The Plan to Eat Podcast

#30: Interview with Registered Dietitian, Jeani Hunt

August 31, 2022 Plan to Eat Season 1 Episode 30
The Plan to Eat Podcast
#30: Interview with Registered Dietitian, Jeani Hunt
Show Notes Transcript

Join us for an interview with Jeani Hunt, a Registered Dietitian, and Plan to Eat customer! Jeani Hunt, MS, RD, CD works with women to take control of PCOS, infertility, and endometriosis at VeggieLush Nutrition. She loves working with women and people with uteruses who struggle with symptoms and are looking for an evidence-based approach to treatment.

In this episode, we get to know more about Jeani and how she made the career transition to become a dietitian. She tells us about some of her recommendations and approaches to balanced nutrition. We hope you enjoy!   

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I'm Riley and I'm Roni. And this is the plan to eat podcast, where we have conversations about meal planning, food, and wellness. To help you answer the question what's for dinner. 

Roni: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the Plan to Eat podcast. Today, we are sharing an interview. We got to do with Jeani hunt. She is a nutritionist and dietician, and she's also a plant to eat customer.

Riley: Jeani works with women, who wanna take control of P C O S infertility and endometriosis, um, at her website, veggie lush nutrition. she loves working with women who struggle with symptoms and are looking for evidence based approach to treatment.

Roni: Yeah. So we spent most of our podcasts today talking about her business, what she does for a living, what she recommends, um, for treatment options for the women that she works with, um, related to nutrition. And yeah, it was a really great conversation. She is a wonderful person and we hope you enjoy.

[00:01:00] The information contained in this episode of the Plan to Eat podcast is not intended as medical or health advice. The following information is not a substitute for medical or health advice from a professional who is aware of the facts and circumstances of your individual situation.

Jeanie, thanks for joining us on the podcast today.

Jeani: Thank you for having me.

Roni: So it would be great to get started if you would just give us a little bit of your bio and what you do for a living.

Jeani: Yeah. So I am a registered dietician nutritionist, and, um, I have not always done that. I, I worked in marketing for about 10 years and then decided I wanted to do something a little more meaningful with my life. And, um, that. I went through a lot of adventures, trying to figure out what that was until I realized I really loved talking about food and thinking about food.

And, um, there was a way to do that and also help people . And so that's why I ended up going to grad school in [00:02:00] nutrition, um, here in Seattle, Washington at UDub. And, uh, now I am a women's health dietician, and I have my own private practice.

Riley: That's awesome. We also love talking about food and thinking about food.

Jeani: Yeah. I bet. Yeah. It's so funny. Cuz people think that when you're a dietician you're gonna like restrict or you're gonna tell them what not to eat. And actually my favorite thing is telling people things to add into their diet fun foods, to eat new flavors, to try. And that's kind of the. Where I come from.

Right. I realized in my old jobs, in marketing and PR my favorite things were always talking about food, talking about wine pairings, talking about, um, new restaurants. Right. So I ended up that I, I was kind of in food, wine and hospitality. So I did end up talking about that stuff a lot. Um, and people are like, oh, that must, you know, that doesn't connect.

But to me, that is very much related [00:03:00] to. What I do as a dietician, I help people find joy in their food and help them kind of find that like schwa de Viv with food.

Riley: I love that. So tell us about your business and how you kind of, um, focused in on women's health. In particular. I'd love to hear more about that.

Jeani: Yeah. I it is, I, it was funny. I was thinking back to when exactly I took this turn toward much more focused on women's health. Um, and as much as I've been interested in it for myself for many years, um, it was just kind of a coincidence that when I was taking one of my prerequisite courses, it was a nutrition business class.

And. You had to choose a business to, kind of make a business plan for, and she had a list of items that you could choose from. And one of them was fertility and it was one of the last ones left because I think I had procrastinated on it and I was like, oh, that's so interesting. You know, you don't think of [00:04:00] fertility as a nutrition business.

And I chose that. And then I just started doing tons of research and found it was so fascinating because a people don't realize that fertility and nutrition are intimately related. And the things that you do get told often, like a lot of times doctors will say, uh, just quit caffeine and alcohol and you'll be fine.

