Thursday, December 23, 2010

Navigating the Super Market- Shopping Advice

Tips to keep you on track while at the super market:

  • Shop the perimeter of the market- Produce, deli, dairy

  • Purchase fresh foods (no labels) these foods are going to be less processed and provide the best nutrition.

  • Choose whole foods (bread, cereal, produce, dairy) vs modified food products (fruit snacks, diet soda, cheese spread)

Meal planning
Planning meals can save time and money:

  • Look through the paper and circulars - know the advertised specials

  • Sit down with you family and write out menus- Choose a shopping cycle (weekly, biweekly, or whatever works best)

Store layout                                                                                             

  •  Walk the perimeter of the market- see where your favorite foods are

  • Learn the store’s perimeter arrangement, which should include produce, prepared foods, deli, meats, seafood, and dairy

Become familiar with

  • Nutrition labels

  • Ingredients- ingredients are listed by weight, so the item that is used most is listed first.

  • Nutrition and health claims- beware of health claims. For example, just because something says it is fat free doesn’t mean it is good for you.


  •  Select a rainbow of colors

  •  To save money buy what is in season

  • Select produce with the longest storage life. Some include:

  1.  Broccoli

  2.  Brussels sprouts

  3.  Carrots

  4.  Potatoes

  5. Apples

  6. Grapefruit

  7.  Oranges


  • Ask deli to slice 1-ounce (oz) portions when cutting meats. Eat 3-4oz per meal.

  • Chose white meat (lean protein) vs. dark meat (medium to high fat protein)


  • Choose darker fish. They are higher in omega-3s, such as mackerel and salmon

  • Chose most often lower-fat fish, such as perch, snapper, and sole

  • To save money consider purchasing frozen fish

Beef and pork

  • Choose “round” and “loin”, such as tenderloin, sirloin, eye of the round, and top round

  • Purchase “select” (lowest fat) as first choice, “choice “as second choice, “prime” as third choice

  • When Choosing pork make sure that it is gray/pink in color

  •  Beef should be bright red in color


  • Purchase mostly skinless chicken, turkey, and duck

  • Remove the skin before cooking, if skinless poultry is not purchased

Chose lower fat options to save on liquid calories and fat grams:

  • 1% milk=2.5 grams fat/serving

  • 3.3% (whole milk)= about 8 grams fat/serving


  • Shelf life of eggs is usually 4 weeks after purchase (check carton for date)

  • To cut on calories and fat try using Egg Beaters® as an alternative to whole eggs

Frozen fruits and vegetables

  • Frozen fruit and veggies are packed at their peak of flavor and freshness

  • Be careful. Although frozen produce has just as much nutrition as fresh fruits and vegetables they often have added fat or sugar. Read the labels and ingredients lists.

Happy Shopping!!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

7 Components of Wellness

Contributed from RD411- Shawna Gornick- Ilagan, MS, RD, CWPC

In 2011 commit to movings towards a higher level of wellness! Wellness encompasses our whole being= mind, body, and spirit. Is there one area that is lacking in your quest for wellness?    

Here are some tips for achieving each component of Wellness

1. Social wellness:
• Schedule a game night
• Watch a funny movie with friends
• Join an organization
• Do not gossip and become a good listener

2. Environmental wellness:
• Fix something that is broken
• Recycle
• Plant a tree
• Donate blood
• Donate food or clothes

3. Vocational or occupational wellness:
• Pursue continuing education opportunities
• Reflect on your career goals and aspirations each year

4. Spiritual wellness:
• Develop a life philosophy and live by it
• Practice compassion and acceptance

5. Emotional wellness:
• Smile as many times as you can in a day
• Adopt an attitude of optimism

6. Intellectual wellness:
• Learn a new language
• Take a workshop or course for a new skill or hobby

7. Physical wellness:
• Drink plenty of fluids
• Aim for 25-35 grams of fiber/day
• Aim for five servings of fruits and vegetables/day
• Wear your seat belt
• Get preventative exams

Commit to a 12 month wellness Program!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Working Towards a Leaner Body

There are three different parts to fitness that allow your body to work at its full potential. It is important to take time to engage in strength, flexibility, and endurance exercises! 

