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The information and services provided by Gretchen Spetz MS, RDN, LD are in no way to be used as a substitute for medical care. The information provided by this website and services is for educational purposes only. Individuals should seek the permission and supervision of a physician before starting any weight loss plan, diet or exercise program. All medical information should be used in consultation with your physician and other healthcare providers. Gretchen Spetz MS, RDN, LD  is not responsible for the contents or products of any or all links made from and to this site by a third party site. The Functional Kitchen LLC disclaims any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of this web site and/or services.

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What's Cooking in My Kitchen: Gretchen's Blog

Did you know 1 in every 10 women of childbearing edge is diagnosed with PCOS? Is there anything you can do to prevent or tackle your diagnosed OR undiagnosed PCOS?

PCOS, otherwise known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, affects every woman differently. You may suffer from irregular menstruation, uncontrollable acne on face, chest and or back, unwanted facial hair, trouble with weight gain, or difficulty with losing weight. These are all  common signs and symptoms of PCOS.

PCOS is caused by a wide variety of things, but one thing we know is that NUTRITION plays a major role in preventing and treating PCOS. And just like YOU- PCOS is very UNIQUE.

Following a diet that helps RESTORE hormonal balance and REDUCE overall insulin spikes plays a significant role in PCOS management.

            - Eating a LOW GLYCEMIC INDEX (GI) diet helps to slow digestion and reduces high and frequent insulin spikes that contribute to heightened androgen level production. Foods such as whole grains, legumes, nuts,...

April 17, 2019

Paleo, keto, pescatarian, vegan, low-FODMAP, Atkins, South Beach, Mediterranean, carnivore, low fat, high protein...how many diets are out there anyway? Are they good or bad? 

It seems like there is a new diet trend every other day, and it can be challenging to figure out what's worth trying and what's not. First and foremost, you want to ask yourself the F.E.A.D. questions (for more information on this, check out What's the Best Long Term Diet for Me?).

There are a few characteristics that separate the sham diets from ones that will promote good health and quality of life. Here is what to look for:

75% of the diet consists of plant-based foods: Nutrition research demonstrates time and again that a plant-based diet (veggies, plant-based fats, nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains) is essential for health. Why? All the fiber is essential for feeding good gut bacteria. Without this fiber, the good bacteria die and the bad bacteria thrive. This will set you up for chronic inflammation, GI p...

March 20, 2019

What's the best long-term diet for me? Wow, what a loaded question! Every person's diet is unique, even if you and your partner, friend, or family all follow a paleo, keto, or other "named" diet. The most important thing to remember when picking an approach that works for you is that YOU are in control. You make the rules. You can borrow principles from a number of diets, but you get to decide how to organize them into your plan. 

That said, there are some key things to consider when deciding what makes up your personalized diet. Here are some key questions to ask yourself:

Can I see myself staying on this plan for the foreseeable future, or is it only doable if I have a goal in mind (example: lose weight before a vacation)?

If you find yourself struggling to make it through the day eating a limited number of foods or dream of "cheat" days, you may want to consider some adjustments to your plan. A sustainable diet should pass my F.E.A.D. test: functional, easy, affordable, and delicious!

I...

March 13, 2019

The word "diet" means many different things to different people, but usually it doesn't conjure up feelings of fun and enjoyment. Why is this so? According to Merriam-Webster, the basic definition of a diet is "food and drink regularly provided or consumed." This is a pretty neutral definition, friends. According to this definition, we are all on a diet!

Despite its definition, the idea of a diet brings with it ideas of restriction, elimination, and avoidance. As a DIETitian, I often have people refer to me as "the food police." People often arrive in my office bracing themselves to give up all the foods they love. Note - they leave singing a different tune!

During the next three weeks, we will sort out all the things related to diets, dieting, and  diet changes. Let's get started!

Do you need to create habits to support a sustainable healthy eating plan or do you have a specific symptom or condition that warrants nutrition therapy?

This is the first question you s...

March 12, 2019

Let’s talk about snacks. I mean grab-n-go, straight out of a package snacks - nothing homemade here! It takes a little research, but there are good options out there when you needs something portable, crunchy, and easy. Big thanks to Costco for stocking these finds!

Rx Bars: their label says it all - 4 ingredients, no BS. The chocolate peanut butter is my personal favorite. This bar makes a great midday or post-workout snack. Nutritionally, these bars are a great blend of carbs and protein, and will promote satiety. I like to pair an Rx Bar with 1 cup berries for an easy, on-the-go breakfast.

Hippeas: these “cheese curls” take me back to my childhood sitting around a campfire with fingers covered in sticky fake cheese. This is still fake cheese, but I can get behind the ingredients list! Is this an everyday food? No, but it provides a healthier alternative when you are in the mood for a traditional snacky snack. 

