Giving Back to Our Community: Volunteering at Jasmine Road

Jasmine Road is South Carolina’s first two-year residential program for adult women survivors of human trafficking, prostitution, and addiction.

Their mission is to offer women who are trapped in a cycle of sexual exploitation and addiction a path to freedom, a haven for healing, and the opportunity to flourish, leading to generational change and the betterment of our Greenville community.

Brittany Jones Nutrition Group is thrilled to be donating our time and expertise through a 4 week series on “Gentle Nutrition” for the residents at Jasmine Road beginning in April 2022.

This series will be led by Registered Dietitian Anna Jensen, RD, LD and will cover the following topics:

  • A weight neutral approach to nutrition care
  • Rejecting the all-or-nothing mindset
  • Nutrition myth busting
  • Meal planning

As a volunteer, Anna will work alongside the Jasmine Road Staff to support the residents on their unique journey of healing, and to further their growth, and development. Our goal is to work with the residents as they move out of the cycles of addiction and sexual exploitation and to empower them to fuel, move, and accept their bodies along their journey.

We are very excited to be partnering with such an incredible organization and to give back to our Greenville community that we love so much!

Learn more about Jasmine Road and their social enterprise lunch café Jasmine Kitchen.

How To Eat Vegetables Without Feeling Like You’re On A Diet

What do you think of when you think of vegetables?

Does “eating diet food” come to mind, or is it one of your favorite foods?

Does it sound like something you “have to” or “should” eat, or just another part of your meals?

There is nothing inherently diet-y about vegetables, but diet culture has really taken advantage of them! 

It might feel a bit simple to write a whole blog post about vegetables, but we have found many clients associate them so closely to diets that their relationship with them can be disordered – so we thought it was worth talking about a little further.

You can enjoy vegetables how YOU like them, not how diet culture says you are supposed to eat them (i.e. with dressing on the side, or raw without dipping in ranch)!

Keep reading to see how your view of vegetables might be altered due to your dieting history, and how you can eat more vegetables without dieting. 

Dieting and Diet Culture Can Distort Your View of Certain Foods

Diet culture has created us to believe that some foods are “good” while others are “bad” – pitting the two against each other. Brittany Jones Nutrition Group dietitians teach food freedom, which allows unconditional permission to eat all foods, and can help us be more attuned with our body. 

Remember that “Force-feeding” yourself vegetables will move you in the opposite direction of trusting your body. 

As we learn to trust our body and its choices, we begin to strike a balance between functional and fun foods and it becomes a much more natural process. 

We have also seen how all-or-nothing thinking with vegetables can sneak in. If you have heard in a past diet that you can only have steamed, bland vegetables, low fat/low sugar dressing (or even worse- no dressing!), it is understandable how that would not satisfy you! If you have used vegetables to cover up a craving because they have little “points” (etc), you probably have realized this does not work and will only make your craving more intense. These experiences are common, and know that vegetables don’t have to be consumed in this way.

It is important to also note that your view toward vegetables might be altered from your experiences as a child. If you were forced to eat certain vegetables or if you were rarely exposed to them, this will also have an impact. Have compassion on yourself if it feels like you are “picky” when it comes to vegetables. It is never too late to just start trying and experimenting. 

Shift To An Abundance Mindset

Another reason people might avoid eating vegetables is that it is often used as a replacement for things when dieting. You can eat a lot of vegetables without having to make it a replacement for something else in the meal! By all means if you like cauliflower rice – go for it – but we would still love to see you add some carbs to your meal such as corn/peas/beans or some bread/crackers. If you love rice, eat the rice and have some vegetables on your plate as well.

It can be helpful to think how we can ADD to a meal or snack, not replace it. As you begin to try to incorporate vegetables in new ways, know that there might be some vegetables that you like and some you don’t, and that is okay! 

