Join Us for Taste of Health as We Celebrate National Nutrition Month

Are you ready for March yet? I know I am! But not just because March brings with it the beginning of spring, but because March also marks the start of National Nutrition Month.

As a dietitian, I really don’t need an excuse to talk about healthy eating, but it does serve as a nice reminder for the general public that nutrition matters. Designed as a nutrition education and information campaign to bring awareness to the importance of making informed food choices and developing sound eating and physical activity habits, its a great time to refocus on taking care of yourself.

This year’s theme is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle” and is meant to encourage people to adopt a eating and physical activity plan that focuses on consuming the right amount of calories, making informed food choices, and getting daily exercise in to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

This year we’re particularly excited to be joining forces with the Dietitians of West Michigan for their Taste of Health event taking place March 11th from 4-7pm!

Taste of Health Event
Click on the image to download the event flyer!

Dietitians from across the Western Michigan district will be gathering together to show individuals just how fun eating well can be. It is also a great opportunity to see what a dietitian can do for you and your meal plan. So whether you love food, want to change the way you eat, or simply have a few questions you would like to have answered by some pretty phenomenal nutrition experts, this is the perfect time and venue for doing just that.

And of course, we’ll be there too! Showing off a few of our must-have kitchen gadgets, giving away prizes, and cheering on our colleagues as they do what they do best.

In addition to booths set up by local dietitians, you will also get the opportunity to participate in both a pre- and post-workout stretching demo and a live cooking demo! Gazelle Sports will also be there showcasing a few of their must-haves for maintaining or beginning an active lifestyle. And yes, it is possible even when the weather is dreadfully cold.

If you live in the West Michigan area, we hope you’ll join us. The event is FREE and is guaranteed to be a great time. We hope to see you there and be sure to let us know when you stop by! I’d personally love to meet you.

The event is taking place at The Salvation Army Kroc Center at 2500 S. Division Ave. in Grand Rapids, MI.

Fun fact: March 11th is National RDN Day – a day where we celebrate the dietitian and their contributions to the health community. What a great reason to come on out and support them by attending this event!

For more information, please visit the Dietitians of West Michigan’s Facebook page.

Not in the area? There may be some fun events going on in your neighborhood too. Be sure to  check your local newspaper, radio station, or TV websites’ calendar of events for possible activities happening where you live. And if you know of something amazing going on, send it our way! We’d love to help spread the word.

Get Excited About Produce with Tater Tats!

We already think produce is pretty fun, but we realize not everyone finds fruits and veggies quite as enjoyable as we do. That’s why I was pretty darn excited when an inspiring story floated across my Facebook news feed that featured another woman just as passionate about making healthy eating fun as we are here at Around the Plate.

Meet Jenna. A farmer and food-lover from West Michigan (yay! Michigan is the coolest! – although I’m admittedly a little bias) and the creator of Tater Tats.

Tater Tats

Tater Tats is a Kickstarter campaign launched with the intention of encouraging people to eat more veggies, eat healthier, and eat in season. Designed specifically for farmers and foodies, we’re sure there are many people who are ready to spread their love of good-for-you food around. These tattoos make it easy, and fun, to spread that love.

Related: Broccoli vs. Kale: How New Have,n, CT is Inspiring Others to Eat Fad-Free

My youngest, Ben, will be especially excited about this new wave of veggie promotion. He LOVES temporary tattoos. He also LOVES most veggies… especially broccoli. So I can definitely see him sporting around a few of these babies.

The tattoos will be packaged by season to help let people know when some of their favorite produce is available. After all, eating in season is a great way to save money and eat foods with maximum flavor and nutrient value. Basically, it just makes produce more mouth-watering and if you aren’t a super fan of these super foods yet, this could make all the difference in your experience with them.

The idea for Tater Tats came from a moment of necessity. Working at a local CSA farm harvesting beans, Jenna and her work-mates decided that marking their forearms with the beans and where they were located would help with the harvesting process. Thus, Tater Tats was born.

Currently, Jenna is trying to raise money for the first production run of these tattoos. Giving even as little as $5 will help this campaign flourish and Jenna, who is all ready on her way to becoming the next, possibly first, temporary tattoo mogul, continue to spread the veg-loving movement. PLUS, its a great way to provide support to local farms by assisting them with marketing and fundraising options.

To learn more about this Kickstarter campaign and get the full scoop on Tater Tats, be sure to visit Jenna’s Kickstarter page.

You may also be interested in checking out some of the other cool things Jenna is up to. Check out her Salad and Soup clubs… especially if you live in West Michigan and are looking to eat local and support your local farmer.

KIND Healthy Snacks & Greatist Team Up for 28 Day Kindness Challenge

This February, lets do something amazing. Let’s spread a little kindness to those around us. Are you game? KIND Healthy Snacks and the Greatist team have partnered up to help us do just that all month long.

February Challenge: Kindness

With Random Acts of Kindness day fast approaching (its February 17th, just in case you were wondering), February is the perfect month to think outside yourself and brighten someones day. Even something as simple as a smile can make the world of difference on day that is otherwise pretty darn lame.

Not quite sure how to best spread kindness? Grab the calendar here. And then get to work!

