Meet the New Intern!

Hey Y’all! My name is Lauren Hawley, and I am the new intern here at Lynn Kline Nutrition. I am a senior at Clemson University, majoring in Food Science and Human Nutrition, and am aspiring to be a Pediatric Dietitian. I’m originally from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, but I have traded in the beach for the mountains, and I have never looked back! In my free time, I love to read, go out on Lake Hartwell, and spend time with my friends.

Lauren HS

For a little bit of background on me, I decided to do a little Q&A about me, answering some random questions, which don’t really have much to do with nutrition at all, or enhance my cooking ability!

Q: Who is your favorite celebrity?
A: Lauren Conrad – and not just because we have the same first name

Q: What is your favorite movie?
A: Friends with Benefits (love Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake)

Q: Tell us something interesting that has happened to you recently?
A: Last month, I received my Clemson Ring! For those of you who aren’t Clemson Tigers, the ring symbolizes that you have completed a specific number of hours for your major, and it is a beaut! (See my super proud dad below!!)

Lauren Ring

This summer, I will be writing about enteral nutrition, feeding tubes, and families that have children with feeding tubes. I will be giving y’all the insight about feeding tubes, the best tips and tricks of the trade, and delicious recipes that both you and your family members will be able to enjoy. All of these recipes have been experimented and altered by me in my own kitchen, and then tested by my roommates willingly, so I am sure that they will go over very well at your own dinner tables! I will be posting pictures and step by step instructions to make everything that I blog about, and my interesting journey that I will be going on this summer by understanding the inner workings of blogging and posting to the whole Internet, so I’m excited to share all my ideas with y’all!

Quick Tips: Eating More Omega-3 Fatty Acids

This is the first of many posts in the Quick Tips Series!! These posts will give you:

  • Basic information about a certain nutrient
  • Five tips on how you can easily start adding that nutrient into your diet.

To start off the Quick Tips series will be Omega-3s, the healthy fatty acids! As you may have heard, not all fats are bad for us. In fact, Omega-3s are essential to our health and should be part of a healthy diet. As with most nutrients, whole food sources are preferred over supplements since the nutrients in whole foods have a synergistic effect.


Five Tips for Getting More Omega-3s

  • Eat fish at least twice a week. Salmon, tuna (albacore), trout, halibut, anchovies, mussels, and oysters are all great sources of Omega-3 fats (contain over 500 mg per serving)! On a side note, deep frying fish does cancel out the health benefits so stick with pan searing, grilling, or baking.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed per day to your diet. Ground flax seed is versatile in the kitchen, easy for the body to absorb, and is much cheaper than flax seed oil. I add ground flax to oatmeal, smoothies, and basically any baked goods. Check out this link to learn how flax can replace flour or even eggs when baking.
  • Eat more walnuts! English walnuts have about 2.5 gram of Omega-3 in a 1 ounce serving (about 14 walnut halves). Add walnuts to salad, roasted vegetables, cereal, and desserts for an extra crunch!
  • Make the switch to grass fed beef! The typical US diet is contains too many Omega 6’s and not enough Omega 3’s
    • Grass fed cows: omega-6 : omega-3 ratio of 2:1
    • Grain fed cows: omega-6 : omega-3 ratio of 4:1
  • Eat an egg a day! Eggs that are omega-3 fortified, meaning that the chicken was fed something that contained omega-3s, have >100 mg more omega-3s than non-fortified eggs where the chickens only eat corn and/or soybean.

Why do we Need Omega-3 Fats?

  • Heart health: reduces blood pressure, helps lower triglycerides & cholesterol, and lowers risk of heart disease.
  • To decrease inflammation in the body – this is good for everyone!
  • For brain and eye development in infants and pregnancy
  • Promising research for: cancer prevention, protection from cognitive decline (Alzheimer’s & Dementia), reducing symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis, and more.

A Note for Tubies:

  • These high omega-3 foods are great for blenderizing and can easily be added to any tube feed regimens. Grinding the flax seed and walnuts before blending them with other foods can help to prevent clumps and clogs.
  • Many commercial formulas contain Omega – 3, but check the manufacturers website to make sure that your formula’s volume is providing you enough of this essential nutrient.

What’s in Season in Spring?

Happy first day of Spring! The weather is getting warmer, everything is in bloom, and fresh fruits and vegetable are readily available at grocery stores, farmers markets, or in your back yard!

Getting a variety of fruits and vegetables is the key to any healthy diet. Filling your meals with produce that is in-season provides better flavor, offers more nutrition, and saves you money.

Keep an eye for these in-season fruits and vegetables this March, April, and May!

