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Philly Dietitian - Blog

A blog by Philadelphia based dietitian, Theresa Shank RD LDN, who provides nutritional counseling and diet planning to get you eating, feeling, and looking your best today! 

Football Sunday at Smith's Restaurant & Bar

Steve Rendall

Watching football on Sunday? This is what the Philly Dietitian eats at Smith's Restaurant and Bar. This crab cake salad is mixed with roasted fingerling potatoes, tomatoes, spinach and edamame. Yum! 

Here's a healthy tip: To keep this dish lighter, ask them to put less potatoes and more spinach. 

What do you eat there? Check out the menu here >


Philly Dietitian now consulting for Concierge Physical Therapy& Wellness

Steve Rendall

Concierge Physical Therapy& Wellness is Philadelphia's premier provider of on-site rehabilitation, wellness, and medical fitness. They provide one-on-one orthopedic and sports PT, and wellness to busy people in their homes, offices, and fitness centers. Their goal is to provide a better health care experience, make rehab and wellness more feasible, and help their patients meet their own goals.

How a Dietitian Eats Italian

Steve Rendall

Ever wondered how a dietitian eats Italian food? This is it! Tredici in Philly serves up some delicious and healthy Italian food. Check it out!


Baby Kale Caesar Salad

Baby Kale Caesar Salad

Spinach Gnocchi 

Spinach Gnocchi 

Broccoli & Avocado 

Broccoli & Avocado 

Check out their website here >>>

#phillydietitian #RDapproved 

Theresa's Fav New Dish

Steve Rendall

Looking for a tasty meal in Old City Philadelphia? Try Wister. 

Roasted salmon at Wister BYOB in Old City Philadelphia. Delicious!  "A Fresh, Seasonal BYOB in Historic Old City, Philadelphia with a kitchen led by Chef Benjamin Moore. Perfect for a casual date night, large group celebration or if you’re just looking to enjoy a delicious meal with your favorite bottle of wine."   Check it out at

Roasted salmon at Wister BYOB in Old City Philadelphia. Delicious! 

"A Fresh, Seasonal BYOB in Historic Old City, Philadelphia with a kitchen led by Chef Benjamin Moore. Perfect for a casual date night, large group celebration or if you’re just looking to enjoy a delicious meal with your favorite bottle of wine."


Check it out at

My Latest Article

Steve Rendall

Most of us know which foods to avoid and which foods to keep on hand when trying to lose weight or maintain a healthier lifestyle. But what about the kitchen gadgets we should have on hand to support our healthy aspirations? Buying the right tools can be daunting with the surplus of options available through popular stores such as Bed Bath & Beyond, William Sonoma and Target so here is a list of my 10 favorite kitchen tools to have in your drawers for a healthier 2016!

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How to: Drinking on a diet

Theresa Shank

The summer heat has arrived and with the change of temperature comes invites to barbecues, weddings, outside happy hours or late nights spent at the jersey shore. All of these situations can create a real love/hate relationship with your weight loss efforts.

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The 3 P's of a successful weight-loss strategy

Theresa Shank

The unofficial start of summer — Memorial Day — kicks off this weekend and since many of us have been hibernating all winter, it’s time to jumpstart a lifestyle change to lose weight and feel your absolute best! To initiate behavior change for quick weight loss, I always encourage my clients to utilize the 3 P’s: Plan, Purchase and Prep.

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Don't get caught in a snack time rut!

Steve Rendall

Try these natural energy boosters pre or post workout. I am in love with these Raw Protein Energy Bites!


By Jessica Wyman via Kris Carr

Yield: 48 servings

  • 2 cups rolled oats, thick
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup pecans, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. In a large mixing bowl, fold all ingredients together. Mix thoroughly.

2. Using your hands grab some of the mixture and start rolling together in about one inch balls. Squeeze them firmly to help everything stick together.

3. Place the rolled energy balls on a cookie sheet. I like to put them in the freezer to help them get firm.

4. The peanut butter will start to dry out, so this needs to be done fast. It is helpful to have two people or consider doing a half batch, which really makes it more fun. I do such a large batch because once I make them they are gone pretty fast. The hubby and kids can’t seem to keep away.

Why do I crave chocolate after a meal and how can I control this habit?

Theresa Shank

Throughout my years of practicing as a registered dietitian, I have been presented with numerous healthy lifestyles and/or weight loss questions, one of the most common being, “Why do I crave chocolate after a meal and how can I control this habit?”. My response usually to this question is that our bodies crave sweets for several biological, psychological and lifestyle-related reasons such as low serotonin levels, an unbalanced diet high in carbohydrates, fat restriction, or purely psychological conditioning such as a dessert is what signifies the end of a meal. Regardless what the reason behind your sweet craving is, if you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle or possibly your goal is to lose weight, you’ll have to curb (not eliminate) your daily indulgence. 