We’d love to hear about your acts of kindness too and how you’re helping to make the world a better place one act of kindness at a time. Use the hashtag #28daysofkind so that everyone can see what amazing things you’re up to this month. Plus, when you use the hashtag you’ll also be entered to win a year’s worth of KIND bars! Yep, a FULL year!! The winner will be selected at the end of the month.

Are you ready? We are! Keep an eye out for our random acts of kindness updates. We’ll be sharing here, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

(h/t Greatist & KIND Healthy Snacks)

 

Ways to Give Your Kitchen Personality

by  Jane Blanchard for Modernize.com 

No matter who you are or what type of house you live in, odds are that you have a kitchen. The kitchen is the food mecca for everything from home cooked brunch with the family to late-night snacking at 2 am.

Chances are, you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so make yours a fun place to be. Read on for some inspiration:

Update your backsplash

Kitchen Backsplash Design via Houzz
via Houzz

If you think backsplashes can only be made with tiles, think again. Show off your style with something interesting like a mosaic or even fabric like in the picture above. That’s fabric that has been laminated and put behind glass.

Cork Backsplash
via Houzz

Another fun idea for updating that backsplash is a DIY project that involves saving your wine corks – and probably all your friends’ wine corks as well.

Chalk it up

Chalkboard Paint Wall
via Houzz

Chalkboard paint is the perfect way to have ever-changing variety on your kitchen wall. Write down your grocery list where you’ll see it or let your kids doodle and decorate. The really great thing about a chalkboard wall instead of just boards being hung is that you can still hang pictures and artwork or even put up shelves.

Color your drawers something fun 

Colorful Kitchen Drawers
via Houzz

If the natural tones of your kitchen make it look too bland but colorful walls feel too much like an eyesore, consider painting the drawers of your island or counters. It’s a more subtle way to add a pop of color to the room.

Or the appliances! 

Colorful Appliances
via Houzz

Why go stainless? A colorful refrigerator has a great mod look to it which can go retro or mid-century modern with ease.

Mix it up 

Colorful Kitchen
via Houzz

Who says that you have to be matchy-matchy? The rule of thumb is to simply not clash. Try mixing up the colors of things like lighting fixtures or chair cushions. Tastefully mis-matched chairs are a popular trend for the shabby chic or quirky homes.

Light it up 

Unique Kitchen Lighting
via Houzz

Speaking of light fixtures, go ahead and take the risk of getting that super cool statement piece. With the right lights, you can set the tone or theme with a fun shape, or take classy to the next level with the right chandelier.

For more tips and tricks, go to Modernize.com.

When Two Registered Dietitians Road Trip to Atlanta

This past week Kati and I went to Atlanta, GA for the International Gift & Home Furnishings Market on a mission to find some unique, innovative and awesome kitchenware to add to our already pretty stunning line up of essentials.  Call us crazy, but we drove down to the big city in the middle of 2 snow storms both on the way down and on the way back, in hopes to locate some tasty foodie finds during our travels.

Kati, Sarah and their server Charlie at Meehan's Irish Pub in Atlanta, GA.
Kati, Sarah and their server Charlie at Meehan’s Irish Pub in Atlanta, GA.

Our first foodie goal was to scope out a mom and pop shop for lunch.  As success would have it, Kati and I did just that and found a little place called Kewpee in Lima, OH.  With a simple of menu of mostly hamburgers and french fries this place drew a large crowd for lunch.  Quick and delicious, Kati and I ate lunch among the locals as well as their mascots, two larger than life naked baby dolls.  Despite the fact that we were slightly creeped out by their presence,  we decided they must represent the words that were located on their burger wrappers- clean, pretty, plump, and sweet!

Kewpee Mascot-Clean, Sweet, Pretty, Plump!
Kewpee Mascot-Clean, Sweet, Pretty, Plump!

After many, many hours of driving we arrived in Atlanta, GA where the good eats kept coming as well as the southern hospitality.  For dinner we found ourselves at an Irish Pub called Meehan’s, where we decided to eat like the Irish and dive into some traditional cuisine.  The most delectable being our appetizer called Devil’s on Horseback. Imagine goat cheese and dates strapped together by a piece of crispy bacon, drizzled in a balsamic reduction on top of a golden beet.  It was an explosion of flavor to our tastebuds and we both decided it needed to be replicated back in Michigan. Southern hospitality was also in full swing because our server named Charlie did not even flinch when I asked for extra veggies to beef up the nutrition in my entree.  He was even so nice as to snap a photo with us on our way out.

Devil's On Horseback at Meehan's Irish Pub in Atlanta, GA
Devil’s On Horseback at Meehan’s Irish Pub in Atlanta, GA

Though the food we encountered was amazing, our biggest discovery of the trip was the innovative gadgetry we got to play with.  We definitely picked our favorites, but we also love to hear about our customers must haves, so, we hauled back a pile of product guides that our customers can browse through to let us know what they can’t live without. If you’re one of our avid shoppers, be sure to let us know what sort of items you’re looking for. Our trip was a total success, from food, to education, to awesome kitchenware, it was an epic adventure across the country!

What sort of restaurants do you like to stop at while traveling? We’d love to know! Share your thoughts in the comments!