I was reading the Well blog on the New York Times Web site when I came across a link to a healthy living blog I’d never visited before which reminded me: It’s National Nutrition Month!

I actually visit the American Dietetic Association’s Web site pretty frequently, because there’s a lot of great info there as well as story ideas (in real life, I am a newspaper reporter). Anyway, with all of the craziness of the past few weeks, I hadn’t been to their site in awhile, so I was pleasantly surprised to find they are encouraging food bloggers to blog about NNM. This year’s theme is “Nutrition From The Ground Up,” but the general theme of every NNM is to raise awareness of good nutrition. Throughout March, I plan to tie several posts to National Nutrition Month.

Bloggers are encouraged to write about what “building Nutrition From The Ground Up” means to them, which happens to tie into my post!

My friend Elin frequently posts on Facebook about her baking adventures. Last week, she posted about making a cheesecake, and I all but begged for a piece — we work together. She was off Friday, but when she came in Monday, she called me to her department to retrieve my piece. No, cheesecake is not healthy, but I’ve always tried to enjoy everything in moderation. Who could resist a friend’s homemade cheesecake?

It was enormous!

It’s funny, though, because I would have thought that this was a normal-sized piece before I started my weight loss journey. I would have been ecstatic and devoured the whole thing in one sitting. Now, though, I know that a mammoth baked good is meant for that one serving! It’s funny how your perception of serving sizes changes over time with long-term weight loss.

To me, splitting up my giant slice of cheesecake is a good example of “building nutrition from the ground up.” Foods like Elin’s cheesecake are still part of my diet, but my diet is infinitely healthier than before. I believe that good nutrition is a matter of choices, and every day — every meal, every snack, every step we take — is an opportunity to make a healthy choice. And if the majority of your choices are healthy, there’s no reason you can’t indulge!

Elin was nice enough to also share the recipe for her cheesecake for the blog, too. I honestly did not know that she lightened up the recipe with skim milk, fat-free cream cheese and low-fat sour cream until she e-mailed me the recipe!

For the crust
15 graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Filling
4 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened (used low-fat)
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup milk (used skim)
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream (used low-fat)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease a 9-inch springform pan.  In a medium bowl, mix graham cracker crumbs with melted butter.  Press onto bottom of springform pan.  In bowl of an electric mixer, mix cream cheese with sugar until smooth.  Blend in milk, then mix in the eggs one at a time, mixing just enough to incorporate.  Mix in sour cream, vanilla and flour until smooth. 

Pour filling into prepared crust.  Bake cheesecake in preheated oven for 1 hour.  Turn oven off, and let cake cool in oven with the door closed for 5 to 6 hours.  This prevents cracking.  (It’s supposed to anyway.  It works sometimes and other times, not so much.)  Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

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