Anti-Inflammatory Foods to Fight Chronic Diseases


Hewlings, S., & Kalman, D. (2017). Curcumin: A Review of Its Effects on Human Health. Foods, 6(10), 92.

Joseph, S. V., Edirisinghe, I., & Burton-Freeman, B. M. (2014). Berries: Anti-inflammatory Effects in Humans. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 62(18), 3886–3903.

Juárez-Chairez, M. F., Meza-Márquez, O. G., Márquez-Flores, Y. K., & Jiménez-Martínez, C. (2022). Potential anti-inflammatory effects of legumes: A review. British Journal of Nutrition, 128(11), 2158–2169.

Land Lail, H., Feresin, R. G., Hicks, D., Stone, B., Price, E., & Wanders, D. (2021). Berries as a Treatment for Obesity-Induced Inflammation: Evidence from Preclinical Models. Nutrients, 13(2), 334.

Parkinson, L., & Keast, R. (2014). Oleocanthal, a Phenolic Derived from Virgin Olive Oil: A Review of the Beneficial Effects on Inflammatory Disease. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 15(7), 12323–12334.

Peng, Y., Ao, M., Dong, B., Jiang, Y., Yu, L., Chen, Z., Hu, C., & Xu, R. (2021). Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Curcumin in the Inflammatory Diseases: Status, Limitations and Countermeasures. Drug Design, Development and Therapy, Volume 15, 4503–4525.

Rajaram, S., Damasceno, N. R. T., Braga, R. A. M., Martinez, R., Kris-Etherton, P., & Sala-Vila, A. (2023). Effect of Nuts on Markers of Inflammation and Oxidative Stress: A Narrative Review. Nutrients, 15(5), 1099.

Schultz, H., Ying, G.-S., Dunaief, J. L., & Dunaief, D. M. (2021). Rising Plasma Beta-Carotene Is Associated With Diminishing C-Reactive Protein in Patients Consuming a Dark Green Leafy Vegetable–Rich, Low Inflammatory Foods Everyday (LIFE) Diet. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, 15(6), 634–643.

Shin, J.-H., Ryu, J. H., Kang, M. J., Hwang, C. R., Han, J., & Kang, D. (2013). Short-term heating reduces the anti-inflammatory effects of fresh raw garlic extracts on the LPS-induced production of NO and pro-inflammatory cytokines by downregulating allicin activity in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 58, 545–551.

Simopoulos, A. P. (2002). Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Inflammation and Autoimmune Diseases. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 21(6), 495–505.

Stromsnes, K., Correas, A. G., Lehmann, J., Gambini, J., & Olaso-Gonzalez, G. (2021). Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Diet: Role in Healthy Aging. Biomedicines, 9(8), 922.

Yu, Z., Malik, V. S., Keum, N., Hu, F. B., Giovannucci, E. L., Stampfer, M. J., Willett, W. C., Fuchs, C. S., & Bao, Y. (2016). Associations between nut consumption and inflammatory biomarkers,. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 104(3), 722–728.

7 Tips to Start Eating Mediterranean Today

Eating the Mediterranean way is easier than think!

Here are 7 EASY ways to start bettering your health with the Mediterranean eating pattern today.

Cook with Olive Oil

Olive oil is an unsaturated fat filled with antioxidants and polyphenols. When we sub in olive oil in cooking and sub out butter and other saturated fasts, not only are you following the Mediterranean way but the health benefits are numerous.

Olive Oil Benefits

Give Veggies the Attention they deserve

The Standard American Diet is SAD, literally the acronym for it is SAD! Highly processed, fried foods, simple carbohydrates and sugar-laden sweets certainly do not give us the nutrients our bodies need.  Only 1 in 10 Americans are eating enough veggies each day.

One of the biggest tenants of the Mediterranean eating pattern is the abundance of vegetables.

As a dietitian I’ve heard the same saying numerous times, “I don’t like vegetables.” Yet this is a self-fulfilling prophecy. You may not love how they were cooked for you as a kid (who actually likes mushy veggies?) or you may have tried green beans from a can and disliked the flavor. But, if you change your mindset to, “I am open to trying new things” or “I will try 1 new vegetables a week” the script is flipped. Be open, try new varieties and new methods. There are so many ways to cook vegetables that make them taste delicious. Plus fresh, frozen and even canned (low to no-sodium) all provide nutrients to fuel our best selves.

