New Country Representative to Spain for the International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (IAAND)

As of June 1, 2021, I’m the new Country Representative to Spain for the International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (IAAND).

Based in Chicago, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (AND) is the world’s largest food and nutrition professionals organization, with over 100,000 credentialed practitioners, including students, retired professionals, and international supporters.

Formerly called the American Dietetic Association, The Academy was founded in 1917, with a commitment to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education, and advocacy.

I graduated from Queens College with a degree in Family and Exercise Sciences, completed my 900-hr internship through Queens College, and earned a Master in Nutrition Education from Queens College as well. I was certified as a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and earned a certification in Diabetes Education as well.

I’ve served in several volunteer positions for the Academy, beginning with an elected position to the Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group (WM DPG). A DPG is a professional-interest group of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics members who wish to connect with other members within their interest and/or practice areas. The Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group supports the highest level of professional practice in preventing and treating overweight and obesity throughout the lifecycle.

As a founding member of this DPG (2001), I was elected as Secretary for two years starting in 2005, followed by seven years as Sponsorship Relations Chair, an appointed position.

As Sponsorship Relations Chair I worked with sponsors and members to produce an annual Symposium. In 2013 we were in Indianapolis, at the Hyatt Regency.

May be an image of 1 person
April 1, 2014, on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC representing the WM DPG at the PPW 2014 (Public Policy Workshop) – now known as the Nutrition and Dietetics Advocacy Summit

After moving to Cuenca, Ecuador with my husband Ken in 2014, I served as the new (and first) Country Representative to Ecuador.

May be an image of 1 person
Cuenca is Ecuador’s third-largest city, located high in the Andes, with beautiful lakes and hiking trails.
It has a world-class Symphony Orchestra, typically free for all to attend.
No photo description available.
The view from our window February 13, 2018 – we lived for two years at the lovely Boutique Hotel Floré on Mariscal Sucre, and enjoyed every minute of it.

No photo description available.
Taken two years later on February 13, 2020 – Catedral de la Inmaculada Concepción – The New Cathedral, Mariscal Sucre, Cuenca, Ecuador

Now that we have relocated to Valencia, Spain I have assumed a new volunteer position with IAAND – Country Representative to Spain.

July 2020 – Arrived in Valencia, enjoying the views – Plaza de la Reina

Formerly known as the American Overseas Dietetic Association –

About the IAAND:

As the International Affiliate of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics,  IAAND has over 1000 members and supporters, including student members and supporters, living in more than 78 countries. Members are internationally-minded Active, Student, International, and Retired Academy members, living inside and outside the United States, who practice in a wide variety of settings, including:

IAAND appoints Country Representatives (CRs), who serve as first points of contact for IAAND and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics within their country.

What does a country representative do?
Serves as a local resource to integrate new IAAND members into practice in the country.
Serves as an information base for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics/IAAND regarding country-specific food and nutrition issues.
Serves as a resource base to Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics/IAAND, helping field inquiries regarding practice & educational opportunities abroad.
Establishes relationships with key nutrition and dietetics associations and other relevant professional organizations.
Serves as a resource for referrals in collaboration with local dietetics professionals.

I’m working on a draft of the Country Information Sheet – Spain. This is member benefit.
There are two ways to enjoy the benefits of IAAND membership.

Country Information Sheets are created by Country Representatives to describe dietetics and the environment in their country. This information is useful to those who are seeking employment or interested in pursuing projects in the country.

Registered Dietitian Denine Stracker is Spain’s previous CR, now living in the U.S. IAAND member Aitor Sánchez is a Spanish dietitian-nutritionist, who lives in Madrid and has offices in Valencia. Click here for more information about the Aleris Centro de Nutrición Valencia, a center that offers services from professional dietitians-nutritionists, psychologists and exercise experts for weight and health management. Aitor is an entrepreneur, and has many successful endeavours, including the Aleris clinic, the Aleris academy, regular podcasts and blog posts. He is an excellent communicator – an author and media expert with two books in print and more to come. He’s an excellent professional and I thank him very much for all of his help.

