Savor the flavor of eating rightAnyone who has a young child understands the half birthday. You know---that 6 month mark where a child asks—am I 4 and a half yet? Isn't it funny that adults somehow do not want to let the world know that the next birthday is less than six months away???!

I am on the eve of my six month mark as President of the Florida Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. "Who cares and so what?" you think. Every year is a gift and every year goes by very rapidly, right? Plus our Florida Academy year begins October 1st —6 days before my own birthday, so March and April are my natural half-way marks every year.

My life as a RDN, wife, mother, mentor, entrepreneur and employee continue this year as President of the Florida Academy.

Also, as I wrap up my 9-year-stint as a Spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics this spring, I naturally have a passion to represent the 76K+ RDN members this month for our annual National Nutrition Month. I love the theme this year: Savor the Flavor of Eating Right! This has been my personal rant for many years already. I love to look, smell and consume foods with many complex colors, flavors and textures. Each meal is a gift that we really do have choice and control over—no matter what the situation. So why not make meals taste amazing!?

Here is my latest creation---as per usual—I look in the fridge for ideas on what I have to make a meal. I also deal with what my family brings home from our local produce/grocery store before food spoils.

Pretense: I worked as a pastry/salad chef in college while I was studying nutrition and dietetics at Central Michigan University. I adore desserts and all the flavor possibilities with sweets. When my spouse brings home fresh Florida strawberries+ I have a frozen gingerbread crust from Christmas cookies in the freezer+ a few nonfat (mistakenly-purchased) cream cheese' in our fridge this=a really good cheesecake with strawberry sauce. And my family enjoyed it last Sunday with a meal just because I care about meals with my family. I hope you enjoy meals this month with your family and friends. Take the time to try a new recipe to keep meals interesting and savor the flavor of eating right!

Sarah’s Creamy Cheesecake with Orange Zest and Fresh Strawberries

savor-the-flavor-cheese-cake-dietitian2 (8-ounce) bricks nonfat cream cheese

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese

1 cup plain, non-fat yogurt

¾ cup sugar

2 eggs

Please blend the above into a smooth concoction. Then whisk in:

½ cup all-purpose flour—it’s ok since it adds texture and purpose without guilt as a carb--truly

1-2 teaspoons really good vanilla

1-2 teaspoons freshly-grated lemon, lime, orange zest

Pour over a baked graham cracker or cookie crust and

Bake at 325 for 45-60 minutes on the middle rack of the oven until the center is set.

Cool and serve with fresh, sliced strawberries.