For your next meal, think of veggies first, fill half your plate with them and complement the vegetable with your protein and carbohydrate. Season with olive oil and spices, bon appetit!

Beans, Beans, Beans

Beans are a staple part of the Mediterranean eating pattern. They give us loads of fiber, protein and minerals. Plus they’re cheap!

Beans work so well to give protein to a meatless meal. They are also a great way to plus up meals with meat. For example, add black beans to ground turkey tacos, white beans are great thickeners for soups. And don’t forget beans in dips, falafel, burgers and or a salty snack with crispy chickpeas.

George Clooney and I share the same sentiment for chickpeas.

Swap in Whole Grains

First, let me say this, yes you can have bread! Swap out white breads and rice for whole wheat, whole grain varieties. Whole grains have more fiber, vitamins and minerals, plus more flavor and health benefits.

Plus you can have fun trying new grains. Never had farro? It is delicious, nutritious and truly simple to cook. It’s very similar to cooking rice! And don’t forget about oats, quinoa, farro, and brown rice. This simple swap will help you follow along the Mediterranean pattern.

Quinoa Greek Salad

Snack on Whole Foods

What do I mean by snack on whole foods? Choose an apple with peanut butter. A handful of nuts. Sliced veggies and hummus. Peaches and yogurt. There’s nothing more fast food than an apple or banana.

Fruit, nuts and seeds are a big part of the Mediterranean eating pattern. They can certainly be incorporated into breakfast, lunch and dinner (and they should!) they also make great, portable snacks.

Stop the Soda

One of the most impactful and beneficial changes in your eating will be to lose the sodas, energy drinks, and sweet teas and swap with unsweetened beverages. This might look like swapping 1 soda a day for a sparking water, then 2, then 3 per week and so on.

Plus, there are so many fun, unsweetened drinks out there now. Try a new sparkling water or jazz up still water with some fresh cut fruit or cucumber. You will feel fancy, trust me.

Go Meatless or swap in fish 1x week

When you fill your plate with vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds, it is easy to go meatless. Lentils are a great plant-based source of high protein. Give my lentil bolognese a try and let me know what you think!

This does not mean you have to go to the grocery or fish market twice a week for fresh fish. Canned fish totally counts here! Try salmon patties with canned salmon, they are GOOD. Tuna also works great as a shelf stable option. If you’re choosing canned, aim for only 1x week. And don’t forget fresh or frozen fish are excellent. Seared, roasted, air-fried, there are so many ways to cook fish that are delicious and not boring. And by the way if you are a vegetarian who does not eat fish or vegan, go for more veggies, beans and nuts instead. Walnuts and flaxseeds are nice plant-based options for getting your omega-3’s.

Discover 5 Reasons to Eat the Mediterranean Way

Have you heard of the Mediterranean eating pattern and wondered if it actually lives up to the hype? Well, researchers, doctors and dietitians talk it up as one of the healthiest, and most sustainable eating patterns in the world. Plus, US News & Health has ranked it #1 for the past 6 years in a row.

Let’s dive into the top 5 reasons you should give the Mediterranean eating pattern a try!

#1. Protects Your Heart – A ton of research has been done on the Med pattern and heart health. And study after study continues to back up the facts, the foods of the Med pattern help to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. With heart disease the #1 killer in the United States, I’d say this is a good reason to give the Mediterranean eating pattern a go!

#2. Fights Inflammation – Inflammation seems to be a buzz word these days so I’ll break it down a bit. Inflammation is our body’s immune system response to injury or infection. Our immune system sends out white blood cells to surround the area to help with healing. Chronic inflammation is the big problem. Chronic inflammation is when the body continues to send out inflammatory cells even when there is no danger. For example, in rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory cells attack joints leading to an inflammation. Thus, chronic inflammation is associated with certain diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes, Arthritis, certain Cancers, Asthma, Alzheimer’s Disease and Heart Disease.

The foods in the Mediterranean eating pattern are Anti-inflammatory, meaning they fight this inflammation. The antioxidants in these foods fight free radicals by donating an electron and making them stable.

So, what does all this science mean for you? Reducing inflammation with anti-inflammatory foods is beneficial to all cells in the body.