And like, I don't know, no sugar or something like that. Those are like the kind of stereotypical things. There's no evidence that those help with fertility. so the things that, but there are, there is a lot of evidence that other stuff helps with fertility, right? So there's been a lot of studies on people undergoing IVF, for instance, cuz they're an easy population to study.

Um, so we know a lot of foods that are associated with better fertility outcomes. So anyway, all of that was just so fascinating to me. And then I thought. My own experience, kind of with OB G YNS and other like period issues. I've had irregular period just to get into it all the time. I have a, I have to warn, I feel like I have to give people a [00:05:00] warning.

Like I talk about periods. I talk about poop, all that stuff. Um, I've had irregular periods in the past. And I felt like the first thing that I was told was, well, okay, you can go on the pill to fix that. And not that that's not a legitimate treatment for certain symptoms, but it definitely doesn't get at the root cause.

Of what's causing in irregular period. Right? You can have things like P C O S, which is one of my other specialties or hypothalamic amenorrhea, which is a big mouthful to say, like, you're not getting enough energy, usually, um, stuff like that. And a lot of times that just isn't investigated because those are diet and lifestyle related issues.

So that's a long way to say. I that's just, all of that is so fascinating to me. And I also just feel like women just gonna get the short end of the stick sometimes when it comes to healthcare for that stuff. and so being a part of helping women realize those root causes and then, actually managing them through like pretty [00:06:00] simple diet and lifestyle changes, uh, is just really rewarding for me.

Roni: Wow. Cool. did you have, did you already have kids, uh, when you were making this transition or were you not at that stage of your life yet?

Jeani: I was not, but it was funny. It was on my mind. Right. Um, because I went back to school in my mid thirties and I knew I wanted to have a kid or two. And so it was on my mind, like, how do I. Preserve my fertility in some way. Is there something I can do? Do I have any agency? Because it really feels like you have no agency in a lot of ways.

um, especially if you talk to a doctor, it's just like, well, you're probably okay. But, you know, we don't really know until we know. Right. Um, and. It actually gave me some comfort to know that I was kind of doing these lifestyle, things that we know are associated with better fertility. Um, you know, all of that said, if you have like low egg reserve or something, there's not a lot, you can do nutrition, you know, at a certain point you may [00:07:00] need assist a reproductive technology and that's.

Totally fine. I always wanna make sure people know that, all of that said, uh, I got pregnant in my late thirties, um, after I wanted to finish graduate school. And I thought I was gonna wait out the pandemic that didn't happen. Um, And, uh, it happened really quickly and I was really surprised, but then I thought, well, gosh, why am I so surprised when I actually do follow all my own advice?

Riley: That's too funny.

Roni: That's great. if that's what you're hoping for. That's great.

Riley: So what if you're, if you're willing to share, what kinds of ex, like what kind of things do you recommend to people, you know, without giving away too much of your, like one on one work, um, what kinds of foods do you recommend to people? What kind of diet changes? Um, how does this connect to the, you know, like what foods connect to the fertility and all of those kinds of things, what kind of things have you found to be beneficial?

Jeani: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. And all of this, honestly, a lot of it is information that you [00:08:00] can find if you did. Um, for me, you know, what the, the service that I provide to people is really. Individualizing it to their needs and their specific, like lacking certain things. So I'm more than happy to give you the general recommendations.

Riley: right. Sure. 


Everybody is. So everybody is so different. So I'm glad to hear that you say that you tailor it to people, but if there are general, we'd love to hear that. So.

Jeani: oh, totally. There are general fertility foods and I, yeah, I think it's so funny that people get told things like. Sugar or dairy and stuff. That's that there's actually no evidence for that, but there is evidence that fish and sea food are really associated with increased fertility. We think that's because of the omega threes.

Um, so I was telling plant based clients like taking omega three with DHA and EPA, which is the type of easily absorbable omega three. Um, they can get it from algae too, which is where the fish get it. But also if you, if you like fish and seafood foods, especially those kind of lower mercury higher omega3 fish.

So like [00:09:00] salmon sardines, all those smaller fish and stuff like that, actually some, um, Shellfish too, also fit that profile. So, people are usually excited to hear that it's like, oh, crab can be really good for you. stuff that seems indulgent and stuff. Other things that have some good evidence, um, and, uh, anti-inflammatory foods like fruits and veggies.

