#WeeklyWisdom and Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Top 5 Nutrition Noshes

Nosh One. Wisdom. 
#WeeklyWisdom:  Replace What-ifs and should-haves with hell-yeahs and no regrets.

Have you donated your time to volunteer for something you are passionate about?

In 2009, I kind of fell into a volunteer position with a group I had a slight interest in and knew nothing about, known as the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. One of my peers was unable to fulfill her volunteer position and another dietitian, Stacey and I, decided to take over for her and also take a leap to try it out. After a couple of years being the Marketing co-chair, it was something I truly found to be one of the most rewarding experiences I had done to date. I realized how passionate I was about my profession and supporting other registered dietitians along this crazy but delightful journey. 

I had those wandering thoughts of changing my mind and not volunteering but I can honestly say the day I committed in 2009, I changed a questionable confidence in myself I never knew existed. The feelings I had that day, reminds me I never want to have what-ifs and should-haves. I only what to have hell-yeahs and no regrets on the rest of this life I have been given. If you find yourself on the fence when thinking about committing to something bigger than you and it is hard to get it off your mind, simply ask yourself:  do I want to look back and say I wish I would have? 

Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation. 

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast featuring Registered Dietitian Allison Tropf

Today’s conversation is with Allison Tropf, a registered dietitian who specializes in eating disorders, sports nutrition and is passionate about helping individuals develop a healthy relationship with food and their bodies.

At the end of April, I headed to the beautiful state of Michigan to speak with the Michigan Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics during their Annual Meeting. Each time I travel, I love having the opportunity to meet new people and hopefully podcast with them. Allison became my new friend in Michigan and we had the best conversation. Allison’s passions for sports nutrition and eating disorders come from a deeply rooted personal experiences in both. She was a collegiate athlete who struggled with her own eating disorder and shares her story of recovery and her purpose of helping individuals like herself. She bravely started her own practice and is now living her professional dreams. Allison provides a lot of great insight and advice on starting a private practice and sincerely shares it all from a genuine personal place.

Connect with Allison on her website ALT Performance Nutrition, Facebook and Twitter

Nosh Three. Week in Review. 

Last Friday, June 15th, I officially transitioned out of my volunteer experience with my state dietetic affiliate, the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (IAND). Today, I am sitting at my beloved Caribou Coffee, enjoying my favorite RXBAR, where many a meeting took place and reflecting on the past 9 years and why I wouldn't trade this experience for the world. 

Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

When looking back, a lot of personal things happened during those nine years. I started a new job and was learning a whole new career path, I built a house, I became a godmother (5 times!), I experienced a pretty intense car accident, I got malignant melanoma,  I got a divorce, I lost my grandpa, my father and my sister, I wrote a book, I started a podcast, I had speaking opportunities around the country and ultimately, I found myself. In a way, I think volunteering for this organization was the one consistent thing I was doing among all the chaos in my personal life. It gave new meaning to my professional life and kept me focused on something I could control. 

IAND:  Registered Dietitians the Real Nutrition Experts

It also gave me opportunity to grow as a registered dietitian. I was able to meet new people I would have never crossed paths if it wasn't for IAND.  I discovered I really thrived in an environment where all the dietitians come from different experiences and backgrounds. I wanted to get to know them and understand what fuels their fires. I was also a great way to learn about the variety of jobs dietitians in Iowa are doing and how many amazing RD's we have in our state. Including this beauty below, Erin, who has become one of my favorite dietitian person!

Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Annual Meeting with Erin Thole Summers

My second favorite adventure with IAND has been being a marketing co-chair, doing media and working with partners. There are many people who make IAND a success and we appreciate the partners who assist us along the way. One of the most important reasons to volunteer with your state affiliate is to spread the good word about registered dietitians. We are the real food and nutrition experts and we need to be recognized by everyone where we live as their go-to for nutrition information. IAND increased the strength of our media spokespersons group during my time and we increased awareness on WHO13 and KCCI in Des Moines by having our own media spots, as well as featuring Iowa partners like Iowa Choice Harvest

Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics WHO13 Media with Megan Reuther

Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics KCCI News Media with Iowa Choice Harvest

We have also made a lot of great informational and fun videos, commercials and featured videos to highlight our members and our organization. 

If you have ever volunteered for your state affiliate, it is tough to find people willing to take on the more challenging rolls. About year 3, I was learning it is very common for affiliates to recycle those members into different positions because of their willingness to volunteer. Our state organizations need more buy in from our membership on why it is important to take a role on the boards and councils. The time commitment varies with the positions. If it has been on your mind, there is no time like the present to find a position fitting to your schedule. We have volunteers from all walks of life, including jobs and family. As I was seeing the struggle to find volunteers, I decided to take the leap and run for president in 2013. Talk about going all-in with this 3 year commitment but I felt a tugging on my heart to do this.

Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Executive Board 2015-16

Not only did I have Lori and Christy by my side to teach and guide me, but we have the most dedicated and outstanding Executive Director, Monica.  She is the best teacher, support system and advisor a president and IAND could have. She sets the tone for our group and the consistency from year to year is all because of her. During my 3 year term, there were some trials and tribulations, endless emails and conference calls but there were great annual meetings, conversations and laughs which are something to be said for. I sat back on Friday during our transition meeting and was so proud to see all the work that has been down and the individuals who are continuing the passion to progress our great organization. 

Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Media Spokesperson

Around 1 pm, the gavel was passed from our current President Becky to our new President, Erin (see there is a reason why we are connected) and officially I transitioned the Marketing Chair position to a fantastic dietitian, Katie. She is young, smart and will do great things during her time volunteering. I will continue as a media spokesperson for a little while and will relish in the newness of all the volunteers who will continue advancing our profession in Iowa. 

Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week. 

Music and memories always go together in my world and the Iowa Academy will always bring great ones to mind. Enjoy this weeks IAND Workout Playlist of the Week on Apple Music and Spotify

Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (IAND) Workout Playlist of the Week on Apple Music and Spotify

Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now. 

One of my favorite things we did during my time with IAND and what I love right now, was make some great t-shirts. These will be the t-shirts I will wear until I am 100. They are soft and really provide a clear message of why registered dietitians are so awesome. 

Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics T-shirts on eatrightiowa.org/store

We have limited quantities of different colors online, so make sure to grab one before they are gone by going to the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Store

It's been a great experience being a part of the Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Thank you Iowa Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for all you have given me and our profession. The experience has been priceless. 


*All views and opinions on products, food and businesses in this blog post are my own and are not sponsored in any way. I just love to share great things!


#WeeklyWisdom and #NationalDairyMonth Top 5 Nutrition Noshes

Nosh One. Wisdom.

#WeeklyWisdom: National Dairy Month Food Puns
What is your favorite dairy delicious food?

Mine has changed over the years. As a kid and teen, I loved milk. I was the kid who grabbed the gallon out of the fridge and drank it from the container when no one was looking (sorry Mom, now you know). It was the best when it was cold or on a big bowl of Life Cereal. Then in my 20s, it was the one of the two items on my shopping list each week, the other being Mac and Cheese. Now, I cannot get enough cheese, yogurt and making my own coffee and matcha lattes.  When I discovered the vast variety of cheese and yogurt in the grocery store and how easy it was to make lattes at home, it was like celebrating my birthday on the daily. 

I have dabbled here and there in the non-dairy versions of many foods, but I always come back to the nutrition profile and deliciousness of dairy. 

Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation.

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast featuring Registered Dietitian Susie Roberts

Today’s conversation is with Susie Roberts, a second career dietitian who was attending the same college as her teenage son when she purposely and passionately choose dietetics.

A few years into my retail dietetic career, I was contacted by Susie asking if she could interview me on my role as a registered dietitian. When we met and started talking, I kept finding myself wanting to interview her about all the professional experiences she has had in her lifetime. All of her jobs actually lead her to becoming a dietitian, without her really even knowing it until much later in life. Susie is the perfect example of it is never to late in your life to do what you love. She is also the perfect example a very passionate dietitian who I know has inspired many other individuals along the way and is now using her expertise in leadership in her current job.

Connect with Susie by email.
Nosh Three. Week in Review.

June is National Dairy Month #UndeniablyDairy

Happy National Dairy Month!  June is one of my favorite food months because of all the awesome ways dairy makes the summer special. Right now, I love making charcuterie boards for patio parties and get-togethers. There is also nothing like ice cream during the summer, I have been going up and down the frozen department looking at all the new fun products out there. 

My usual #undeniablydairy delicious breakfast

During the summer, I am not a huge hot breakfast kind of girl, so this has been my go-to breakfast. Dairy is nutritious. Dairy foods – milk, cheese and yogurt – are simple, real ways to provide you and your family with the energy and nutrients you need. By having my yogurt, cheese and frozen latte, I am getting foods with minimal ingredients, with milk being the foundation for all the dairy foods I love.  I am getting calcium, protein and other essential nutrients to keep my bones and muscles strong for my crazy and active lifestyle. When I think about my protein needs of around 100 grams a day, I know animal-sourced protein is higher quality than plant protein. To get the same level of quality protein, a person usually has to eat 20%-30% more plant protein than animal sourced protein. Which is why I combine the two at different meals throughout the day. A cheese stick and radishes is one of my favorite snacks. 