#3. Boosts Your Brain – This might be THE most exciting aspect of the Mediterranean eating pattern. “Higher adherence to a MedDiet is associated with slower rates of cognitive decline, reduce conversion to Alzheimer’s disease, and improvements in cognitive function.” 1

What does that mean? Well, eating the Med way is protective to our brain as we age, and can reduce our risk of Alzheimer’s Disease, and that is awesome.

#4. Good for Your Gut – Our digestive system has trillions of bacteria living inside, both good bacteria and bad bacteria. These bacteria are called our gut-microbiome and lots of research has shown the link between our gut health and our overall health. Eating a variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, nuts, seeds and healthy fats increases the good bacteria in our digestive system.

On the other hand, foods that increase the bad bacteria in our gut include highly processed foods, fast foods, refined sugar foods, lots of red meat.

The variety and fiber in the Mediterranean pattern increase the good bacteria in our gut, which helps to boost our overall health.

#5. It’s Easy & Delicious – The best part of this eating pattern is that it is NOT a diet. Let me repeat that, it is NOT a diet. It is a style of eating with lots of flexibility. You will eat lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, legumes, nuts, healthy fats, fish, herbs and spices. You CAN eat bread and have dessert, it is all about choosing a variety of whole foods. Plus, its so delicious. Black bean salad with avocado citrus dressing, zucchini pasta, chocolate dipped fruit, all these foods fit!


  1. Hardman RJ, Kennedy G, Macpherson H, Scholey AB, Pipingas A. Adherence to a Mediterranean-Style Diet and Effects
    on Cognition in Adults: A Qualitative Evaluation and Systematic Review of Longitudinal and Prospective Trials. Front Nutr. 2016;3. doi:10.3389/fnut.2016.00022
  2. Nani A, Murtaza B, Sayed Khan A, Khan NA, Hichami A. Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory Potential of Polyphenols Contained in Mediterranean Diet in Obesity: Molecular Mechanisms. Molecules. 2021;26(4):985. doi:10.3390/molecules26040985
  3. Woodside J, Young IS, McKinley MC. Culturally adapting the Mediterranean Diet pattern – a way of promoting more ‘sustainable’ dietary change? Br J Nutr. 2022;128(4):693-703. doi:10.1017/S0007114522001945
  4. Merra G, Noce A, Marrone G, et al. Influence of Mediterranean Diet on Human Gut Microbiota. Nutrients. 2020;13(1):7. doi:10.3390/nu13010007
  5. Rosato V, Temple NJ, La Vecchia C, Castellan G, Tavani A, Guercio V. Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Eur J Nutr. 2019;58(1):173-191. doi:10.1007/s00394-017-1582-0
  6. Pollicino F, Veronese N, Dominguez LJ, Barbagallo M. Mediterranean diet and mitochondria: New findings. Experimental Gerontology. 2023;176:112165. doi:10.1016/j.exger.2023.112165
  7. Caso F, Navarini L, Carubbi F, et al. Mediterranean diet and Psoriatic Arthritis activity: a multicenter cross-sectional study. Rheumatol Int. 2020;40(6):951-958. doi:10.1007/s00296-019-04458-7
  8. Ballarini T, Melo Van Lent D, Brunner J, et al. Mediterranean Diet, Alzheimer Disease Biomarkers, and Brain Atrophy in Old Age. Neurology. 2021;96(24):e2920-e2932. doi:10.1212/WNL.0000000000012067
  9. Martínez-González MA, Gea A, Ruiz-Canela M. The Mediterranean Diet and Cardiovascular Health: A Critical Review. Circ Res. 2019;124(5):779-798. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.118.313348
  10. UEG Week: Plant-based foods and Mediterranean diet associated with healthy gut microbiome, research reveals. Accessed August 23, 2023.

10 Ways to Help Kids Eat More Fruit & Veggies

Photo by Yan Krukau:

I hear from many parents tales of dinner time battles with their kids about eating their vegetables. This frustrating scene plays over and over each night with parents trying every tactic possible (bargaining, pleading, demanding, “no dessert if you don’t eat your veggies!”).

As parents the concern for children to eat a healthy meal comes from a good place. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber that not only help children’s development but have also been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases. So, why do some kids refuse? Well, some veggies are bitter, dark leafy greens I’m looking at you, some may not look appealing, others are new to kids who would rather have something they are familiar with.

