- With Mayo Clinic nutritionists
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.read biographyclose window
Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.Katherine Zeratsky and Jennifer Nelson
Jennifer K. Nelson, M.S., R.D., L.D., C.N.S.D.
Jennifer Nelson is your link to a better diet. As specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, she plays a vital role in bringing you healthy recipes and meal planning.
"Nutrition is one way people have direct control over the quality of their lives," she says. "I hope to translate the science of nutrition into ways that people can select and prepare great-tasting foods that help maintain health and treat disease."
A St. Paul, Minn., native, she has been with Mayo Clinic since 1978, and is director of clinical dietetics and an associate professor of nutrition at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine.
She leads clinical nutrition efforts for a staff of more than 60 clinical dietitians and nine dietetic technicians and oversees nutrition services, staffing, strategic and financial planning, and quality improvement. Nelson was co-editor of the "Mayo Clinic Diet" and the James Beard Foundation Award-winning "The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook." She has been a contributing author to and reviewer of many other Mayo Clinic books, including "Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight for EveryBody," "The Mayo Clinic Family Health Book" and "The Mayo Clinic/Williams Sonoma Cookbook." She contributes to the strategic direction of the Food & Nutrition Center, which includes creating recipes and menus, reviewing nutrition content of various articles, and providing expert answers to nutrition questions.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.
As a specialty editor of the nutrition and healthy eating guide, Katherine Zeratsky helps you sort through the facts and figures, the fads and the hype to learn more about nutrition and diet.
A Marinette, Wis., native, she is certified in dietetics by the state of Minnesota and the American Dietetic Association. She has been with Mayo Clinic since 1999.
She's active in nutrition-related curriculum and course development in wellness nutrition at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and nutrition related to weight management and practical applications of nutrition-related lifestyle changes.
Other areas of interest include food and nutrition for all life stages, active lifestyles and the culinary arts.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, served a dietetic internship at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and worked as a registered dietitian and health risk counselor at ThedaCare of Appleton, Wis., before joining the Mayo Clinic staff.
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Picture perfect eating
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
At your next meal, take a moment to look at your food. Notice how it looks on the plate. Is it attractive? Notice the colors, textures, shapes and sizes of the different foods. Does the sight please your eye as much as your palate?
For a twist on healthy meal planning, pretend you're a chef or food stylist. The empty plate is your canvas. Half of it will be filled with fruits and vegetables, one-fourth will be protein and the final fourth can be grains or starchy foods. Now think about creating a meal that could be the cover of a food magazine. It will need to be colorful, and have a variety of shapes and textures.
How would you picture lasagna? Will it have layers of red plum tomato sauce, crescent-shaped zucchini, white low-fat ricotta speckled with green spinach leaves, and wavy whole-grain lasagna noodles? Or perhaps you're imaging lasagna deconstructed, with each food individually displayed on the plate. How would you present a fish dinner? Would the plate hold steamed bright green and orange vegetables, a crusty whole-grain hard roll, and white fish with green herbs and a wedge of lemon? Or would you pile up dark green and purple lettuce leaves, sprinkled with bite-size squares of red bell pepper, kernels of yellow corn, and white and green cucumbers, topped with grilled tuna steak and a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette?
Now you have some ideas for putting together meals that are as tempting as they are healthy. Use these mental images — or mix them up — to create real meals. Who knows, you may discover you're a budding food artist.
Let me know if this technique for healthy meal planning helps you enjoy more nutritious meals.