Dear Doctor–New Years Resolutions


Dear Doctor: May I offer you some suggestions for your New Years Resolutions? 

Please know that RDNs want to be your partner in the care of your patients. We provide so much more than nutrition counseling. We fight food and nutrition fads and teach important cooking skills. We are experts in many food, nutrition, health and exercise specialty areas, and we value fitness, lifestyle change and the power of food.

#1 I will refer all of my patients to a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.RDNs are the highly trained, science based nutrition experts who can provide the most cost effective services to help your patients achieve positive outcomes. 

#2 I won’t provide generic handouts to my patients.RDN services are personalized to each patient. Generic handouts may only serve to keep the patient confused or just make they want to give up because the details seem too confusing or overwhelming to implement. With all of the multiple health problems that most patients have, the RDN is the perfect person to blend all nutritional needs into one eating plan. RDNs know that small changes, tailored to each patient’s goals leads to a lifetime of healthy changes.

#3 I won’t assume that your patients cannot afford to see the RDN.Did you know that most insurance plans to cover dietitian services for medical nutrition therapy?  Many patients want personalized nutrition counseling services are willing to pay out of pocket. Most initial sessions with an RDN are no more expensive than the cost of a spa treatment or hair appointment. 

#4 I won’t send patients to the Internet for nutrition and diet advice or discourage patient requests for further nutrition counseling. You can easily send them to www.eatright.orgwhere they can search on a list of RDNs with the specific expertise they are looking for, in the zip code nearest them. Even better, make a list of RDN referral sources. You can also find licensed dietitians through your state board of licensure for health professionals. Or just google……Registered Dietitians. I found 5.5 million results. 

#5 I won’t recommend the latest fad diet to my patients.  Fad diets are rarely healthy, restrict major food groups and do not promote a lifetime of healthful eating. The RDN is ready and able to dispel all nutrition fads and provide the science based reasoning behind healthy lifestyle choices. 

Keto Diet-Friend or Foe?

“Keto here, keto there, keto everywhere!” It is inevitable, whether attending social gatherings, visiting the grocery store or interacting on social media you have probably heard about the keto diet and been tempted by its promises. In fact, the keto diet was the most searched weight loss diet in 2018. But is this diet the weight loss solution we’ve all been waiting for?

The ketogenic diet (better known as ‘keto’) is a high fat (70-80% of total calories), low carbohydrate (less than 50 g of carbohydrates (5-10% of total calories), moderate protein (10-20% of total calories) diet that adjusts the way the body produces energy. On a normal healthy eating plan that typically has 25-35% of total calories from fat, 45-60% of total calories from carbohydrates and 20-35% of total calories from protein, the body relies on burning carbohydrates for energy. On the other hand, in the ketogenic approach the body becomes dependent on burning fat producing ketones bodies to fuel itself. This is where the theory of keto diet for weight loss came from. It is difficult to know when one enters ketosis, unless you check for ketones in the blood/urine. However, it is very easy to leave this state, since the slightest increases in carbohydrate intake may resume regular energy production, adding to the challenges faced on this restricted diet.

Like other weight loss diets with restricted intake, individuals may notice rapid weight loss in the first week (about 2-10 lbs), primarily related to water loss and glycogen stores depletion. Shortly afterwards, the rate of weight loss slows down, similar to other weight loss diets, to about 1-2 lbs/week. Whether this diet is sustainable and improves overall health outcomes is in doubt.

The ketogenic diet is not a new trend. In the 1800’s, scientists discovered its efficacy in treating epilepsy and other similar seizure disorders in kids. Therefore, most available research, especially long-term studies, is concentrated on that rather than weight loss. Long-term studies linked the keto diet with increased risk for kidney stones, osteoporosis, hyperlipidemia, possible nutrient deficiencies and risk for liver abnormalities. Short term effects recorded in adults include constipation, brain fog, irritability, increased levels of both good (HDL) and bad blood cholesterol (LDL), binge eating and relapse, adequate muscle maintenance and building and mild improvements in serum glucose levels.

Well, is it a friend or a foe? As a registered dietitian nutritionist, there is too much risk and not enough research to prove that following the keto diet will lead to greater weight loss and better health outcomes than other less restricted more realistically sustainable diets. Therefore, I would consider losing weight on the ketogenic diet as a foe for now. However, there are some positive sides of this diet that we can learn from to improve our health and wellness that include:

  • Being mindful with the quality and quantity of carbs we eat
  • Practice portion control
  • Overcome fear from fat and work in more healthy fats
  • Listen to hunger and fullness cues.