Make a game plan

Write down exercises that your can do in each of these categories




Ask yourself these questions

When will I exercise on the week day?

Before work,   After work,  At lunch, Before dinner , After dinner              

When will I exercise on the weekend?

Morning ,  Afternoon,  Evening

Who will I exercise with?

Family, Friend,  Neighbor, Other_____________

Monday, December 20, 2010

Daily Nutrition Checklist

Daily Nutrition Checklist

Are you keeping on track? Here is a list to keep you in check!

  • Limit salt intake to 2400mg

  • 25-35 grams fiber per day

  • 5 a day (fruits and veggies)

  • 3 servings of milk/dairy per day (nonfat milk, low fat cheese/yogurt)

  • At least 64 oz of water per day

  • Not skipping meals (going no longer than 4 hours without eating)

  • Protein at each meal and snack ( lean meats, nuts, beans, eggs, diary)

  • EXERCISE ( mix of cardio and resistance training, also stretching)

  • Variety of CHO, FAT, PRO


Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Meal Plan- COSTCO style

I dont know about you, but I love shopping at Costco! Costco has high quality foods, and great prices!

Here is days menu using many of my favorite items from Costco.  

Breakfast- Protein shake

            Chocolate Whey Protein

            1 c. skim milk

            1 Tbsp peanut butter

            Ice if desired

Blend all ingredients in a blender and enjoy

 Snack- 1 Chobani Greek yogurt

Lunch-Chicken tortilla wrap with an apple & TLC granola bar 

            1 all natural tortilla

            3-4 oz canned chicken

            Organic mixed greens

            Mustard and mayo to taste

            Organic appleSee full size image

            Kashi TLC granola bar 

Snack- Steamed edamame topped with garlic salt to taste

Dinner- Mahi Mahi  with a side salad and quinoa

            Mahi Mahi fillet (baked, grilled, or sautéed) with lemon pepper to taste

            Mixed greens salad with snap peas, dressing of choice

            QuinoaSee full size image with olive oil, salt and pepper to taste     

Snack- Food Should Taste Good tortilla chips & hummus

What are some of your favorite healthful foods to get at Costco? Or, is there a better place to find them?

 It's time to make my shopping list!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Blues- Getting Your Vitamin D

What is the big deal about vitamin D ?                                                                                                                                                                                                                           A walk outside in the sun may have more benefits than you think! Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin) although mainly known to help in the absorption of calcium to help maintain strong bones has been linked as a protective factor in cancer, depression, diabetes, heart disease and many autoimmune diseases. More research is being done to look at vitamin D and the correlation between upper respiratory tract infections, MS, Lupus, and Fibromyalgia.

 How do I get enough Vitamin D in the winter?                                                                                                                                                                                             GOOD QUESTION! It is recommended to get 10 minutes of sunshine per day at least 3 times per week. For those of us living in the Northwest or other areas of the country with long dark winters this can be a problem.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Some dietary sources of Vitamin D include

  •             Fortified milk

  •             Eggs

  •             Fish

  •             Cod liver oil

Getting checked our for a vitamin D deficiency                                                                                                                                                                                                     A routine blood draw can be done to test vitamin D levels. In our facility, Surgical Bariatrics Northwest, we typically screen our patients. To our surprise many people are deficient in Vitamin D. By ensuring that they are getting proper vitamin D through supplementation patients are more likely to feel better. Some state they have more energy, less pain and just feel better. You can overdose on vitamin D. If you are unsure of how much to take make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about supplementation.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hindrances to Weight Loss- Women

Below is a list of WOMEN specific hinderances to weight loss

Eating on the run

Hectic lives don’t leave much room for sit down meals. Often women find themselves running from point A to point B and don’t even stop to enjoy what they have shoved in their mouths. Another common problem is not eating! This will cause your hunger hormones to get out of control so that when you do it you often over consume!

  • Be prepared - Pack snacks

  • Take a moment to sit down and enjoy what you are eating

  • Ask for nutrition information from your favorite fast food spots. Make an informative decision about what you are eating.

Nighttime eating

The house is quite and you are ready to relax! It is time to grab those crunchy chips or smooth ice cream and crawl up on the couch.