Did you know most people live within 100 miles or less of a local dairy farm? Milk travels from farm to store in about 48 hours—that’s pretty amazing right?  I know living here in Iowa, my milk is so fresh and I try to choose local products to ensure I am supporting farmers where I live. The best part about supporting my local farmers is knowing how much they love their cows. When I visit with a Dairy Farmer, there is so much passion and love for what they do. It makes even more proud to know them in my community. 

#UndeniablyDairy Delicious Peanut Butter Pie

This past week, we celebrated a birthday in one of my classes and I wanted to make something delicious with the use of dairy products to celebrate June. This is a great summer recipe and you do not even need to heat up the kitchen. 

#UndeniablyDairy Delicious Peanut Butter Pie
5 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
1/2 cup powdered peanut butter, prepared
8 oz fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 reduced-fat graham cracker pie crusts
2 tbsp mini chocolate chips, chopped
2 tbsp peanut butter chips, chopped
1 pkg - Justin’s Peanut Butter Cup, cut into 8 pieces
Beat cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar together in a medium bowl.
Mix in powdered peanut butter and beat until smooth.
Beat in whipped topping for 3-5 minutes or until mixture is fluffy
Spoon into graham cracker pie shell, top with chopped chocolate and peanut butter chips, arrange peanut butter cup as desired.
Cover, and refrigerate overnight.

Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week.

Milk, with only three ingredients, is the foundation for all the dairy foods I love and it was a must to create a playlist to celebrate my favorite beverage. Find my #UndeniablyDairy Workout Playlist of the Week on Apple Music and Spotify.

#UndeniablyDairy Workout Playlist of the Week on Spotify and Apple Music

 Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now.

What I Love Right Now:  Jonny Pops

Speaking of dairy delicious, I was recently introduced to my new favorite frozen treats: JonnyPops. They are my what I love right now for a couple of amazing reasons. 
  • The company started off as a dorm room idea to using a family-sized blender in a theater basement. 
  • They are made with simple ingredients with the main ingredient being real cream.
  • They are local and produced in Minnesota.
  • They have a great story:  founded by 4 college students in 2011 and named after one of the original creators, Jonathan, who passed away from a struggle with addiction. The team now donates a portion of their proceeds to non-profits supporting addiction recovery. 
  • Each popsicle stick is printed with a good dead because they believe "sharing kindness through actions big and small, help us achieve our mission of making the world a better place, one pop at a time." Mine said:  Stand up for what you believe in! and I say #hellyeah!
  • There are 11 flavors that are less than 200 calories and strawberries and cream is my favorite, which is also made with the freshest of fruit. 
  • They are creating a Smart Snack for kids lunches that will be served to 10 million students this year as part of the school lunch program.
It is 95 degrees outside today, I just got done cutting the grass.  The Strawberries and Cream hit the spot and was out of this world. I cannot wait to try the Cold Press Coffee Chocolate. The perfect way enjoy a dairy delicious June. 


*All views and opinions on products, food and businesses in this blog post are my own and are not sponsored in any way. I just love to share great things!


#WeeklyWisdom and Top 5 Kitty Cat Nutrition Noshes

Nosh One. Wisdom. 

#WeeklyWisdom:  I Work Hard So My Cat Can Have a Better Life

Are you a cat person, a dog person or both?

Now before you roll your eyes and question my cat craziness, today's blog post is about my experience with my kitty getting sick with bladder stones, sharing what I have learned and how I am becoming a better kitty parent. 

I like both, but I grew up having cats. My sister and I loved cats. Those sweet little furballs are so hard to resist. Our first kitty was a boy, Guy (check out that really original name for a boy cat, well done 6 year old self). Guy was very independent, loved to party all night long and had a way with the ladies. Then came George. He was sweet, cuddly and loved to watch us eat dinner. Then I moved away, went to college and moved in with 2 other girls who thought going to the ARL was a great idea. We left with the Cat of the Day, the cutest Tortie, Grace. Grace made 5 moves with me since college and lived until she was 17. While she was perfectly content being an only kitty, a petite black stray kitty, Gyspy, started hanging out at my parents house. A year later, 5 babies were born and it was time to find homes. There was a Tortie in the bunch and Lil g (little Grace) joined my clan. Every kitty I have had in my life has been named with the letter G and was never intentional. How bizarre!  

