4 Fad Diets & Why (Surprise...) They Don't Work!

And ultimately, by restricting food groups, we tend to crave them more.
— Dalina Soto
Is your diet keeping you from enjoying cake at your child’s birthday party? Is restriction worth it?

Is your diet keeping you from enjoying cake at your child’s birthday party? Is restriction worth it?

Summarized by Maria Terry

Article written by Dalina Soto

Sugar detox. Gluten-free. Vegan after 6pm. Intermittent Fasting. Keto. What do these all have in common, besides driving your non-diet dietitian insane?

Restriction. Fad diets get trendy and eventually fade off until another trend catches our attention. Why? Because restricting food groups, nutrients, and time frames simply isn’t a sustainable lifestyle practice. For those who medically require a diet (e.g. ketogenic diet in children with seizure disorders, carb counting in Type 1 diabetes to correspond with adequate insulin units), restriction can be life-saving. But for people who aren’t facing medical requirements to diet, I will break down the WHY behind the failures of fad diets.

Check out Dalina’s latest Healthline article analyzing 4 popular diets (gluten-free, low carb, keto, and paleo) and how they fall short when it comes to attaining sustainable lifestyle practices and achieving weight-loss, if that is your goal.

Personally, I recommend considering how restriction affects you mentally and physically and inevitably leads to obsessing over food and binging, followed by guilt. Let’s lose that weight - the weight of not being enough and needing to diet - and find a healthy relationship with our food.

#DalinaMeets: Leslee Sholomskas, Sports Dietitian

#DalinaMeets: Leslee Sholomskas, Sports Dietitian

#DalinaMeets is a series of interviews with registered dietitian nutritionists and the work they do – from the big things to the little things. It all counts! This interview between Dalina and Leslee looks into the elusive world of sports nutrition and brings to light the challenges dietitians face working with premier athletes.

Why Going Healthy Doesn't Mean Leaving Your Culture Behind

Cooking with fat makes food delicious. Uniquely, our cultures often using fats and methods of cooking that make our food particularly tasty in a way that defines the cuisine. Buttermilk fried chicken, your grandmother’s pound cake that calls for two sticks of butter, the sheen of plantains perfectly fried - do we need to ditch these cultural and family staples in pursuit of good health?

In my latest Healthline article, I dive deep to answer this question and provide a method for you to prioritize your culture while still honoring a heart-healthy approach to cooking and eating. It’s easy for a health professional to say, “stop cooking with butter and use olive oil.” But it completely ignores the culture of culinary practices! Culture is a multi-faceted and complex element of our identity. In my practice, I believe there is a way to eat healthy and still honor culture, respect identity, and maintain flavorful food.

Learn more by reading my article posted on Healthline! I would love to hear your thoughts and field your questions. Feel free to leave a comment hear or message me via social media or email.


Why Healthy Eating Shouldn’t Depend on Your Address

What’s the dirt on “clean eating?” The trendy phrase that has gained popularity, spurring many people into a ‘lifestyle change’ that adopts less processed, more organic, and ‘clean’ foods. This is generally okay and may encourage people to adopt a healthy lifestyle and incorporate more fruits and vegetables into their diet. That’s awesome!

But… unfortunately, there are some complicated impacts of this trend that warrant a serious conversation. The expectations for clean eating may be impossible to achieve for families who struggle to afford groceries - and that’s a lot of people in our country! When it comes down to it, many of my clients in lower socioeconomic communities tell me they’ll skip over produce if they can’t buy organic… because it’s not ‘clean’ or healthy. This begs me to ask: Is there something dirty about clean eating?

I am THRILLED I could share more about this with you. Learn more in my article posted on Healthline HERE! Leave your comments so we can continue the conversation.




1528 Frankford Ave. Philadelphia, PA


Each month we are planning to feature a local Philly restaurant on the Nutritiously Yours blog! Because seriously, the food scene in Philly is AMAZING and we love to eat.  By "WE" I am referring to my intern Kathleen and I! So lets begin :)  For our first stop this month we chose Suraya, a Lebanese restaurant in Fishtown. As you walk in you are greeted by an amazing space and a counter top full of goodies. It was our first time at the restaurant and we had tons of questions about the menu items. The staff was happy and excited to answer our questions and were extremely helpful! We ended up ordering a few different items to share. Per recommendation we tried the mezze platter, which came with labne, ful mudammas, crudité, a six-minute egg and two pitas. We also ordered the crispy chickpea hummus and a men’oushe with cheese, tomato, onion, long hot, and parsley. Obviously not your typical American fair!


Labne is a creamy, strained yogurt flavored with herbs and topped with olives and roasted peppers. Super tasty on the pita, which we could see being made in the kitchen!  This was my absolute favorite!! It was so creamy and went well with everything I dipped in it. Seriously,I am ordering this EVERY TIME I come back. 

The crudité consisted of radishes, tomatoes, cucumbers and olives on a bed of ice. Good if you like really cold vegetables, but better for using the veggies for hummus or labne dipping.

Ful mudammas is a fava bean paste mixed with olive oil and topped with chickpeas, tomatoes, onion and cilantro. It had a hummus-y consistency, but the toppings added a little something extra. Honestly, I had never had fava beans, but this was so GOOD. I like to mix my food, I know, I am weird :) and this mixed with the Labne on the pita was DELIGHTFUL! 

