by Midwest Dairy and the National Pork Board. I was fortunate to meet new registered dietitian friends. At our first dinner meet and greet when we arrived, we introduced ourselves to the group. I knew instantly when Sarah introduced herself, we would connect and be friends. Sarah is a realistic dietitian who cares deeply for the community and meeting people where they are along their wellness journey. She currently resides in Oklahoma, is a proud mom, has a passion for long term care, has worked as a retail dietitian and is ready for her next adventure.  

Connect with Sarah by email and follow her on Instagram

Nosh Three. Week on the Farms.

This past September, I was sponsored by the National Pork Board and Midwest Dairy to attend a Registered Dietitian Summit in Minneapolis. Dietitians from around the Midwest all gathered in Minnesota to learn more about the farming practices of pork and dairy. I was honored and always embrace the opportunity of learning more about farming and our food. 

Photo of pork and dairy promo items

When we arrived in Minneapolis, we had a welcome dinner. Here we met all the other dietitians, the members of the National Pork Board, Midwest Dairy and most importantly the farmers:  Steve, Mary and Lincoln Langhorst and Lucas Sjostrom. The next day, we traveled outside of the city to a pig farm managed by Wakefield Pork Incorporated, owned by the Langhorst's.

Hog confinement on a pork farm

I have driven by many of pig farms but never have been in one. Living in rural Iowa, you can always "smell" the type of farm you are driving by. When we arrived, I could barely smell the farm. This is because in their barns, they use a filtration system for the air that passes through the barn similar to most hospitals. 

Photo of dietitians learning about pig farming.

Wakefield Pork Inc farms are very particular about their farming practices, animal welfare and biosecurity. When we arrived, we entered into a shower area. All of our street clothes/shoes (and cell phones) were left in one room, then we entered a shower area. We showered and completely washed ourselves and our hair and were given scrubs, undies, shoes, socks and stylish shower caps to be contaminate free. This enabled us to safely and biosecurely visit the farm. The first stop was learning about animal welfare of the farm. The pigs are given top notch care and nutrition, as well as well documented treatment measures of sick pigs. This includes the barns they are growing in and the comfort of the animals, which includes ventilation and temperature to protect them from illnesses and disease. The most current technologies are used to keep the animals healthy which in turn decreases the need for antibiotic use. 

Nursery for baby pigs

There are different barns on the farm. The nursery was the most fun. In the nursery, there can be numerous moms giving birth each day. An average sow (female pig) is pregnant for about 3 1/2 months and has anywhere from 9-13 piglets. When we were there, we were able to see a few moms delivering and my podcast guest this week, Sarah, actually delivered a piglet herself!  I was more inclined to cuddle the babies. These adorable soft babies are a little rambunctious at times and have some stellar lungs. My piglet was pretty sweet. After the babies are born, they go through 2 more barn stages before the pig is ready for market, which were were able to view as well. The Pork Checkoff has a great infographic of the pig lifecycle here. All the barns we were in were very clean, spacious and full of happy and very chatty pigs. 

After our tour, we then reversed the showering process to again, keep the integrity of their biosecurity. After seeing the farm, I had a totally different view on pig farming. I always thought most pig farms were very dirty, stinky, over populated and full of piles of pig poop. Not only was it none of these but it exceeded my expectations. The employees there are very passionate about their pigs and jobs on the farm. I think of this each time I prepare pork at home now. I know the people who are caring for the animals and the food I eat. 

Photo of whole roasted hog

And eat we did. After the tour, the Langhorst's so graciously opened up their home and roasted an entire pig for us to dine on. The meat from a roasted pig is delicious. 

Photo of roasted pork on a plate

Photo of buffet line for lunch

Menu for a luncheon

Photo of roasted pork, gouda salad, caprese, cupcakes and dessert

Photo of Wakefield Pork Incorporated

Sugar cookies decorated as pigs

We were absolutely spoiled and enjoyed great conversation, food and gained more knowledge about the care and devotion these farmers give the food feeding our country. 

Photo of a chalk board with pork production facts

“It’s a passion, a lifestyle, a resilient community that works endlessly to bring food to dinner tables worldwide.”
~ Steve Langhorst ~
Photo of father and son

After lunch, we then traveled to Sjostrom Dairy Farms. This is my third trip to a dairy farm and I learn something new every time. Not every farm is the same and each have their own way of farming. We met owner Steve and the rest of the family. This is one important factor in farming:  family. Steve farms with the help of his Dad and his two sons. 