Um, seems obvious, but, there's been a couple studies that show that high fruit intake was associated with better fertility outcomes so that, fruits are full of antioxidants. And so we know, just know like things like, uh, uh, all the, your eggs and stuff are, are subject to, to oxidation or subject to those, inflammatory molecules, um, that will attack them.

So we know protecting them with anti-inflammatory. Um, well, uh, foods is good and, um, in general, if people are looking for a full template and actually probably the best studied nutrition thing for fertility [00:10:00] is the Mediterranean diet itself and like the Mediterranean diet as a, eating pattern. Right. It is high in fish in seafood. Um, it's a little bit lower in like red meat, um, and even white meat. And then there's a lot of protein from like legumes or beans. Lots of fruits and veggies, no surprise there. Whole grains have been associated with, uh, fertility. So even though the Mediterranean diet is just kind of like, uh, grains, full grains, um, I usually say if you can get in hold grains, that's a good idea, cuz we know.

There's certain B vitamins that are in whole grains that you take out when you make it a refined grain that we know are associated with better fertility outcomes. Um, so things like that, it's not nothing revolutionary. It's really a lot of just general healthy eating patterns. We know that eating a lot of highly processed foods is not a great idea.

So by highly processed, I mean like fast food. You know, things that have like a million ingredients is actually a pretty decent way to, to look at [00:11:00] it. Um, you know, things that are super high in sodium, super high and saturated fat. So we wanna limit that if we can. And then, you know, things like soda too and stuff, we wanna limit those really high sugar items that don't have any protein, fat or fiber just slow it down, cuz those spike or blood sugar, and those can mess with a lot of things.

Roni: So is the difference between items like that? Where, so like you were saying before that a lot of, um, doctors say to take out sugar is the recommendation. When they say to take out sugar to also take out sugar from fruit and stuff, like take out sugar all the way and not just from the processed sugar.

Jeani: I actually think the problem is there is no. They just say, take out sugar and they don't really tell you what they mean by

Roni: Hmm.

Jeani: So sometimes people interpret that to mean like, oh, I probably shouldn't eat too much fruit. And sometimes people don't people understand that there's like added sugar versus fruit, sugar.

Um, all of that said. [00:12:00] You know, I also don't want people to feel like they can never have a treat. You know, I feel like that can be restrictive and hard for people, especially like, let's say that person's undergoing IVF. It's okay to have a treat now. And then it's okay to have like some ice cream or something.

To me, uh, not all treats are created equal. If you can sneak in a little bit of protein, fat, or fiber, um, that makes a huge difference. So it's not gonna spike your blood sugar as much. So I would much rather . I always tell my clients, I much rather my clients have like some organic ice cream than they have like a soda or something.

Roni: Mm.

Jeani: Because it's gonna not, it's just not gonna spike the blood sugar. You're not gonna that crash afterwards. Um, especially, and if you do that spiking and crashing over and over again, that messes with other hormones. It's not just blood sugar, right? So it messes with insulin, insulin then messes with our reproductive hormones.

So it's all connected.

Riley: Hmm, when I was on your website earlier today, I noticed that [00:13:00] you talk a lot about P C O S. Is that the primary group of women that you work with?

Jeani: It is one of my core groups. Yeah. I mean, I generally work with all these like hormonal conditions, cuz like I said, they all kind of work together. P C O S is really interesting to me for a few reasons. Um, first of all, just say P C O S stands for polycystic ovarian syndrome and. It's a terrible name because you don't actually have to have cysts on your ovaries to have it.

it's just one of those things that stuck around, over the years, the actual main big thing is that you usually have high androgens or testosterone, male hormones of some sort, um, in a female body. And. That can cause a bunch of issues with other hormones, including insulin, right? So this is a thing where they're, they're all playing together.

And so a lot of times people with P C O S have insulin resistance, um, which is kind of the precursor to diabetes. And it's, it's this thing where we don't process sugar very well. So that. Is [00:14:00] really easily manageable by diet and lifestyle. and yet a lot of times with P C O S doctors say like, okay, um, you have P C O S let's go on the pill.

