Debunking Nutrition Myths Blog (1)

Debunking Nutrition Myths Pt.1

Written by: Ava Elliott, Marketing Intern & Future Dietitian

Reviewed by: Devon Kroesché, MS, RDN, LDN

A lot of misinformation is out there, including nutrition claims. When you need nutrition advice, a dietitian is your best friend because they are the food and nutrition professionals that research science and provide you with evidence-based recommendations. Can you say that about everyone on the internet? Let’s dig into some nutrition myths that are spreading.


“Seeds oils are bad for you.”

There has been a lot of talk about seed oils being bad lately–let’s look at the science behind these claims. Seed oils come from plants or seeds and contain different types of fats. First, I’d like to point out that our bodies need fat (one of our macronutrients) for many functions like a source of energy, absorb other nutrients, produce hormones, support function of our cells, etc.1 Our bodies obtain fat from plant and animal sources. Plant sources include olive oil, canola oil, vegetable oil, and sunflower oil to name a few. A few animal sources include butter, lard, and milk fat. In general, plant oils provide our bodies with more monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats–the ones that provide heart healthy benefits and are healthful. Animal oils provide more saturated and trans fats–the oils we want less of in our dietary patterns. That being said, most plant oils are pressed from seeds to extract the healthful oils.2 Therefore, we actually want seed oils in our diet to provide essential fatty acids that our bodies can’t make.3 These omega-3 fatty acids are found in plant and seed oils like flaxseed, soybean, and canola oils.3


“Processed foods are unhealthy.”

I’ve heard many people claim processed foods are unhealthy, so I want to share some research about this nutrition myth. First, let’s define “processed foods” for a clearer picture. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines processed foods as any commodity that has been changed via washing, cooking, baking, smoking, marinating, milling, chopping, heating, or has been canned, packaged, frozen, dried, pasteurized, blanched or altering its natural state in any way.4,5 Now after reading this definition, are you thinking that not all processed foods are “unhealthy?” Are you thinking when you cook or prepare food and now it is defined as a “processed food,” is it still unhealthy? For example, think about a bag of spinach–a “processed” item–but spinach provides our bodies with many nutrients like potassium, fiber, iron, and zinc. There is a wide range of processing, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics ranks minimally processed foods to mostly processed foods as:6

  • Minimal processed foods like fresh strawberries, bagged spinach, cut fruit, and roasted peanuts are prepared for convenience to make cooking and preparing foods more efficient
  • These are processed to maintain the highest nutritional content and quality: canned tuna, frozen fruits and vegetables, canned olives
  • Foods with added flavor and ingredients for added texture like, spices, oils, sweeteners, and other preservatives–yogurt, pasta sauce, granola bars, cupcake mixes
  • Ready-to-eat foods are mostly processed like crackers, cereal, deli meat, and frozen meals

Overall, stating that processed foods are unhealthy isn’t the full picture. To minimize intake of foods with higher processing, you can aim to cook and prepare foods at home or eat whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes. Or if you are choosing a ready-to-eat frozen dinner, focus on what you can add to it. For example, for a chicken and rice meal you can add vegetables to your plate or some yogurt and fruit for dessert.


“Eating makes me bloated.”

Eating can sometimes cause bloating, but not always. When our bodies digest food, gas is a natural byproduct produced and can sometimes make us feel bloated.7 Additionally, fiber can cause slight bloating if you do not consume a lot routinely. With gradual intake of fiber from whole fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, fiber will help your digestive system do its job, and bloating will not occur much. Sometimes, bloating can happen from a digestive issue if you have a food intolerance or other complications.7 Hormones can also cause bloating, like during your menstrual cycle. The good thing is that it comes and goes and is not of concern. Drinking enough water throughout the day will encourage digestion as well as moving; going for a walk with your dog, jogging, walking up and down the stairs in your house will all help your digestive system and bloating reduction. Focus on eating slower and practicing mindfulness (read about Mindful Eating & Slowing Down) to aid in digestion.7


Please email to work with one of our dietitians if you’d like to discuss more myths. Also, stay tuned for part two for more!