May be an image of 1 person
Aitor Sánchez – Mi Dieta Cojea

At present Spain does not have a national certification for dietitians-nutritionists. Spain has 17 Autonomous Regions and each has a regional dietetic association, and a written consensus that guides universities in the competencies and basic content for training. Click here to learn more about CODiNuCoVa The College of Dietitians and Nutritionists of the Valencian Community, officially constituted on December 19, 2009.

To work in Spain: EU nationals are free to work and live in Spain without restrictions but non-EU residents must have the correct visas to work in the country. Requirements for this include a job contract with a Spanish employer as well as other necessary documents

May be an image of 2 people, including Ken March, tree and outdoors
Enjoying Valencia! Parque Turia – masks permitted to be off outdoors beginning June 26, 2021

“Detox” Naturally – Eat Your Way To Better Health

Your body is a natural detoxifier – In ScienceBasedMedicine, we learn that, “The liver performs a series of chemical reactions to convert toxic substances into ones that can be eliminated in bile, or the kidneys. The liver is self-cleansing – toxins don’t accumulate in it, and unless you have documented liver disease, it generally functions without any problem. The kidney excretes waste products into the urine – otherwise the substance stays in the blood. To argue that either organ need a “cleanse” is to demonstrate a profound ignorance of human physiology, metabolism, and toxicology.”
More info in my article from

But no doubt, we eat foods that aren’t the best for us – we may drink too much alcohol and not enough water.  Getting the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables daily may take some planning, but I guarantee that if you follow this eating plan for at least a week, you’ll get fabulous nutrition without being hungry or resorting to a “detox” diet plan.

Prepare to succeed!  Go shopping, stock up on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, and dairy (if you choose) –

If you are hungry, feel free to add more vegetables – they are unlimited – this guide is the minimum servings you need daily.

A great website with a FREE database of foods is the USDA’s SuperTracker.

Screen Shot 2015-08-25 at 14.37.10

First, create your profile.  Then, choose your goals – weight loss, maintenance, or weight gain – you can even get recommendations for pregnancy – pre-pregnancy, or first, second, or third trimester.  Put in your vitals – height, weight, age, sex – and goal – and see the recommendations for nutrition, portions, and even click on each food to find out more.  It’s our USA Tax Dollars at work!

woman exercise

Calories Equal Food: What to Eat: How Many Servings Do You Need?

Make Your Menus: click here for information about serving sizes of fruits and vegetables

                                                             Second Nature EatingEating smaller meals more frequently works ideally for me: I translate this eating pattern into portions: for example,
1300-1400 calories 1500-1600 calories
Breakfast ~250 ~300
Lunch ~400 ~500
Dinner ~400-500 ~500
Snack ~100 ~100-150
Snack ~100 ~100-150
What To Eat? 1300-1400 1500-1600
Starches: grains, breads, legumes, starchy vegetables 4 5
Meats and meat substitutes: Non-meat eaters, estimate ¼ cup cooked dry beans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, or ½ ounce of nuts or seeds can be considered as 1 ounce of meat – 3 oz of tofu has 8 g of protein – see more substitutes ideas here.
4-5 6-7
Dairy and Dairy Substitutes: per cup – can choose unsweetened soy milk or soy yogurt. 2 2
Crunchy Vegetables: 1 cup raw or 2 cups leafy greens or 1/2 cup cooked At least 4- more is fine At least 4-more is fine
Fruits: 1 small-med piece or 1 cup chopped or 2 tbs dried – I don’t recommend juice 2+ 2+
Added fats and oils – -light spreads (avoid all partially hydrogenated fats, margarine), avocado is great! oils like olive or canola oil-based salad dressing are best – buy organic if possible 1-2 3+ added
Other treats, such as wine or chocolate, depending on your activities!
Sample Menu 1300-1400
Breakfast:~250 calories