How To Make Vegetables Tasty 

Here are some ideas to incorporate more vegetables from a place of abundance, not restriction: 

  1. Start with a list. Think of the vegetables you like and the ones you have not tried or want to try making differently. Sometimes it can be helpful to think of something you have had before at a restaurant (like those crispy brussels sprouts or interesting salads) and want to try to recreate it! 
  2. Branch out in the kitchen. If you like steaming, go for it! But sautéing, roasting, and grilling can bring out amazing textures and flavors. If you have an air fryer (or convection oven), this can make vegetables really crisp. 
  3. Experiment with seasonings and marinades. Just like you marinate your meat for the grill, try marinating your vegetables! Think beyond salt and pepper- we love all the spice blends at Trader Joes! For those that find vegetables bitter, try using maple syrup or honey in a marinade or when roasting to cut the bitterness. 
  4. Don’t be afraid of oil. Not only does the oil help with satiety and in enhancing taste, it helps you absorb all the fat-soluble vitamins in vegetables. Also, you will thank yourself when cleaning the pan!
  5. Think beyond a side. Sides are great, but you can also enhance whatever you’re making by throwing some extra vegetables in the mix. Making a breakfast casserole or omelet? Maybe add some peppers and onions. Your favorite pasta dish or soup? Think about some throwing in frozen spinach or fresh mushrooms.
  6. Sauce it up. There are so many different things you can do in this area. Maybe it looks like a balsamic glaze, hummus, chimichurri drizzle, or some other dipping sauce. 
  7. You don’t have to order salad dressing on the side! You would be surprised how much more satisfying a salad is when it’s tossed nicely WITH the dressing. 

Check Out Some of Our Favorite Brittany Jones Nutrition Group Vegetable Recipes

We hope this gets you started on how you can be adding vegetables to your diet coming from a place of abundance. If you would like some ideas to get you started, check out some of ours below: 

Quiz: Do you have a healthy relationship with food/body?

It can be hard to understand what is considered a healthy relationship with food and body when we’re living in a culture that celebrates diets. It becomes so engrained in us, and sometimes we don’t realize that our relationship has become an unhealthy one.

That’s why the dietitians at Brittany Jones Nutrition Group came up with this quiz! It by no means should be used as a diagnostic tool – it is simply a quick 2 minute check in that you can do yourself.

If you answer “yes” to 5 out of the 15 questions or more – it might be time to explore your relationship with food/body in a little bit more.


Take our quick 2 minute quiz to check in with yourself and your attitudes about food, nutrition, and body image:

Meet our newest dietitian, Anna!

We are SO excited to introduce you to our newest dietitian, Anna Jensen, RD, LD!

Anna has been working with Brittany Jones Nutrition Group clients in our nutrition counseling and eating disorder/disordered eating programs since August 2021, and our clients have really enjoyed working with her! She is a joy to work with, and we are so grateful to have her on our team.

Get to know Anna!

Q: You were an intern for Brittany in the past, what made you want to be a part of the team?

A: Nothing else felt quite right. When I interned with the team, I got to see the Brittany, Allison, and Christie build relationships with the clients, really listen to them, and create an individualized plan. I decided that is what felt right – helping individuals find food and body freedom in a world of diet culture. – rather than the traditional weight centric approach.

Q: Where did you get your Bachelors in Nutrition and complete your dietetic internship to become a Registered Dietitian?

A: I went to Clemson University and I would not change a thing! I completed my dietetic internship through Be Well Solutions Distance program. I LOVED doing a distance program, because I got to choose my own schedule – that’s how I was able to choose my “emphasis” rotation with Brittany Jones Nutrition Group!

Q: You have a clinical background in dietetics – how does that help you with your clients?

A: This has shown to be helpful in helping both nutrition counseling and eating disorder clients. In my time in the clinical setting, I learned about chronic diseases, interpreting labs, consequences of malnutrition, and the importance of preventing of malnutrition. I also learned how to work on an interdisciplinary team/communicate with other medical providers, and how to teach individuals to advocate for themselves.

Q: What kind of clients do you enjoy working with?

A: I love working with those ready to ditch dieting and take a full dive into intuitive eating! I also love when clients trust me to be completely transparent, open and honest with their past and current struggles. I use motivation interviewing in our sessions, and meet clients where they are at.

Q: What are you most excited about in this new position with Brittany Jones Nutrition Group?

A: Of course I am excited to take on more clients, but I think I am most excited to be on a team that is so supportive and personally invested in your success!

Q: What’s your favorite holiday tradition?

A: I grew up making Christmas cookies with my grandma and it brings back so many memories. Even if I do not get the chance to bake with her, I try to make the same cookies. Food is so much more than fuel- it can bring back special memories and create future ones.

Are you interested in working with Anna? Click here to set up a FREE 15 minute call today!

TD Saturday Market Peach Panzanella Salad

I can’t believe it’s been 10 years since I moved to Greenville, SC! I moved here for a job with a start up company after graduating from the Medical University of South Carolina Dietetic Internship, and never looked back.

