It's Winter & Soup's On!

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Wednesday, January 27, 2016

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Soup is one of the best parts of winter. It's warm, it's comforting, and one pot meals are super easy. Plus the varieties are endless. And as I discovered last year, January is National Soup Month. So I had to share with you a couple of my tried and true favorite soups to keep you nourished and healthy through the winter months. I hope you enjoy them. I'd also love to hear about your favorite soup recipes, so please share!

Bean & Chicken Sausage Stew

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 12-ounce package fully cooked chicken sausage links, sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

**Marci's suggestion: I'd also throw in crushed red pepper and a dash of your favorite Italian seasoning blend. I love seasoning blends and blogged about them here Spices are my all-time favorite for blends.

1 19-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed

1 14.5-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
**Marci's suggestion: if you like heat, get fire-roasted for added flavor 1 bunch kale leaves, torn into 2-inch pieces
**Marci's suggestion: save time and buy the super convenient bag of pre-chopped kale kosher salt and black pepper

1 loaf country bread (optional)

Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the sausage and cook, stirring once, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic (and any additional spices you want to add) and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the beans, broth, and tomatoes and their liquid and bring to a boil.
Add the kale and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Serve with the bread, if using.


Red Lentil Soup With Lemon
Time: 45 minutes
3 tablespoons olive oil, more for drizzling
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Pinch of ground chili powder or cayenne, more to taste
1 quart chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup red lentils (I used yellow lentils, don't think it mattered)
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
Juice of 1/2 lemon, more to taste (all I had was a lime, worked great)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro (didn't have on hand, didn't miss it)
1. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons oil over high heat until hot and shimmering. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until golden, about 4 minutes.

2. Stir in tomato paste, cumin, salt, black pepper and chili powder or cayenne, and sauté for 2 minutes longer.

3. Add broth, 2 cups water, lentils and carrot. Bring to a simmer, then partially cover pot and turn heat to medium-low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 30 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.

4. Using an immersion or regular blender or a food processor, purée half the soup then add it back to pot. Soup should be somewhat chunky.

5. Reheat soup if necessary, then stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Serve soup drizzled with good olive oil and dusted lightly with chili powder if desired.

Yield: 4 servings

Lazy Girls Week of Healthy Eating (a la Trader Joe's)

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Sunday, November 08, 2015

In this vlog I give you a tour of my grocery cart for the week. I show you how to assemble super simple, super yummy, and super nutritious meals for the busy week ahead. Enjoy my lazy girls week of healthy eating and be sure to share with me your go-to weekly meals when you don't have time or desire to spend hours in the kitchen!


Toddlers and Picky Eating

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Sunday, May 10, 2015

This blog post has been in the works for quite some time but perhaps it's apropos to publish it on Mother's Day. For all the mothers reading this post- keep up the awesome work!

Several weeks ago I received a request to write a post about feeding toddlers. It's a fantastic topic! Many parents are incredibly cognizant that they want to raise healthy kids- well-nourished, healthy weight, and willing to eat a wide variety of foods (not just treats!). Since I am not an expert on the topic, I turned to my colleague Katie Bartels MS, RD. She is a registered dietitian who specializes in eating disorders and child feeding. You can check out her website here or follow her on Facebook here. I highlighy recommend following this girl on social media if you are particularly interested in how to feed your child well without fears of causing unhealthy food obsession in your kids. 

Below are Katie's thoughts on the subject of helping your toddler eat well. I will follow her thoughts with some helpful resources for you to consider. Happy reading, happy eating!

Babies and toddlers can be very different eaters. Babies grow rapidly in the first year of life so they tend to eat a lot! Babies under a year have not yet developed the insight to know that there is a difference between broccoli and a cake pop. I'm never surprised to see an under 15 month old when I hear a mom say "my child will eat anything."