1. American Heart Association editorial staff. Dietary Fats. American Heart Association. Updated November 1, 2021. Accessed March 16, 2023.

2. Native Plant Oils. United States Department of Agriculture. Updated 2023. Accessed March 16, 2023.

3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids. National Institutes of Health. Updated July 18, 2022. Accessed March 18, 2023.

4. Harguth A. What you should know about processed foods. Mayo Clinic Health System. Published March 21, 2022. Accessed March 18. 2023.

5. USDA Country of Origin Labeling. Frequently Asked Questions. USDA. Updated 2021. Accessed March 18, 2023.

6. Klemm S. Processed Foods: A Closer Look. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Published February 11, 2019. Updated January 30, 2023. Accessed March 19, 2023.

7. Bloated Stomach. Cleveland Clinic. Updated September 10, 2021. Accessed March 19, 2023.

Tahini Noodles Pic

Tahini Noodles

Written by: Ava Elliott, Marketing Intern and Future Dietitian

Reviewed by: Devon Kroesche, MS, RDN, LDN

Wait until you make these noodles. If you love Noodlehead like me, you might be craving a good bowl of noodles weekly. Recently, I discovered this Tahini Noodle recipe and adapted it from Ambitious Kitchen. These noodles are very delicious and you are definitely going to want to add the recipe to your list. I like to add a variety of veggies and choose what is in my fridge. I recommend broccoli, onions, and peppers, but you can customize the flavor with your veggie preference.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce or liquid aminos
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • ½ tbsp rice vinegar
  • ½ tbsp grated ginger (or ground)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 tbsp hot chili paste
  • 3-4 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • ~4 cups broccoli
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • ½ onion, diced
  • ¼ cup shelled edamame
  • 10 oz rice or egg noodles
  • Sesame seeds to serve + red pepper flakes if you love spice

What To Do:

  1.  Boil a pot of water to prepare for noodles.
  2.  While water is boiling, make sauce by adding the following to a medium bowl: soy sauce, tahini, honey, rice vinegar, ginger, garlic, hot chili paste, and water.
  3.  Sauté onions in sesame oil on medium low heat, then add broccoli, red pepper, and edamame. Cook until vegetables are bright and softened (about 7 mins).
  4.  Cook noodles according to package directions.
  5.  Toss the noodles in sauce and add vegetables. Add the sesame seeds and red pepper flakes as a garnish.
  6.  Serve + enjoy!

If you decide to make this delish recipe and feel comfortable posting on social media, tag us @CaseSpecificNutrition. Maybe you don’t have as much time to cook this week! In that case, visit Case Specific Meal Prep!

Interesed in discussing more meal ideas and nutrition with one of our dietitians, email

CSSD Pic (4)

What is a CSSD?

Written by: Ava Elliott, Marketing Intern & Future Dietitian

Reviewed by: Allison Wade MS, RDN, LDN, CSSD & Lisa Balestrino MS, RD, LDN, CSSD

What is a CSSD?

The Board Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics (CSSD) is a professional credential for registered dietitians (RD) with experience in sports dietetics. The components of a CSSD encompass sports nutrition and performance optimization, diet and exercise for chronic diseases management and eating disorder intervention and prevention. This advanced credential is vital to look for in a dietitian if you are seeking advice on sports related topics.


Who would benefit from working with an RD who has their CSSD credential?

Anyone from the weekend warrior to the collegiate athlete. An RD can help those with their fitness goals while providing professional insight into all things sports dietetics related. Maybe you are wondering about which supplements for hydration are best. Maybe you have diabetes and you are active, and need help managing your blood sugar levels. Maybe you are an advanced athlete or a high school football player. Maybe you need help to fuel your body to perform your best at your sport or competition. A sports dietitian can help you be fit as you age and help you meet your health goals during all stages of life.