The good news is if you are concerned about your kids vegetable and fruit intake, you are already on the right track by reading these tips. And, think back to your childhood, what vegetable or fruit did you dislike then that you like now? I’m sure there’s a few!

Here are 10 tips to help kids eat more fruit and vegetables:

  1. Autonomy is everything (to kiddos) – How many times as your child urged you to let them pick out the shirt they are going to wear or demanded they can do it themselves (whatever the “it” might be for the day)? In the spirit of autonomy, the next time you go to the grocery let your child choose one fruit or vegetable they want to try.
  2. Go Raw and Colorful –  Slice a few vegetables and serve them raw for kids to try. Even adults don’t want to eat mushy green beans.
  3. All about the DIP! Who doesn’t love some ranch or hummus to dip fresh veg into? For fruit try chocolate hummus for a new, protein and fiber-packed dip.
  4.  Let their inner Chef Shine – Engaging children in the cooking process has been shown to create a greater acceptance of eating a variety of foods.
  5. Keep them in plain site – As a mom and dietitian, I’m not a big fan of hiding foods. My kids always want to know what is in a dish I make. Plus, being open about what you’ve cooked and why, creates conversation and an opportunity to discuss the benefits of fruits and veggies with your children.
  6. Talk Up the Benefits – When I go into schools to talk about how great whole foods are I explain it so that kids can understand. For example, blueberries help our brains and our memory, Vitamin C in strawberries helps keep our skin healthy and helps to heal our cuts and scrapes, Vitamin D in spinach helps keep our bones strong.
  7. Set the Example – Yes this means you as the adult need to eat your fruits and veggies too! Kids want to be just like their parents.
  8. Smoothie for the Win – Smoothies are a simple and fun way to add fruit and vegetables to a child’s eating pattern. And hey, if you let them pick the ingredients (with a few helpful suggestions) they are likely more willing to try it.
  9. Put Them on Repeat – Exposure is key when trying to get kids and adults to like a particular food. In fact, it often takes 10-15 tries to really determine if you like a food or not.
  10. Take the Pressure Off – Encourage kiddos to try fruits and veggies without pressure and fear of repercussions. Taking the pressure off, (no more bargaining or pleading!) takes stress off the entire family meal.


What Is Food Freedom?

You may have heard the term, food freedom or seen inspirational posts on Instagram with pictures of yummy food. But, what does food freedom mean exactly?

A Mindset

Food freedom means that all rules, diets and restrictions around food are eliminated. Our culture loves to promote fad diets and the misconception that certain foods are good and certain foods are bad. Food freedom removes boundaries around food and allows you to enjoy food without restriction, guilt or diets. This mindset brings freedom to the way we eat as well as our mental space around food. It is “freeing” to forget diets, lose the guilt and embrace whole foods!

Diet Quality not Calories

Diet quality is focusing on whole foods that nourish our bodies. This means a focus on vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, lean proteins and healthy fats. By incorporating a wide variety of foods into our diet including complex carbohydrates and a healthy dose of fiber, we increase our fruit and vegetable intake and make our gut microbiome happy.

No Guilt

Food freedom removes the guilt that can be associated with food. Allowing ourselves to enjoy the foods we like while focusing on diet quality over calories. Food freedom takes the stress and guilt away from food and gives you freedom to enjoy foods you like while fueling your body with high quality, whole foods. Making peace with food, is a freeing feeling!

Building Positive Perspectives

By ditching diets and restrictions around food, food freedom also builds positive perspectives around what you eat. This means nourishing ourselves with a quality diet and learning that food and eating can be enjoyable and good for you.

Are Intuitive Eating and Mindful Eating the same as Food Freedom?

Intuitive eating and mindful eating are practices that can bring you to food freedom. Intuitive Eating is based on 10 principles that include rejecting diet mentality, making peace with food and challenging the food police. Mindful eating focuses on the eating experience, encouraging experiencing your food with all five senses, no distractions while eating (i.e. television and phones), listening to your bodies ques for hunger and satiety. The principals and goals of intuitive eating and mindful eating can help you get to a place of food freedom. If you are interested in intuitive eating or mindful eating, I encourage you to find a registered dietitian who can guide you on these practices.

Curious what food freedom can do for you?

If food freedom has been on your mind and you are interested in learning more, I would love to help you on your journey. Send me a quick email or book a call with me to learn more.

