About California Dietetic Association - Orange District

California Dietetic Association (CDA), Orange District is the advocate of the dietetic profession serving the public through the promotion of optimal nutrition, health and well being.

National Nutrition Month 2015®

Photo Credit: Anthony Thomas Bueta via Flickr

Photo Credit: Anthony Thomas Bueta via Flickr

The NNM theme for 2015 is “Bite into a Healthy Lifestyle.”  This year’s theme aims to encourage everyone to adopt healthy, manageable lifestyle interventions that are focused on:

  • Nutritious, daily dietary choices
  • Making informed food choices
  • Getting daily, enjoyable physical activity

In order to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease and promote overall health.

*Send questions about National Nutrition Month & Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day to nnm@eatright.org

Source: http://www.nationalnutritionmonth.org/nnm/

Written by: Brittney Widler, RD

Vitamin C and its Role in Health

Photo credit: John Delcourt

Photo credit: John Delcourt

During winter months the last thing we want to deal with is being sick. The big question is how can we prevent ourselves from becoming sick?

Practicing good sanitation habits, getting enough sleep, and eating nutritious meals are all important in the continuous fight to stay healthy and free from illness. Certain nutrients, such as vitamin C, play a vital role in how the body defends against illness and in the promotion of overall health.

Vitamin C has several roles in the body:

  • As an antioxidant, vitamin C defends against free radicals and oxidative stress.
  • As a cofactor, vitamin C is involved in collagen formation, energy metabolism, and in the creation of hormones.
  • When the body is under stress, such as dealing with an infection, physiological needs for vitamin C increase.
  • Vitamin C might also have an important role in the prevention and/or treatment of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, cataracts, and other diseases.

RDA for Vitamin C

Males (19-70+ years old) 90 mg per day
Females (19-70+ years old) 75 mg per day

Seek fruits and vegetables that are in season. Foods grown and harvested in season contain the highest amount of nutrients, such as vitamin C, compared to foods grown and harvested out of season. Check out the following link for typical winter fruits and vegetables grown and harvested in Southern California: California Crop Harvest Calendar

  • Oranges and mandarins are excellent sources of vitamin C and are in season and harvested in Southern California from January through April.  One medium-sized orange provides approximately 70 mg of vitamin C.
  • Beets are perhaps an unexpected vitamin C source and happen to be in season year-round in Southern California. One-half cup of sliced raw beets provides approximately 3 mg of vitamin C.

Choose vitamin C-rich foods every day to ensure adequate intake for overall health and to support a strong immune system.

The following recipe provides for a tasty and colorful way to get your vitamin C during winter months by combining tangy oranges or mandarins and earthy beets on a bed of seasonal mixed greens!

Beet, Orange and Mixed Greens Salad

Photo credit: John Delcourt

Photo credit: John Delcourt

Recipe by Sarah Delcourt

Serves 4


  • 2 large beets (or 4 small beets), rinsed and scrubbed
  • ½ pound oranges (or mandarins), peeled with pith removed,
  • separated into slices
  • 4 cups seasonal mixed greens, rinsed
  • 2 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange (or mandarin) juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar         Photo Credit: John Delcourt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil (for roasting beets)
  • 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400° F. Place cleaned beets on a large piece of aluminum foil. Pour canola oil over beets and coat beets entirely. Wrap beets in foil and bake in preheated oven for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserts easily into the center of the beets. Remove beets from the oven and allow beets to cool. When sufficiently cooled, peel the outer skin off of the beets and discard. Chop the peeled beets into 0.5”- 1.0” pieces and set aside.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, balsamic vinegar, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and extra virgin olive oil. Taste the mixture and adjust the acidity by adding a little more vinegar or orange juice as desired.

3. Toss the roasted beets with 1 tablespoon of the dressing. Toss the mixed greens with 3 tablespoons of the dressing and arrange on a platter or in a wide bowl. Top the mixed greens with the beets, orange slices and feta cheese.  Drizzle the remaining dressing over the entire dish. Garnish with the chopped cilantro and walnuts and serve.

