Registered dietitians get to shine

Published 11:08 am Saturday, August 12, 2017

By Megan Groh

Hy-Vee Dietitian

“What do you do?”

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As a registered dietitian (RD) working for the Austin Hy-Vee grocery store, I have been asked this question more than once. While many people are familiar with dietitians working in hospitals, they are curious about our relatively new presence in grocery stores.

People make decisions about food every time they visit a grocery store, and our goal as RDs is to help people make healthy food choices — so grocery stores are really the ideal place for us to be.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, RDs, also called registered dietitian nutritionists (RDNs), are “food and nutrition experts who can translate the science of nutrition into practical solutions for healthy living.”

RDs have extensive training in nutrition and food science, as well as in individual counseling techniques. Every RD has a four-year college degree and has completed a dietetic internship, and many also have higher-level degrees. RDs work in a variety of settings, including hospitals, schools, fitness centers, food management, private practice and grocery stores. They help make good nutrition easy. Registered Dietitians are an asset to anyone; from those dealing with complex medical conditions such as food allergies and intolerances, weight management, diabetes management to individuals who just want help with their hectic schedules.

Hy-Vee has been a pioneer in making dietitian services available to shoppers. In 2000, Hy-Vee first contracted two dietitians to operate the HealthyBites program, which offers weekly menus, nutritional information and a monthly nutrition newsletter.

Five years later, three corporate dietitians were hired directly by Hy-Vee. Company executives quickly realized the value of the services that dietitians were providing to customers and employees, and pledged to have a dietitian in every store. Today, Hy-Vee employs more than 225 dietitians. Hy-Vee and its dietitian program have received numerous awards for standing behind its mission of making lives easier, healthier and happier.

As a new Hy-Vee dietitian my goal is to influence the community to live more healthfully by sharing my passion for trying new foods and recipes that are simple, delicious, and healthful. In addition I offer a variety of services, including individualized nutrition counseling, Begin (our 10-week wellness and weight management program), biometric screenings, personalized store tours, corporate wellness presentations and healthy cooking classes.

Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Walnuts

Serves 8

All you need

•1 cup walnuts, divided

•10 cups cauliflower florets (1- to 2- inch florets, from 1-2 heads)

•1-1/2 tbsp Hy-Vee Select extra-virgin olive oil

•¾ tsp kosher salt, divided

•¼ cup tahini, at room temperature

•¼ cup lemon juice, plus more to taste

•2 tbsp water, at room temperature, plus more as needed

•¼ cup chopped fresh dill

•1 tbsp minced shallot

All you do

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Place half cup walnuts in small saucepan and add water to cover by 1 inch. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer until slightly softened, about 20 minutes. Drain and let cool to room temperature.

3. Toss cauliflower in a bowl with oil and quarter teaspoon salt. Spread in single layer on a baking sheet. Roast until browned on the bottom, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool to room temperature.

4. Blend the cooled walnuts, tahini, quarter cup lemon juice and water in a food processor until very smooth, scraping down the side a few times. If it’s too thick to blend, add additional room-temperature water by the tablespoon until you get a thick sauce.

5. Toss the remaining half cup walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Chop and add to the cauliflower along with dill, shallot and the remaining half teaspoon salt. Add dressing; gently toss to coat. Season to taste with more lemon juice, if desired. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition Facts per serving: 200 calories, 17g fat, 2g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 14mg sodium, 11g carbohydrates, 3g sugar, 4g fiber, 6g protein