Tag Archives: dr. sears

Back-to-School Healthy Tips

It’s that time again – back-to-school! Whether you are a parent or caregiver sending kids back to class this Fall, now is the time to restock the kitchen pantry with healthy meal and after school snack options to support your children’s growing bodies.

This back-to-school season, I am happy to help educate you about the importance of brainy breakfasts, nutrient-dense lunch and dinners and healthy after school snacks. Below are a few tips, and remember, you can always adopt these for yourself if you’re like me and are the student this year!

1. Pack the night before.
Include your child in making lunches the night before, giving them time to prepare, and help them make healthy choices.

2. Choose foods your kids LOVE.
The foods you pack will not provide your child with nutrition if they are tossed out or uneaten. Find healthy foods that your kids love and pack them in their lunch!

3. Quick-pack snacks.
Instead of buying the 100-calorie bags of cookies and chips, make your own quick packs and keep them in the fridge for the kids to choose from. Use zippered snack bags to help with portion control. Here are some suggestions:

  • Veggie Sticks: carrots, celery, cucumber and jicama (pack it with a small packet of peanut butter to go or hummus for dipping)
  • Raw Nuts: almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds
  • Trail Mix: dried fruit (raisins, banana chips, dried cranberries, dates) and mixed nuts
  • Frozen Yogurt: freeze yogurt tubes or premixed fruit yogurt
  • Homemade “Lunchables”: pre-bag non-processed cheese slices, whole grain crackers and nitrate-free lunch meat
  • Fresh Fruit: grapes, berries, and clementine oranges

4. Keep it cold.
Use an insulated lunch box. Brown bags don’t keep food cold enough and food can spoil.

Want to know more? Feel free to download this Savvy School Lunch guide for a quick lunchbox lesson. Click HERE for the guide…>>

Looking for healthy after school snack recipes? Here are a few new ones to try!  Click HERE for a handy recipe download…>>


Hello world: the reboot!

Welcome to theblackradish.com! It’s been over 2 years since I originally had the idea to start a separate blog for all of my food/health/wellness related musings. As you can see a mere 5 posts down that original idea never really got off the ground. I’m still working on some technical issues with WordPress, but hey, I’m here!

Over that period of time there has just been life. At 43 I decided to run away from home for the first time. I sold my kitchen house and moved to Frederick, Maryland for a new job in clinical research. Healthy habits that were found were lost and I’ve gained over 30 pounds. But here we are. Heading into the end of 2015 I finally feel a bit more settled than I have over the past 2 years. I’ve begun to embrace a minimalistic approach to life and focus on what I feel is important. I’m still on what may be a life-long journey to discover what makes my soul sing and that’s where the reboot of this space comes into the story.

Those who know me know I always describe myself as “figuring out what I want to be when I grow up.” I’ve never been that type of person who knows, I mean really knows in their soul, what they are good at and what they can bring to the world. One thing however has been fairly constant in my life – food. The cultivation, preparation, medicinal use, and cultural significance of food have all been close to the surface throughout my life. My familial ties with cake coupled with my technical training in chemistry fueled my love of baking, and that love has gotten me through some tough days. My recent “come to fitness” journey has sparked a sincere interest in food justice, plant-based nutrition and how best to help people re-discover real food that fits into our 21st century lifestyle. I’m not 100% sure what this love of food will look like on the other side of this journey, but it is the road I’m taking now. I’m going to use this blog space to help find my (food) voice and I hope you will come along for the ride!I’m not 100% sure what this love of food will look like on the other side of this journey, but… Click To Tweet

So, where are we on this journey? I’m glad you asked!

1.) I’m currently studying to become a certified Health Coach through the Dr. Sears Wellness Institute. When you lose weight and better your health people always want to know what you did and how they can do it too. I’ve gotten lots of questions over the past few years and thought it was time to add some legitimacy to information that I can provide. The program with Dr. Sears really speaks to what I hope to further define as my philosophy: it focuses on meeting people wherever they are in their own health journey and helping them find optimal health through a balanced approach to life. I’ll be studying for certification through September so look for more information soon!

2.) I’m still very interested in completing an academic program to become a Registered Dietician (RD), but unfortunately right now this is on hold. I can’t find a post-baccalaureate program in Maryland equivalent to what I was studying in Virginia and I’m still not convinced a Master’s program is the way I want to go. The closest thing I’ve found is a second Bachelor’s program at Morgan State University. This is an hour away from Frederick and, more importantly, it would also require that I re-take some upper-level chemistry classes since they were used for credit toward my first degree. That, my friends, is a DEAL BREAKER. I have a degree in Chemistry, have been a grad level teaching assistant, and have worked in the industry. What I’m not gon’ do is retake Organic. I’ll have to think long and hard on this one. I’m open to suggestions.

3.) Starting August 24th I’m going all in and starting Culinary School! I’ve toyed with the idea over many years, taking many classes, volunteering in many places and I’ll be starting at Frederick Community College (FCC) in the fall. FCC has a very work focused approach to the scheduling of classes having many classes in the evenings and also on 7 week schedule. The price is right as well as they offer an additional discount to county residents. I’ve also been being my wonderful self at my day gig and have convinced my employer to allow me to have an alternate work schedule to accommodate classes. I don’t know if this many things will fall into place ever again so I’m going for it.

I know, I know. At first glance it may seem like a LOT going on but if you know me, you know that’s how I do things. All in. Go big or go home. #FAILBig. Like the name implies, I like to keep things spicy around here. Dare to take a bite?!