Maybe they'll give them Metformin, which does help manage blood sugar. Um, but they don't tell them the diet and lifestyle stuff that goes with it. And that's, to me that's such a big portion of it, not just to me. I mean, there's like national organizations, international organizations that recommend diet and lifestyle changes, um, for P C O S and yet it's just not prescribed that often by doctors.

So that's where I come in. So I feel like I have a really strong role there. I guess that's, that's part of why I really focus on that, but I do other stuff too. I definitely I've been having a lot of postpartum clients lately. Folks who wanna recover healthfully. Um, you know, and actually sometimes I have to manage expectations there too, because I feel like there's so many unrealistic expectations about what happens postpartum.

People are like, oh, I wanna bounce back and be exactly at my, [00:15:00] uh, pre-pregnancy weight and, and everything. And it's like, there's so much going on hormonally again. There's so much going on hormonally, especially if you're breastfeeding and stuff, even if you're not, what that means. You're not gonna. Be exactly the same person before you got pregnant.

so I, I feel like some, some part of my job is just like managing those expectations and helping people be healthy and the body they have too.

Riley: A lot of the people that I follow that are into like women's health kinds of things. I feel like it's just coming up. A lot more often that food and diet are related so much to hormones. Um, and I'm really pleased with that because I feel like, until, I don't know, maybe the last like four or five years, I didn't really know that there was this gigantic connection, um, particularly with cycles and fertility and all of those kinds of things.

And even P C O S cause that's just a hot topic across a lot of the people that I follow, um, who do a lot of things regarding women's health. So I'm actually really happy that that's kind of becoming more popular [00:16:00] because people can find much more healing this way than being given some sort of bandaid approach to their symptoms or the problems that they have that are underlying.

Jeani: So true. I love that. You're seeing that more. I, this is the only thing that, of course my brain goes to. Oh, no. I wonder if there is misinformation out there too. I mean, there definitely is. I think the other thing that you see a lot from more like influencer type people is quit gluten and dairy. And that will cure your P C O S or whatever, or go keto, and, and neither of those have been shown to cure P C O S just to throw it out there.

And, um, I, you know, I looked into this when it started to be really popular, then I was like, what is, where is this coming from? And I realized the information is just so misleading, like with dairy, um, I saw one, uh, I think he was a nutritionist, not a dietician who said. You're probably lactose intolerant.

If you have P C OS and I was like, there's no [00:17:00] association between those two things are totally different and then talked about why you should avoid dairy. If you're lactose intolerant, of course you should avoid dairy if you're lactose intolerant. But if you that in P C O S has nothing to do with each other.

So, um, you know, the one thing I think that people maybe complete, I do tend to recommend organic dairy if possible, if people can afford it because. Of the hormones that are sometimes used in non-organic dairy, although you can often get like hormone free too. That's not just not certified organic. I think that's just as good too

Roni: Okay. So I wanna go back a little bit to your experience with the Mediterranean diet and just, uh, like how do you go about recommending, like people go create balanced meals related to that eating pattern?

Jeani: Yeah, absolutely. So actually, before I even get into the Mediterranean diet, I usually just teach people what a balanced plate looks like. Um, again, it's kind of intuitive and simple, but a lot of people have it a little [00:18:00] backward too. So, um, about half of your plate should be veggies.

I usually say veggies cuz people aren't putting fruit on the plate. Usually that's usually a snack. So I, I leave that for snacks. And then about a quarter should be protein and about a quarter should. Carbohydrates preferably whole grain, right? Like we were talking about the benefits of whole grains.

Um, that is the kind of my plate in the us and other countries have, have their own version. But a lot of times people will have a lot more protein or grain. Uh, then, then I, I often see 50% grain and especially 50%, uh, non whole grain. And you know, I will say sometimes this is due to socioeconomic status and like, you've gotta get your food.

And if you, if that's the way you get it great, fine. I would much prefer that than not eating . Um, all of that said, if you have something like insulin resistance and stuff, getting half of your, um, calories, half of your plate from. [00:19:00] Refined grains is not going to be very useful to you. It's probably gonna spike blood sugar.

Um, and it's probably gonna cause that crash later on, you're gonna be hungry sooner. So if you can get that more to a quarter of your plate and having more fiber from the veggies and stuff, um, having a good amount of protein, so important, um, for so many things, um, then you're going to Be fuller longer.