Photo of dairy farmer on the farm

Steve took us through the milking process as well as the storage and sanitation process on his farm. Milk from dairy farms is used for a variety of products, from fluid milk to butter to milk solids for food production. After the cows are milked, the milk is measured by the pound. They can monitor how many pounds each cow is producing to help adjust nutrition and care for the animal. 

Photo of Dairy Farmer in the milking parlor

Steve showed us his milking parlor and we were able to go into the parlor to watch the milking process. It usually takes less than 10 minutes to milk a cow. After the milking, the fluid milk is transferred into a vat and cooled to the proper and safe temperature (less than 39 degree). Cooling the milk properly ensures a great quality product. It is then tested numerous times to ensure quality and safety for it to be accepted in our food supply. 

Baby calf

The Sjostrom's love their cows. We were able to tour the entire farm, including the nursery. Similar to the pork farm, there are different areas for the different ages of cows. These ladies are the sweetest from calf to cow. They love people and would come up to the fence to say hello. The ladies all have comfy beds to sleep in and are followed closely by a nutritionist to monitor their nutrition intake. The cows have different nutrition needs throughout their life stages. Very much like humans!

Photo of pig fabrication

After our farm tours, we were able to bring it all together by going to Cooks of Crocus Hill. Chef Neel from the National Pork Board did a pig fabrication for us. This is where he took part a pig and showed us the variety of cuts of meat. This was such a valuable demonstration. There are many new cuts and leaner cuts of pork you can find here. It is also very helpful when I am going to make something yummy with pork at home. Speaking of....Chef Neel also created this delish chorizo taco recipe my friend Sarah, April and I made. Spicy, but cool with the cucumber yogurt. I also give two thumbs up to the Chapati Roti instead of tortillas. 

Photo of pork inspired taco

Tandoori “Chorizo” Tacos by Chef Neel Sahni

Ingredients Amount
Ground Pork 2 pounds
Kashmiri Chile Powder 2 Tablespoons
Garlic Puree 1 teaspoon
Ginger Puree 1 teaspoon
Ground Coriander – Toasted ½ teaspoon
Ground Cumin – Toasted ½ teaspoon
Garam Masala 1 teaspoon
Kosher Salt 2 teaspoon
Ground Black Pepper 1 teaspoon
Chopped Cilantro 2 Tablespoon
Fresh Lemon Juice 1 Tablespoon

Cherry Tomatoes – quartered 1 pint
Cilantro – chopped ½ bunch
Flour Tortillas or Chapati Roti 2 dozen

Cucumber Raita
Greek Yoghurt 1 pint
Seedless Cucumber – Grated 1 each
Salt ½ teaspoon

Preparation Method
Toast cumin and coriander until fragrant. Add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and let sit for 24 hours covered in a refrigerator. In a skillet over medium-high heat, preferable non-stick, add meat without oil and let cook for 5-7 minutes until a dark crust is formed. Break up meat with a spatula and stir until meat reaches 165F. Finish with a squeeze of lemon.

To Build Tacos
Warm tortilla, top with meat, tomatoes, cucumber raita, and chopped cilantro

Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week.

I grew up in a small town in Iowa surrounded by farms and of course there are many songs that remind me of living there. This is my nod to memories of being surrounded by wide open spaces. Find the playlist on Apple Music and Spotify.

Photo of music playlist

Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now. 

After my enlightening farm tours and culinary adventure, there is a shop for all things cooking related at Cooks of Crocus Hill. During the hog fabrication, I sipped on this delightful tea I just had to have and luckily, it was in the shop. TeaSource, Evening in Missoula, is an herbal tea flavored with chamomile, rosehips, raspberry leaf, papaya leaf, peppermint, spearmint, blackberry leaf, passion flower, red clover, star anise, wild cherry bark, lemon peel, wintergreen, lavender, stevia, vanilla extract, wintergreen extract. 

Photo of shopping bag and bag of tea

While I was purchasing my tea, one of my friends walked in with a piece of gorgeous cake. Across the street was Cafe Latte, that my feet just seem to wander over to. There tagline is modern comfort food with sandwiches, salads, bread and cake. The Turtle Cake to be exact. 

Photo of whole cake

I couldn't resist and got myself this gorgeously large slice of rich and creamy chocolately, caramely, pecan goodness. And I ate the whole thing with the largest, jovial smile on my face. After getting home, I went to their website to see if they shipped their cakes and discovered they actually have the recipe available. I know when I make this, it will not look as lovely, but I am hopeful it will taste just as good. Stay tuned....

Slice of chocolate caramel cake with pecans