The six-minute egg is a soft-boiled egg with a cashew coating. This one is a winner if you like runny yolks like I do (and soaking them up with pita). 



The hummus itself was smooth, but the crispy chickpeas added a crunch you wouldn’t normally find in hummus you pick up from the grocery store. Definitely delicious and flavorful! If I could I would buy it for home ( but we forgot to ask if this was possible, so Suraya, if you read this, can we?) 


The men’oushe was a flatbread ( that looks like pizza) with a creamy cheese spread on top with tomatoes, parsley and onions. We chose to top ours with an egg, which you can request on any men’oushe. It was perfectly cooked so that the yolk was soft but didn’t run everywhere when you bit into it.


The owners definitely spent time creating an inviting atmosphere. The orange and white tile floor brings you into a Mediterranean atmosphere and the décor adds nice touches without taking away from the casual vibe. Place your order at the counter before choosing between two seating areas. The front seating area is well-lit and home to a well-stocked pastry case and small collection of items for sale, including olive oils, soaps and mugs. The back-seating area is a larger, yet cozier, space with a view of the open kitchen.

Ultimately, we LOVED the Suraya! The food was great and the atmosphere was amazing. Definitely a place we would recommend and we will for sure be visiting again and trying out more of the menu!

Now that we’ve done some of the experimenting and question-asking for you, we recommend that you go try Suraya for yourself. And if you have been there already, give us some recommendations!!!


View the full menu here: Suraya

Chicken Parm Meatballs

Chicken Parm Meatballs

Tonight's dinner was absolutely amazing, courtesy of these amazing chicken parm meatballs. I have been seeing a few recipes floating around Facebook and Pinterest. But honestly I am so horrible at following super long, labor intensive recipes, so I decided to wing it. I mean I am a mother of two, I do not have the time or patience to follow elaborate recipes so here is my version of these: 


  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs 
  • 1 8oz mozzarella ball
  • 1 tbs garlic salt
  • 1 tbs garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbs Italian seasoning 
  • 1 bottle of your favorite pasta sauce


  1. Preheat oven 425 degrees
  2. Cut mozzarella ball into cubes, approximately 15 cubes ( I was able to make 15 meatballs out of the pound of ground chicken).
  3. In a bowl combine ground chicken, 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1 tbs garlic salt, 1 tbs garlic powder, 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning.
  4. Mix thoroughly and begin to roll mixture into balls, once rolled insert a cube of cheese through the middle and roll some more.
  5. In a separate bowl with breadcrumbs, roll and bread meatballs until completely coated.
  6. In a pan with olive oil, brown all sides of meatballs. 
  7. Pour sauce in a baking pan, add meatballs to it.
  8. Bake for 20 mins at 425 degree.
  9. ENJOY!

Allow me to re-introduce myself...

I figured new website, new introduction. If you read the about me section you can definitely get an idea of who I am as a dietitian. I wanted to take the time and really have you guys get to know me, so I had my intern Taylor come up with a few questions that people usually ask Dietitians; here are my answers :) 

1. How would you explain the difference between a nutritionist and a dietitian?

I get this question A LOT. A nutritionist is usually someone who just has a Bachelors degree in nutrition or a certification from a course they took or maybe a program. A dietitian on the other hand has the bachelors degree from a didactic program. Once you have your bachelors you move on to your dietetic internship which focuses on providing you with the experience and course work to take the RD exam. The internship is almost a year long and once you have finished it you sit for your boards, kind of like a nurse or doctor does. Once you pass the RD exam, you become a Registered Dietitian and in order to maintain your credentials you must complete education credits every 5 years. 

2. What is a common misconception people have about what you do?

I think a lot of people think I am the food police or am going to judge what they eat. But I would never. I really just want to educate you and have you learn how to make healthier choices without restricting or dieting. Life revolves around food, you should enjoy it.

3.Why did you decide to pursue a career in nutrition?

I started off Pre-Med at PennState University, and took an introductory class in nutrition and fell in love. I really wanted to manage disease through food. I also realized there was a gap when it came to nutrition and culture. I wanted to have people learn to love their cultural foods and still be healthy. 

4. What excites you most about the profession?

I love being able to take away the fear from eating. There is so much bad information on the internet, with no scientific evidence behind it that truly SCARES people. I strive to educate and take that fear away. I want to help you become healthier and really not worry about whether a food is good for you or not. I want you to go to a restaurant and ENJOY your meal. I want to teach you those tools. 

5. Could everyone benefit from visiting you?

I think so, there is always a question to ask, and I will always give you a direct answer. I also think people sometimes just need a cheerleader to cheer them along on their journey to health. I can do that. 

6. What interests you most about health and nutrition?

I think how food just plays such a huge role in disease management and prevention is fascinating, and I want to teach people how to use nutrition and be the best they can be.

7. What is most rewarding about what you do?

When I have someone just be so excited about the progress they have made by just changing one small thing, you can't change everything in one day. SO taking small steps towards health and seeing results is very rewarding. 

8. What else would you like people to know about your career? 

We are people too :)  We are not perfect when it comes to food, and quite frankly you will not be perfect either and that is OK. Being healthy is a lifestyle not a 2 month thing. SO my goal is to teach you that. You will have good days and bad days, I do too. And that is OK!

9. If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would it be?

This is a hard one!!!! I love pizza BUT I will go with pasta on this one because you can make A LOT of different healthy meals with it.