Dietitian vs. Nutritionist? What’s the difference?

These days, social media seems to be full of numerous so-called nutrition “experts.” Here’s a news flash for you, anyone can call themselves a “nutritionist!” Crazy, right? It is a completely unregulated term. However, registered dietitians ARE nutrition experts who have earned credentialing to obtain the title.

All dietitians are nutritionists, but not all nutritionists are dietitians.

If this is confusing to you, you are not alone. Registered dietitians can use RD (registered dietitian) or RDN, (registered dietitian nutritionist) in their title, both options are approved for use by the Commission on Dietetics Registration. Dietitians can provide Medical Nutrition Therapy (MNT) to help patients manage chronic diseases, while “nutritionists” cannot.

Here’s a quick breakdown of the difference in education and training between dietitians and nutritionists.

Requirements to become a Registered Dietitian:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree or higher in nutrition/dietetics field from an accredited institution
  • Completed an accredited supervised practice program with 1,200 hours combined at a health-care facility, public health and foodservice organization
  • Passed a national examination given by the Commission on Dietetic Registration
  • Obtained licensure based on state requirements
  • Continuing education of 75 credits per 5 year cycle
  • Abide by code of ethics

Requirements to become a Nutritionist:

  • NONE!

If you find yourself seeking nutrition advice, I urge you to do some background research on the person providing the advice. Do they have a degree and are credentialed in dietetics? If not, how do they claim to be an expert?

There is a LOT of misinformation out in the world related to nutrition. This misinformation is on social media, the internet, as well as books! Yes, people with no background in nutrition have published books on nutrition! Do not believe every “nutritionist” who gives advice or tells you to eat what they eat. Dietitians work in a variety of settings and will always have their credentials listed.

Areas of Practice for RDNs:

  • Hospitals and health-care facilities
  • Sports Nutrition
  • Corporate Wellness
  • Private Practice
  • Community and Public Health
  • Research
  • Universities
  • Food and nutrition related industries

All nutrition recommendations should be INDIVIDUALIZED. We are all unique people with unique needs, and nutrition advice should always be tailored that way. If you want sound advice, seek out a registered dietitian nutritionist who has the education, credentials and knowledge to assist you in your health goals. If you are looking to get started on your health journey through nutrition, I’m here for you! Email me or send me a message here.

Dietitian and Pharmacist Break Down the Newest Weight Loss Drugs

The realm of weight loss is a big business that includes everything from shakes and powders to supplements and bars. Within this mentality of a “quick-fix” for weight loss, weight-loss medications are ever popular. As the holidays are approaching many individuals become concerned with “staying on track” as sweets and treats become more abundant. Now the demand has turned to popular diabetes medications to help individuals quickly lose weight or keep it off through the holidays. Even Elon Musk credited Wegovy (as well as fasting) for his dramatic slim down, and celebrities are using Ozempic for quick weight loss before big events. So, what are these medications and are they an answer for weight loss? Let’s dig in.

What is Ozempic?

Ozempic (semaglutide) is a medication used to reduce A1C levels, in individuals with type 2 diabetes. It also works to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in these individuals. Semaglutide works by targeting GLP-1 receptors in the pancreas and brain. These receptors control the release of insulin and glucacon in the body. Semaglutide binds to these receptors to increase the amount of insulin released and decrease glucagon levels. This reduces the amount of sugar in the bloodstream. The medication also slows gastric emptying, which leads to a decreased food intake due to a feeling of fullness.

When Ozempic first came on the market, patient weight loss results were so significant the manufacturer started running trials on the drug with the outcome of treating obesity.

Wegovy, which uses the same medication (semaglutide) as Ozempic, was released by Novo Nordisk to treat obesity along with a reduced calorie diet and physical activity.

What is the difference between Wegovy and Ozempic?

The difference between Wegovy and Ozempic is the dosing. Lower doses are appropriate for the treatment of type 2 diabetes, while higher doses are typically used for weight loss. However, there have been some instances where Ozempic has been prescribed off label and used for weight loss. Several articles detail celebrities losing weight for events using Ozempic.

Both medications are once weekly injections. The pens must be kept in the fridge until first use. After first use, Ozempic pens can remain at room temperature for 56 days. Wegovy pens are single-use only and should be discarded after use.