CSSD vs Personal Trainer, Nutrition Coach…Look for the Credentials

Dietitians in practice for at least two years with documentation of 2,000 hours of sports dietetics practice are eligible for the CSSD credential. All dietitians have background knowledge in all disease states, metabolism of the body, and so much more. But, when seeking professional advice on anything sports-dietetics related, the RDs with the CSSD credential are the preferred professionals. Think about the difference between a “nutritionist” and a registered dietitian nutritionist here…RDs have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree or master’s degree in nutrition and dietetics and graduated from an accredited program in dietetics. They also have completed their dietetic internship with 1200 hours of supervised experiential learning under a dietitian, have passed their national board certification exam to become a dietitian, and became licensed to practice in their state. On the other hand, anyone can call themselves a nutritionist because there are no mandated requirements. I don’t know about you, but I’m choosing a dietitian over a “nutritionist” 10/10 times.


Similarly, a dietitian with their CSSD is going to be a qualified health professional to help you on your fitness, disease management, and sports journey. A personal trainer is a certified fitness professional, but a dietitian with their CSSD will have the expertise on tying nutrition with fitness. They will be able to provide medical recommendations and evidence-based research advice regarding your health and fitness goals. Dietitians always are grounded in science and practice with evidence-based scientific knowledge. A sports dietitian can help you bridge the gap between in-season and out of season nutrition, help with muscle cramping, overtraining syndrome, balancing your electrolytes, and so much more!


More About Allison & Lisa

Allison Wade, Founding Dietitian and Lead Dietitian at the Raleigh office is very passionate about sports and how food can modify the body. Allison obtained her CSSD credential about a year ago and her passion for sports stemmed from her youth. Growing up, Allison loved watching and playing sports. She was always interested in how food made her feel and affected her performance and energy levels for marathons or competitions. Allison was inspired by Leslie Bonci, former sports dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers, and saw just how important food and exercise were tied together. In college, Allison was fascinated with how the RDs helped fuel athletes at the fueling stations and during practice and began to study the role of a dietitian in sports. Now, Allison works with a lot of athletes and enjoys weightlifting and helping others fuel properly for performance.


Lisa Balestrino, Lead Dietitian at the South Hills office grew up an athlete on a farm with homegrown food. She quickly realized if she fueled and ate a certain way then she’d feel better for workouts. Lisa grew up in a very active family and has done half marathons, CrossFit, and a bodybuilding competition, to name a few activities. Lisa experienced disordered eating habits and started learning she needed to eat more to fuel her body; she saw connections between underfueling (underfeeding) and fueling for performance. Lisa began learning more about sports dietetics and the value of having a qualified credential, like the CSSD. Now with her experience and credentials, Lisa uses tools and training to help others have better outcomes that are tangible. For example, working to educate clients about food and nutrition for shaving off mile time helps her clients to see how food connects to performance.


You can connect with Allison and Lisa via email by scheduling an appointment at If you would like to work with a sports dietitian like Allison or Lisa, it can be a great experience to work with a qualified professional to fuel your body for your health and fitness goals.

Farro Salad Pic

Farro Salad

Written by: Ava Elliott, Marketing Intern & Future Dietitian

Reviewed by: Devon Kroesché, MS, RDN, LDN

This veggie farro salad is going to be added to your list of recipes for regular use. It is vegetarian and vegetables can be customized with your preferences. One of our South Hills dietitians, Lisa Balestrino, made us a delicious farro salad for a CSN event that we want to share with you! It can be a great meal prep for lunch, dinner, or to share at a party. Enjoy this salad cold or at room temperature.


What You’ll Need:

  • 1 cup Farro
  • ½ cup dry sundried tomatoes
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • ¾ cup jarred roasted red peppers, drained and diced
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced
  • 1 cup peas
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled


  • For the Italian Vinaigrette:
    • ¼ cup olive oil
    • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
    • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
    • 1 tsp honey
    • 1 tsp dried oregano
    • ¼ tsp black pepper
    • ½ tsp kosher salt



What To Do:

  1. Rinse, drain farro and cook (follow package instructions).
  2. Prepare dressing by whisking olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, mustard, oregano, salt and pepper.
  3. Add farro to a large mixing bowl with half of the dressing. Add sundried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, peas, cucumber, roasted red pepper, and parsley. Toss.
  4. Taste and add more dressing. Add in feta and toss before serving.


I hope you enjoy this farro salad as much as I do. Tag us in your story or post if you make this delicious recipe! No time to cook? Visit Case Specific Meal Prep!