  • Stop and ask yourself if you are really hungry

  • Distract yourself with something else like relaxing with a good book or a card game

  • Turn towards a nice low cal drink like herbal tea or flavored water

 Preparing multiples meals

It is hard to please everyone and by the time the meal is done you are already full because you have to taste everything as you cook it! Now you don’t even feel like eating a balanced meal.

  • Make a game plan: decide what you want to eat for your meal before preparing

  • Compromise with your family and try to come up with meal everyone will eat so that you do not have to make multiple items.

  • Chew gum or cut up veggies while preparing food so that you do not use up all your calories before it is even meal time.

 Eating like a man

Going out to eat seems to be a common event between couples. Often we will unconsciously eat the same as the person they are dinning with.

  •  Get a box when your meal comes out so you can put half in before you eat

  •   Scope out the menu for healthful food choices

  •   If you know you are going to splurge – BE ACTIVE

Emotional eating

Food is always around us. Women tend to hold in their feelings. We need comfort from somewhere. Why not food? Food won’t think less of us or talk back. Food seems to be the easy choice for comfort in a difficult time.

  • Distract yourself with other activities that can help you deal with your emotions

    • A brisk walk    

    • A bubble bath

  • Try to find low-fat or reduced calorie choices to your favorite comfort foods

  • Decipher what feeling will cause you to over indulge so you are aware of them

 Just remember, if we are better able to take care of ourselves we will be able to better serve others! Make youself number ONE!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Food Cravings- How to deal with them!

Are you physically hungry or is this just a craving?

A good way to distinguish between physical hunger and a craving is by the last time that you ate. If you just got done with a meal (within the last 1-2 hours) you are probably not physically hungry!

 Food cravings are just suggestions to eat they are not commands to gorge yourself. It is all in how you decide to deal with your craving. Next time you have cravings try to wait a while and see if the craving passes. While you are passing time direct your mind to something else, step back from your temptation, think if it is really worth it, and then decide what you are going to do. If you choose to eat it decide how much and make sure that you really enjoy it!

 Here are some tips to help you manage your food cravings

 Eat regular well-balanced meals and snacks

  •  Do not skip meals, this will only make you more hungry throughout the day. BE PREPARED!Always make sure to have healthful snacks on hand.  

 Assess your craving; does it correlate to your current mood or situation?

  • You may not be able to control your craving but you can control your reaction. Remember food may only temporarily cure how you feel.

 Make healthy food choices

  • You are not going to be able to control everything in your life, but you can control what you put in your mouth. Take responsibility choosing healthful foods, and stopping when you are satisfied.

 Moderation vs. deprivation

  • Food is a wonderful part of life and typically our favorite foods are linked to memorable pastimes. Enjoy them, but only every once in a while.

 Good food vs. bad food

  • There are no “bad foods” the problem comes with the quantities that we choose to consume. Dish up a small portion for you to enjoy and make it a special occasion not a daily ritual.

 Find a substitution

  • Cravings can pass. Cravings are often not hunger and will go away if you allow yourself to be distracted by other thoughts and activities.


  • Distract yourself from eating and go exercise! If you do overindulged, exercise is the only thing that can help burn off those extra calories. Stay active!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Turkey Burn- Treadmill Interval Training

Do you ever get bored while working out? I sure do! My cure for the cardio blues is busting out some intervals on the treadmill! Watching the clock makes me forget about what I am doing, PLUS it is quick and effective! 

 Here is a great treadmill workout that is sure to burn some of those extra holiday calories!

25-30 minutes

5 min walk at brisk pace ( 3.0-4.0 mph- adjust to your level and add an incline if you choose)

        INTERVALS  (repeat 7-8 times)
  • 90 seconds jogging (5-6 mph- adjust accordingly)

  • 30 seconds sprint (7.5-9 mph- adjust accordingly)

 5 minute cool-down walk (3.0-4.0 mph. add a small incline if you choose)

Not a runner?? Any pace will work! Start where you feel comfortable! It might even take a couple of times to find the perfect settings for yourself!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Weekend Challenge- Interval Training

Interval Training

 Here is a weekend fitness challenge for you! It’s very simple and all you need is yourself and a stopwatch/timer. Interval training is very effective, it doesn’t take long, you can choose your own level, and it's fun!  