Side effects to be aware of with this medication:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting
  • Acute abdominal pain

New Trials for Weight Loss in Adolescents

New trials are now being conducted to test the appropriateness of this medication to combat obesity in teenagers. Approximately 17% of adolescents in the 10 to 17 age range are considered obese. This comes with serious health complications such as early onset hypertension, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and joint problems. So far in trials, Wegovy has shown to be more effective for weight loss in obese teenagers than lifestyle interventions alone. More information is needed to understand the underlying cause of teenage obesity so targeted lifestyle interventions can be improved.

The Problem With Weight Loss Medications Alone

Many times weight loss medications are viewed as “quick-fix” options for extreme weight loss. The problem with this mentality is that this weight loss is not sustainable. Both Ozempic and Wegovy mention the drugs should be used in combination with “a reduced calorie meal plan and increased physical activity.”

A new study found that long-term 10% weight loss was achieved when the weight loss medication was used in conjunction with lifestyle interventions.

Also, depending on your individual health, wellness and goals, weight loss medications may not be right for you. Another study notes that, “In a head to head trial, lifestyle intervention was superior to pharmacotherapy in preventing type 2 diabetes in patients at high risk for the condition.”

It is also important to mention that one trial showed that weight loss slowed after stopping Wegovy , even with lifestyle intervention.  Further research is needed to determine an appropriate long-term plan for patients requiring Wegovy for weight loss.

Pharmacist Sam’s Tips:

  • Semaglutide should be used appropriately – Ozempic for diabetes, Wegovy for weight loss. This prevents strain on the manufacturer to keep up with high demand and improves accessibility to medication for diabetics.
  • Use these medications while working with a dietitian and pharmacist on lifestyle changes to improve long-term results.
  • Ask your pharmacist about how to properly store, inject, and discard your medication.
  • Know what to do if you miss a dose.
  • Common side effects should reduce over time, typically within the first month.

Amy RD’s Tips:

  • Always discuss medications with your doctor as well as your pharmacist for questions
  • Weight loss medications should be used in conjunction with lifestyle interventions, dietitians are experts in nutrition and lifestyle interventions
  • Find a dietitian that will work with you and your specific needs and goals
  • Remember that small changes can add up to big results, weight loss medications are not always the answer for long-term, sustainable weight-loss


Weight loss drug Wegovy helped teens with obesity lose weight (

All Tricks and No Treats: Helping Parents Navigate Halloween with Food Allergy Concerns

Halloween is a fun time for kids and parents, dressing up, trick-or-treating and the thrill of being out after dark. Halloween excitement can quickly turn to stress and anxiety for parents of children with food allergies. In the United States one in 13 children has a food allergy and we have some tips for parents on how to help reduce some anxiety related to this candy-filled holiday.

Top 8 Food Allergens:

  • Milk
  • Eggs
  • Peanuts
  • Tree Nuts
  • Soy
  • Shellfish
  • Fish
  • Wheat

Thrive Nutrition RDN’s Tips for Parents:

Talk About It: Talk with your child about their food allergy. Depending on their age this can be a simple or in-depth explanation. For young children, explain that certain foods can make them sick. You can do this by using terms you feel comfortable with. Some parents use simple “yes” and “no” foods, other ideas are “safe” and “unsafe” foods, or “green light foods” and “red light foods.” Whatever you choose, stick with the those terms while your child is young in order keep the message clear. Reassure your child that “yes/safe/green light” foods are okay for them to eat. Finally, make sure your child knows what to do if they think they’ve eaten a food they are allergic to, such as tell an adult, especially if they do not feel well.

Check the labels: Always read the ingredients labels and look for ingredients that relate to your child’s allergy. Many times candy is processed in a facility that also processes peanuts or tree nuts so be sure to look for that notation on a label. Also, any candy that does not have a nutrition label should be avoided.

Find a Teal Pumpkin: The Teal Pumpkin Project promotes safe trick-or-treating for children with food allergies. A teal pumpkin on a doorstep signals that non-food treats are inside.