Fresh FruitsMango
Honeydew Melon

Fresh Vegetables
Collard Greens
Green Beans
Onions and Leeks

Which ones are your favorites?

Tube Talk: Feeding Tubes 101

Our intestines are kind of a love-it or hate-it topic, with most preferring the later. Don’t worry! This post is about how we get nutrition and tubes, not about the dreaded lower GI tract issues!

Feeding tubes, also called enteral nutrition, are a common and often a life-saving treatment that provides nutrition to individuals unable to eat. Many people are unfamiliar with feeding tubes unless they or a family member have required one. Other may have heard of them during the “Terri” Schiavo case from 1990 to 2005. More recently feeding tubes made headlines with the ill-advised KE Diet. In the United States it is estimated that there are currently 437,882 consumers of enteral nutrition living at home. These numbers do not include the thousands of individuals that are hospitalized and receiving feeding tubes temporarily.

So what is a feeding tube?

 Feeding tubes uses a small flexible tube to provide nutrients, fluids, and meds to the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. When someone is unable to eat enough by mouth the feeding tube acts likes the esophagus and provides a new way to get the nutrition where it needs to go.

These tubes can be temporary or used for entire lifetime. There are also multiple types of tubes that can be used depending on the individual’s situation, but they all deliver nutrients to either the stomach or the small intestines. Fun Fact: President James A. Garfield received a feeding tube after his assassination attempt. However, his nutrition was delivered by enema to his colon – sciences still had a lot to learn back then!

tube feeding anatomy

Individuals living at home with feeding tubes can go to school or work, play sports, and live an active life. Some are even able to eat certain types or amounts of foods in addition to their feeding tube.

Why would someone need a feeding tube?

 The basic reason: everyone needs nutrition! Adults, children and babies can require a feeding tube if they are unable to get enough nutrition for a many different reasons.

The most common reasons for adults:

  • Swallowing issues due to stroke, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease
  • Some type of cancers, such as head and neck or gastric cancer
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • AIDS
  • Dementia and head injuries

The most common reasons for children & infants:

  • Swallowing issues due to cerebral palsy, anoxic brain injury, or seizure disorder
  • Failure to Thrive or malnutrition
  • GI disorders
  • Severe allergies
  • Food refusal behavior
  • Some pulmonary and cardiac diseases
7 mo NG Baby
Photo by

***Take Away Points***

  • Life goes on with a feeding tube! With some training, planning, and a little trial and error, a feeding tube alone will not stop someone from living an active life. Seriously, there are marathon runners with feeding tube.
  • Not all feeding tubes are permanent. They also don’t mean no eating or drinking.
  • A feeding tube is not a sign of “failure”. It is a tool to help the body gets the nutrition it needs when it needs it!

Have you had a feeding tube or do you have a friend or family members with one? Feel free to share your story below!

Nutrient Breakdown: Folate (Folic Acid)

What is the differences between folate and folic acid?

Folic Acid is the synthetic form of folate, one of the B vitamins (B9). Folate is found naturally in foods whereas folic acid is the synthetic form of the vitamin added to foods that we already eat or taken in supplements. Countries across the world, including the US, use folic acid to fortify foods in an effort to prevent folate deficiencies.

Foods high in Folate: asparagus, greens, okra, avocados, liver, lentils, beans, and edamame

  • 50-90% of folate is destroyed in food processing and preparation.

 Foods high in Folic Acid: breakfast cereal, pasta, breads, and other grain products

  • 100% of the folic acid that is eaten is absorbed.

What does Folate Do?

Folate is one of the vitamins that our body uses to make new cells and is essential for our health. Folate is needed to make RNA, DNA and to metabolize amino acids. In fact, individuals that take Methotrexate, a drug the decreases DNA synthesis, follow a high folate diet or take a folic acid supplement since their folate metabolism can be interfered with by this drug.

How Much Do You Needs?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for adults is 400 micrograms (mcg) of folate per day. This can be done by eating foods high in folate and folic acid. Getting enough folate is especially important for women who may become pregnant. The CDC recommend the ALL women ages 15 to 45 consume a folic acid daily since half of all pregnancies are unexpected.

Too Little?

It’s possible to get too little folate by not eating enough folate or by not absorbing what is being eaten. Folate can help prevent major birth defects of a baby’s brain and spine (spina bifida and anencephaly) by 50-70%. Since these birth defects develop within the first few weeks of pregnancy, it is very important that women get adequate amounts of folate one month before their pregnancy and throughout their pregnancy. Folate is also needed to make red blood cells and not getting enough can cause anemia. This type of anemia is called megaloblastic anemia because the red blood cells are larger than normal, however there are less of them and they have a shorter life.