4 intervals/rounds = 24min

 INTERVALS- Here is an effective format for a total body workout. You can choose the same exercises for each round or mix it up!

  • 3min Strength (Pick 2 exercises, alternate 45sec 2x)

  •  2min Cardio (Pick 2 exercises, alternate 30sec 2x)

  • 1min Abs (Pick 2 exercises, alternate 30sec 1x)

 Choose whatever exercises you like! Here are some of my favorites.


  • Squats

  • Squat with knee lift

  • Reverse lunges

  • Walking lunges

  • Pushups

  • Plank

  • Tricep dips of chair/bench

  • Tricep pushups

  • Burpees


  • Jumping jacks

  • High knees

  • Butt kickers

  • Moguls (ski)- hop side to side or front to back

  • Jump rope

  • Step ups on bench or step

  • Jog in place

  • Punches corner to corner

  • Stairs

  • Basic crunch

  • Plank

  • Plank with twist- knee to elbow

  • Side plank

  • Bicycle crunches

  • Reverse crunches- feet in air and lift hips ( stamp the ceiling with your feet)


 For more ideas on exercise check out some of these You Tube videos

No Equipment - 30 Min. In Home Power Workout:

Weightless by Kiya:                                              

You in for the challenge? Grab a partner! Be accountable to someone! Just do it one time this weekend and let me know what you think! Leave a comment- what intervals did you choose!!

Heres to you!!! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Snack Attack - Preventing Overeating

Choosing the Appropriate Snack

Overeating can occur if you have gone to long during the day (over 3- 4 hours) without eating!

Finding an appropriate snack during the day can be a challenge!

The goal of a snack is to help keep you satisfied until your next meal and also to help control hunger levels thus preventing overeating at meals. A 100 calorie snack of Oreos is a lot different from a 100 calorie snack of string cheese with 1/2 an apple. When picking your snacks make sure that they include protein and fiber  to help keep you satisfied until your next meal.

First look at the serving size

Then take a look at the calories ( A snack should typically be between 150-250 calories depending on your calorie allowance for the day)

Next look for protein (Reach for at least 8-15 grams of protein at snack time)

Next look for fiber (Aim for snacks with at least 3g of fiber per serving. Each day you should get 25-35 grams of fiber)

NOTE: The closer you can get your carbohydrate (CHO) to protein (PRO) grams ratio at 2:1 the better. If protein grams are higher than carb grams that is fine, but if carbs are more than 2x than protein beware. When a food is high in carbs and there is not any protein or fiber to offset the high carbs your blood sugars will increase rapidly giving  you energy for a little while but then hunger will set in. Protein and fiber help level out your blood sugars and keep you full longer!

Here are some other snack ideas

  • 6oz Greek yogurt
  • Balance Bar
  • 1 string cheese and 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 apple with 5 walnuts
  • 1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese with 1/2 cup melon
  • 1 oz nuts (small handful)
  • slices of carrot,celery, or red and yellow pepper with 4 Tbsp. hummus
  • 3oz tuna served with tomato and drizzled with lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup boiled edamame
  • 6 tortilla chips topped with 1/4 cup vegetarian refried beans and salsa
  • Beef jerky (add a pc. of fruit or veggies for fiber)
  • Hard boiled egg and veggies

Monday, November 15, 2010

Common Exercise Myths- Get The Facts

Everyone has their own theory about exercise and nutrition. Here are some common myths that have been circulating around. Get the FACTS!

1-     Going to the gym is the best way to stay fit.

  • Many people benefit from in home exercise programs or being active in the outdoors. The great thing about exercise if you can do it just about anywhere. Kiya and James with WEightless escape are experts in getting you out of the gym and exploring fitness on a whole new level.

2-     To lose weight all I need is cardio. Weight training will bulk me up.

  • Both cardio and weight training are an important part of your weight loss journey. Weight training is very important in maintaining lean muscle mass while lowering your body fat.

3-     If you don’t have at least 30 min to workout it’s not even worth it.

  •  Any exercise is better than none. You have to start somewhere, even if that is a 15min walk at lunch time. Break your workout up during the day.

Example:15 min strength and stretch in the am or pm (crunches, pushups, ball squats, lunges, stretches) and 15 min walk/jog at lunch (hit the hills).