1 milk

1 fruit

1 starch

1 cup nonfat milk: 1 milk—80 calories1 cup berries: 1 fruit—60 calories

about 3/4 cup cooked oatmeal: 1 starch—approximately 100 calories

Total: ~240 calories

Snack:~100 calories

1 milk

1 6-ounce cup unsweetened yogurt: 1 milk—100 calories
Lunch: ~400 calories2 meat

2 starches


2 slices whole grain bread or cup of quinoa: 2 starch—200 calories2 ounces turkey or tuna or salmon: 2 protein/meat—200 calories


Carrots and cucumbers—free

Snack: ~100 calories1 fat 1 small handful almonds (24): 1 fat—approximately 100 calories
Dinner: ~4003 meat

1 starches

2 veggies

2 fat

3 ounces broiled fish: 3 lean protein—210 calories1 small baked potato with salsa: 1 starch—100 calories

Broccoli and tomatoes, sautéed in nonstick pan with ½ tsp olive oil and herbs: free veggies plus 1 fat—50 calories

Tossed salad with vinegar, lemon, and ½ tsp olive oil—50 calories

Snack ~1001 fruit

1 milk

Sugar-free hot chocolate—60 calories½ Granny smith apple, sliced thin—40 calories
Sample Menu 1500-1600
Breakfast:~300 calories

1 milk

1 fruit

1-2 starch

1 cup of nonfat milk: 1 milk—80 calories1 whole cup berries: 1 fruit—60 calories

1- cup cooked oatmeal cereal: 1-2 starch—approximately 150 calories

Snack:~150 calories

1 milk

1 fruit

1 6-ounce cup unsweetened yogurt: 1 milk—100 calories1 whole orange: 1 fruit—60 calories
Lunch:~500 calories

3 meat

2 starch

1-2 fat


Large tossed salad: free vegetables3 ounces canned salmon or broiled fish: 3 meat

Whole wheat pita bread: 2 starch

1 tablespoon nonfat salad dressing: 1 fat

Snack: ~100 calories1 milk

½ starch

1 nonfat unsweetened yogurt or Greek yogurt: 1 milk2 tablespoons nugget cereal or wheat germ: ½ starch
Dinner: ~500-6003 meat

1-2 starch

1 fat

Shrimp with broccoli4 ounces medium-sized shrimp sautéed with 1 teaspoon olive oil; garlic, tomatoes, red peppers, and snow peas:

3-4 lean protein, 1 fat—approximately 300 calories

Big tossed salad with vinegar, lemon, and ½ tsp olive oil—50 calories

½- 1 cup brown rice: 1-2 starch—100-200 calories

Snack ~1001 milk

1 fruit

Sugar-free hot chocolate—60 calories½ Granny smith apple, sliced thin—40 calories
Total: about 1500-1600 calories Opt for a glass of red wine or a square of dark chocolate—approximately 100 calories

Legumes! New Information Shows Even Greater Health Benefits


Legumes may lower risk of type 2 diabetes

Written by Ana Sandoiu
Published: Sunday 2 April 2017

Type 2 diabetes is a serious health concern in the United States and across the globe. New research shows that a high consumption of legumes significantly reduces the risk of developing the disease.
[various types of legumes]
A new study suggests that a high consumption of legumes can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by 35 percent.

The legume family consists of plants such as alfalfa, clover, peas, peanuts, soybeans, chickpeas, lentils, and various types of beans.

As a food group, they are believed to be particularly nutritious and healthful. One of the reasons for this is that they contain a high level of B vitamins, which help the body to make energy and regulate its metabolism.

Additionally, legumes are high in fiber and contain minerals such as calcium , magnesium, andpotassium. They also comprise a variety of so-called phytochemicals – bioactive compounds that further improve the body’s metabolism and have been suggested to protect against heart disease and diabetes.

Finally, legumes are also considered to be a “low glycemic index food,” which means that blood sugar levels increase very slowly after they are consumed.

To make people aware of the many health benefits of legumes, the year 2016 has been declared theInternational Year of Pulses by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Pulses are a subgroup of legumes.

Because of their various health benefits, it has been suggested that legumes protect against the onset oftype 2 diabetes – a serious illness that affects around 29 million people in the U.S. and more than 400 million adults worldwide. However, little research has been carried out to test this hypothesis.

