About Nicole Coglianese

Nicole Coglianese is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and nutritionist with a Master’s degree in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition, and has a real-world perspective on food--no 500-day juice cleanses here! Nicole loves her fruits and veggies but has also been known to kick back with a large bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream and a glass of wine.

The Realistic Dietitian #22: Adios


Well, this is it. After 72 recipes this is my last post! For now at least. I am going to be traveling a lot in the coming months, and unfortunately I do not have the time to write every week. From a personal standpoint, my husband and I have not repeated a recipe in our home since I started writing six months ago. It’s time for me to dig into The Realistic Dietitian archives and make some oldies but goodies again! And remember, most are under 30 minutes. You just need to meal plan for the week and you DO have time to cook healthy, affordable meals for you and your family. Trust me, it’s cheaper then eating out all of the time and so much better for you. You can do it!

The only thing I am sad about is that I didn’t get to write for the fall season. Fall is my absolute favorite time to cook. Winter squashes, soups, stews, chili…. maybe I will have to jump back in at some point in the fall to guest blog some of my favorite fall dishes. I only received one request when I asked the Facebook world what I should write about for my last post –Fish. I have received this request before but never tackled it because honestly, I don’t eat fish and my husband doesn’t like it either. Even if I did attempt a recipe, I really don’t know what I am doing. So I don’t have a recipe for you this week, but what I can do is tell you about how healthy fish is. I know it might seem odd that I am telling you how great it is for you and I don’t eat it, but I just really don’t like the taste/texture/smell. I have tried before, but I just can’t. I don’t have any moral issues against eating fish or anything; I just haven’t been able to get into it. I get around this by taking fish oil so I still get the health benefits without consuming it. I hope that doesn’t make me sound like a hypocrite! Continue reading

The Realistic Dietitian Missed Her Veggies

While I was away in Mozambique I really missed eating raw veggies! When traveling in a foreign country, with questionable water safety, it’s best to avoid things like salads and raw vegetables that may have been rinsed with contaminated/unpurified water. Cooking vegetables well helps to kill off any bacteria that may be lurking in said water. So I was craving raw, crunchy veggies when I got home! So much so that I even wrote out my groceries list while I was still in Mozambique.

This week I made a delicious summer salad made with berries, almonds, quinoa, goat cheese, and avocado, a sweet potato and avocado rice bowl made with honey Sriracha chicken/tofu, and an easy skillet pork chop with sautéed peaches (of course served with a salad). All of these recipes are easy and all take about 20-25 minutes. Enjoy! Continue reading

The Realistic Dietitian Goes to Africa


After about 24 hours of travel, I am home from Mozambique! I had a great trip, but I am certainly happy to be home. I was traveling as the Health and Nutrition Coordinator for Food for the Hungry to close out a clinical, nutrition-focused HIV/AIDS services-strengthening project in the Niassa Province of Mozambique. I was not involved with the program during its five-year project life, but I was grateful to be able to work with the great team to wrap up all of the HIV/AIDS prevention, care, and support activities.

I spent the first week of my trip in the capital city of Maputo and spent the second week in the beautiful northern village of Pemba, where I helped train staff on a survey technique called “Barrier Analysis” and field-tested a survey focused on purifying household water. For the first week we stayed in a hotel and the second week we stayed with a wonderful family that works for Food for the Hungry. The only challenging thing about Pemba was the lack of (regularly) running water. It reminded me of my days in Liberia–bucket showers and bed nets!

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The Realistic Dietitian #21: Throwback Week

By the time you read this, I will be in Maputo Mozambique! Since I am not around this week, I figured it would be a good time to do a throwback post. Flashback to past recipes. This post catalogues some of Realistic Dietitian’s most popular recipes, so if you haven’t had the chance to make these yet, give one a try this week and tell me all about it when I get home.

The Realistic Dietitian will be off next week, but I will be back on July 27th with a new post about my adventures (culinary and otherwise). Until then, bon appétit!

quilalea-private-island Continue reading

The Realistic Dietitian #20: Sandwiches and Smoothies

This week was another busy one. I am preparing to leave for Mozambique on Saturday and I was away for the weekend in Pittsburgh celebrating the Fourth of July and my Father-In-Law’s birthday. As for my Africa trip, I am a Health and Nutrition Coordinator for the wonderful organization, Food for the Hungry, and I will be going to Mozambique to close out a project and conduct some training. This will be my first trip with Food for the Hungry and I am very excited. But there is also a lot to do! So forgive me if I am brief this week. I have been making some yummy stuff (including freezable meals that I am leaving for my husband while I am away) and I will be sure to write about those recipes later. For now, let’s get right to it with some more fast recipes for the week. Smoothies for breakfast and sandwiches for dinner or lunch. Continue reading