Interested in working with a case specific dietitian to discuss more recipes you can make? Email

Mushroom Wellington Blog Pic

Mushroom Wellington

Written by: Ava Elliott, Marketing Intern and Future Dietitian

Reviewed by: Devon Kroesché, MS, RDN, LDN

Happy New Year from us at Case Specific Nutrition to you! The holiday season can be very busy. If you are winding down from the rush of the holidays like me, and are interested in a warm meal, then this one is for you. My friend who has been making this vegetarian version of beef wellington for her family as a Christmas tradition shared this recipe with me. It contains vegetables like spinach and mushrooms that will both provide folate and spinach will provide some vitamin K. To make this recipe vegan, use a vegan puff pastry and swap the egg wash for a vegan egg wash.


What You’ll Need:

  • 4 large portobello mushrooms
  • 3 large onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pkt spinach (10 oz)
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 1 puff pastry
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • Egg wash: 1 large egg and 1 tbsp 2% milk, beaten


What To Do:

  1. Sauté onions on medium-low heat with ½ tbsp olive oil, salt, and pepper. Stir occasionally and cook for about 15 minutes or until onions are golden brown. Remove onions.
  2. Sauté spinach and cook until wilted. Remove the pan from heat.
  3. Add 2 ½ tbsp olive oil to pan and cook mushrooms on medium-high heat until lightly browned, top side down. After about 5 minutes, turn mushrooms over and cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towel once removed from the heat.
  4. Cool onions, spinach, and mushrooms in the fridge completely.
  5. Preheat oven to 390° and prep baking sheet with Parchment paper.
  6. Add puff pastry sheet and spread half the caramelized onions in the center of puff pastry leaving 2/3 pastry on either side and ¾ in at the edge.
  7. Next, add half spinach over the onions and place mushrooms on top of spinach. Spread mustard over the mushrooms and sprinkle seasoning on top. Add the rest of the onions and spinach over the mushrooms.
  8. Delicately roll the pastry over the vegetable mixture into a log. Seal the edges and roll over so the seam of the pastry is facing down.
  9. Whisk together egg and milk and lightly coat pastry with egg wash. Place in the freezer for 10 minutes, followed by another layer of egg wash and free for another 10 minutes.
  10. Finally, bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden and pastry becomes flakey.


We hope you enjoy this recipe and share a picture with us on social media if you make it! Tag us at @casespecificnutrition on Instagram or Facebook. If you’d like to work with one of our dietitians, please email


Copy of Five Reasons (1)

Five Reasons Why Your New Year’s Resolutions Suck

Written by: Ava Elliott, Marketing Intern and Future Dietitian

Reviewed by: Devon Kroesché, MS, RDN, LDN

New Year’s Resolutions get a bad rap – just because most fail before February doesn’t mean yours has to! Andrew Wade, CEO and Founder of Case Specific Nutrition joins Devon Kroesche, Registered Dietitian (RD) and Marketing Director of Case Specific Nutrition to tell you why your New Year’s Resolution SUCKS, and how to make a better one. Read below for a recap or click here to watch.


  1. You view it as a chore.
    • Nobody likes chores.
    • If this resolution should make your life better, why do something that makes you miserable?
    • Instead, choose habits that you enjoy. For example: exercise – movement is the goal of your exercise. How do you like to move? Maybe you go for walks with your dog or play pickup basketball with your friends.
  1. You don’t have a why.
    • Having a good why behind your resolution is a necessity for change.
    • Why are you choosing this goal and how does it make you feel?
    • Is improved health going to decrease your knee pain so you can play catch with your kids?
    • Choose something that is important and do it for you.
  1. It’s too vague.
    • Vague = VAPID
      • Goals are Vague, Amorphous, Pie in the sky, Irrelevant, and Delayed
    • Maybe you are choosing to eat more veggies, but how often? When? Why?
    • Set SMART goals that are Specific Measurable Attainable Realistic and Time sensitive
    • Now to change the “eating more veggies” to be SMART: include veggies at lunch and dinner, daily. This will set a timeline and make the goal more realistic. You can look up recipes to add more veggies to your day.
  1. You don’t have a plan.
    • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
    • What do you want to accomplish and how will you look get there? Make a plan.
    • Going back to the goal of exercise, do you have gym membership, or will you go for weekly walks with a friend?
    • SMART goals will help you build a plan.
    • RDs help evaluate their client’s stages of change and assess how ready you are to make a change.
    • Often times, people get stuck in the preparation phase because of a lack of plan.
  1. You have not identified your cheerleaders.
    • Making changes and going against our normal habits of day-to-day life can be a challenge. Identifying your cheerleaders will help you succeed.
    • Professionals, like RDs at CSN, are part of your team.
    • In your house, identify your cheerleaders: spouse, family members, loved ones.
    • In your life, identify your friends and people you spend time with. They are the people you’ll make plans with and will support you to help you stick to your new habits.


