Coming Up with Healthy Meal Ideas | Meal Planning Tips!

One thing about eating healthy and meal planning that can be a challenge for people is coming up with healthy meal ideas. I think this is something that most people come across at one time or another. If you're new to cooking, you might not know where to start. If you're more experienced in the kitchen, you can still find yourself in a food rut and lacking new meal ideas and inspiration. In this video, I'm sharing my top tips for coming up with healthy meal ideas. These are all things that I find really helpful when it comes to meal planning and figuring out what meals I want to make that week.


Resources mentioned

Less Sleep Linked to Weight Gain?

Sleep is important for overall health, but how does sleep affect our weight and health markers like cholesterol and blood sugar? That's the subject of a new study out of the UK. In this study, researches used data from 1,615 participants that was collected as part of the UK's National Diet and Nutrition Survey. They analyzed this data to look for relationships between sleep duration and BMI, waist circumference, diet, blood lipids, blood sugar, hemoglobin A1C, thyroid hormones, and C-reactive protein. So what did these researchers find and how does it fit in with previous research about sleep and weight? More importantly, what does this research mean for us?


July GARDEN Update! So Many VEGGIES!

It's time for my July garden update! I'm super excited to give you a garden tour and show you how everything is growing! Things are really starting to get into gear and we're beginning to get some nice harvests. This is just that start and it looks like we have some giant harvests in our future!

I'm especially excited to show you how the Black Beauty tomatoes are doing. This is my first year growing this black tomato variety and we've already harvested a few fruits! In this video, I talk a little bit about how you know when Black Beauty tomatoes are ripe and when to pick them.


Varieties Featured

  • Yellow Crookneck squash
  • Mexico Midget tomato
  • Purple Bumble Bee tomato
  • Black Beauty tomato
  • Black cherry tomato
  • Blondkopfchen tomato
  • Jaune Flamme tomato
  • Paul Robeson tomato
  • Petit Gris de Rennes melon
  • Purple Podded Pole beans
  • Rattlesnake Snap beans
  • Thai basil
  • Italian basil
  • Purple basil
  • Buena Mulata pepper
  • Chinese Five Color pepper
  • Craig's Grande Jalapeno pepper
  • Traveler's Strain Jalapeno pepper
  • Double Yield Cucumber

For a point of reference, I'm in Virginia in Zone 7. All of the plants in the garden we either seeded directly or started from seed inside. I like to grow a lot heirloom varieties, which means lots of interesting shapes and colors!

My #1 Tip to Make Grocery Shopping EASIER!

If you want to eat healthier then you're going to have to get those healthier foods in your house and that involved grocery shopping. I know grocery shopping isn't at the top of many people's list of fun things to do, but it is necessary. With that in mind, today I'm sharing my #1 tip to make grocery shopping easier! And guess what? It involves making a grocery list! Now this might seem like basic advice that you've heard before, but, in this video, I'm telling you exactly how I make my grocery list and giving tips that make the whole process a lot easier. I'm also sharing my favorite grocery list making app. This tool is key to making grocery shopping easier and I love it, so I'm excited to tell you about it!

What I Eat in a Day | Healthy Meal Ideas from a Dietitian

It's time for another What I Eat in a Day video! I know sometimes you need some healthy meal ideas and inspiration to get you out of a healthy eating food rut. You also might be curious to see what a dietitian eats in a day. In this video, I'm showing you a full day of eating for me in July. It's packed yummy summer produce and includes some of my favorite healthy summer meals. Plus, all of the meals in this What I Eat in a day video are quick and simple, so they're perfect if you don't have a lot of time or don't want to mess with complicated recipes.

A Dietitian's Thoughts on To The Bone

To The Bone is a new movie available on Netflix that deals with the topic of eating disorders. It follows the fictional story of a girl named Ellen who struggles with anorexia and take the view through a portion of her journey to eating disorder recovery. The movie has caused a lot of controversy, especially since the trailer came out, with many people concerned that the movie may glamorized eating disorders and be triggering for those who are vulnerable to eating disorder imagery and talk. Well, the movie is finally here and I've watched it, so I'm sharing my thoughts on the To The Bone movie as a dietitian. I'm going over things I liked about the movie, things I disliked about the movie and I discuss the issue of triggering material and how  we discuss topics like eating disorders while considering those who are vulnerable. To The Bone tells one story, so it can't encapsulate every individual's experience and it isn't perfect, but I do think it is a step in the right direction.