You're gonna be, feel more satisfied. You're gonna have like a more nutrient dense meal in general. Um, so that's where we. Once we figure out how the plate should look. Um, then we can talk about much more like overall eating patterns, like the Mediterranean diet. And I, I use the Mediterranean diet, partly cuz people are like Jeanie.

I wanna diet to be honest and I'm like, I don't actually recommend diets, but, and the Mediterranean diet is, is not SU as much a diet as it is in eating pattern. Right. So I'm like, if you need a template. For how to eat the [00:20:00] Mediterranean quote, unquote diet is a really good way to look at things because it is much more of a pattern.

It's more of this, less of this, but it's, it doesn't mean you can't have, I don't know, a steak once in a while or something, if that makes you happy. Um, and especially if, for my folks who are a little iron deficient, I'm like, go ahead, have your steak once in a while or whatever it might be. It just means that we're not eating a big old steak.

That's half our plate, every. Um, because that is shown to be a little more pro-inflammatory higher and saturated fat, things like that. So, um, and the other thing about the Mediterranean diet that I really like is that it doesn't a, it doesn't have to be Mediterranean flavors, even though it sounds like it , the one thing that's important is those kind of omega threes and healthy fats.

Um, but you can get those from any flavors, any diet, any culture, right? Um, it's just, it might be a different oil, or it might be a different fish, but you can get them in other cultures, you can do Asian flavors, Mexican flavors, next flavors, all that kind of stuff. Um, and then you can even do it, [00:21:00] vegetarian or plant based.

Uh, that's another one of my specialties. Um, And so I help people kind of adapt these things to plant based diets. Cuz that's another thing I've seen recently online in the kind of TikTok world is like, oh, you really need meat to support your hormones. No, you don't. You just need, you do need protein. And I think that's where people get confused.

You need like protein and iron and all this stuff that you can get in meat, but you can get it elsewhere as well. If that makes any sense. So. All of that is to say the Mediterranean diet's very adaptable. You can do it with many different flavors and cultures and eating patterns and stuff like that.

Dietary restrictions. Um, and that's why I love it.

Riley: I love that you used the word template over diet, because I feel like it just kind of diet is such a, a, one of those. It's just like a high. I can't think of the word I'm trying to come up with, but it's just got a lot of connotations around it. Um, so when you're even talking to somebody about changing their diet, well, like what you eat every day is your diet.

It doesn't mean you're [00:22:00] on a diet and that you're dieting, you know, um, we all have a diet of some kind cuz we consume food. So I love that you say like a Mediterranean template or you know, template for your plate because I feel like it removes that word and kind of gives it a better connot. So I really like that.

When you talk to people about re uh, increasing their omega threes, do you talk about removing omega sixes or lowering omega sixes, or is it just that that's a natural overflow when you start to eat more omega threes?

Jeani: Yeah, that's such a good question, actually, cuz people are really concerned about this. Um, the balance of omega-3 and omega six, because in general, in like for instance, the American diet, we get a lot more omega six and a lot less omega-3 um, and. Omega threes are more anti-inflammatory um, than omega six, but that said omega sixes.

Aren't exactly. Pro-inflammatory I think this is, there's like a confusion here and I don't wanna get too much into the biochemistry cuz it is like a biochemistry thing. but all of this is to say [00:23:00] they both go to make pro-inflammatory molecules. Funnily enough, they both make these, um, inflammatory molecules in the body.

And those molecules are slightly less inflammatory when they're made from omega threes. That's, that's how subtle it is. So I feel like people are talking about it, but they don't actually know what they're talking about. the other thing is omega sixes are also an essential fatty acid. That means. We need them in our diet.

We can't actually make them in our body. So we have to have them in our diet too. So I don't usually tell people to take them out. Um, honestly only fat I tell people to limit is saturated fat, because we know that's associated with like higher, bad cholesterol and higher risk of heart disease and stuff like that.

And even that, you know, I want people to enjoy that from time to time, just not have it be as their only fat. So no, I don't tell people to take out omega six. I tell people to add omega three and I tell people to add mono and saturated fats. So [00:24:00] that's another big thing in the Mediterranean diet is like olive oil, nuts and seeds, um, avocado.