Made Good Granola Minis: my kids love these pouches and I fe...

November 20, 2018

This is the last week of 4 Weeks of Functional Foods! Thanks for staying tuned to the power of functional foods and how your body uses all these fabulous nutrients.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I want to leave you with a "leftovers" recipe featuring my friend, bok choy, and some food from the holiday that is waiting to be eaten. Treat yourself to this colorful and semi-indulgent steam bowl that comes together in a snap!

Post-Thanksgiving Steam Bowl

serves 1

Ingredients:

1.5 cups bok choy

½ cup quinoa

3 oz leftover turkey

¼ cup leftover cranberry sauce

2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese

1 tbsp balsamic vinaigrette

Directions:

  1. Place bok choy, quinoa, and leftover turkey in a bowl. Microwave for 1 minute.

  2. Add more bok choy if desired (you can never eat too many greens!).

  3. Place cranberry sauce and goat cheese on top of the bok choy, quinoa and turkey.

  4. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over everything.

  5. Enjoy!

November 17, 2018

This week focuses on some unique additions to your kitchen - maca root, cacao powder, and coconut milk. Turn these superfoods into a breakfast smoothie or indulgent dessert!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Smoothie

makes 1 serving

Ingredients:

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tbsp peanut butter

1 tbsp flaxseed

1 tbsp chia seeds

1 tbsp cocoa or cacao powder

1/2 tsp maca powder

1 serving unflavored collagen protein powder (I like Vital Proteins or Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate)

½ banana (ideally frozen)

1 tsp raw honey (optional)

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients together. Pour and enjoy!

Easy Chocolate Mousse (dairy-free)

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

2 cans coconut cream or 2 cans of full-fat coconut milk

2 tbsp powdered sugar

3 tbsp cacao powder

Pinch of salt

2 squares of dark chocolate (70% or higher), shaved

Directions:

  1. Place cans of coconut cream or coconut milk in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. This will allow the fat (cream) to harden so it can be whipped.

  2. Open cans and remove t...

November 8, 2018

This week, we focused on some of those super common veggies that we use a lot! Functional foods don't need to be complicated, expensive, and hard to find. 

I love putting these superstars into a gut-loving, immune-supporting soup. Who doesn't need a good chicken noodle soup recipe on hand? Enjoy!

Gut-Loving, Immune-Boosting Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

1 garlic head

1.5 tbsp + 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided

1-1.5 quarts homemade bone broth

2-3 cups shredded or cubed chicken (shortcut – buy pre-chopped rotisserie chicken from the store)

½ cup diced carrots

½ cup diced celery

½ cup diced onion

Juice from ½ lemon

Zest from 1 lemon

1-1.5 cups gluten-free noodles (I like chickpea noodles, rice noodles, or lentil noodles)

1 tbsp Italian seasoning

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400.

  2. Cut off the top of the garlic head to expose the cloves inside. Place on a piece of foil. Drizzle with 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Wrap the foil around t...

November 2, 2018

Happy November! This short week was all about two amazing foods that are the superstar ingredients of my favorite fiberlicious pudding. This Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding is a great addition to breakfast and is an excellent healthy dessert. The fiber found in chia seeds and pumpkin feed good gut bacteria and keeps things moving along in your digestive tract. Cheers!

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pudding

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1.5 cups coconut milk or almond milk

¾ cup pumpkin puree (choose canned organic pumpkin for maximum ease and nutritional benefits)

2 tbsp maple syrup or honey

1 tsp vanilla extract

1.5 tsp pumpkin pie spice blend

¼ cup chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Whisk together milk, pumpkin, sweetener, vanilla, and spices.

  2. Gently stir in chia seeds.

  3. Chill in refrigerator overnight (or a minimum of 4 hours).

April 3, 2018


Maybe the question should be who DOESN’T feel fatigued? YAWN! I took a time-out from blogging last month when Baby K’s sleep took a nosedive. Four teeth coming in at the same time = lots of nighttime wakeups and broken sleep for mom! In addition, the Functional Kitchen is getting more wonderful clients (SO EXCITING!), and we have had some serious birthday celebrations for the three year old and the baby-turned-toddler. Did I mention that we also are finally selling our old house? Oh yeah, and that I get up about three times per week at 4:45a for CrossFit?

I tell you all this because this is real life. Chances are, my experience is not much different than yours. Life is a big balancing act, and usually our plates are overflowing with responsibilities and fun. Being the acrobat of your life takes some serious energy! The downside to all this life gymnastics is that we wear ourselves down. Chronic fatigue is the big red flag of pushing yourself too hard – not feeling rested after waking,...

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I'm on a Diet...Part 3: What Do All Good Diets Have in Common?

April 17, 2019

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