Work Together on Rules: Set boundaries with your child before trick-or-treating. Do they need to wait until they get home before sampling any candy? If so talk about it together. If you know they will want to have some candy while walking the neighborhood, have some on hand so that you can give them treats you know are safe. Also, if one child has an allergy and another does not, be sure to include the entire family in the conversation around allergies and rules. Instead of phrasing the rules as restrictive, set it up so it feels special. Such as “we get to dive into our candy bowls together as a family after trick-or-treating.” Or, “to be safe we will save all of our candy for when we get home and then you can have 5 pieces before bedtime.” When boundaries are set, especially with a reward such as x amount of candy after trick-or-treating, kids feel prepared and know what will happen which helps to reduce their anxiety and in turn, yours as the parent.

Provide Non-Food Fun: While Halloween is certainly a candy focused holiday, there are other non-food ways to make it fun. Have a few non-food items to pop into your child’s bucket if all of the candy options pose a threat to their allergy. Glow sticks are always a winner, cracking the tube and watching it light up and light the way as you walk. Other ideas include stickers, spider rings, monster stamps, vampire teeth and bookmarks.

Allergy Friendly Candy:



Swedish Fish




Always read the label before giving a treat to your child. If you are uncertain about an ingredient in a candy, please do not give it to your child. Select an allergy friendly option or non-food treats.

Introducing Pharmacist Sam!

Improved Patient Outcomes with Dietitian and Pharmacist Collaboration

We are thrilled to be collaborating and working with Pharmacist extraordinaire Samantha!

It’s National Pharmacy Week!

Let’s celebrate our pharmacy friends and discuss how collaboration with them has the potential to improve patient outcomes.

Today our focus is diabetes education. There are numerous diabetes medications available to help manage insulin resistance. Some of these medications come with some not so wanted adverse effects – nausea, headache, urinary tract infections, etc. Other medications do have “desirable” side effects such as weight loss and appetite suppression, and several more medications have a mix of unwanted and wanted adverse effects. This makes medication choice and adherence quite difficult. While we agree that medication selection is between you and your physician, we can help make the most of your prescribed medication(s).

What if you could improve your outcomes with some help from a dietitian AND pharmacist?

A recent pilot study in Japan observed the link between pharmacist-dietitian collaborative support and patients’ Type 2 diabetes management outcomes. (A few things to note – this was a very small (pilot) study with only 8 participants, results were collected after 6 months, and two of the measured scores were subjective.) In this study, the dietitian provided nutrition and lifestyle modification counseling while the pharmacist counseled on the prescribed medications. The results showed a significant reduction in A1C and a significant increase in HDL. While more research on pharmacist-dietitian collaboration is needed, we believe more improved patient outcomes will be seen with this teamwork.

Until this collaboration is researched more and implemented in our healthcare sites there are some steps you can take to reach your health goals. 

  1. Be your own health advocate!
  2. Ask questions! Curious about your medications?  Pharmacists are there to help you understand everything about your prescribed medications. 
  3. Ready to take steps to further improve your health? Dietitians love to discuss nutrition and provide personalized nutrition counseling.
  4. Embrace the process! Change isn’t easy but small lifestyle changes produce big results!

Thrive Nutrition RDN’s Tips:

  1. Diabetes can be complicated and overwhelming, find a dietitian to help you!
  2. Keep a food diary and journal your meals and fluids.
  3. Know your numbers, start tracking your blood sugar and look for patterns.
  4. Small lifestyle changes can equal big results! Ask your dietitian for recommendations

Pharmacist Sam’s Tips:

  1. Be consistent with your medications. Forget a dose? Call your pharmacist to know what to do!
  2. Fill all your prescriptions at the same pharmacy so your pharmacist can monitor for drug interactions.
  3. Some medication adverse effects resolve over time. 
  4. Do not stop taking your medication without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.


A pilot study of Pharmacist-Dietician Collaborative support and Advice (PDCA) for patients with type 2 diabetes in community pharmacy: A single-arm, pre-post study

PMID: 35919801

Benefits of Plant Based Diets for Psoriasis

I received such great feedback from my collaboration with Vegnews on a the benefits of a plant-based diet for psoriasis I thought I would expand on this topic.

What is Psoriasis?

First off, what exactly is Psoriasis? Psoriasis is an immune mediated disease, meaning that the exact cause of this disease is unclear. What we do know is that it causes inflammation in the body which is generally characterized by raised plaques and/or scaly skin. The National Psoriasis Foundation estimates that psoriasis affects 3% of the adult U.S. population.