Um, and those are all mono and saturated fats. Um, they don't fall into that. Omega-3 omega six category, but they're still, they still seem to be really anti-inflammatory and beneficial for

Riley: Mm-hmm um, yeah, sorry. If I said remove, I certainly meant lower, cuz I don't think you can remove omega six is all together.

Jeani: Yeah. Oh, no, you can't. Well, you shouldn't because then you're missing an essential fatty acid. I mean, this is the other, this is the problem with low fat diets is that you actually need these fats in your diet. You need omega three and omega six, both because we can't make 'em in our body. And yet they're used for a bunch of stuff besides the one thing I mentioned, but, um, they're all used for a bunch of stuff, including hormones actually.

Now that I think about it. so we have to have both. Um, but I think worrying too hard about the balance is not a great idea. Honestly, we all know we pretty much all could use a little more omega3 and that's usually what I tell them. [00:25:00] um, and cuz it's not like people are, I don't know. Drinking canal oil, or getting all that omega six, you know, it's just not, it's, it's high in eggs, I guess.

Um, but there's so many other beneficial things in eggs. I don't usually tell people to limit them too much unless, um, you know, they have really high cholesterol even then, uh, we, they have, they don't actually have that high of saturated fat, so we don't worry too hard about them anymore.

Roni: Yeah. So aside from teaching people how to organize their plates, you, um, when we talked to you previously, we were talking a little bit about meal planning as well. So like, what are some of the challenges that you see people having when they're shifting their style of eating into something?

Different. And how do you help? 'em kind of navigate those challenges.

Jeani: Yeah. Good question. I think time is the biggest challenge is just finding the time. Um, if people haven't done any meal prepping or any, if they're not like big on [00:26:00] cooking, that's the hardest part. And for those people, I actually transition them by giving them lists of quote unquote convenience food a lot of times.

So I love using things like trader Joe's, Costco, whatever. They have a lot of foods that are. Um, in some way process, but they're not like highly processed. I know this is this subtle difference. For instance, you can read all the ingredients, understand what they are. Um, and they're generally made like hummus and stuff like that, where it's like, you know, chickpeas and olive oil and Taney stuff that you know, what it is.

So I'll give them lists from those stores of things they can combine. Um, and I'll actually give you an example right now. One of my favorite things. To make right now. And I was like, I was just thinking, I need to add it to the plan to eat. Database is, um, this teen tahini harissa sauce, which gives you those healthy unsaturated fats in it.

And, um, a little bit of spice and just it, and you put olive oil in it too. So you get that mono unsaturated fat[00:27:00] but it's mostly made from trader Joe's tahini and trader Joe's harissa. In a jar so it's literally just like mixing those two with some spices, olive oil and water. But it's really delicious, um, and simple and easy.

So anyway, I give them all these like convenience foods to add to their pantry so that they can put something together really quickly. the other thing is to get people, to find their mode. Of planning. So sometimes it's easier to have like a piece of paper that they write it on. Um, sometimes it is easier to just use plan to eat and do the like weekly planning thing.

Um, you know, to me, it's important to have that. Recipe database to refer them to, and then let them use it in whatever way works well for them so sometimes that's, um, digitally, sometimes that is using their calendar. Sometimes that's just writing it down on a piece of paper so [00:28:00] I help them find that way.

And then I also. Introduce batch, cooking to a lot of people who, um, have li limited time. So if they can find an hour here or there, and also I like have, I like to give them kitchen tools that are really helpful. So like, to me, an instant pot is really helpful. Especially make big batches of beans, right.

All that, that good plant protein stuff. Um, soup stews. And also if they have the air fry lid, they can air fry a bunch of stuff ahead of time. Um, and that's a really like tasty easy way to do things.

Roni: Yeah, I like that. Um, I, I feel like that's a really important part of that process is just knowing like, Not only having recipes that you can use, but like knowing how you're gonna cook them, you know, like how you're gonna make 'em and what's the best appliance to have. Um, yeah, I don't have personally have an air fryer, but I've heard that.

They're amazing. And I'm gonna ask for it for Christmas. I think this.