4-     Avoid eating after 8pm.

  • Often people have already ingested all the calories that they need for the day by this time so intake after 8pm isn’t justified.  Nothing is wrong with eating late if you are using the food to fuel your body.

5-     The more time you spend working out the better results you will get.

  • Overtraining will stop muscle growth. Always make sure you give your body adequate rest.

6-     If your parents are overweight most likely you will be too.

  • Although genetics do play a part in body composition so does lifestyle. Keep active and pay attention to your daily food intake.  Quality nutrition and exercise are the most important factors in preventing obesity.

7-     Water aerobics is for older adults with injuries.

  • People at any age can benefit from water aerobics. Water aerobics proves to be challenging and a great way to improve health and fitness. Even some top Olympic athletes incorporate water exercises to work their muscles a little differently. 

8-     If I do a lot of exercises for that trouble spot it will go away.

  • The most effective way to change our bodies is to do a full body workout (cardio, weights, and stretching), along with proper nutrition. Fat will not fall off of our bodies in just one spot no matter how hard we work at it if the other components aren’t in check.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pumpkin Spice Cookies- Quick, Low-fat and Delicious

We all know tis the season for SWEETS! But why not take the healthy alternative? Just like anything in life we have to find a balance between enjoying ourself and going overboard!  

Here is one of my favorite recipes! I have to thank my sister in law, Angela Flicker with The Artists House ,for this wonderful recipe!  Without any added oil or eggs these cookies are a  low-fat/low-calorie alternative to your typical holiday treat. PLUS, they are cheap and take no time to prepare!

Pumpkin Spice Cookies

  • 1 box spice cake mix

  • 1/2 of a 15oz can pumpkin puree

  • Add chocolate chips/walnuts to taste 



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees                                                                                  

  2. Mix all ingredients together. I like using a beater or even my hands (just wash them first)  

  3. On a greased cookie sheet use a tablespoon to scoop/drop mixture onto sheet.

  4. Cook for 10-15 min then poke with toothpick to see if done.

  5. Take out and let them cool. ENJOY!    


Here is one last tip for the busy holiday season full of food, fun, and family!!! Make sure you continue to move your body!  Make it a tradition to go for a nice family walk after your Thanksgiving meal or play an active game in the yard or on your Wii!

What are some of your family traditions or favorite holiday dishes?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Adding Flavor To Foods Without The Extra Calories

When is the last time you read the back of your ketchup or BBQ sauce bottles? Or how about the labels of the flavored waters and sports drinks that taste so good? Often times these foods that seem harmless are full of sugar, fat, salt, preservatives and unwanted calories!  Here are some ways to add flavor to your foods and drinks without all the extra calories!

Add flavor to your water by adding slices of                                                            

  • limes, lemons, or cucumber

  • natural tea packets- get creative and mix two flavors like peach and raspberry  

Add flavor to your favorite foods using natural ingredients/low calorie options such as:

  • Garlic

  • Onions

  • Bell peppers  

  • Lemon

  • Lime

  • Stewed tomatoes (Mexican, Italian, etc…)

  • Salsa

  • Tabasco sauce

  • Mrs. Dash seasonings (over 13 varieties)

  • Lemon pepper

  • Italian seasoning

  • Cumin

  • Curry powder

  • Fresh herbs- basil, cilantro, and rosemary are my favorites

  • Balsamic vinegar  

Low calorie condiments:

  • Mustard (try spicy mustard for an extra zing) – Add to tuna fish instead of high calorie mayo.

  • Plain yogurt- Add to tuna instead of mayo or top a potato with yogurt instead of butter and sour cream

  • Light Italian dressing- makes a great marinade

  • Salsa- top potatoes with salsa instead of high calorie butter and sour cream or add on top or chicken instead of using BBQ sauce

What are some of your favorite ways to add flavor and variety when cooking?

So often in our busy lives we buy the already seasoned or flavored varieties of our favorite foods. Typically with convenience foods come a lot of unnecessary fat, sugar, and salt! By having some of the above ingredients on hand you are able to get creative in the kitchen and make your very own homemade nutritious foods while saving money and doing something good for your body!  