As babies turn into toddlers, growth does appetite. Toddlers become more aware of their surroundings thus picking up on details of food more than ever before. Parents can get into the picky eating trap if they do not realize this milestone and only feed toddlers foods they readily accept. It's important to have a strategy when feeding kids and raising healthy eaters. I teach the 80/20 rule for feeding. Offer 80% nutritious foods and 20% fun foods. Fun foods are foods we just eat for taste...not nutrition. Its important for children to learn to manage sweets.

Parents can help with managing sweets by following Ellyn Satter's division of responsibility in feeding. Parents are in charge of the what, when and where and children are in charge of how much and if. I tell parents that they are in charge of what foods they bring into the house. Feed your kids the foods you want them to learn to like. Help them manage sweets by offering them in unlimited quantities every so often at snacks. A good rule of thumb is to offer more opportunities for sweets if your child is overly focused on them. Children who are obsessed with sweets have usually been restricted of sweets at some point. Other children could care less about sweets, so for those children parents may not have to offer them as often. Serve a variety of foods. Serving variety allows kids to challenge themselves with eating.

I tell parents not to label foods as "good" or "bad" as this may set the stage for judgement about themselves whether they eat the so-called "good" or "bad" food. Parents do well staying neutral about foods and quantity eaten. If parents do their job...children can be trusted to eat enough to grow into the body they were born to have.

Resources from Expert RDs

Ellyn Satter's Division of Responsibility

Ellyn Satter's Children, The Feeding Relationship and Weight - References

What to Do When Picky Eating Doesn't Get Better: 5 Part Blog Series

Jill Castle -  America's Childhood Nutrition Expert

#ENDED Twitter Chat with Eating Disorder Network of Maryland

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Thursday, July 12, 2012
We have a very exciting Twitter chat coming your way this month! We are honored to have Sharon Peterson, the director of  Eating Disorder Network of Maryland (EDN Maryland) talk with us about the genetic component of eating disorders as well as how clients and therapists can learn to manage personality traits that may be hindering recovery.  

More about Sharon Peterson: Sharon has been an outpatient therapist providing individual, family, and group therapy since 1995. She has worked for numerous community mental health agencies and school systems in Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Maryland. In June of 2007 Sharon founded and is currently director of: Eating Disorder Network of Maryland (EDN Maryland), a community-based program made up of professionals, parents & family volunteers who are dedicated to spreading eating disorder awareness and education throughout Maryland.

 If you're new to Twitter, here's a primer on how to participate. It's simple, go to and enter the keyword "#endED" and it will appear as if you're in a chat room. Watch the tweets stream live and join in on the conversation. Be sure to follow @MarciRD and @EDNMaryland

We hope you can join us on July 25th th at 8:30 EST. Feel free to RSVP on Facebook as well!

Holiday Tips for Healthy Conversation

  • posted by Marci Evans
  • Thursday, November 24, 2011
Semantics are important. The words we choose hold a great deal of meaning, whether we realize it or not. So I’d like to give you something to ponder during this holiday season. As you spend time with family and friends you may want to consider a few of the following tips. My hope is that they will keep you focused on the reason for the celebrating without the distractions of excessive concerns with weight, food, and body talk.

Tip #1
Try greeting your loved one with “it’s so great to see you!” rather than “you look so good!” A comment on appearance might seem benign but in many cases it isn’t. For example, if you have a family member whose weight tends to cycle, a comment when their weight is low may put a lot of stress, pressure, and anxiety for future visits when their weight may be higher. The goal is for family and friends to feel love and acceptance for WHO they are, not WHAT they look like. 

Tip #2

“Oh, I’m being so bad right now” is a comment that many of us have heard or even spoken. Comments about fat, calories, and “being bad” are nothing but an unhelpful distraction. And quite frankly, it’s obnoxious and may put a damper on the meal for others. Ironically, keeping the focus on enjoying the meal, tasting your food, and listening to your body’s hunger and fullness will improve your mental, physical, and emotional health. And you won’t annoy your loved ones, which is a huge bonus.

Tip #3

Keep your diet and weight loss goals for the New Year to yourself. Seriously, a holiday party isn’t the time for it. Enough said?

I hope you find these holiday tips useful. Do you have any conversation tips you’d like add to the list? If yes, please comment!