- 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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May 22, 2013
Juicing and blending with a focus on flavor
By Jennifer Nelson, M.S., R.D. and Katherine Zeratsky, R.D.
If you're totally dependent on a blended or liquid diet, it's important that what you choose to blend is safe, nourishing and tasty.
In last week's blog, we covered safety tips. This week the focus is how to make sure that what you blend is as nourishing and tasty as possible.
- Consistency. Your medical condition might dictate the consistency of your foods. Liquid consistency means that foods are pureed or blended and contain no distinct pieces of food. You may need to put the liquefied foods through a strainer to remove food pieces. Semi-solid foods require minimal chewing and include foods that are the consistency of mashed potatoes. Soft foods have distinct pieces about 1/8 inch in size that are moist, tender and easily chewed.
- Nutrition. Think in terms of complete meals. Try to have a protein (meat, poultry, fish, beans/legumes, eggs) or dairy (milk, yogurt, cheese), as well as a grain food (bread, cereal, rice, pasta) vegetables and fruit at most meals. This will help ensure that you get a wide variety of healthy nutrients.
- Flavorful liquids. Use broth, vegetable juice, tomato sauce, milk or cream to thin savory foods. Choose fruit juices to thin sweet blends. You can even use salad dressings, mayonnaise or sour cream when blending vegetables.
- Combinations. Foods can be blended and consumed separately or in combinations. For example, you could blend spaghetti with tomato sauce and meatballs together or liquefy the spaghetti and meatballs separately.
- Seasonings. Season foods after blending because flavors may change when you blend them.
- Temperature. Some foods are more appealing served cool — whereas others are best served warm. Let your preferences be your guide. However, most people needing blended diets are more comfortable when they avoid extremely hot or cold liquids.
- Convenience. If you're in a time crunch — or you're not where you can easily blend up a meal — you can use pre-blended baby foods (season to your taste), cooked cereals (thinned with warm milk), smoothies or commercial meal replacement beverages. Just keep in mind that the foods you choose should be healthy and meet your nutritional needs.
I'd like to hear from those of you who have needed a blended diet. What tips do you have to share that have made your liquid meals safe, enjoyable and nourishing?
- Jenniferblog index
- Nutritious and flavorful blended meals. Mayo Clinic. http://mayoweb.mayo.edu/sp-forms/mc4200-mc4299/mc4291.pdf. Accessed May 16, 2013.
- Changing the consistency of food. Mayo Clinic. MC 4291rev0107. http://mayoweb.mayo.edu/sp-forms/mc4200-mc4299/mc4291.pdf. Accessed May 16, 2013.