the best salmon salad ever

The title is no joke.

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Salmon salad sandwich06

I’ve made this recipe three times. The first was a practice run. I always practice when I’m coming up with new recipes. Sometimes they’re a home run, sometimes not. The second  time I made this recipe it was perfect and yes, the best salmon salad sandwich I could ever imagine. I made this recipe for the third time today for a very special reason. Here’s a hint. Keep in mind this is the blog’s birthday week and we’re celebrating big time over here.

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Frozen wild salmon filets, I love you. You’re always there (in the freezer) when I crave you. They can literally be defrosted after just 5-10 minutes of soaking the package in warm water.

For those of you who have never baked salmon before, you might be a little weirded out by that white stuff all over the filets. I know because I was the first time I saw it. Don’t go wiping it off. It’s protein, similar to that of an egg white!

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The sauce for the salmon salad is a happy and healthy combination of equal parts 0% Greek yogurt, cottage cheese and mayonnaise plus some chives, lemon juice and honey. Sweet and simple.

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I whipped it up while the salmon was baking and folded everything together once the salmon had cooled.

Take note of the big lumps of meat. Pretty, aren’t they? We don’t want this looking like canned salmon salad so be gentle with the salmon as you break it up and fold it into the sauce.

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The flavors really start to meld together if you can resist the urge and let this chill in the refrigerator for an hour or two… but if you can’t (not judging, I couldn’t) it still tastes amazing served immediately on a little toasted Ciabatta bread.

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Salmon salad sandwich08

Chobani Giveaway

I’ve already finished my sandwich but the best part for you guys is yet to come. Since we’re celebrating the blog’s birthday this week, Chobani has graciously offered a birthday gift giveaway, a custom case of their delicious yogurt! I love their yogurt but I also love the friendship we’ve developed over the past two years. They’ve been one of my biggest supporters and so fun to work with, so this means a lot to me! 

To enter:

There are more than a few ways to enter. The more ways you enter, the better chance you have at winning so make sure you comment once for each of the following things you do:

  1. Tell me which flavor of CHO you like best OR your favorite way to cook with it.
  2. Tweet about this giveaway: I want to win a custom case of @Chobani from @nutritionella!
  3. Follow or Like nutritionella on 

One entry per follow!

Giveaway open to U.S. residents only. A winner will be randomly selected and announced some time on Friday, November 16th so check back to see if it’s you!

P.S. A little reminder there’s still time to enter yesterday’s giveaway! The winner will be chosen tomorrow.


GIVEAWAY UPDATE: The winner of the Chobani case is Lindsay of Live. Love. Nutrition. Congrats!

business planning

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Good morning from my new home, the coffee shop where I’ve been camped out writing & researching for the past 3 days. This Master’s thesis thing is no joke! As of this morning I have 5, single-spaced pages written, which is slowly starting to look like a private practice dietitian business plan.

When it comes to projects like these, I tend to bite off more than I can chew. I envisioned a beautiful business plan bound in leather at the end of all this but my advisor wisely suggested I focus on just a section or two of a business plan. Naturally, I chose three.

  • Definition of the Market
  • Description of Products and Services
  • Marketing and Sales Strategy
I have just a bit left to do for the Description of Products and Services before moving onto the Marketing and Sales Strategy. With a first draft due to my advisor tomorrow, I have a feeling it’s going to be a long couple of days.
I can’t tell you how many times my poor legs have fallen asleep lately with all of the sitting I’ve been doing but I’ve managed to step away from the laptop and fit in some exercise the past few days.
  • Saturday: 90 minutes of power yoga
  • Sunday: 4 mile run
  • Monday: impromptu sandwich workout
    • 15 minutes of Arc trainer
    • 48 pushups
    • bicep curl tabata
    • leg tabata with: scissor jumps, weighted squats, pulsing lunges, balancing lateral leg lifts
    • shoulder press tabata
    • 15 minutes of biking

Yesterday’s workout was quick, tough, and felt wonderful. It’s been a couple of weeks since my last pushup but I managed to pick up where I left off, with 4 sets of 12. Needless to say, my legs and arms are quite happy to be sitting and typing this morning. I’m hoping to fit in a run later this afternoon and yoga tomorrow.

If you have a second today, check out my November partners!

  • Hillary‘s cute blog has tons of great workouts, recipes and fitness inspiration. She also has quite a story behind her passion for health and wellness. Plus, anyone who blogs about exercise and chocolate chip cookies all in the same post is someone you want to get to know.
  • Misa is the sweet and stylish designer behind Misa Jewelry. Misa creates beautiful, hand-crafted jewelry inspired by the beauty of nature and her upbringing in Hawaii and Micronesia. I own a few pieces of hers and they’re stunning. No wonder celebs love her jewelry, too!

Well, it’s time to get back to business planning. Thank goodness I voted early and don’t have to worry about wasting time in lines today. Have you rocked the vote yet? I hope so!

P.S. If you’re interested in partnering, check out my Sponsor page for more info. New sponsors get 1/2 off their first month and button design for only $5. Prices, promo codes and ad purchases are all here.


top 10 tips for running in the dark


I’m sure you evening runners are dreading turning the clocks back this weekend but I’m an early exerciser and the anticipation is killing me. We’ll continue to lose daylight hours for another 7 weeks now though, so the 6am glimmer of daylight I’ll have as of Sunday morning will surely be short-lived.