Please remember that there is no one size fits all when it comes to eating. We are all unique with different health issues, so it is important that we base our diets on what our individual body needs rather than following mainstream food trends.

 

Thanks to R. Farra, MDS, RD, LD for co-authoring this article with me.

 

Resources:

https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/diet-reviews/ketogenic-diet/

https://www.cambridge.org/core/services/aop-cambridge-core/content/view/6FD9F975BAFF1D46F84C8BA9CE860783/S0007114513000548a.pdf/verylowcarbohydrate_ketogenic_diet_v_lowfat_diet_for_longterm_weight_loss_a_metaanalysis_of_randomised_controlled_trials.pdf

Savvy Snacking

Your daily food choices fuel your body, mind and mood. In order to stay energized all day and combat potential food cravings and temptations, it’s important to pay attention to when and what you eat.

Well-planned, healthful snack choices can help you avoid break room or vending machine temptations and can keep you from overeating when meals are delayed. Kids need snacks throughout the day to meet their increased energy needs for growth and activity. If you are trying to lose weight, snacks can help you stay on track without hunger.

What are healthy snacks? The best snacks include a good source of fiber and some protein. They often include food groups that you may not have been able to fit into your previous meal and can be anything from small portions of leftovers, to mini-breakfasts, fruit or vegetables combined with dairy foods, beans or other proteins.

Here are some unique snacks ideas to try.

  • Overnight Oatmeal in a Jar
  • Homemade Granola Bars
  • Bell Pepper Pizza
  • Cheese and Pretzel Dippers
  • Cucumber, Hummus and Turkey Roll-ups
  • Avocado, Tomato and Mozzarella Skewers
  • Fresh Fruits with PB2 Dip

For more ideas go to my Pinterest Page: https://www.pinterest.com/lindafrd

For kids and big kids alike, it is important to have the snacks ready to go for quick access and no thinking necessary. These are some recommendations for kids, from The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics as posted on: www.eatright.org.

Here’s the key to healthful food choices: very visible, convenient, effortless and great taste. Follow these seven how-tos for smart snacking.

  • Ask your kids what food group foods they’d like to have on hand. Buy them!
  • “Walk” your kids through the kitchen so they know where these foods are kept.
  • Keep fresh fruit on the counter where kids see it.
  • Wash and cut up veggies ahead, so they’re ready to eat.
  • Use see-through containers, clear plastic bags or containers covered with plastic wrap so kids can see what’s inside.
  • Put nutrient-rich food where kids can reach it, perhaps on lower shelves in your refrigerator, pantry or cabinet. Keep “sometimes” foods, such as cookies and chips, away in cabinets where they’re less convenient to reach, especially for impulse eaters.
  • Buy food in single-serve containers for grab-and-go eating ­— for example, milk, raisins, juice, fruit cups, pudding and baby carrots. 

 From American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, 3rd Ed.

Linda T. Farr Elected Speaker of the House of Delegates for 2016-2017

June 1, 2016

SAN ANTONIO – Registered dietitian nutritionist Linda T. Farr RDN, LD, FAND, owner of Nutrition Associates of San Antonio, begins her one-year term on June 1 as the 2016-2017 Speaker of the House of Delegates for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

An Academy leader for many years, Farr served for three years on the Academy’s Board of Directors and nine years in the House of Delegates as a two-term Texas Academy Delegate and a member of House Leadership Team. She also participates in Texas and national public policy advocacy for nutrition and public health issues.

Farr said that her priorities are to enhance member communications and to advance the role of food and nutrition professionals for all populations. “The House of Delegates, as the voice of members, governs the profession, develops leaders and plans for mega issue trends that will influence our profession and the food, nutrition and health environment,” Farr said. “I am proud to lead our delegates as we prepare for the Academy’s Second Century in 2017 and our important role as key leaders in population health, education, research and healthcare.”

Farr is a past president of the Texas Academy and San Antonio and Dallas districts, the Texas Academy’s 2011 Distinguished Dietitian of the Year, and was named a 2005 Healthcare Hero by the San Antonio Business Journal. She is an appointee to the Mayor’s Fitness Council and a volunteer for San Antonio’s Por Vida! Healthy Restaurant Initiative, where she was instrumental in the development of nutritional guidelines for diabetes-friendly restaurant choices and healthy vending criteria.