Too Much?

It takes more than 1,000 mcg of folic acid per day to get too much folate. This mostly only occurs with folic acid, not folate, since absorption is much higher. Too much folic acid can mask a vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Bottom Line:

  • Eat a healthy diet with a variety of food high in both folate and folic acid.
  • If there is any chance that you may get pregnant, take a folic acid supplement.

Food Poisoning: What You Need to Know

When you think of food and health, food safety is probably not one of the first, or last, things that come to mind. However, everyone has either had food poisoning or can tell you a few stories about friends or family members that have had it.  Food poisoning strikes 1 out of 6 Americans per year and causes 3,000 deaths each year in the United States. According to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), handing food safely could prevent 85 percent of all foodborne illnesses. So what causes food poisoning, who is at the risk of getting sick, and how do you protect yourself and others

What pathogens are getting people sick?

There are eight main pathogens that account for the majority of food poisoning outbreaks:

  • Salmonella – eggs, poultry, meat, unpasteurized milk and juice
  • Listeria – ready-to-eat deli meats, unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses
  • Clostridium perfringens – meats, poultry, gravy, dried or precooked foods
  • Campylobacter – raw and undercooked poultry, unpasteurized milk, contaminated water
  • Staphylococcus aureus – improperly refrigerated meats, potato and egg salads, and cream pastries
  • Coli – undercooked beef, unpasteurized milk and juice, contaminated water and produce
  • Toxoplasma gondii – undercooked meats (especially pork, lamb, and venison), contaminated water, or cross contamination from soil (like your garden) or cat feces.
  • Norovirus – contaminated water, produce, leftovers, and shellfish

What are the symptoms?

Some symptoms of food poisoning start within 1 hour after eating, but others can take up to 10 days! Symptoms can fluctuate from nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea to double visions, headaches, and fever. Use this guide (Symptoms of Food Poisoning) from to see a summary of pathogens, their symptoms, and onset times.

Who is at the highest risk?

Everyone has the potential to get food poisoning, however some individuals at a much high risk. This includes:

  • Older adults (anyone over the age of 65)
  • Infants and young children (under the age of 5)
  • Pregnant women
  • People with weakened immune systems due to:
    • Some types of cancers and their treatments
    • HIV/AIDS
    • Chronic illness such as diabetes and kidney disease

Resources: The More You Know

Phone Apps:

  • Is My Food Safe? by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics- free
  • FoodKeeper by the USDA- free


  • – includes up-to-date information on food recalls and you can report food poisoning
  • – offers educational tools, resources for kids, guides, and more.

Check out some of my older post to learn more about how to preventing food borne illnesses:

The Real Top Foods of 2017

As a dietitian, I love lists! That being said, one of my favorite parts of the New Year holiday are all of the list that come out of the top (insert anything here) of the year! Top songs, top books, most liked Instagram photos of the year – you get the picture. Whether they cover the top trends from the past year or predictions for the next year, these lists are one of my guilty pleasures!

Cue Google Trends.

This week I stumbled upon a new list that I had never given much thought to: the most googled calorie searches of the year. Yes, you’re not the only one searching for the number of calories in your favorite foods. Sorry kale and acai. These also are not your typical trending foods that people were trying to learn about in 2017.

So here it is! According to Google, these were the most searched calorie and food/beverage combinations in the US for 2017! Just for a reference, 2000 calories is the standard diet and it is recommended that adults eat less than 48 grams per day of sugar and limit sodium to 2300 milligrams per day.

10) McDonalds Ice Cream Cone – 230 calories, 28 grams sugar.

9) Zima – 153 calories, 20 g sugar

8) Poke Bowls – These can fluctuate from 600-950 calories depending on what you add. Most are over 1000 mg of sodium so add the least amount of sauce you can enjoy.

7) Coconutmilk Mocha Macchiato (Grande) – 200 calories; 25 g sugar

6) Triple Double Crunchwrap – 700 calories, 1550 mg sodium – that’s 67% for the total salt recommended for the day.

5) Cascara Latte (Grande) – 240 calories, 32 g sugar

4) Mac Jr – 460 calories, 830 mg of sodium

3) Naked Chicken Chalupa – 440 calories, 1090 mg of sodium

2) Grand Mac – 860 calories, 1470 mg of sodium – more calories than most people need in the whole meal.

1) Unicorn Frappuccino (Grande) – 410 calories, 62 g carbohydrate – that 4 serving of carbohydrates (also known as: a meal).

Have a happy, healthy New Years!