Written By: Sarah Delcourt. Sarah graduated with her Bachelors in Nutrition and Dietetics from California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), in May 2014. She is currently attending CSULB as a graduate student and dietetic intern with plans for graduating with a Masters in Nutritional Science in May, 2015. She will complete the coordinated internship program in nutrition and dietetics (IPND) in July, 2015, with the goal of becoming a registered dietitian by December, 2015. Sarah is passionate about nutrition and its role in promoting health and wellness.

Apps to Help you Stay on Track with your New Year’s Resolutions

Photo Credit: Manuel Joson via Flickr

Photo Credit: Manuel Joson via Flickr

It’s the beginning of a New Year, and time for a fresh start.  The top three New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, eat healthier, and exercise more. However, it can be challenging to stay on track and stay motivated throughout the year.  Fortunately, with today’s technology some of the challenge can be alleviated to help us achieve our goals.  There is just about an app for everything ranging from food and exercise trackers to motivational and workout apps.

Top Rated Food and Exercise Tracker Apps

My Fitness Pal

Track your progress by entering your daily food and exercise from the largest food database of any calorie counter with over 4,000,000 to choose from.

Lifesum – Lifestyle Tracker & Calorie Counter

This app helps you make better food choices and improve your exercise by allowing you to enter your food intake and daily exercise. With a built in bar code scanner, you can input the foods you purchase from the store.

Lose It!

This invaluable tool can help shed some unwanted pounds put on with the holidays. Track your intake and exercise while connecting with others through their social features to help stay motivated.

Top Rated Workout Plan Apps

7 Minute Workout

For those of us who don’t have time to spend an hour at the gym, but would still like to get in some physical activity, this is for you.  The unique design of this app keeps you motivated, by only giving you three lives like any video game. If you skip a day, you lose a life. If you miss three workouts in a month your progress resets to zero and it’s game over.  No equipment required!

Radius Fitness

If a personal trainer is more your style, then check out this app. Follow the on screen videos featuring world-class trainers with personalized fitness programs, and unlimited options. Regardless of your fitness level they have something for everyone.

Strava Running and Cycling GPS

Track your running and cycling with GPS. Challenge yourself and friends by staying connected with their built-in social features. Track your progress by checking your distance, pace, speed, elevation gained, and calories burned. 

Top Rated Motivational Apps

Human – Activity & Calorie Tracker

Inspires you to move 30 minutes a day or more the way you want: walking, running, dancing, or cycling. Track your progress through your active minutes, distance covered, and calories burned. Human tracks your movements when you have been active for a minute or longer.

Step Buy Step

Step Buy Step is not just another pedometer. While is does keep track of your steps, it is also an adventure game.  Each real world step you take earns you Stepps.  With your accumulated Stepps you can purchase creature companions to join you on your journey.

Lift – Your Daily Coach

Lift coaches can help you reach your goal with over 200,000 to choose from.  Coaching ranges from simple reminders to hiring one of their 700 expert trainers.

Written by: Cortney Kaller, CDA-OD Fundraising Co-Chair

Nutrition and Immunity

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr

Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr

The season for flus, colds, and illnesses is here. So what can you do to help prevent yourself from getting sick? Fortunately, proper nutrition can stimulate and boost immune function. Making sure you eat the right foods can help you fight off harmful infections and prevent sickness. Let’s get down to it—what nutrients can specifically help towards boosting your immune system?


Protein is needed for a variety of bodily functions, one of which is immune function. Particularly, antibodies are proteins themselves, and as such, the human body needs dietary protein to replicate and replenish these stores. Strive to eat high-quality protein from whole foods such as meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, and soy.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A helps towards gene regulation and plays a huge part in the health of membranes lining the mouth, intestines, and skin (which are all opportune places for bacterial activity!). You can find high amounts of vitamin A in bright-colored red and orange foods, such as carrots, apricots, sweet potatoes, as well as in spinach, kale, and foods that are fortified with vitamin A (milk being the most common). Make sure you get at least one good source of vitamin A every other day to help boost your immune system (and eye health, as everybody knows!).