Farr established Nutrition Associates of San Antonio in 1995, to provide personalized medical nutrition therapy to teens and adults. She is a referral source for over three hundred MDs in the San Antonio area and a dietetic internship preceptor. As a professional speaker, Farr speaks to a variety of organizations around the country and also provides media interviews, wellness classes and recipe nutrition analysis.

Farr is a graduate of Iowa State University and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Iowa-College of Medicine.

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Media interviews with Farr may be arranged by contacting Linda@NutritiousTable.com or 210-735-2402. Visit www.NutritiousTable.com.

5 Free Apps for a Healthy Lifestyle

Looking for easy ways to stay healthy and meet your nutrition goals in the New Year? These 5 free apps are a great way to manage weight loss, plan menus, track activity and fitness and navigate dining out.

  1. Lose It!

    A weight management app that allows users to track food intake, exercise, and water consumed, Lose It makes it easy to input goals, manage progress, and see real results. This app even has a barcode scanner to quickly add foods, graphs to show visual progress day over day, and even import data from other health and fitness apps.

    PROS: Able to save meals and scan barcodes to quickly track foods; connect with friends for accountability

    CONS: May feel a little time consuming to start; limited restaurant database

    SIMILAR: MyFitnessPal

  2. Foodily

    Foodily is an online catalog of recipes, indexed by hundreds of search criteria, allowing users to find just the right recipe in an instant. Get new ideas to update the standard chicken or crock pot dinner, find an innovative way to use up leftover vegetables, or just get inspiration for your next meal. Foodily incorporates user ratings, allergy information, and a social aspect to let you connect and share your recipe finds with friends. A forum of community recipes, Foodily provides realistic recipes by other home cooks, making it easy to find and create new meal ideas at home.

    PROS: Ease of use, photographs of recipes, save and share recipes with friends and social media

    CONS: Recipe index and limited depending on user uploads

    SIMILAR: Yummly

  3. Strava

    Log and track your fitness goals with this easy to use new fitness app. Strava uses a GPS tracker to map routes and log miles and paces for runners, walkers, and bikers. The app helps keep users motivated by connecting you with friends and incorporating monthly challenges to compete against yourself or others.

    PROS: Easy navigation; able to share activities to other social media platforms; connect with friends for motivation.

    CONS: Only tracks miles for running, walking, and cycling; GPS can drain phone battery.

    SIMILAR: MapMyFitness

  4. Healthy Out

    Not sure how to eat out and still stick to your healthy goals? Have specific diet restrictions or allergies? Healthy Out allows you to enjoy eating out without the stress or hassle of not knowing what options are available at many favorite restaurants.

    PROS: Easy access to filter menu items and restaurant listings based on wide variety of dietary needs; ability to save and share results with friends.

    CONS: limited city and restaurant availability but continuing to grow; must connect via Facebook

    SIMILAR: Food Tripping

Thank you to SD, dietetic intern, 2015 for input on this blog.

Wise Nutritional Choices for Cancer Prevention, Part 2: Beneficial Phytochemicals

Cancer Fighting Foods

We have established that there a relationship between cancer and the food we eat, in part one of this blog. Did you know that some foods may actually help to prevent cancer and some may evenhelp to kill cancer cells? Fruits, vegetables and some spices and herbs contain beneficial compounds called phytochemicals. Here are some nutritious herbs, seasoning and other foods to add into your eating plan, based on current research and theories.

The following foods and their phytochemicals that may help to prevent cancer include:

  • Spices: turmeric (curcumin), ginger (6-gingerol), chili peppers (capsaicin), black pepper (piperine), cloves (eugenol), rosemary (carnosol), cinnamon (cinnamaldehyde)
  • Vegetables: broccoli (indol-3-carbinol), cabbage (indol-3-carbinol) and sulforaphanes are in broccoli, broccoli sprouts, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage.
  • Foods that contain flavonoids (antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds): berries, green tea, dark chocolate, kale, apples, citrus, onions, broccoli, and hot peppers.
  • Other foods: grape seed extract (resveratrol), garlic (diallyl sulfide), tomatoes (lycopene), honey (caffeic acid), green tea (epigallocatechin-3-gallate)
  • Omega-3 fatty acids are associated with a decrease in cancer risk
  • Whole grains: contain lignans which are food for our gut flora. They also contain different forms of vitamin E and beneficial compounds called polyphenols that can help to prevent cancer
  • Folate (one of the B vitamins): works on our DNA to help prevent cancer. Sources are lentils, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, asparagus, spinach, navy beans, black beans, kidney beans, turnip greens and broccoli.