A LOT has changed in the last decade. I met my person and married him, traveled a ton, had a baby, bought a house, and held several jobs before finally starting and growing my own business!

I was honored to be asked by the TD Saturday Market to participate in their Kitchen Series as it has always been one of my favorite activities in our city!

SC peaches are my absolute favorite, and I had so much fun combining them with ripe tomatoes, fresh cucumbers, meat, cheese, and of course delicious sourdough bread! My recipe features produce from Beachwood Farms, Hyders Farm, and Great Harvest Bread.

Check out my full TD Saturday Market experience and the recipe below!

Farmers Market Peach Panzanella Salad

Serves: 6-8

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon Mustard
  • 3 Medium Ripe Peaches, sliced
  • 2 Tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 Small Red Onion, Peeled and thinly sliced
  • 4 Cups Cucumber, sliced into half moons
  • 12oz Fresh Mozzarella, cut into small pieces
  • 4 Cups Whole Wheat Sourdough Bread, 1 day old & cubed
  • 6 Slices Prosciutto, sliced

Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, honey, and Dijon mustard. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, add the peaches, tomatoes, red onion, cucumber, mozzarella, cubed bread, and prosciutto. Gently toss with the dressing.
  3. Arrange the salad on a large platter and top with fresh ground pepper.
  4. Enjoy!

Sheet Pan Red Potatoes, Veggies, and Sausage

I’m excited to share another EASY weeknight meal for you to try! This recipe has only 4 main ingredients and makes for great leftovers. Be sure to share your photos on social media and tag @brittanyjonesRD and @greenvilledietitians!

Sheet Pan Red Potatoes, Veggies, and Sausage

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds baby red potatoes, cut in half
  • 1/4 Cup Olive oil
  • 16oz bag broccoli florets
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 Cloves garlic, pressed
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • 8 Precooked chicken sausage links of your choice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with half of the olive oil, Italian seasoning, 1 clove garlic, and black pepper to taste.
  3. Roast the potatoes for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, add the bag of broccoli florets and chopped red bell peppers to the mixing bowl bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic clove, and black pepper t taste.
  5. Add the vegetables to the sheet pan with the potatoes, and roast for 20 more minutes.
  6. While the veggies are cooking, reheat the precooked chicken sausage links according to the package
  7. Serve 1/4 of the potatoes and veggies with 2 sausages, and enjoy!

Note: this recipe is gluten free and dairy free

Not Seeing Progress at the Gym? Why you may need to eat more.

It may surprise you to know that I spend the majority of my sessions with clients telling them to eat MORE and not less. When I say recommend eating more a very typical response is “but if I eat more, I will gain weight, right?” This is not always true.

Diet culture praises hunger, and shames fullness (read more here). It tells you the key is “calories in calories out” – that’s all there is to it, right? Wrong.

Our bodies are not robots. They are not a static machine that requires the same number of calories each day. Energy requirements vary based on activity level, gender, stress and sleep, illness, phase of life, and so much more. That is why listening to our bodies hunger and fullness cues is always the best indicator of our needs.

Unfortunately, diet culture takes you away from these natural cues, praising undereating and making consumers believe that being hungry all the time is a good thing. This puts us at risk for going into starvation mode which ultimately takes us AWAY from our goals. Undereating can also have serious health consequences. 

risks of chronic undereating:

  • Breakdown of muscle (including your heart!)
  • Gastroparesis (slowed digestion causing symptoms such as stomach pain and bloating, nausea and vomiting, blocked intestines, and constipation)
  • Development of eating disorders such as binge eating disorder, anorexia nervosa, and bulimia nervosa
  • Obsessive food thoughts and difficulty concentrating (your brain consumes 1/5 of the body’s calories – without enough intake it cannot function properly!)
  • Lowered sex drive 
  • Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Reduced resting metabolic rate
  • Dry skin, brittle nails, and hair loss
  • Decreased bone density (osteopenia and osteoporosis)
  • Anemia

We find that undereating is particularly common with our clients that are athletes or people with a regular exercise routine such as HIIT workouts, group exercise classes, cycling, or running. This comes back to the calories in calories out philosophy of diet culture. Diet culture teaches us to burn as many calories as we can while taking in as little calories as possible.