The Food Lesson in Game of Thrones that Everyone's Missing

Game of Thrones, the book and the HBO show, is known for it's amazing food. From giant feasts to every day meals, the food descriptions are mouth watering, but there is a hidden food lesson in Game of Thrones that most people miss. The truth is, all of that delicious food in Game of Thrones that people are drooling over is just basic whole foods. Things like vegetables, fruits, grains, meats, poultry, fish, herbs, and spices. It isn't anything fancy or out of reach, just good food prepared in a tasty way (and described really well). It's healthy, nutritious food and you can make Game of Thrones food at home any day of the week. I don't think most people think of it this way though and that's the lesson Game of Thrones can teach us: healthy food and tasty food can be the same thing! Healthy food doesn't have to be bland and boring. If you drool over the food in Game of Thrones, you like healthy food.

Must-Have Kitchen Tools for Healthy Eating!

There are a lot of different kitchen tools out there, but there are a few that are essential. I definitely have a handful of tools that I use to do the majority of my cooking, so I'm sharing them with you! These are the kitchen tools that I turn to again and again for making healthy meals. I use these tools for ingredient prep and for the actual cookie process. I hope this helps you, whether you're getting started with cooking, need to upgrade some of your tools, or are getting set up in a new place!


PRODUCTS MENTIONED (contains affiliate links)

Global chef's knife
Global paring knife
Metal spatula (not the one I have that broke)
Wooden spoon
Hand grater
Box grater
Large cutting board
Raw meat cutting board
Small cutting board
Mixing bowls
Large stainless steel skillet
Large cast iron skillet
Small stainless steel skillet
Medium cast iron skillet
Baking sheets
Soup pot
Medium (2 quart) pot


Sarah Moran is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

Healthy Snack Ideas and Tips + Dietitian Q&A!

Making healthy snacks can be tricky, especially since we often thing of snacks foods as the highly processed stuff we find at the grocery store. That's why I'm giving you some tips for building a healthy snack that is also satisfying and sharing some healthy snack ideas. I'm also showing you a bunch of different example foods that can be great for snack time! This is how I think about my snacks as a dietitian and nutritionist and I think it will help you too! There's also a Dietitian Q&A I did with the people who were watching this live, so you'll get to hear their questions and my answers.

Tips for a Successful Dietetic Internship + My Experience at Virginia Tech DI

The Dietetic Internship (DI) is a big part of the process to become a Registered Dietitian. If you're about to start your internship, you might be wondering what you can do to be successful as a dietetic intern. In this video, I'm sharing my tips for the Dietetic Internship as a Registered Dietitian. These are things that helped me get the most out of my Dietetic Internship and I hope they can help you too! I'm also sharing a little bit about my experience with the Virginia Tech Dietetic Internship. I really enjoyed my time at Virginia Tech and I think the internship there was a great fit for me!

June Garden Update! Amazing Growth + Squash Bug Attack!

It's amazing how much the garden can change in just a month! Things have really taken off since my last update. The plants are all getting established in their beds and the growth is amazing! I'm even starting to see a few tomatoes, cucumbers, and summer squash, so I should be getting some nice harvests soon! I also have some volunteer plants in the garden that I'm allowing to grow and I'm interested to see how they do!

In addition to giving you some garden updates in this video, I'm also showing you how I check for squash bugs and how to remove squash bug eggs. Squash bugs have killed my squash plants in the past, so I'm doing everything I can to prevent that from happening this growing season.

For a point of reference, I'm in Virginia in Zone 7. All of the plants in the garden we either seeded directly or started from seed inside. I like to grow a lot heirloom varieties, so we have some exciting harvests in our future!

What I Eat in a Day Traveling! | Healthy Travel Meal Ideas from a Registered Dietitian

Today I'm showing you what I eat in a day at VidCon. I'm super excited to be at VidCon and I know it's going to be a lot of fun but I want to make sure that I'm eating food that's going to make me feel good and give me energy throughout all the day's activities. Sometimes eating healthy while you are traveling can seem difficult, so in this What I Eat In A Day, I'm showing you how I do it and giving you some healthy eating travel tips along the way! I hope that this What I Eat In A Day Vidcon Edition can give you some healthy travel meal ideas and inspiration so you can eat food you love and feel great on your next vacation or conference trip.

The Problems with Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting is the popular diet of the moment and a lot of people are saying that it's the key to weight loss, feeling good, and being healthy, but is intermittent fasting healthy and should you try it? As a dietitian, I don't think so. Intermittent fasting is just another form of dieting that's based on when you eat. There are a lot of different fasting patterns the fall under the intermittent fasting umbrella, but the main ones are alternate day fasting, eating normally most days and eating very little food on other days (5:2 diet or The Fast Diet), and eating every day, but limiting eating to an 8 hour window (16:8 diet). Some of these are more restrictive than others, but they all require a person to use external rules and guidelines to dictate their eating which means they all come with the same risks as other diets. Plus, intermittent fasting is often focused on weight loss and appearance and some of the arguments in favor of intermittent fasting simply don't make sense.  Yes, it's true that we don't need to constantly eat in order to survive or even to be healthy, but that doesn't mean that not eating or ignoring our hunger is good for us. Ultimately, we're much better off listening to our hunger and fullness cues and eating a variety of foods.