No matter what kind of pet you like and/or have, I really do believe pets enhance and lengthen your life. There are times they can be challenging, but as my friend Jason always reminds me:  "you can't be mad at them for wanting to just love you." 

Thank you for bearing with my meow-mania and don't forget to love on your furbaby a little more today. 

Nosh Two. Weekly Conversation. 

Conversations with Anne Elizabeth Podcast featuring RD2Be Emily Richter

Today’s conversation is with Emily Richter, and RD2Be who decided to change her career completely, go back to school and become an RD.

This is part 2 of my Wisconsin Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics adventure, where I bring to you today, a very inspiring RD2Be. Emily was the moderator for my session at the meeting and was also the recipient of the Outstanding Dietetic Student Award at this years meeting. Emily has a fantastic story of how she was inspired to go back to school after someone she knew saw something in her she didn’t. After going back to school, she chose dietetics as her future second career. I am excited to share with you her story so far. This is a great podcast to listen to if you are thinking about making a change in your professional life.

Nosh Three. Week In Review.

I am writing this post today to share all the things I have learned after Lil g was diagnosed with bladder stones. I scoured the internet looking for answers and found so many random little tidbits here and there, but nothing really great. It is a perplexing thing to happen and needless to say, it was difficult for the little furball, as well as me trying to figure out how to help her.

A little backstory, Lil g was always raised with a buddy and was never an only kitty. When Grace passed away in 2014, Lil g struggled with the loss of her friend and turned into kind of a needy and lonely kitty. To be honest, I wasn't the best cat mom. After working all day, I wasn't really good about playing with her or giving her the attention she needed. I would honestly get annoyed with her whining and had a short fuse on occasion. And she is the sweetest kitty, she is not crazy at all, just loves to be around me.

Lil g kitty cat

I probably didn't give her the freshest of water, or clean out her litter box often enough and when I traveled, I would leave her alone for days...it wasn't a problem when Grace was here. I thought about getting her a new friend, but I really wanted to stay away from the 9 year old cat and adding a baby cat cycle. It is just to hard when one passes away. Over the past year, I noticed Lil g was sleeping a lot more and having vomiting episodes more frequently, but I really didn't think much of it. 

Lil g kitty cat

Then on December 23rd, I was going to head to my Mom's home from work for Christmas. My Mom encouraged me to stop at home and check on Lil g before I headed to her house. Sure enough, she was right. Lil g was very sick and I felt awful for her. I stayed, took away her food and gave her lots of love. I left for home the next day, only returning to an even sicker kitty. I had noticed not only was she vomiting, she had urinated on a rug in my house. This was very unlike her. I started watching her behavior and noticed she did it again and there was less in the litter box and more on the rug. I also started to notice a large amount of blood in her urine. That next day, I took her to the vet.  They thought she had an infection, gave her a shot of antibiotics and we were sent home with liquid pain meds I was to administer with a syringe in the inside of her cheek, twice a day for a week. That was fun. Giving kitties anything in their mouth is a treat all on its own. A few days had passed and Lil g was seeming better. She was pretty stoned with the pain meds, so she spent most of the day sleeping. 

Lil g kitty cat

Until the weekend came. She was starting to get worse again, the blood had returned and she began urinating on the carpet again. She was not eating or drinking and she was pacing all the time. The only thing that calmed her down was this piece of burlap that she loves (sooo weird, when did burlap become soft and cozy?) The pain meds were done and off to the vet we went again with another shot of antibiotics, the oral pain meds in the syringe and the addition of an anti spasm bladder medication in pill form. My vet suggested we try this one more time to see if it helped. It didn't. A few days later, we were back at the vet, this time for an abdominal x-ray. 

Lil g kitty cat

The x-ray showed shadowing in her bladder and my vet was unable to give me a diagnosis, because it could be anything, but most likely was a tumor or bladder stones. I got really sad because if it was a tumor, I would have to make some really tough decisions I didn't want to make on a 9 year old cat. We were then referred to Iowa Veterinary Referral Center, IVRC, to do an abdominal ultrasound which would give us a more definite diagnosis. 

Lil g kitty cat sleeping

The sweet little furball had to have her tummy shaved and did such a good job, she is really a good patient. To much of my relief, it was not cancer and she was diagnosed with bladder stones. She had a bunch of small ones in her bladder. There are different kinds of bladder stones and the 2 most common are struvite and calcium oxalate. At the time of her ultrasound, they were unable to retrieve any stones because she didn't have a full bladder, so the type was not identified and the vet recommended putting her on a dissolution diet and see how it went with a follow-up of 4-6 weeks. If it was struvite, the diet would help dissolve them, anything else would require surgical removal. 