Jeani: I took a really long time to get on board with [00:29:00] it. And then I just, one day I was like, let me get this lid for my instant pot, because it's not a whole new appliance. It's just a lid. And I tried it with tofu, which is one of the foods. I recommend a lot to people and it was really nice and crispy and good.

And I was like, okay, I'm sold. And now I do veggies, tofu. Yeah. All kinds of things in it. So.

Riley: I didn't even know that was a, that was an item at all, but just a lid. So that's, I love that. Cuz that does cut down on how much stuff you keep in your house. Um, that's one of my problems and why I don't have an air fry, so

Jeani: A whole new thing. So.

Riley: so I would love to hear how you found Plan to eat. How did you get connected?

Jeani: Oh, yeah. Um, it's uh, nothing glam. I literally was just Googling around looking at different recipe databases, and I will say a lot of dietician use like, uh, super fancy. [00:30:00] Complicated software for this. Um, and I wanted something a little more straightforward and I just loved how simple, straightforward and intuitive it was.

I have to say, like, it was just intuitive. I wanted something where I could still easily pull recipes from. The internet cause that's, I just curation is one of the things I do for my clients. Right. Like, and just pulling recipes from places I know have healthy recipes. Um, I use a lot of New York times recipes.

I use a lot of, um, uh, eating well and, and there's yeah. All kinds of different places. I, you know, plus all the recipe, blogs that I love, I just wanted to be able to pull recipes from those. And, um, so I just saw that I was able to do that. It was reasonably priced. You know, some of these other ones are like crazy expensive too, that dieticians use cuz they kind of market toward dieticians and meal planning.

And yet you could still do meal planning and everything with it. So I was like, this is perfect. This is great. Um, but yeah, it was literally just Googling around for like the [00:31:00] best recipe databases.

Roni: That's great. Well, I'm glad we showed up.

Riley: Yeah,

Jeani: Yeah, right. SEO is amazing. I have to say by Googling like hormone health and nutrition.

Riley: That's amazing. That's great. So would you share with us about your meal planning process and kind of how you go about building, um, out your weekly plan? Um, we love hearing from people what they do because Roni and I have our own methods. And so hearing other people's is really fun and gives people ideas on how they can build out their own meal plans.

Jeani: Yeah, totally. Um, it's funny cuz I actually start on paper. I, I am a, I'm a hybrid paper, digital person. I do use technology and everything, but I like to just write things down and actually literally just this last week, um, my. I do a nanny share with another family. And our kiddos are at that age where they're introducing foods.

[00:32:00] So, um, when it's at our house, we are responsible for their snacks and when it's at their house, they're responsible. So I wanted to add that onto that as well. Um, so I'm doing this kind of hybrid, like. I look at what's in the fridge part of me, I'm like very seasonal. I like to go to the farmer's market. I like to just see what looks good at the grocery store.

This does not work for everybody. Um, but that's how I function. So I kind of do the shopping first and then I look at what I have and then I think like, okay, what's what do I need to use sooner rather than later? And, you know, this asparagus is gonna go bad sooner than this. So I need to have an asparagus recipe.

You know, I have these avocados that are really ripe. How are, how am I gonna incorporate those things like that? So I do that, like, especially if I've bought like, uh, you know, fish or something, I don't want that to go off so that needs to be done sooner than later. Um, so all that kind of stuff is what I take into account.

And then I kind of look through [00:33:00] my recipe database. Um, for inspiration and then, and, or just like, think of things and put that down on paper usually. Um, and then if I have specific recipes I wanna use, I'll put that up. I'll pull that through plan to eat. So I'm, I just, I'm a little, all over the place. I'm not gonna lie.

And the other thing that's kind of ironic is I never follow a recipe. Exactly. I just am like not capable of it. I always have to like, tweak something or add spice or like add some fat or add whatever I just, and then I end up, um, tweaking the recipes in my plan to eat database too, so that like my clients have my tweet recipe um, especially if it's like not super balanced or something, it doesn't have enough veggies or doesn't have enough healthy fats or whatever.

I'll just add that in. And that's actually, the other thing I really like about plan to eat is that I can just go in and edit that and make a [00:34:00] note that like this has been edited for being more balanced.

