Frequently Asked Questions

When did you start Nutrition Unplugged?

I began blogging during the first week of February in 2009. One of my first blog posts was Debating the Merits of “Stealth” Veggies if you want to see where it all began.

So what makes you an expert in nutrition?

Glad you asked. I studied nutrition in college — and I love to eat. (But of course, not everyone who eats is an expert in nutrition, even though that seems to be what’s happening these days.) I’m a registered dietitian nutritionist and an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, with a B.S. and master’s degree from Kansas State University. I may have certain points of view that differ from you. For example, I believe all foods can find a way to fit, in moderation, and I don’t think you necessarily need to be vegan, gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, organic, raw or paleo to be “eating right.” I think there are many approaches to healthy living. One size doesn’t fit all. Read more about my nutrition philosophy and my mission with Nutrition Unplugged on About.

Can I send you products to review?

Maybe. If it’s something that I think I would buy myself, then I might be interested. I always like knowing about new products. But I’ll only write about products that I truly like, and I don’t accept payment for review. I do not want samples of dietary supplements, energy drinks or anything marketed as a super food, “miracle,” metabolism booster or a cure for belly fat. So thanks for the offer, but I’ll take a pass. If you’d like me to know about something new, please get in touch with me on my Contact page. I may not be able to respond to all requests.

Do you accept guest posts?

No. Not at this time.

What else do you do?

When I’m not blogging, you can find me writing nutrition articles for a variety of publications, including the Chicago Tribune — where I’ve been a regulator contributor to the Good Eating section for several years. Often these nutrition columns are picked up by newspapers around the country — including the LA Times, New York Newsday, Baltimore Sun, Seattle Times, Atlanta-Journal Constitution and others. I’m also a nutrition blogger for WebMD and have recently published my first book with the editors of Cooking Light, The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook. My nutrition writing has appeared in Cooking Light, Relish, American Profile, Consumers Digest,, and Environmental Nutrition. Here are just a few of my recent nutrition articles:

Cooking Light

How Calories Really Count
Healthy Food Labels Can Lead You Astray
The Hidden Sodium in Chicken


Low-Fat Labels Can Lead to Weight Gain
A Calorie is a Calorie
Multivitamin Mishaps
Scientists Debunk So-Called Fat Gene
Cruciferous Veggies Deserve to Shine on Thanksgiving Table
Thanksgiving Trade-Offs

Why You Shouldn’t Eat Like Gwyneth or Detox Like Demi
Kombucha: Trendy Fizzy Drink is Mushrooming
Dad’s Gift to the Family? Cooking Dinner

Chicago Tribune

Are Covert Veggies the Right Approach
Better Nutrition at the End of the Rainbow
Make This Recipe and Call Me in the Morning
A Cornucopia of New Health Products
A Guide to Food Labels
Baby Boomer Nutrition
Beware the Food-Fight Backlash
Black Foods May Be Next Health Trend
Busting Food and Dieting Myths
Countdown To Better Health: 2009 Nutrition Trends
Diabetes Myths
Eating Strong, Smart and Green
Eating to Lower Cholesterol
Fiber the Latest Ingredient in Fortification Craze
Food, The New Drug?
Functional Fungi
Giving Up Gluten May Be Latest Fad
Green Movement Rethinks the Way We Cook
Hard To Swallow: Nutrition Myths
Lost In The Land of Plenty: Overfed, Yet Undernourished
New Food Pyramid Designed To Help Parents
Nurturing the Preschool Palate
Sifting Through New Sugar Guidelines
Smoothie with Serving of Vegetable
State of Your Plate
Test Your Food Safety IQ
The Color Purple: Disease Fighter
Top Overrated Food Trends

I see that you moderate #RDChat on Twitter. What is that exactly?

  • A monthly moderated conversation on Twitter for people interested in food and nutrition. The hour-long chat is a virtual venue to discuss the latest headlines, new studies, controversial topics and issues related to the food we eat. The chats will be moderated by me or another registered dietitian (RD), with various special guests invited to lead the discussion. Questions will be asked by the moderator (Q1, Q2, Q3, etc.) and participants will respond to questions (A1, A2, A3), add comments or RT other answers.
  • The chat is open to everyone — you don’t have to be a registered dietitian. Anyone interested in food and nutrition can take part, and various viewpoints are welcome. The chats will primarily focus on nutrition, but will also touch on various aspects of social media, including blogging, use of Twitter, etc. If you have a blog, that’s great. You don’t need one to be involved. The only requirement to participant is a Twitter account. For now, #RDchat will be monthly. It will take place on the first Wednesday of the month from 8-9 pm ET.The chat happens live on Twitter and you can jump in at any time during the hour. Simply log on to your Twitter account and you can use any of these options to help you manage the conversations.
  • One option, go to and type in #RDchat. Only the tweets that include that hashtag (#) will appear. You may have to refresh the page to get new results.If you use Tweetdeck, start a column for #RDchat. Only tweets that are tagged with #RDchat will appear in that column for you to respond to.There are several other programs you can use that are specifically designed for chats on Twitter: or All you have to do is log on to one of those programs. When prompted, type in #RDchat and you’ll only see tweets that include that hashtag. It allows you to see the fast-paced conversation happening in real time. You use just like Twitter; reply, comment, retweet, etc. All of your tweets will automatically be tagged with #RDchat.
  • Tweet chats are a great way to meet and network with new people who share your interests. They also provide a forum for you to communicate with a broader audience on Twitter and gain new followers. #RDchat will help dietitians connect on timely topics. We often write about various issues on our blogs, but don’t always talk with each other about those topics. If you have additional questions or comments, DM me at @JanetHelm.

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