Current Treatments

Treatments for psoriasis can vary and include everything from pharmacology steroids, to light therapy to alternative treatments such as aloe Vera and fish oil supplements. The chronic inflammation of this disease is characterized by psoriatic lesions, resulting in oxidative stress. For those suffering with psoriasis the unpredictability of the disease can induce even more stress, triggering more psoriasis flare-ups.

While the internet is full of lots of helpful health information, regarding psoriasis, a 2019 research report estimated that nearly two-thirds of YouTube videos on psoriasis disseminate misleading or even dangerous content. Always consult your doctor or medical professional before making health changes. Registered dietitians are credentialed and licensed by state to provide you with expert nutrition recommendations.

Plant-Based Diet Effect on Psoriasis

Now, back to psoriasis inflammation and how plants can help! As with all nutrition recommendations I go to the research. At the foundational level, a diet for inflammation should be anti-inflammatory focused. This is where a plant-based diet comes in.

Plant foods are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. Antioxidants are substances that protect against harmful effects of free radicals. Phytochemicals, also referred to as phytonutrients are chemicals found in plants, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, beans, nuts, herbs and spices that have the potential to stimulate the immune system, reduce inflammation and reduce oxidative damage to cells. Research shows that a diet rich in vitamin C, Beta-carotene and flavanoids helps to improve psoriatic skin lesions. Keep in mind many of these antioxidant nutrients are found in skincare products and oral supplements, however the best way to get the benefits of these nutrients is through food sources.

Key Nutrients for anti-inflammatory benefits:

Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant and helps with collagen formation, a key structural component of our skin.

Sources: Broccoli, kiwi, strawberries, bell peppers, tomatoes

Vitamin E: This antioxidant is found in our skin oil and helps create a natural barrier to keep moisture in our skin and helps reduce skin’s inflammatory response.

Sources: Nuts, seeds, avocado, legumes

Omega-3: These polyunsaturated fatty acids have been suspected to have anti-psoriatic effects.

Sources: Walnuts, flaxseed, salmon, mackerel

Flavanoids: These plant compounds have been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects in the body.

Sources: Berries, onions, kale, cabbage, tea, parsley, citrus fruits

Dietary Fiber and short-chain fatty acids: Short-chain-fatty-acids are the by-products of fiber fermentation in the colon. They help to regulate inflammation in the intestines and have been shown to improve psoriasis.

Sources: Most SCFAS are made in the gut when following a plant-based diet. Sources include high fiber fruits and vegetables: garlic, onions, peas, lentils, bananas, apples, carrots. The list goes on!

Foods to Avoid:

Studies have shown that certain foods can promote the inflammatory response in the body and worsen skin disorders, such as psoriasis. Foods that promote inflammation include saturated fats such as those in red meat. Of course, if you are eating a plant-based diet red meat is not of concern. However, simple sugars have been shown to exacerbate psoriasis. So, avoiding excessive intake of simple sugars and simple carbohydrates is recommended.

Research shows that alcohol and smoking can exacerbate the symptoms of psoriasis and should be avoided when possible to reduce symptoms. Psychological stress is also a risk factor for psoriasis and dealing with psoriasis also causes stress, so this is a cycle that makes dealing with psoriasis very difficult.

Thrive RDN Final Thoughts:

Replacing processed foods, simple carbohydrates and simple sugars with vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and legumes will help support healthy skin and help to ease the inflammation associated with psoriasis. A diet that is rich in antioxidants and plant-focused can help in providing relief to those dealing with psoriasis.

Interested in seeing how a plant-focused diet can help with your psoriasis? Contact Amy or schedule a free 15-minute consultation today.


Garbicz, J., Całyniuk, B., Górski, M., Buczkowska, M., Piecuch, M., Kulik, A., & Rozentryt, P. (2021). Nutritional Therapy in Persons Suffering from Psoriasis. Nutrients, 14(1), 119.

Kanda, N., Hoashi, T., & Saeki, H. (2020). Nutrition and Psoriasis. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 21(15), 5405.

Musumeci, M. L., Nasca, M. R., Boscaglia, S., & Micali, G. (2022). The role of lifestyle and nutrition in psoriasis: Current status of knowledge and interventions. Dermatologic Therapy, 35(9), e15685.

Phytochemicals’ Role in Good Health. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2022, from

Staff, E. (2020, September 21). Food for Healthy Skin. Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.