Exercising while under fueling has additional risks including:

  • Reduced muscle mass
  • A slower metabolism and an increase in body fat
  • Increased cortisol hormone (stress) – this can lead to insulin resistance and leptin resistance (leptin is the hormone that indicates you are full)
  • Increased risk of stress fractures and decreased bone density 
  • Loss/decrease of performance
  • Reduced T3 (active thyroid hormone)

In addition, under fueling for workouts can hinder your progress towards your strength and endurance goals. When calories are too low, the body prioritizes keeping you alive – meaning its focus is on essential functions such as breathing and regulating body temperature. It is not focused on rebuilding muscle tissue.

Working out without proper nutrition makes it nearly impossible to increase muscle strength or size. 

Under fueling also makes recovery from workouts more difficult. During a workout, your muscle tissues break down. Without adequate calories, carbs, and protein, your muscles will not have the materials they need to rebuild. Instead, that muscle will just be burned for energy. Under eating also disrupts your sleep cycle which is an important part of the recovery process as well.

How do you know if you are undereating?

Signs that you are not eating enough:

  • Low energy
  • Loss of performance in workouts
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Brain fog/poor concentration
  • Depression or anxiety 
  • Hair loss and brittle nails
  • Feeling cold
  • Loss of menstrual cycle
  • Infertility 
  • Constipation
  • Low sex drive
  • Increased cravings (particularly for quick energy sources such as sugar and refined carbohydrates)

If you resonate with these symptoms, it’s likely you need to EAT MORE! Focus on eating regularly, every 3 -4 hours, using the balanced plate at meals and including balanced snacks of carbohydrate and protein between meals. 

Before you work out, have a quick source of carbohydrates for energy such as a handful of cereal, piece of fruit, or slice of bread. After working out, we recommend eating a snack with a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein such as an 8oz glass of chocolate milk, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, or fruit with nut butter.

If you are having a hard time increasing intake or reaching your performance goals, we would love to help!

Contact us to set up a FREE 15 minute discovery call today.

Thanksgiving during COVID19: how much food to make

The CDC released recommendations today to reduce the spread of COVID19 to friends and family this holiday season. The full recommendations can be seen here, and they include:

  • Celebrating virtually
  • Celebrating with members of your own household (who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19)
  • Celebrating with family members or friends from a limited number of households with socially distanced place settings (2-3 households who are consistently taking measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19)
  • Hosting an outdoor event (if possible), or opening windows to increase ventilation indoors
  • Washing your hands before eating!!

For a lot of us, these new guidelines mean a significantly smaller Thanksgiving Dinner – which is hard when you’re used to cooking for a big crowd! But how much should you actually make? I’ve put together some tips to help you plan out your more intimate Thanksgiving Dinner below!

Note: if cooking a small dinner doesn’t sound appealing to you – please support our local restaurants and community! Click here to check out GVLtoday’s list of restaurants offering dine-in or carry out Thanksgiving Dinners. It’s a great way to support our local restaurants who have been hard hit by the economic impact of COVID19!

Thanksgiving Dinner for 2

  • Appetizers/Salad: 1
  • Pounds of Turkey: 3 pound bone in turkey breast
  • Carb Sides (bread/rice/potatoes/mac and cheese/stuffing): 1-2 side dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Veggie Sides (green beans, carrots, brussels sprouts etc): 1 side dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Desserts: 1 (will have leftovers)

Thanksgiving Dinner for 4

  • Appetizers/Salad: 1
  • Pounds of Turkey: 6 pound bone in turkey breast
  • Carb Sides (bread/rice/potatoes/mac and cheese/stuffing): 1-2 side dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Veggie Sides (green beans, carrots, etc): 1-2 dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Desserts: 1-2 dishes

Thanksgiving Dinner for 6

  • Appetizers/Salad: 2
  • Pounds of Turkey: 9-10 pound turkey (defrost for 2-3 days prior)
  • Carb Sides (bread/rice/potatoes/mac and cheese/stuffing): 2-3 side dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Veggie Sides (green beans, carrots, etc): 2 dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Desserts: 2 dishes

Thanksgiving Dinner for 8

  • Appetizers/Salad: 2
  • Pounds of Turkey: 12 pound turkey (defrost for 2-3 days prior)
  • Carb Sides (bread/rice/potatoes/mac and cheese/stuffing): 3 side dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Veggie Sides (green beans, carrots, etc): 3 dishes made for 4 servings (will have leftovers)
  • Desserts: 3 dishes (will have leftovers)

Looking for recipe ideas? Check out my Thanksgiving Recipe Round up here!

