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Resources abound for learning how to eat well – in more ways than one

Once again a new year is here.

It can be easy to feel both stuck and overwhelmed when it comes to eating and living a healthy life.  We get stuck because of old, bad habits, self-sabotage, and misinformation.  We get overwhelmed because of the plethora of information available about “diets and food”readily available without the ability to personalize it.

Let’s start off the new year fresh, shall we?  Inspiration and encouragement are everywhere.

You just need to know where to find it and what is right for you.  I wish I had another two hours sliced off of each day, reserved exclusively for digging into the new resources available.  Unfortunately, I don’t have that kind of time and I doubt you do either.

While I won’t even pretend to be “in the know” about all the latest podcasts, documentaries, books etc., I do have resources that I find worth my time.  I like them because I find them credible, informative, innovative and sometimes, downright entertaining.

This month I want to share some of my favorite resources.  While they may work for people of all kinds of food interest, they likely will be most interesting to the curious-minded foodie. I have divided them into magazines, books, online resources and podcasts. (Note: I am not compensated in any way for my recommendations.)

Have fun exploring this year!


The nice thing about magazines is that if they are done well, you can learn a lot without feeling like you are reading a textbook (or are carrying one around for that matter). Here are two of my favorites:

Food & Nutrition Magazine – This magazine actually is distributed to registered dietitians, like me,  who are members of the Academy of Nutrition (AND). BUT, it is also available to everyone for about $18 per year.

Ever-engaging, vivid, and full of recipes, I have no hesitation saying this is one is a MUST for the nutrition-minded foodie. The informational articles are very understandable and credible in their sources. One fun aspect about this is that they encourage feedback and participation from readers, even hosting a #TestKitchen contest in each magazine.  They also have a Stone Soup Blog, which is available without subscribing to the magazine.

Cooks Illustrated – This is not a health-focused food magazine, so I can’t vouch that all the food is good for you. However, the skills and techniques you learn are fascinating.

Typically, each recipe is preceded by an article that explains how and why the chef created the recipe the way he or she did. The recipes range from down-home comfort food to more exotic.


You could spend 30 hours a day just listening to all the podcasts available on one topic. I wish I were more up to date on all the nutrition-related podcasts, but like all the recourses, I have a few that I find informative, interesting and ones I feel I may align with more.

Mary’s Nutrition Show –  The host of this podcast, Mary Purdy is smart…and really funny!  She also happens to be a registered dietitian who is a wizard at conveying high-quality nutrition and food facts, biology and science. With wit and quirky humor she “edu-tains” you so you find yourself disarmed, amused and informed.

I have listened to Mary teach professional webinars to dietitians (in addition to her podcasts/broadcasts) and am always impressed with what she knows and how she shares.  In her podcasts she always has a “take home” point for you so you aren’t just left hearing info without knowing at least one thing to do with it.

You can find Mary on iTunes or Google Play or at marypurdy.co/marys-nutrition-show (yep, that’s the URL. Not a typo).


“Real Food for Pregnancy” and “Real Food for Gestational Diabetes,” both by Lily Nichols RDN, are two books that are game-changers for many pregnant women. Actually, they have been game-changers in the world of nutrition too.

These aren’t your average pregnancy food books. Lily focuses on using “real food” to manage blood sugar, pregnancy symptoms and to overall nourish both mother and baby. She takes a holistic approach, but backs her claims with an astonishing amount of well vetted scientific articles.

These books are not intended on being cookbooks with lots of recipes (even though she does include a few) so much as a source of information for the what and why behind good nutrition.  Lily is a registered dietitian who has worked extensively in the world of prenatal nutrition and more specifically, gestational diabetes (women who become diabetic when pregnant).   

“Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking,”  by Samin Nosrat, who also has a Netflix show by that name, is like a cross between the Bible, a textbook and a voluminous phonebook.

This book is a go-to for a foodie wanting to learn more about the elements of flavorful, dynamic, every-day cooking and eating. It unearths the secrets of the necessary balance between  the major elements of cooking: fat, acid, salt and heat.  Beautifully designed, it should be seen as a teaching manual for those who really want to learn.

Admittedly, I have only read enough of this book to know that I would love every page of it, and  I bought one for my bro-in-law who loves both learning and understanding the technicality of cooking. You could almost just read the book for the artistry of the illustrations.

Resources and Learning Online

Craftsy/Blueprint – Craftsy (which has recently become Blueprint) is an online center for learning…for just about anything!

They have a huge selection of food-related classes:  how to make pasta, croissants, cheesecakes etc, how to cut up meat, cooking for diabetes, understanding food science in the body or how to cook smarter. You can select your class by interest (cuisine, dish, cooking technique), skill level (beginner to advanced) or price ($10-$100).

The classes are video-based, meaning you can watch and re-watch them again and again at your own leisure. Once you buy the class, you have access to it for life, including all of the accompanying class notes and materials.  You even get access to the teacher to ask questions or share your insights.

Academy of Culinary Nutrition – This actually could be considered both an informal and formal online learning avenue. The Academy’s blog is a formal place to get super healthy recipes and tips. They also provide workshops teaching a skill (i.e. making sauerkraut and fermented veggies). Their more formal course is a non-degreed certification for those who want to learn extensively about nutrition and using food for health.

– Cathryn Arndt is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and owns a nutrition counseling business called The Pantry Lab LLC.  She lives in the Lebanon area with her husband and baby daughter.  To learn more about Cathryn, visit her Facebook page or You Tube Channel by searching under “Dietitian Cathryn.”  Find her blog at thepantrylab.com