Including as many plant based foods as possible into the diet is encouraged in order to increase the amount of these beneficial compounds consumed. Eating as many plant-based and fresh foods as possible, including all of the colors of the rainbow, will increase those beneficial cancer-kicking phytochemicals in our diet.

Research is always discovering new and beneficial compounds in plant foods that appear to work well with other compounds in the food. This can be called a synergistic effect. This is one reason why it is more beneficial to obtain these cancer-preventing phytonutrients from foods instead of obtaining them in supplement form.

So next time you eat, aim for including colorful fruits and vegetables and maybe even a piece of dark chocolate!

Click here to view Part One of this series.

Thank you to AF, Dietetic Intern, 2015, for help with this article.

Wise Nutritional Choices for Cancer Prevention, Part 1: Processed Meats and Red Meats

[Portions of this article have been copied verbatim from resources listed below.]

Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the US and has probably had an impact on most of us. So when guidelines change it can be confusing and frustrating. On October 26 of 2015,The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, released it’s monograph summary evaluation on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat. Here is a brief summary of what was reported.

Processed Meat was classified as “carcinogenic to humans based on sufficient evidence in humans that the consumption of processed meat causes colorectal cancer”. “For an individual, the risk of developing colorectal cancer because of their consumption of processed meat remains small, but this risk increases with the amount of meat consumed,” says Dr. Kurt Straif, head of the IARC Monographs Program. Experts conclude that for every 2 ounces of processed meat consumed daily, the risk of colorectal cancer increases 18%. Processed meats are foods that have been modified through the use of chemicals, sodium nitrates, and heat to improve flavor and preservation. They include hot dogs, sausage, ham, pastrami, corned beef, beef jerky, and canned meats.

Red meat is “probably carcinogenic to humans based on limited evidence that the consumption of red meat causes cancer in humans and strong mechanistic evidence supporting a carcinogenic effect.” The summary also stated “there is limited evidence in human beings for the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat.” This association was observed mainly for colorectal cancer but associations were seen for pancreatic and prostate cancer. Red meats include beef, pork, lamb, veal, and goat.

What does this mean in layman’s terms? The IARC has concluded that diets high in processed meats may lead to an increase in cancer risk, especially colon and rectal cancer. The summary was less conclusive on whether red meat causes cancer or not, but the IARC did recommend limiting dietary intake of red meat. This is not new information, however. While the IARC just published their findings, other organizations including The American Cancer Society (in 2007) and the USDA have already published guidelines recommending limiting consumption of red and processed meats. That the WHO now also confirms these recommendations further highlights the importance of limiting these foods.

What does this mean for my family? Cancer is a very complex disease, and it is unrealistic to isolate one single food, including beef, as an independent cause of cancer. It’s all about moderation, as many health professionals, including myself, teach. All foods eaten in moderation can be enjoyed and savored without guilt or fear. So eating an occasional hot dog at the baseball game is not going to give you cancer. But processed meats should be avoided as much as possible.

Red meat contains beneficial vitamins and minerals including iron, vitamin B12, niacin, and zinc. It is generally recommended that 10% of your total calories, or about 2 small servings per week, can come from eating red meat as part of a balanced diet. When cooking meat, poultry or fish be sure to use medium (not high) temperatures, so that you avoid charring the exterior of the meat, because toxic substances will be produced. If you happen to get any char on your meat, trim it off before serving.

Click Here for Part 2 of this series.

 

References:

Anselmo, Cara. What the WHO said – and didn’t say – about meat and cancer. Food and Nutrition Magazine. 2015. http://www.foodandnutrition.org/Stone-Soup/November-2015/What-the-WHO-Said-and-Didnt-Say-about-Meat-and-Cancer/

IARC Monographs evaluate consumption of red meat and processed meat. World Health Organization. 2015. https://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf

Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat. World Health Organization. 2015. http://www.who.int/features/qa/cancer-red-meat/en/

Scientific Evidence Submissions: IARC. Beef Research. 2015. http://www.beefresearch.org/scientificevidencesubmissionsiarc.aspx

Website: http://factsaboutbeef.com

 

Thank you to SD, Dietetic Intern, 2015  for your help with this blog.