Thanksgiving Recipe Round Up

Can you believe that Thanksgiving is just two weeks away?!

Though this year might be a little be different due to COVID19 guidelines and safety, we’ve been getting a lot of inquiries for recipes for your smaller holiday dinners.

Check out this round up of recipes that I’ve shared over the past 3 years, from salads, to sides, to desserts – there is something for everyone. Happy cooking!

Start with this Autumn Broccoli Salad

This recipe is for the nights you find yourself saying, “I have to bring a side dish to a party, but have no time!” Just chop up your seasonal vegetables listed below, and whisk together a few simple salad dressing ingredients, and there you have a delicious side dish that all your friends and family will love! Get the recipe here.

Everyone will love these Roasted Garlic and Chive Mashed Cauliflower Potatoes

These potatoes cover two bases by using half gold potatoes, and half cauliflower. The texture and flavor is amazing, and your guests/kids won’t be able to tell that they are also getting in some non-starchy vegetables! Get the recipe here.

Easy Honey Roasted Rainbow Carrots are a great last minute dish

If you are still looking for an easy and healthy dish, check out my Honey Roasted Rainbow Carrot recipe. With only 5 ingredients, you can easily throw it together to get some color on the table! Get the recipe here.

Spruce up the spread with these SAUTEED GREEN BEANS WITH TOASTED ALMONDS, LEMON & GARLIC

This dish is quick, easy and packed with fiber and good heart healthy fats from the almonds! If you don’t have a dish to bring to Thanksgiving dinner – I’ve got you covered! Get the recipe here.

Bring a high protein vegetarian dish with this MAC AND CHEESE WITH GREENS recipe

It’s a great spin on a classic dish! You can make this mac and cheese two ways: eat it right off the stove top or bake it for a more crispy crust. Get the recipe here.

Rosemary Roasted Vegetables for the win!

Often times we notice that the dishes at parties feature mostly proteins and starches, but very few contain vegetables. That’s why we always recommend bringing a vegetable dish to add some color to the spread! Get the recipe here.

dessert made easy with these maple walnut baked pears

We’ve come up with a festive holiday snack or dessert that only has five ingredients and is very simple to make. Just put together your ingredients, let it bake, and there you have a delicious Maple Walnut Baked Pear! Get the recipe here.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone – stay safe and stay healthy!

No Bake Fall Energy Bikes

We’ve been talking a lot on Instagram about combatting low energy, and today I am excited to share NEW fall recipes that can help you fuel for your day to give you more energy!

These no bake energy bites feature some of my favorite fall flavors, are super easy to make, and can be meal prepped on the weekend to eat throughout the week. Simply put them in an air tight container and keep them refrigerated for up to 5 days to eat for morning or afternoon snack throughout the week!

Get your go-to fall snack recipes below.

Pecan Pie Energy Bites

Servings: 6 (2 bites per serving – 12 bites total)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup rolled oats
  • 1 Cup dates, pitted
  • ¼ Cup pecans, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender. Blend well.
  2. Scoop out 1 Tablespoon of the mixture and form balls with your hands until all the mixture is used.
  3. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy!

Oatmeal Raisin Energy Bites

Servings: 9 (2 bites per serving – 18 bites total)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup rolled oats
  • ½ Cup natural creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ Cup raisins
  • ¼ Cup honey
  • ¼ Cup ground flax seeds
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. First combine the wet ingredients of peanut butter, honey, and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix until combined. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until evenly distributed.
  2. Scoop out 1 Tablespoon of the mixture and form balls with your hands until all the mixture is used.
  3. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy!

Pumpkin Spice Energy Bites


Servings: 8 (2 bites per serving – 16 bites total)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup rolled oats
  • ¼ Cup natural creamy almond butter
  • ¼ Cup ground flax seeds
  • ¼ Cup honey
  • ¼ Cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 Tablespoon Chia seeds
  • 2 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt

Directions:

  1. Combine the almond butter, honey, pumpkin puree, and vanilla extract in a bowl and mix well. Add in the remaining dry ingredients and mix until evenly distributed.
  2. Scoop out 1 Tablespoon of the mixture and form balls with your hands until all the mixture is used.
  3. Store in the refrigerator and enjoy!

Substitutions:
*Dates can be substituted for raisins
*Natural peanut butter and almond butter can be used interchangeably
*Honey can be substituted with maple syrup, however it might make the bites more malleable

Written by Gabby Childers, Brittany Jones Nutrition Intern