Those are all five reasons why your new year’s resolutions suck, but let’s flip it around to…the five steps that you need to take to make a New Year’s resolution that will last.

  1. Find something you do not view as a chore.
  2. Find your why.
  3. Make it SMART.
  4. Make a plan.
  5. Identify your cheerleaders.

If you’d like to work with one of our RDs as your cheerleader, please email to schedule an appointment and begin working on your new goals.


Copy of Skillet Lasagna

Skillet Lasagna

Written by: Ava Elliott, Marketing Intern

Reviewed by: Devon Kroesché, MS, RDN, LDN

During the holiday season, you are busy and want a quick dinner recipe that is packed with flavor. You might be thinking of lasagna as an option, but it takes over an hour to make. What if I told you we have a lasagna recipe that is packed with flavor and takes as long to make as water to boil your noodles. Keep reading to enjoy this skillet lasagna recipe.


What You’ll Need:

    • 3 ears of corn
    • 1 lb lasagna noodles
    • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
    • 2 large zucchinis, ribboned
    • 1 bunch asparagus, ribboned
    • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
    • 3 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
    • 1 tbsp margarine, melted
    • 4 tbsp olive oil
    • ½ tsp salt, to taste
    • ¼ tsp pepper, to taste
    • ½ tsp oregano
    • ¼ tsp garlic powder


What To Do:

    1. Coat corn with margarine and add to a large skillet over medium heat.
    2. Sear corn for about 4-5 minutes, or until charred. Remove from skillet and cut corn off the cob.
    3. In a large pot, boil lasagna noodles until al dente (see packaging for appropriate timing).
    4. Once noodles are cooked and drained, mix in 2 tbsp olive oil with noodles.
    5. In the skillet, cook the tomatoes for 6-7 minutes. Add in zucchini and asparagus and season with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender (about 4-5 minutes).
    6. Add the corn and noodles to skillet of vegetables and toss with parmesan and basil. Serve and enjoy!


We hope you enjoy this recipe. Try it and post on social media (don’t forget to tag @CaseSpecificNutrition. If you’d like to work with a dietitian and need more recipe ideas, email us

What to do if you think your child has an eating disorder

What to Do If You Think Your Child Has an Eating Disorder

Co-Written By: Ava Elliott, Marketing Intern & Danielle Marzella MS, RDN, LDN

Reviewed by: Devon Kroesché MS, RDN, LDN & Danielle Marzella MS, RDN, LDN

The prevalence of eating disorders (ED) and disordered eating is still being studied and results vary based on specific types and subtypes of EDs. However, the nationwide prevalence for children with EDs is increasing and can continue into adulthood. It is vital to prevent disordered eating from developing into a clinically diagnosed ED. After speaking with Danielle, who specializes in counseling clients with eating disorders (ED) and disordered eating, we compiled a list of “do’s” and “don’ts” if you suspect your child may have disordered behaviors. Additionally, some general tips on how to proceed with getting professional help.


Tips To Do

Make an appointment with a professional. There is no point that is too soon to schedule an appointment with a Registered Dietitian (RD), counselor, or doctor. It is important to get help and establish a path towards recovery. As a parent, be aware of the conversations your children are having with their friends and conversations that occur around your children. Is anything triggering? Is there a lot of diet talk?