Dietary Fructose Malabsorption

Dietary Fructose Malabsorption

The pain of gas and bloating can be debilitating and can limit your desire and ability to socialize around food. If these are your symptoms, I suggest that you contact your gastroenterologist and ask to be tested for fructose malabsorption, lactose intolerance, gluten intolerance and small bowel bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). If you find that you have one or more of these, then I can help you implement a specific diet to avoid the offending substance. If you are not sensitive to any one of these, your doctor may call your symptoms functional bowel disease of irritable bowel disease (IBS) and recommend that you try the FODMAP diet, which can help reduce your symptoms by limiting a variety of foods that can cause gas and bloating. I can provide detailed guidance on this diet.

But for those of you who have been diagnosed with fructose malabsorption, there is a diet that will help you. I have worked with GI doctors and studied fructose malabsorption for several years. Most of my clients report feeling better in just a few days, by following my diet for fructose malabsorption. All of my fructose malabsorption clients are invited to attend my fructose malabsorption support group.

Symptoms: My clients diagnosed with fructose malabsorption report symptoms such as painful gas and bloating, distended abdomen area after eating, diarrhea or constipation, and nausea or vomiting. Many report that these symptoms started occurring after a significant stressful life event such as a death, divorce or surgery.

Diagnosis: A GI doctor will diagnose you via a non-invasive hydrogen breath test. You will drink a sweet beverage on an empty stomach, followed by blowing into a tube periodically over a 4-hour period. Hydrogen gas should not be produced if your body properly absorbs fructose. It is only produced after intestinal bacteria metabolize carbohydrates/fructose.

Fructose Malabsorption Process: Dietary fructose malabsorption is caused by impaired absorption of fructose. It is not life threatening. Fructose is a type of sugar that is naturally found in fruits, honey, agave syrup and some vegetables. It is always in combination with glucose. After food is digested in the stomach, a carrier protein and glucose help transport fructose into the small intestine for absorption. The process is not entirely understood, but when the glucose content of a food is equal to or higher than the fructose content, there is no malabsorption of fructose. However, foods with more fructose than glucose can result in inefficient absorption of fructose. This allows fructose to reach the large intestine, along with extra water. Intestinal bacteria rapidly ferment fructose into hydrogen, carbon dioxide and short chain fatty acids. When the bacteria multiply and migrate back up to the small intestine (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO), gas/flatulence, bloating, abdominal pain and motility changes (diarrhea or constipation) occur.

How did I get this? Fructose malabsorption may be inherited (primarily from central European descent), but non-genetic factors may also play a role. The amount of fructose tolerated varies widely among individuals: some may have problems with less than 1 gram of fructose, and others can easily eat 20 grams without any problem. It is estimated that approximately 35-50% of the population is unable to completely absorb more than 25 grams per day. Average daily intake of fructose around the world is estimated to be 11-54 grams.

What foods are high in fructose?

Fructose is found in 3 main forms in the diet:

  • As Free Fructose—present in fruits, honey, and agave syrup.
  • As a component of Table Sugar (sucrose). Sucrose is a disaccharide made up of equal parts of glucose and fructose.
  • As Fructans—a long chain of several fructose molecules (fructo-oligosaccharide) found in some vegetables and wheat.

Fructose accounts for 10% of total calories from sweetened beverage, baked products, and fruit juice. All Fructose is absorbed, digested, and metabolized in an identical manner, no matter if it is from fruit juice or a food additive. Total removal of fructose from the diet is nearly impossible due to its abundant presence in our food supply.

Set and appointment with Linda: If you want more detail on this diet and individualized help to avoid excess fructose intake, call me today!

Contrave–New Weight Loss Drug

Prescription Contrave was just approved by the FDA in September 2014, making it the fourth prescription weight loss drug approved by the FDA for long-term use.

The other 3 prescription weight loss drugs include Qsymia and Belviq (approved for use in 2012) and Alli (Orlistat) the over the counter version of Xenical. But don’t forget that diet and exercise are still key components for any of these drugs to be most effective.

Last year, the weight loss industry in the U.S. brought in a wopping 60.5 billion dollars. Despite a small 1.8% dip in revenue last year, there’s no denying this industry is still booming.  From do-it-yourself diet books to weight loss surgery, the options for weight loss and maintenance are endless.

Contrave is actually a combination of two drugs that are already on the market, naltrexone, which is used to treat addictions, and bupropion, which is an anti-depressant.  The exact way that Contrave works is not fully understood, but it did outperform the placebo in clinical trials.

In order to receive a prescription for Contrave, adults must fall under the obesity classification with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or more.  Overweight adults may also be eligible for a prescription if they have a health condition that can be related to their weight, such as type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, in addition to a BMI of 27 or higher.