So let’s be honest, any alternative that truly satisfies a sweet tooth is not going to be the epitome of a healthy snack, but my suggestions could shave off some calories (all under 150), fat, and sugar in your afternoon indulgence or late night trip to the candy drawer or freezer:

  • 3 cups of air popped popcorn with 2 tbsp of Bell Plantation, PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter Chocolate ( 138 calories)
  • 4 Hershey Kisses ( 100 calories)
  • 1 Small Chocolate Covered Banana: I love this recipe from (100 calories)
  • 20 Blue Diamond, Oven Roasted Dark Chocolate Almonds ( 132 calories)
  • 1, 5.3 ounce ChobaniSimply 100, vanilla yogurt with 2 tbsp of Bell Plantation, PB2 Powdered Peanut Butter Chocolate or 1 piece of Dove, Promises Silky Smooth Dark Chocolate. ( 145 calories)
  • 1 Enlightened, Fudge Bar ( 70 calories)
  • 1⁄2 Quest, Chocolate Brownie Protein Bar ( 85 calories)
  • 24 Annie's Chocolate Chip Bunny Graham cookies (140 calories)

Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Kale Salad

Theresa Shank


The summer is a wonderful time to cool your taste buds off  with a hearty and nutritious salad. Recently, I tried the Roasted Sweet Potato, Quinoa and Kale Salad recipe inspired by Eat Yourself Skinny. This salad is wonderful to have on hand for a Meatless Monday meal, a quick lunch fix or a satisfying dinner with the addition of grilled salmon or chicken. Bursting with vitamin A, Vitamin C, dietary fiber and protein, this salad is definitely not a disappointment to your wasteline or your taste buds!

Follow @EatUrselfSkinny on twitter for more great recipes!


What is the FODMAP diet?

Steve Rendall

Recently, patients have been asking about the FODMAP diet. Typically, this food method is often recommended to relieve chronic digestive complaints such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, and Mono-saccharides And Polyols. This is a diet that limits, but does not eliminate, foods that contain:

• Lactose

• Fructose

• Fructans

• Galactans

• Sugar alcohols (polyols)

These compounds in food are poorly absorbed and rapidly fermented by GI bacteria, leading to increased water and gas in the GI tract, which then leads to GI tract distention that causes changes in GI motility, bloating, discomfort and flatulence.  

To assess your tolerance for these compounds, eliminate foods high in FODMAPs for 6-8 weeks and then gradually reintroduce foods to identify bothersome foods. Reintroduce one food every four days with a 2-week break between symptom causing foods. The goal is to identify the threshold at which you are able to consume FODMAP containing foods without causing negative GI symptoms.

In order to follow the initial FODMAP process, an individual must be able to identify which foods are to be avoided during the 6-8 weeks of elimination. Foods that contain lactose should be avoided. Lactose is a carbohydrate found in cows, sheep’s and goat milk. Foods such as yogurt, ice cream, milk, and ricotta and cottage cheeses should be limited.

Fructose is a carbohydrate found in fruit, honey, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), and agave syrup, but not all fructose containing foods need to be limited on a low FODMAPs diet. Fructose malabsorption is similar to lactose intolerance, in that fructose is not completely digested in the GI tract due to the lack of an enzyme, but unlike lactose intolerance the absorption of fructose is dependent on another carbohydrate, glucose. Therefore, fructose containing foods with a 1:1 ratio of fructose to glucose are generally well tolerated on the FODMAPs diet. Foods such as apples, pears, and mangoes will likely trigger abdominal symptoms because these fruits have excess fructose compared with glucose. Try to avoid fruits such as apples, pears, cherries, raspberries, peaches, watermelon, orange juice, and blackberries.

Fructans are carbohydrates that are completely malabsorbed because the intestine lacks an enzyme to break their fructose- fructose bond; thus leading to symptoms of bloating and gas. Foods that contain fructans include wheat, onions and garlic.

Galactans are carbohydrates are malabsorbed for the same reason as fructans; the intestine does not have the enzyme needed to break down galactans. Examples of galactans include beans and lentils.

Lastly, Polyols are also known as sugar alcohols. They are found naturally in some fruits and vegetables and added as sweeteners to sugar-free gums, mints, cough drops, and medications. Sugar alcohols have varying effects on the bowel. When trying to limit sugar alcohols, look at ingredient lists for the following: sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol and maltitol.

Following a low FODMAP diet can be a challenge without the help of a FODMAP knowledgeable dietitian.  As with any diet change, be sure to discuss whether the low FODMAP diet is appropriate for you with your health practitioner.

For further explanation as to which foods should be limited and which foods are suitable for a FODMAP diet please reference the various resources listed below.