- 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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Aug. 16, 2011
Bring back the salad days
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
Salad is a great way to fill your plate and your body with nutritious but lower calories foods. Unfortunately, salad is only making it onto our plates 36 times a year. Yes, that's correct. Americans are making salads for less than 10 percent of meals — a decline of 20 percent in the past 15 years.
Could it be that when you think of salad you think of iceberg lettuce? I'll admit that doesn't necessary illicit excitement in me either.
Time to break the mold! Salads make a beautiful side dish or an entire meal. And the possibilities for flavor are plentiful.
Start with the base. Experiment with new lettuces and vegetables. Try one of the mixes that come right out of the bag or carton. Or mix a new variety into your usual greens. Here are a few suggestions:
- Mild options: Boston and bibb lettuce and spinach
- More pungent choices: Romaine and arugula
- The strong stuff: Chicory
Next top it off with a mixture of vegetable, fruit and protein for visual appeal, an abundance of nutrients and a satisfied stomach.
- Sweet and chewy: Dried cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, raisins
- Sweet and crunchy: Colorful bell peppers, sweet onions such as Vidalia or golden varieties, carrots
- Naturally sweet: Cherries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, mangos
- Mild and crunchy: Apple, pear, zucchini, cucumber
- Nutty: Walnuts, almonds, pecans, pistachios, sunflower seeds, soy nuts
- Mellow and smooth: Tomatoes (try heirloom varieties), pears, grape tomatoes
- Sharp or spicy: Hot peppers, red or purple onions, a few crumbles of blue cheese, extra sharp cheddar
- Hearty: Meat, tofu, beans
Experiment with contrasting or complementary flavors. Combine a mild lettuce with toppings that are sweet, mild, nutty and sharp for a flavorful medley. Or combine a peppery lettuce with a few mild or mellow toppings and a sharp one to keep it interesting.
Bring back the salad! Let us know your favorite combinations.
Wishing you delicious & nutritious meals,