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Benifits of Exercise- Beyond Weight Loss


Did you know there are many benefits to exercise?

 Boosts energy- Exercise increases circulation and blood flow which delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues thus increasing energy.

 Increases immunity- Research has shown that exercise can help increase the cells that attack bacteria. It is believed that consistent exercise leads to a substantial increase in the immune system over time.

 Keeps you limber-  Improved flexibility can help you with day to day tasks. Getting up and down stairs, picking things up off the ground, reaching for an item on a high shelf, or even getting in and out of the car.

 Improves  mood/ decreases stress- Exercise stimulates brain chemicals making your feel good. Exercise can also effect how your body looks giving you confidence. Exercise helps prevent depression

 Improves sleep- Regular exercise can help improve your sleep. Improved sleep in return helps increase concentration and productivity.

Spark in sex life- Exercise helps increase your energy and also helps you feel better about yourself and the way you look.

IT’S FUN- Go dancing, hiking, or get involved in a sports league. Exercise doesn’t have to be boring. Get creative! The most important thing is that you are moving!   

Reduces risk of chronic disease

  •  High Blood Pressure

  • Osteoporosis

  • High cholesterol

  • Type II diabetes

  • Some types of Cancer                           

Exercise and healthy eating is by far the cheapest medicine! Are you convinced? 

Your body is your own! Take charge!  

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Many of you probably wonder what I do on a day-to-day basis. Here is an insight into my  work as a dietitian specializing in the field of wt. loss.

Whether a surgical or nonsurgical patient all patients that come into Surgical Bariatrics Northwest with the goal of changing their life are entered into the Optifit program.

What is OPTIFIT? Optifit is a weight management program that is physician-monitored and dietitian-directed, provides behavioral support, and utilizes a professional trainer—all to get you looking and feeling great! We’re here to help get you started on our medically directed, proven effective, non-surgical weight loss program that is designed to elevate your wellness and revitalize your life. Located in Post Falls, Idaho, Optifit offers you the care and support you need to help you achieve your weight loss goals and restore your health.

As the dietitian, I work with patients one on one to access their metabolic function and devise meal plans based on their individual results. Together we look at how their metabolism is working (how many calories they need in a day) and what their body composition is (fat mass vs. fat free mass). The main goal is to lose fat and maintain muscle! This is done with a caloric precise, high protein OPTIFIT meal replacements.

Feel free to join one of our newest patients on her journey.  Losingbigwinningbigger

The Optifit program is fail proof and the big test comes after patients are done with the 12 wk program and are transitioning back to regular eating. With Optifit you will lose weight no matter what, but unless you have changed your mind and engaged in a complete lifestyle change the weight will come back. I work with each individual during the 12 weeks to give them the dietary education and tools that they need to be successful long after the program. Our behavioral groups are a big part of our patients success as well. In these groups individuals are able to identify those behaviors that needs to be changed in order to reach their long term goals.

If you have any questions about what a dietitian does or  about the Optifit program please let me know!

If you are currently on Optifit I would love for you to post your experiences and also maybe some of your favorite ways to spruce up your meal replacements!

Here are a couple tips!

- Add sugar free peppermint or Irish cream to your chocolate shake or hot cocoa drink

- Add fresh basil to your tomato soup

- Blend a Crystal Light packet into your vanilla shake

- Blend your fruit drink with ice (some people like to add diet sprite in it as well)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Losing Weight

Have you ever felt defeated in your weight loss efforts? Many people get so caught up by the scale! Don’t let the scale determine your success! I always tell my patients to not weigh themselves every day. Once a week is plenty to help keep you accountable and on track. Write it down to help track your progress. Treat yourself once you have hit your 5 lb weight loss mark (go to a movie, or the spa) and then keep shedding the pounds!

Here is a checklist of things to focus on daily on your weight loss journey:

  • Don’t go longer than 3-4 hours without eating (Start with breakfast, no longer than 1 hour after waking up)

  • Have protein at each meal and snack (20-30 grams protein at meal times, 7-10 grams for snacks) Try a protein shake.