What You Eat Doesn't Matter THAT Much!

I'm a dietitian, so obviously I care about food, nutrition, and overall health, but I need to tell you that what you eat doesn't matter THAT much. Some people may be confused or shocked to hear that sentence coming from me. I mean, don't I want people to eat healthy? Let me explain. I'm not saying that food and nutrition don't matter at all or that we shouldn't be aware of what our body needs and how food affects our health. I'm say that sometimes people put too much emphasis on food and the role it plays in our life. Food is important, but it isn't magical and every bite you eat doesn't need to be "perfect" according to some standard set by some health guru or one set by yourself. Sugar isn't poison and pizza isn't the devil. A focus on healthy eating can even become a serious problem when food becomes so restricted that there isn't much left that you're "allowed" to eat or when the focus on food gets in the way of other aspects of health.

7 More Healthy Foods I ALWAYS Have on Hand

A lot of the foods I eat change throughout the year depending on what's in season and what sounds good to me at the time, but there are some healthy food staples that I always have on hand. These are the foods that are incorporated into a lot of my meals because they provide great flavor or that can be used as a main ingredient in healthy meals or snacks. I made a video like this a little while ago and I thought it was time for me to made another one and share more of the basic foods that I keep stocked in my kitchen. I hope this can give you some ideas and inspiration for your own meals and some insight into what I like to keep around.


PREVIOUS 7 Healthy Foods I Always Have on Hand video


  • peanut butter/nut butters
  • corn tortilla flour
  • hot sauce
  • avocado
  • garlic powder
  • hummus
  • lemon

How a Dietitian Meal Plans for the Week

Meal planning is a must-do for me. It's the key to my grocery shopping and reducing dinner-time stress. With my weekly meal plan in hand, I don't have to worry about last minute running around to figure what I'm making for dinner or going to the store to buy ingredients. Since meal planning is such an important part of my routine, I thought you might like to see how I make my meal plan. My method is simple and easy and that's why I think it works so well for me. Trust me, you can do it too, even if you aren't a dietitian or nutritionist. I've been using this meal planning method for 4+ years now and I love it!

Are Granola Bars Healthy?

There are a lot of different granola bars out there and new brands are popping up all the time. Actually, it would be more accurate to just call them bars now because they aren't just made with granola ingredients any more. There are so many options now and a lot of people eat them, but are these bars really healthy? I can't just give you a blanket yes or no with this because it depends. Every brand is different and the way you use them matter too. Instead, I'm giving your some things to think about where you're looking are different bars in the store and when you're eating them.

4 Probiotic Foods I Love | Healthy Gut Foods

Probiotics are healthy bacteria that we consume and they can help keep our gut bacteria in a healthy balance. The bacteria in our large intestine play a role in healthy digestion and there's also research looking at other things our gut microbiome might affect. Some people think that the bacteria in our gut could actually impact other diseases and conditions, so it will be exciting to see how our knowledge in this area grows! I like to include a few different probiotic foods in my overall diet, so thought it would fun to share my favorites with you! Yes, we're going to talk about yogurt (because even though everyone knows about it, it's still worth talking about), but we're also going to talk about some other foods that you might not be eating regularly.


Fermented Vegetables book (affiliate link)

Brands mentioned
- Maple Hill Creamery
- Farmstead Ferments
- Jacob's Raw
- Bubbies
- GT's Kombucha


Sarah Moran is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to

How Much Juice Should Kids Drink? New Guidelines!

A lot of people wonder how much juice kids should be drinking. The American Academy of Pediatrics just came out with their update juice recommendations for children, so let's talk about it! These new guidelines aren't too different from the previous ones (they do reduce the daily maximums a little for some age groups), but the main change that most people are wondering about is the new recommendation not to provide juice to children from 6 months to 1 year, unless medically indicated. I think these guidelines make sense for a few different reasons, so I'm sharing those reasons with you in this video! And no matter what some people may say, this definitely isn't an all out ban on juice. When it comes to juice, we just don't want to give it to kids too early and we don't want children (or adults) to drink too much.


American Academy of Pediatrics Juice Guidelines

Birth to 6 months - no juice
6 months to 1 year - no juice, except if medically indicated
1-3 years - maximum 4 ounces 100% juice per day
4-6 years - maximum 4-6 ouces 100% juice per day
7 year and up - maximum 8 ounces per day

Guideline overview

Full guidelines