Bocado Burger Stack- american cheese, b&b pickles, mayo. Served with herb fries. (
Photo: Becky Stein
Photo: Becky Stein

Here's what these Atlanta dietitians eat for a cheat meal

When you make a living coaching others about healthy eating, what kind of cheat meal do you eat yourself? These Atlanta-based dietitians answered that question:

Juliana Nagy, RDN and LD at Nourishing Life LLC in Sandy Springs, counsels patients in a private clinical setting on topics that include diabetes, weight gain or loss, prenatal and maternal nutrition and digestive disorders. She spent nine months at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris and combines her culinary and healthcare backgrounds to motivate clients and patients.

"I love Italian food so it tends to be my go to 'cheat meal,'" said Nagy. "There's nothing better than a fresh homemade spaghetti sauce." She prepares hers with fresh tomato, fresh garlic, Kalamata olives, fresh oregano, some pancetta (the Italian bacon) and olive oil.

Not too bad, right? "The problem is, I love parmesan cheese," she added. "And to eat spaghetti, I end up eating a lot of parmesan cheese. In case you are the curious type, 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese has 22 calories, and I assure you, I never use a measuring spoon for my cheese."

Nagy's other go-to is pizza. "I could eat pizza every day of the week," she said. "I love cheese, pepperoni, margherita, vegetarian pizza. I also love some more European type of pizza like Parma ham, arugula, parmesan cheese, mussarella di buffalo, basil, fresh tomato. Love, love, love pizza!"

When Nagy indulges in an Italian treat once in a while, she said she doesn't guilt herself about it. "But it's important to watch out not to make it a habit," she said. "A healthy lifestyle requires discipline and determination."

Jenny Askew, MS, RD, LD, CLT and ACSM-HF at Balance Fitness and Nutrition in Alpharetta, uses food to help patients manage a variety of medical conditions, including those with celiac disease, high cholesterol and diabetes. She also offers food sensitivity testing.

Askew said her favorite indulgences are pizzas and burgers, which she usually only eats on an occasional weekend when spending quality time with her husband. "I keep the burger healthy by going to places that carry grass-fed beef and where I can choose my own toppings and load my burger up with veggies," she said. "I love the new burger bar-type places because they have toppings like kale, jicama, carrots and quinoa to help you balance out your burger."

Askew also lightens pizza by choosing as many vegetables as possible to put on top. If the pizza place offers one, she'll order a side salad, too.

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