I’ve done a fair bit of running in the dark over the years. Sometimes, it’s necessary. It’s not particularly fun and actually can be quite dangerous if you’re not prepared. I learned this the hard way.

I once had a crazy ass dog come after me in the wee hours of the morning. Granted this could have happened at any time of day but with not a soul around, I envisioned being dragged off and mauled. I had my phone in hand but no real plan of who I‘d call for help if this dog ever attacked me. Luckily, this angry little monster backed off when I kicked it in the mouth (which I still feel badly about) – but that’s when I realized being prepared is absolutely necessary.

With our clocks turning back this weekend & the darkest day of the year approaching, I thought these tips for running in the dark would be helpful for you new runners & a good reminder for some of you dark road-running veterans:

1. Wear reflective outerwear. Tiny strips of reflective material on your shoes aren’t enough.  If possible, have some sort of reflective material on all of your fall/winter running outerwear. That way, no matter what you put on, you’re covered. Love: this jacket, these tights, hat & mittens. Also, get an inexpensive belt to throw on when you wear something that doesn’t have reflective material.

2. Bring a buddy. It sounds cliché but there’s definitely safety in numbers.

3. Tell someone your agenda. If you’re running alone and no one is home when you head out the door, send a quick email or text to a friend or family member letting them know:

  • when you’re leaving & when to expect you back  – also that you’ll check in again with them once you’re home safely
  • where you’re going  – I nickname my various routes (i.e. Elle’s loop, Rob’s run) so Rob knows with just 2 words the exact path I’ll be running.

4. Switch up your routes. Don’t run the same route at the same time on the same days. There are creepy people out there who will take notice.  Also, stay out of the sketchy areas, people! Creepers love dark, sketchy areas.

5. Bring your phone. If you run into trouble, help is just a call away.

6. Be ready to speed dial & don’t call your friends/family. Know what buttons to press to make an emergency call or program 911 into your phone. They’ll always answer but your friends and family may not.

7. Wear ID. God forbid an accident happens, a simple ID bracelet or license can provide police, EMTs & hospital workers with invaluable information. It will save time tracking down family members and enable medical personnel to urgently access electronic medical records if needed. Include allergies or medical conditions and you’re even more ahead of the game.

8. Run against traffic. You certainly won’t miss a set of glaring headlights but tired eyeballs (especially early in the morning or late at night) might not spot you in your fancy reflective gear. Running against traffic puts the runner in control of getting out of the way if a car comes dangerously close. Don’t depend on drivers to avoid you.

9. Embrace silence. Forget hearing cars, you’ll never be able to hear someone or something (like a rabid dog) coming up behind you if you’re bopping down the road to “Call Me Maybe.” Take advantage of your heightened hearing ability in the dark, that’s what it’s for!

10. Stick to the pavement. Seems obvious but trails are a lot darker than you’d think. They stay darker later in the morning and get darker earlier in the day than streets. You’ll also never find street lights on trails, which also will help keep you safe!

Question of the day: How do you stay safe on dark runs?

P.S. Other running-related healthy life with style posts: drinking while training for a race, potential benefits of  ice water before hot workouts, tips on becoming a morning exerciser (including running!)

dietetic internship wrap-up

It’s hard to believe 22 weeks have come and gone since starting my dietetic internship at UNC Hospitals.

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But guess what? It’s over! I could hardly believe it as I packed up my desk on Tuesday. Looking back on everything I did though, it’s actually not surprising the time flew by so fast.

12 Weeks of Adult General Rotations:

  • Weeks 1-2: Diabetes, Renal and Transplant
  • Weeks 3-4: General Medicine & Psychiatric
  • Weeks 5-6: Cardiology & Rehab
  • Weeks 6-12: Critical Care, Surgery & Nutrition Support (mostly in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit, or SICU)

10 Weeks of a Advanced Rotations in Pediatrics:

  • Week 1: General Pediatrics
  • Week 2: Pediatric Surgery & GI
  • Week 3: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)
  • Week 4: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU)
  • Week 5: Cystic Fibrosis (inpatient & outpatient)
  • Week 6: Specialty Pediatrics (outpatient)
  • Weeks 7-10: Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU)

I chose to spend the 10 weeks of my Advanced Rotations working in pediatrics since it’s an area I plan to incorporate into my own private practice. (More details on that as I write my business plan during the next 2 weeks!) I wanted to get as much time as possible working with critically ill patients since they’re often the most complicated and challenging. It just so happened that the regular PICU dietitian went out on maternity leave 6 weeks ago so I was able to spend the last month covering the PICU, all by myself. My preceptor gave me full ownership of the unit, including going to rounds for 3 hours every morning and giving the team my nutrition recommendations. It.was.awesome.

I’ve come a long way. 22 weeks ago I was bashful talking to patients and nervous about giving recommendations to doctors. Now, I comfortably interact with patients, chart notes like nobody’s business and know what to do for patients almost all of the time. I tell the teams exactly what I want and why, with a leopard print clipboard in my arms, and they listen to me. It feels good.

I’ll be hunkered down in various Chapel Hill coffee shops for the next couple weeks, writing my Master’s paper which will be presented to faculty on November 30th – the day I graduate!

Question of the day: RDs & RDs-to-be, what did you like, love, hate about your clinical internship? What are you most proud of?