Step 1: Express concerns to a doctor and see their opinion.

  • Danielle recommends speaking with a pediatrician or RD who has background knowledge in working with EDs and disordered eating. Look for the Certified Eating Disorders Specialist (CEDS) credentials or a provider with a specialty in EDs. It is vital to work with a professional who is trained and can help your child on the path to recovery. Some RDs and doctors have experience with appetite stimulants, how to manage medications, and can also refer you to another qualified provider.

Step 2: Be an advocate for your child.

  • If you start working with a health-care professional that you do not feel comfortable with, switch to another provider. Children are easily imprinted upon, and you want them to get the best help possible. Speak up to help your child maximize their experience.

Step 3: Support your child.

  • Encourage your child and always support them, but do not force any diet talk. Forcing certain food patterns will create a negative environment around food and you want to create a welcoming environment in your home. All foods fit.
  • Your tone of voice as a parent is vital to support your child. For example, you might say to your child in private, “I’m noticing (behavior) and wondering if you are feeling some type of way? Why don’t we find someone that can help us explain this behavior. We can both learn more together.” Sharing the burden with your child will help them feel loved and supported in this complex environment.

Step 4: Be aware of your tone of voice.

  • Remain inquisitive and supportive.
  • If you are struggling to get your child to attend a meeting, spin it in way that your child needs to hear it. This conversation might look like:
    • “Okay, detective. If you’re concerned, let’s seek help.”
    • “You want to maximize your nutrition and a dietitian can help us with our bodies and nutrition.”
    • “You think nothing is wrong with your habits. Let’s go prove your point and see a professional to provide proof you are right.”
  • Your child may know something is wrong deep down and not want to do anything about their disordered behaviors. Meet them where they are. Remain supportive and you can say, “I want to feel my body too. Let’s go find a dietitian that understands us.”


Please, Do Not:

  • Minimize a person’s experience.
  • Say, “just eat it” or “it doesn’t matter.”
  • Do not comment on your child’s food choices, body shape, or size.
  • Do not say foods are “good” or “bad” for you.
  • Do not align morality with food.
  • Do not talk about dieting and expect your children not to diet.


Once you and your child are ready to seek help, you want to feel comfortable with your RD and trust them to help your child through this tough time. RDs will work with you and your child to develop a level of care that is most comfortable for both of you. Keep in mind, throughout the process you can evaluate YOU. Are you contributing to triggering thoughts and talking about how foods are good and bad for you? Or are you supporting your child on the journey to create a positive relationship with food and their bodies?

You can be an advocate for your child even outside of counseling sessions. Normalize shutting down body talk and food talk. During the holidays, you can tell your family members, “do not say comments about food in front of my child.” You are their biggest support system. What is your child comfortable with? Make sure you are on the same page with how to handle things in public. If you think your child may have disordered eating and you want to minimize further disordered thoughts, you can schedule an appointment to speak with a dietitian by emailing


Protein-Rich Tomato Soup

Written by: Ava Elliott, Marketing Intern and Future Dietitian

Reviewed by: Devon Kroesché, MS, RDN, LDN

I took a functional nutrition class last year and learned all about how food functions in the body. For example, food can provide anti-inflammatory properties, help prevent chronic diseases, balance hormones, and so many other functions! It is so interesting to think about using food as medicine. When learning about carotenoidsa phytonutrient that promotes eye health, cellular communication, etc. we made a delicious soup recipe during lab hours that was rich in carotenoids.

Carotenoids are phytonutrients like lycopene, lutein, and beta-carotene, to name a few. These nutrients are found in yellow to red fruits and vegetables and dark leafy greens. Picture fruits like cantaloupe, grapefruit, guava, watermelon; and vegetables like carrots, kale, pumpkin, red pepper, and peas. This carotenoid-rich soup is also packed with protein from beans that make the soup creamier. Blending beans into a soup or sauce is a great tip to add extra protein. Below is the tomato soup recipe adapted from Cookie and Kate!