HoneyGuaridan Smart Automatic Pet Water Fountain Dispenser and Royal Canin Urinary SO

After reading a variety of forums on bladder stones, I got a lot of information and just wanted to do what was best for her. I followed Dr. Adams instructions and started her on specialty food, Royal Canin Urinary SO. She was the best and gave me samples of the entire line to see what she would eat. All Lil g was eating was bone broth, chicken baby food and boiled chicken breast after being taken off her dry food. Her dry food was nothing fancy, Purina for Sensitive Systems but it seemed to be the culprit to her problems. Here are the things I have learned through this process: 
  • Cats need water/moisture of liquid to help their urinary systems stay happy
  • Bladder stones are caused by diet and feeding wet food and giving them plenty of water is 2 key things.
  • Bladder stones can develop within weeks or over a period of time. 
  • They do not drink enough water during they day
  • In nature, cats eat rodents which are around 70% water, dry food is only 8-10% water, where wet food is 80% water. 
  • If you get a kitty, start them off on wet food and steer away from dry food or use it as a substitute
  • Get a kitty fountain. I got this one from HoneyGuaridan on Amazon. Lil g was always drawn to the shower water and she did not drink enough water throughout the day. Dr. Adams recommended putting water containers on each floor of the house and also a kitty fountain. At first I was thought no way, but Lil g loves it, drinks a ton of water and really likes a few ice cubes in it too.  It has different settings that detect when she is close so it turns on and encourages her to drink.
  • For a dissolution diet, she strictly only eats the Royal Canin food, nothing else. No treats, no people food, nada. 
  • Be patient with the transition to a different food or going from dry to wet. After 3 months, I couldn't get her to convert to wet exclusively (the struggle was real) but we do a mix and it seems to work.  She is now on a schedule of wet/dry food mix in the morning and evening and then has a small amount of dry food available during the day. 
  • Use filtered water. I filter her water in a Brita and now she now prefers the taste as well as her water chilled. It encourages her to drink more. 
  • I wash all of her dishes, kitty fountain and litter box every week with an unscented natural dish soap. 

Comfort Zone with Feliway and laser toy for cats

  • To help calm Lil g when she wasn't feeling good, I found a product called Comfort Zone with Feliway to help calm her. This stuff is great. It comes in a spray and a diffuser plug in. I sprayed her blanket and placed the diffuser in the room she was drawn to mess in and it helped stop her from doing it. Much more chill kitty during the transition of feeling better. It is also great to spray in their carrier to relax them on trips to the vet. 
  • Daily pet and play is also very important just like us, she needs that physical activity. She loves her mouse laser and chases it like a champ in the morning and night.

Lil g kitty cat

Upon her 6 week check-up, she had no visible bladder stones and thank goodness no surgery is needed so far. Her hair is starting to grow back and she is healthier and happier.  We will go back in July to see if things are still going great for another ultrasound. If you ever get in a situation where your kitty gets bladder stones or you are worried about your cat developing stones, I hope this information is helpful. I would have felt awful if I didn't do all I could to help her live her best kitty life she could possibly have. 

Nosh Four. Workout Playlist of the Week.

Every kitty cat needs a playlist created in their honor, so here is to Lil g being healthy and able to get back into her physical fitness on Apple Music and Spotify

Lil g Workout Playlist of the Week by AnneElizabeth on Spotify and Apple Music

Nosh Five. What I Love Right Now. 

In the process of being the best kitty mom, my own Mom bought me the cutest house slippers. I thought they were the sweetest because of the name, BOBS. Bob is my Dad's name and he had the biggest heart for kitties. BOBS for Skechers partners with Best Friends Animal Society to help save the lives of dogs and cats in shelters across the country. Best Friends Animal Society is the only national animal welfare organization focused exclusively on ending the killing of dogs and cats in America's shelters. When someone purchased Bobs, Skechers will make a donation to support Best Friends many lifesaving initiatives that reduce the number of companion animals entering shelters and increasing adoption. To learn more about this cute shoes (they come in dog print too) go to BOBS from Skechers

Bob's for Sketcher Kitty Cat Shoes

The other thing I love right now are these "Dietitian Approved" (and my favorite veggies) Petlinks Happy Harvest catnip toys. Lil g loves the radish, just like her mama. 

Petlinks Happy Harvest Cat Toys

Well I am off to mix up the crazy concoction known as dinner for Lil g. I am very lucky to have another day with my gangster kitty. 


*All views and opinions on products, food and businesses in this blog post are my own and are not sponsored in any way. I just love to share great things!