Riley: Yeah,

Roni: Yeah,

Riley: you're definitely in good company because I don't think Roni and I, I don't think either one of us usually follows recipes exactly. Every once in a while I do, but I find myself doing the same thing. Like, oh, I think it needs a little bit of this, or, oh, it needs a little acid or it needs a whatever.

And then it never is what the recipe said. So , but I think that's the fun part.

Roni: Yeah.

Jeani: Yeah, it's funny. It's I meet people who are all over the spectrum on that too. Some people are like, I have to follow the recipe. Exactly. And they do exactly what it says. And then. You know, that works for them. That's just, and honestly I'm normally kind of that type, a organized whatever personality type, but for whatever reason, when it comes to food, I'm much more freestyle, much more, just what tastes good.

I feel like it's my artistic outlet, to be honest.

Riley: That's awesome.

Roni: Yeah, I love that. Why don't you, um, share with us where everybody can find you [00:35:00] online and then we will talk about some recipes afterwards.

Jeani: Sure. Absolutely. So, um, I am online at, V E G G I E L U S And, um, there, I have a blog on that, website as well with a lot of just free information. And if people actually do are interested in working with me, they can book a free, uh, nutrition chat is what I call it, where we talk for 15 minutes. What's going on with you and where, where am I be able to help you?

Roni: Awesome.

Riley: was awesome. So we like to end every episode by asking our guests, um, just what's the best thing you've eaten res recently or a great recipe you've tried. Um, and we'd love to share it with our audience. So what kind of recipes have you been enjoying?

Jeani: Oh, well, that's a good question. Um, and I do actually have something off the top of my head. Uh, I have been making these veggie skewers because it's been really hot here in Seattle. Um, it's been great for grilling and, I don't know if my husband would [00:36:00] agree cuz he's the one has to do the actual grilling but I do the prep.

I've been making these veggie skewers. You can kind of put whatever you want on them, but I usually do, um, mushrooms, bell peppers. Uh, we've been doing some summer squash from our garden. It's usually good to add a protein on there. Um, so sometimes I do marinated tofu. Sometimes you could do, um, salmon or something.

You could do meat, certainly of any kind chicken. I also like to add Halimi on it, cuz it's just delicious. Um, if you haven't had it before, that's like a brined cheese, um, that can be grilled, which is just truly, it's like salty and savory and delicious. Um, so I do, I prep all of those and like kind of big cubes.

And then I actually do exactly what I was talking about. That kind of harissa, um, And tahini sauce, but I thin it out a little bit as a marinade. Um, so it's like harissa tahini. I do a little bit of coconut aminos. Um, [00:37:00] and if you like it a little sweeter, you can put a little maple syrup on there. And then I use a raws Al Hanu spice and just a spice mix, a middle Eastern and spice mix.

So it makes it easy. You don't have to think about adding a bunch of different spices. it's there's already in there. And some salt and pepper and I marinate them. And that for however long, a few hours is plenty. Um, and then throw that on the grill and it is absolutely delicious and kind of tastes like summery and fresh and good.

And you got all the middle Eastern spices in there. Lovely.

Riley: Yeah, that sounds great. And really unique too. It sounds doesn't sound like anything I've eaten recently. So I like it. I might try that.

Jeani: I also it's, it's my own recipe actually. And I, I don't always develop my own recipes because, you know, but that was one that just kind of came to me.

Riley: That's awesome. Uh, well, we'll reach out to see if you'll share the recipe with our audience, cuz I'm sure people are gonna be inspired to wanna try that. So

Jeani: happy to happy to it'll give me an excuse to actually, [00:38:00] uh, put it in my database, which I have to confess. I haven't yet.

Riley: Uh, I'm in the same boat sometimes. So, uh, well, thank you so much for your time. Uh, we really enjoyed this chat and getting to know you a bit and, um, yeah, we look forward to talking to you again on the time soon.

Jeani: Sounds good. Thank you so much. 

Roni: Thanks for listening to this episode of the Plan to Eat podcast. We love hearing different approaches to food, and we hope that you enjoy hearing it too.

Riley: We would love to invite you to find all the recipes mentioned on the Plan to Eat podcast, um, in our podcast account on plantee you can go to, E pod that's PT, E P O D and the variety of recipes that you've heard about and the variety of eating types that we talk about, those can all be found in that account.

Roni: Thanks again for listening.