What You’ll Need: 

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes, with liquid 
  • 2 cups vegetable broth 
  • 1/2 cup Cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 
  • 1 teaspoon coconut sugar or brown sugar, to taste 
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
  • For the tomato-basil variation (optional): 10 to 15 fresh basil leaves, to taste 

What To Do: 

  1.  In a Dutch oven/soup pot, warm 2 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onion
    and salt and cook for 7-10 mins, stir occasionally until onions are translucent.
  2.  Add in the tomato paste, stir constantly, until fragrant (for about 30 seconds).
  3.  Add the tomatoes and vegetable broth and stir to combine. Bring to medium-high, and
    bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a
    gentle simmer, stir occasionally. 
  4.  Next, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Carefully transfer the soup to a
    blender and add the beans, 1 tbsp olive oil, sugar, and several twists of black pepper. Blend the soup until smooth.  
  5.  Once blended, taste and add a little more sugar, pepper, and salt, as needed. 
  6.  Add in basil and blend into soup. Serve hot and enjoy!

You can keep the soup well for about four days in the fridge. Freeze leftovers for up to 3 months. Share your soup on social media and tag us @casespecificnutrition. If you’d like to speak with a dietitian about more nutritious recipes, email! 

Anti-inflammatory foods

Anti-Inflammatory Foods & Reducing Stress

Written by: Ava Elliott, Marketing Intern and Future Dietitian

Reviewed by: Devon Kroesché, MS, RDN, LDN

I often hear others around me express stress whether involving schoolwork, a job, or personal matters. I get it. I get stressed out too, but how can we reduce daily stressors to prevent our bodies from initiating an innate inflammatory response? I will highlight examples of anti-inflammatory foods and lifestyle changes that can help you reduce stress and inflammation in your life.

First, let’s discuss the inflammatory process that occurs in our bodies. When there is an inflammatory response caused by cell injury, the body sends immune cells to the site of infection/trauma to clear it. The immune cells help return the affected site back to normal and reduce local inflammation. Anti-inflammatory substances released are part of a healthy immune response.

Do you know the difference between acute vs chronic inflammation? Acute inflammation occurs for minutes to hours and is involved with things like wound healing. Chronic inflammation occurs for weeks to months, and sometimes years. It can occur in diseases like rheumatic disorders, autoimmune diseases, and other chronic illnesses. Our bodies are not built to deal with chronic inflammation. Long term, chronic stress can suppress the immune system and lead to complications. By adding anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, you can counteract inflammation.

Nutrition and lifestyle can help reduce inflammation and lessen symptoms. Many phytonutrients and other micronutrients have anti-inflammatory properties. Phytonutrients also have antioxidant properties that help reduce oxidative stress. This reaction is important because damage from oxidative stress can lead to chronic diseases and cause damage to cells. Antioxidants act as a safety net from this damage.

  • Examples of anti-inflammatory nutrients include:
    • Curcumin (in turmeric) and black pepper combined
    • Polyphenols in green tea, blueberries, and capsicum peppers
    • Carotenoids:
      • Lycopene in tomatoes, peaches, watermelon
      • Beta-carotene in carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, broccoli
      • Astaxanthin in salmon, algae, shrimp
    • Omega 3 fatty acids in foods like olive oil, canola oil, fatty fish (like salmon and tuna), flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, fortified foods
    • Some herbs and spices like garlic, cinnamon, rosemary, sage, thyme

As you can see, there are many plant foods that contain phytonutrients that can be beneficial for our bodies and help reduce inflammation. Following a dietary pattern high in fruits and vegetables, eating legumes, sources of omega-3s, low-fat dairy products, lean meats, whole grains, and minimal alcohol consumption can provide our bodies with the essential nutrients it needs. The Institue of Functional Medicine has a great resource of foods rich in phytonutrients displayed by eating a “rainbow.”

As far as lifestyle habits to reduce stress and inflammation, it is important to practice mindfulness, exercise, spend time outdoors, avoid processed foods, drink water, and eat a variety of nutrients (especially fruits and veggies). Other important factors include getting adequate sleep, avoiding foods if you have an allergy/intolerance, and reducing oxidative stress (limit toxins, smoking, and eat your anti-inflammatory foods). If you want to speak with a registered dietitian about incorporating more anti-inflammatory foods and practices into your lifestyle, please email