Photo Credit: Pink Sherbet Photography via Flickr

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is widely known as an anti-oxidative nutrient, and can thus fend off free radical activity. Vitamin C can also help with antibody production, making it a vital nutrient for immune health. Vitamin C is available from foods that contain citrus—oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes—and other foods such as red bell peppers, strawberries, blueberries, and cantaloupe.

Zinc & Folate

Zinc and folate are two minerals that can boost immune function. Zinc is widely known for its role in proper immune function as well as wound healing (which creates less opportunities for infection), and can be found in a wide variety of foods such as meat, fish, poultry, whole grains, and dairy. Folate primarily helps with cell division, and can ensure that enough immune cells are present to fight off infection. Folate can also be found in numerous foods—such as dark, leafy vegetables, meat and poultry, eggs, nuts, and beans—and was also added to enriched grains back in 1998.

Prebiotics & Probiotics

Pre- and probiotics can help foster beneficial gut microbes, which can prevent more dangerous bacteria from infecting the body. These can be found in many fermented and cultured foods, such as yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, sourdough bread, and some soft cheeses.

Try and incorporate a bunch of foods that contain the above nutrients into your daily routine to help build a healthy and strong immune system!

Written by: Francis Dizon, Francis is finishing up his senior year at California State University, Long Beach and is pursuing his Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. He is a firm advocate for health and fitness, and believes proper nutrition is key in disease prevention and long-term wellness.

Balancing the Holidays

Photo Credit: Michael Hall via Flicker

Photo Credit: Michael Hall via Flicker

When the holidays hit, everyone seems to worry about weight gain and how horrible they ate at a holiday party the night before. The guilt of holiday treats almost seems to take over and make us feel like we have ruined everything.

But why? Why do we make ourselves feel so guilty for indulging when the truth is, we want to eat that chocolate, and take a bite of the pie, oh and you can’t forget the eggnog that everyone says is “a must try”. Eating treats at special occasions isn’t the end of the world…nor is it going to make you gain 20 pounds over night. We shouldn’t make food about guilt and bad decisions, it’s okay to enjoy seasonal foods.  Now, I didn’t say its okay eat everything in sight, either.

What is important is making sure we maintain a healthy and mixed diet throughout the holiday season. Eating healthy is something we strive for at every meal, whether it’s including an extra vegetable, choosing whole grains, adding a fruit, or even taking a smaller portion. The point is, indulging at a holiday party is not what defines our overall health. If you want to taste that chocolate cake, go for it…that doesn’t mean you have to eat the entire thing. Split items with your spouse or a friend. Have one special drink and then switch to water. We cannot hide from the holiday parties, and many of us don’t have the will power to say “No” to everything (that’s okay- I sure can’t). It is not to say it is okay to eat every treat and sample every food offered, but allowing ourselves a few treats is okay. We must find the balance.

Here are some things to remember during the holiday season:

  • Choose fruits and vegetables when possible
  • Stay consistent throughout the day
  • Stay physically active
  • Don’t deprive yourself
  • Just because it is there, doesn’t mean you need to eat it
  • Don’t go on fasting diets just because you have a holiday party coming up, the theory doesn’t work, and its definitely not good for your body

Enjoy the holidays for what they are, bringing family and friends together. Many people love to make food for people, as it is their way of showing love and thoughtfulness…so don’t offend them and tell them you’re too good for their food. Balance the good with the bad.

Written by: Megan McGinnis, CDA-OD Hospitality Chair. Megan is currently finishing her last year at California State University, Long Beach and will graduate with a Bachelor of Nutrition and Dietetics in May 2015.

5 Tips to Stay Healthy During the Winter Season

Photo Credit: Kit via Flicker

Photo Credit: Kit via Flicker

Winter is almost here and so are the wonderful tastes and spices we have waited all year long for. During this time it is easy to fall back in to old habits while the days get colder and shorter. Here are 5 easy and simple ways to make sure your hard work is not wasted on the holiday treats.