Therefore, researchers from the Unit of Human Nutrition at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili in Tarragona, Spain, together with other investigators from the Prevención con Dieta Mediterránea (PREDIMED) study, set out to investigate the association between legume consumption and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in people at an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study also analyzes the effects of substituting foods rich in proteins and carbohydrates with legumes, and the findings were published in the journal Clinical Nutrition.

High intake of lentils lowers risk of type 2 diabetes by 33 percent

The team investigated 3,349 participants in the PREDIMED study who did not have type 2 diabetes at the beginning of the study. The researchers collected information on their diets at the start of the study and every year throughout the median follow-up period of 4.3 years.

Individuals with a lower cumulative consumption of legumes had approximately 1.5 weekly servings of 60 grams of raw legumes, or 12.73 grams per day. A higher legume consumption was defined as 28.75 daily grams of legumes, or the equivalent of 3.35 servings per week.

Using Cox regression models, the researchers analyzed the association between the incidence of type 2 diabetes and the average consumption of legumes such as lentils, chickpeas, dry beans, and fresh peas.

Overall, during the follow-up period, the team identified 266 new cases of type 2 diabetes.

The study revealed that those with a higher intake of legumes were 35 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than their counterparts who consumed a smaller amount of legumes. Of all the legumes studied, lentils had the strongest association with a low risk of type 2 diabetes.

In fact, individuals with a high consumption of lentils (defined as almost one weekly serving) were 33 percent less likely to develop diabetes compared with their low-consumption counterparts – that is, the participants who had less than half a serving per week.

Additionally, the researchers found that replacing half a daily serving of protein- and carbohydrate-rich foods – including bread, eggs, rice, or potatoes – with an equivalent serving of legumes also correlated with a reduced risk of diabetes.

The authors conclude that:

“A frequent consumption of legumes, particularly lentils, in the context of a Mediterranean diet, may provide benefits on type 2 diabetes prevention in older adults at high cardiovascular risk.”

International Women’s Club-Valencia

January 31, 2023

The International Women’s Club-Valencia was established in 2005. We had a blast bustin’ some myths – including “eggs cause high cholesterol” and “drink cranberry juice to treat or prevent UTIs.” As always, my presentation is supported by research and science! In attendance were women and men from around the world, including the USA, Finland, Norway, and Mexico!

Time & Location

Jan 31, 11:00 AM – 1:00 PM

Cathy Cleaver’s house, Avinguda de l’Oest, 38, 46001 València, Valencia, Spain

About The Event

It’s 2023! Your goal is to make some positive changes for better health, but there’s so much conflicting nutrition information out there. You’re 10 pages down into Google and mired in contradictory sources telling the “secret” to weight loss, or that all fats are bad, or all carbs are good – or vice-versa.  At this point, you’re starving and all you want to know is whether or not you can eat your favorite burger! In this fun and interactive session, we’ll get to the meat of the matter – what’s “best” and “worst” and we’ll ‘bust’ some nutrition myths. 

Bonus: Let’s do a little label reading! Ever wonder what is the very first thing you need to read on a packaged food label to make a smart choice? Bring some of your favorite (or even better, your least favorite!) packages so we can have some sleuthing fun.

Susan Burke March is a retired Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) and serves as Country Representative to Spain for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Our Bono Cards

It took three months to get our appointment but we did it! After living in Valencia for at least six months you can apply for the “gold card” that allows you “free” rides on all buses for one year. Cost – about €18.

Bono Oro Regulations

This is a bus pass for the over 65’s, pensioners and disabled people who meet specific conditions and are registered in Valencia as well as being legal residents of Spain. It allows unlimited use of all EMT bus routes without exception from the moment the bus pass is paid for, until the end of the year. Requests are processed at the local municipal administrative offices.

May be an image of 1 person and text that says 'BONO ORO KENNETH ALLEN MARCH D.N.I. EMT VALENCIA AJUNTAMENT DE VALÈNCIA Mobilis'