mediterranean

My DC trip and new obsession

Hello everyone, Hope all is well! I just returned from a trip to Washington DC to my National Conference, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food and Nutrition Conference and Expo, #FNCE2018. It was a great trip, both the conference and sightseeing.

I attended sessions on Exploring the Microbiome and Diabetes, Disordered Eating and the Science of Emotion, Mindfulness, the Neurobiology of Dieting and Improving Mental Health, Prevention of Metabolic Adaptation in Weight Loss as well as Genetic Testing and Dietary Reference Intake research.

One of my favorite sessions was learning about Acceptance and Commitment Therapy: Empowering patients to make meaningful change. Using mindfulness and through acceptance of feelings and commitment to ones individual values and goals and their compelling reason to change, behavior can change. Feelings are not good or bad, they just are and it is our reaction to those feelings that can keep us stuck. Mary Jo Parker, MS, RDN, CDN and Sherry Farrow, PhD led us through this session.

In addition to these sessions we were treated by a presentation from Chef Jose Andres talking about Changing the World through the Power of Food. He has been to natural disasters all over the globe, including close to home here in Southern California, feeding people and first responders after the devastating fires of December 2017.

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My favorite meals in DC were simple, satisfying and nutritious.

 Picked up this bowl at a fast casual kind of like a “chipotle type” restaurant in DC but with a ton of veggies!!

Picked up this bowl at a fast casual kind of like a “chipotle type” restaurant in DC but with a ton of veggies!!

So the food in DC like in many large cities is diverse and flavorful. The fast casual mediterranean concept that I was obsessed with in DC, does exist in Southern California, just not anything exactly like this in my town. And certainly not as many options locally as in DC. What I ate was just a yummy, healthy bowl of goodness. The combinations are endless, vegetarian or not. There are some basic ingredients that make it different from a salad. They are hummus, yogurt type dressing (easy to make) pickled vegetables, chickpeas and any kind of grain if you choose, in addition to the usual greens and other veggies.

 Another fast casual restaurant in DC with tons of veggies.

Another fast casual restaurant in DC with tons of veggies.

Below is my version of the veggies bowls from DC. I am going to continue to fine tune my own bowls at home. Over time I can make my own ingredients if I so choose, but until then, here are the ones I would buy to make it as simple as possible. At my favorite Farmers market on Sundays in Westlake Village, I find hummus at Moms products hummus stand. So many varieties to choose from. And if you choose interesting flavors, the bowls stay flavorful and different every time. The other ingredient I find really yummy is something pickled, (onion, or cabbage in particular). For my bowl at home I used a Mom’s product, pickled turnips. The beet juice makes it bright pink! Super yummy!

 Arugula, red cabbage and  brown basmati rice  made with some veggies as a base. The way I make my rice is linked to a previous post.

Arugula, red cabbage and brown basmati rice made with some veggies as a base. The way I make my rice is linked to a previous post.

 Add two kinds of hummus. I love the kale almond and original. Avocado cilantro hummus is another personal favorite!

Add two kinds of hummus. I love the kale almond and original. Avocado cilantro hummus is another personal favorite!

 Thinly sliced kale, carrots (yellow and orange) and beets. I also love the golden beet variety.

Thinly sliced kale, carrots (yellow and orange) and beets. I also love the golden beet variety.

 Added chickpeas, pickled turnips, watermelon radishes, persian cucumbers and yogurt sauce.

Added chickpeas, pickled turnips, watermelon radishes, persian cucumbers and yogurt sauce.

I started with arugula and shredded red cabbage along with brown basmati rice made with carrots onion and celery. Next I added two kinds of hummus, regular and kale almond hummus variety. Then I added more vegetables, orange and yellow carrots, kale and beets followed by persian cucumbers, picked turnips (from Mom’s products) and watermelon radishes. Next I added a simple yogurt sauce made from greek yogurt, garlic and lemon juice with a little salt. You can keep it vegetarian or add some chicken. I added a few pieces of chicken along with some chickpeas for protein.

The combinations are endless and more colors means better nutrition. If you are pressed for time, you can find things pre shredded (carrots and cabbage) and pre cooked beets. Trader Joes even has an organic golden beet variety that is pre chopped. I find washing, chopping and prepping easiest right when I get home with all my veggies! Way less work than putting them away and getting them all out again! Posted about this on my Facebook page the other day

Enjoy in good health!

** Blog content may not be applicable to your condition. Please discuss individual nutritional needs with Brenda during scheduled visits.