Make broth based soups instead of cream based

Soups are a staple of the winter season, but it could also damage or hinder your weight loss. It is easy to overindulge in the simple pleasure that warms your heart and stomach. By making soups that are broth based you are automatically reducing the calories by at least ¼. If the think and hardy soup is what you are craving then try to puree your vegetables. This gives the soup a thick texture and the sensation will be satisfied.

Stay Active

Yes this one may seem too simple or redundant but it is true. It is easy to stay under your warm blankets instead of going out into the brisk morning air. If you look at it this way, you have to get up eventually. . .Why not make it now? Once outside and performing your workout your body will naturally warm up and your mind will all forget the cool breeze.

Drink Tea instead of high calorie coffees.

This is not saying that all coffee is bad, but those mochas and pumpkin spice lattes can through anyone off the wagon. If you want that spice or pick me up reach for a tea with a cinnamon spice flavor. You mentally get the satisfaction you were craving without ruining your daily diet plan. But, what if you don’t like tea? Try getting a flavored coffee. A lot of the coffee vendors offer a variety of seasonal flavors, or ask for one pump of the sweetener you want in a regular cup of coffee.

Modify seasonal treats for healthier ingredients

Pumpkin bread, muffins, and cookies. . .O MY! Yes these treats seem so much better this time of year. Like with anything else the increase of treat intake will also give you an increase on your body. It is hard to swear off all fall treats, but there are ways to modify and control how much you consume. There are many different website and blogs that offer great alternative recipes. They taste yummy and loaded with natural nutritional value.

Keep the Holiday Candy Out of Sight.

A fun size of M&M’s here, and a Twix bar there can all add up. Unaware snacking can ruin any diet in a short period of time. You may be planning ahead for little visitors and guests, but that does not mean you have to test every piece of candy. Once you buy the candy put it in a place where you are not tempted to get it. Somewhere inconvenient to get to when you have that sudden urge.

Written by: Christine Padilla, the CDA Orange District Student Representative for California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, where she is pursuing her undergraduate degree in Food and Nutrition, with an option in Dietetics.

November: Diabetes Friendly Dessert

The holiday season is underway! As we dive neck deep in delicious sweet treats some of us step back and worry about how we are going to maintain our health over the next few months. What If I told you managing your blood sugar involves balancing your carbohydrates, not restricting them? What if I told you taking care of yourself doesn’t have to mean duck taping your cabinets and sucking on sugar-free Werther’s?

How does crustless pumpkin pie sound? Pumpkin is loaded with vitamin A! Add a little sugar, ground cinnamon and vanilla extract and voila – mmm mmm good. That’s not even the best part. By skimping on the crust, each slice is just 2 carbohydrate exchanges (~30 grams). Your welcome ☺.

Crustless Pumpkin Pie


  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 3 eggs (or egg white substitution)
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. In a mixing bowl, combine the sugar and flour. Add eggs; mix well. Stir in the pumpkin, milk, vanilla and cinnamon if desired; mix until well blended.
  2. Pour into a greased 9-in. pie plate. Place pie plate in a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan; add 1/2 in. of hot water to pan. Bake at 350°F for 50-55 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean
  3. Cool on wire rack for 2 hours. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Nutritional Info

Servings Per Recipe: 8

  • Calories: 170
  • Fat: 4.5g
  • Total Carbs: 28g
  • Dietary Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 25g
  • Protein: 5g
  • Vitamin A: 130%
  • Calcium 15%

Written by: Nicole Miller, RD  –   Nicole works as a consulting dietitian at Eat Freely Nutrition. Nicole believes strongly in mind-body awareness and that the long-term health is achieved through an individualized approach to nutrition that is both sustainable and enjoyable. Nicole aspires to empower people with confidence and education, allowing them to live freely and thereby Eat Freely. In other words, let’s cheers to dessert.