  • Drink your water (Consume at least 64 oz water - add lemon, lime, or sliced cucumbers to flavor)

  • Commit to an exercise program (Exercise most days of the week. Include cardio, weight training, and stretching)

  • Stay away from high calorie drinks, condiments, and creamers

  • Limit your sweets (Sweets may taste good but they are packed with empty calories. Try popping in a piece of gum or have a sugar-free popsicle to curb your craving)

  • JOURNAL. Write down everything that goes into your mouth. A journal is a great accountability partner.

Who wants to commit to losing 5 lbs before the end of the year? Or, maybe you want to lose 10-20 lbs.

What is your goal?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How Many Calories Does Your Body Need in a Day?

What is harder losing weight or maintaining your weight??

Whatever your struggle is, it is important to know how many calories your body needs in a day and how many calories you are putting in each day.

Journaling your food intake and exercise, although time consuming, is the best tool to help you on your journey.

BMR Formula:
Women: BMR = 655 + ( 4.35 x weight in pounds ) + ( 4.7 x height in inches ) - ( 4.7 x age in years )

Men: BMR = 66 + ( 6.23 x weight in pounds ) + ( 12.7 x height in inches ) - ( 6.8 x age in year )

By doing this simple equation you are able to determine your BMR Basal Metabolic Rate (the calories that you need to maintain your weight sitting doing nothing)

Multiply your BMR number by an activity factor to determine your TEE Total Energy Expenditure (calories you need to maintain your weight including lifestyle and exercise)
Sedentary (little to no activity)  BMR x 1.2

Lightly active (light exercise or sport 1-3x/wk) BMR x 1.375
Moderately active( moderate exercise or sport 3-5x/wk) BMR x 1.55
Very active (hard exercise or sport 6-7x/wk) BMR x 1.725

Extra active (very hard exercise up to 2x/day) BMR x 1.9

Your TEE represents the calories you need to maintain your weight. From here you are able to determine how many calories you should be eating to help reach your goal.

There are 3500 calories in a pound
If you are at a 500 calorie deficit each day you have the potential to lose 1 lb. per week.
If you are eating 500 calories over your TEE you have the potential to gain 1 lb. per week.

Calories can add up quick that is why it is so important to bring awareness to what you are eating and how many calories you are consuming. If you know you have over consumed, exercise! Exercising is a great way to burn off those unwanted calories/pounds. What is your TEE?

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Time of Change

Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time!
- Thomas Edison!

In this time of change in my life this quote really spoke to me! Life is all about taking risks and getting out of your comfort zone to help reach your goals. Change isn't easy but everyone is capable. Do you need to be challenged? Is there a dream you are putting on the back burner?

This can related to many different aspects of, diet, work, relationships
What are your goals/ your dreams?

Change takes time! Many people go on a diet or fitness program with the all or nothing attitude. They are typically very successful, but once the program is over if they haven't adopted a healthy lifestyle the weight comes right back.

Diet and exercise isn't all or nothing, it is a complete lifestyle change. Daily we have to make decisions that affect our health. Small changes can make a big difference.

What are some small changes/goals that you can make to start your change?

- Eat breakfast
   - Get protein bars and drinks for on the go
- Drink Water
   - 64 oz per day
   - Add in fresh lemon or lime for flavor
- Eat your fruit and veggies
  - 5 a day
- Take time to meal plan
   - Pack your lunch
   - Make a shopping list and stick to it
- Make a list of healthy snacks to have on hand
  - Cut up veggies and put them in the fridge to snack on
  - Have some type of protein at snack time to help control hunger
- Find an exercise program
    - What time will you work out? Morning, afternoon or night?
    - Who will your workout with? Family, friends, workout video?

What is one thing you can change to help you on your quest for health?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Calorie Counter

Wondering how many calories you eat in a day?
Journaling your daily food intake is one way to ensure success on your weight loss journey.

Step 1: Find out how many calories a day you need to lose weight. There are many different equations and ways to test this. 

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The "5-3-2-1-almost none" plan

Implement these concepts to help you on your quest for health!

  • Eat 5 or more servings of fruit and vegetables

  • Have 3 structured meals (including breakfast)

  • Limit TV/video game use to 2 or less hours

  • Engage in 1 or more hours of moderate to vigorous physical activity

  • Limit sugar-sweetened drink to almost none

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nuts for Nutrition

Nuts for Nutrition
Although nuts have many similar nutrients in them. They are not created equal! Just like any diet variety is KEY!