Before deciding whether or not to take a prescription weight loss drug, it’s important to consider a few other factors besides eligibility. Contrave is not a miracle drug.  Participants who took Contrave and followed a diet and exercise plan in the clinical trials, lost an average of 4.1% more weight than placebo users at the end of one year.  That’s right, diet and exercise are still part of the deal.  In fact, the FDA recommends that doctors stop Contrave if the patient doesn’t show a 5% weight loss in the first 12 weeks on the prescription.  In other words, you can’t just pop a Contrave and eat whatever you’d like.  Dust off your gym pass and be ready to skip the drive-thru, because if you’re thinking about asking for a prescription for this pill you’re going to have to back it up with health conscious eating and activity!

In addition to a lifestyle change, you will also need to consider possible side effects.  Contrave users reported experiencing nausea, vomiting, headache, and dizziness.  Constipation, dry mouth, diarrhea, and insomnia were also among the more common side effects reported.  Uncomfortable as these may be, they appear mild compaired to the list of risks associated with this drug.  The FDA warns that using Contrave can cause seizures, increase blood pressure, and raised heart rate.  When taken for other conditions, the two drugs that were combined to make Contrave have been associated with increased risk for suicidal thoughts and “serious neuropsychiatric events.”

Finally, even though it’s been approved for use, Contrave is still undergoing clinical trials.  The FDA is still evaluating cardiovascular risks that go along with its use, as well as performing studies on the relationships between Contrave and memory, impaired liver and kidney function, other drug interactions, and possible use in children.

Ultimately, the way you lose weight is up to you.  If you’re thinking about using Contrave or another prescription weight loss drug, be sure to talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian nutritionist in order to make the best, safest choice for you, and to make the most of your prescription.

Thank you to Meghan P., dietetics student at Eastern Michigan University, for her help with this blog!

 

Resources:

http://www.marketresearch.com/Marketdata-Enterprises-Inc-v416/Weight-Loss-Status-Forecast-8016030/

http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm413896.htm

http://www.win.niddk.nih.gov/publications/prescription.htm#b

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3138366/

Fresh Strawberry Cream Cheese Pie

The summer heat is in the 100’s in San Antonio and all I want to do is stay cool! No muss and fuss in the kitchen–just give me cool, colorful, fresh foods and I’m happy. For a bit of not so guilty sweet, try my fresh strawberry pie. I combined several recipes to come up with my own version. Try a whole wheat pie crust for good fiber and crunchiness. The cream cheese on the bottom of the  pie keeps the strawberry glaze from making the crust soggy. I leave the strawberries whole for best presentation. I love pecans so I put some in the cream cheese and also sprinkle a few around the strawberries before I pour the glaze. Be sure to cool the glaze a little before you pour over the strawberries. You don’t want to melt the cream cheese or cook the berries. But don’t wait too long of the glaze will jell and you won’t be able to pour it. Top with a dollop of whipped cream. Ice cream could work but is too sweet and melty for this recipe, in my opinion. Have fun with the recipe! It looks amazing and tastes even better.

LINDA’S FRESH STRAWBERRY CREAM CHEESE PIE

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Wholly Wholesome Whole Wheat Pie Shell, baked and cooled. (Found at Whole Foods in TX).
  • ½ 8-oz package Cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup Powdered Sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. Lemon Juice
  • ¼ tsp. Lemon Rind, grated
  • ¼ cup Pecans, chopped (optional)
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 3 Tbsp. Cornstarch
  • 8-10 oz. Sprite or 7-Up, regular
  • ½ 3 oz box Strawberry Jell-O
  • 20 Fresh Strawberries, cleaned, de-stemmed
  • Whipped Cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Pre-bake pie shell per package directions. Cool.
  2. Clean strawberries and leave whole. Blot to remove water.
  3. Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind and chopped pecans in food processor. Pulse until whipped and well blended. Set aside.
  4. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and sprite in saucepan. Cook over medium heat, while whisking occasionally, until translucent, about 6-8 minutes.
  5. Add strawberry Jell-O to hot mixture and whisk until blended.
  6. Take off of heat and cool to room temperature.
  7. Spread cream cheese mixture in bottom of cooled pie shell. Top with whole berries—pointed side facing up and trimmed side down.
  8. Pour glaze over top of berries.
  9. Refrigerate. Serve with whipped cream dollop on each slice.