Test your nut knowledge!

1. Which nut is the highest in selenium (an important nutrient to help increase immunity to viral illnesses)???
2. Which nut contains the highest amount of Omega-3 fatty acids helping decrease LDL (bad cholesterol) and reducing the risk of heart disease???

3. Which nut has the highest levels of antioxidants, thus making them useful in the prevention of many diseases i.e. - cancer and heart disease???

4. Which nut contains the same drugs that are used to prevent Alzheimer's??? It is also very high in vitamin E.

5. Which nut contains natural phytosterols which help lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and total cholesterol levels??? This nut is also known to reduce the risk of prostate and breast cancer.

How did you do???
1. Brazil Nuts 2. Walnuts 3. Pecans 4. Almonds 5. Pistachios

Monday, September 13, 2010

Perspective is Everything

Do I really want to be so involved with nutrition?
Many of you know that food is not only a physical need but many people use it to deal with their emotions. Since there is such a mental component associated with food intake, sometime I feel helpless because I can't change the way a person thinks. I can only help them by giving them tools to encourage lifestyle change.

Lately I have honestly been feeling a little burned out. Have you ever felt this way about the current situation you are in?

It is amazing how God speaks to you in your times of confusion. At church we are in a series called Take This Job and Love It! A couple things that stood out to me and that might encourage you include:

God designed you for a purpose. I think it is very important to remind ourselves of this. Does your job fit your values?Does it fit your gifts?Does it fit your personality?

Keys to Job Satisfaction:
1- Work in a field that uses your gifts and talents that you use for accomplishments of meaningful tasks (use your God given talents)
2- Work at building healthy relationships within your work. If an issue needs to be resolved take the first step. If you don't no one else will!
3- Perspective is everything. Work at developing the right attitude.
"Do the best where you are at in this moment because that is the best

preparation for what is to come."

I have committed to doing the best I can right now! I truly feel that I have been called to be a dietitian and fitness professional! All I need is a change of perspective! I was placed on this earth to encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle so that they are able to give back and do the work God has designed them to do! What were you designed to do?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hey Friends!!

I wanted to let you all know about a new business that I have started up with Beachbody, creators of P90X, Insanity, Turbo Jam, Slim in 6, 10 min. trainer, and many other in home workout programs.

We all know that working out and eating right are the first things to go in our busy life's. What I love about Beachbody's in home workouts are that they are quick and effective.

Please take some time to check out my website and let me know if you have any questions. Some of you may even be ready to become coaches yourself!

I know how important fitness and nutrition are to a healthy, balanced lifestyle and I wanted to become a Beachbody coach to continue to help MOTIVATE people in their quest for health.

Please contact me regarding any of your fitness and health goals. Together we can make it happen!

Here is to you!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic

The New Dirty Dozen: 12 Foods to Eat Organic

We all know that buying organic can be expensive, BUT it may be worth it in some cases! Check out the dirty dozen. By choosing the organic version of these foods you have the potential to reduce your pesticide exposure by 80%!!!
1. Celery
2. Peaches
3. Strawberries
4. Nectarines
5. Potatoes
6. Apples
7. Blueberries
8. Bell peppers
9. Spinach
10. Kale
11. Cherries
12. Grapes

If you are unable to find these varieties of organic fruits and veggies try substituting for these 15 CLEAN foods that you do not have to buy organic.
2. Avocado
3. Sweet corn
4. Pineapple
5. Mango
6. Asparagus
7. Sweet peas
8. Kiwi
9. Cabbage
10. Eggplant
11. Papaya
12. Watermelon
13. Broccoli
14. Tomato
15. Sweet potato
Remeber eat 5 servings or fruits/veggies per day

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Portion Control

Here is some food for thought!

I just got back from a camping trip with my family, and of course when you go camping you have got to make s mores!

My brother and sister in law made sure we were equipped with the finest GIANT MARSHMALLOWS, delicious graham crackers, and of course the best part, chocolate squares.

Being the dietitian of the family I looked at these giant marshmallows and thought...."I wonder how many calories are in these?" 90 calories was the answer! I put one on a stick, shoved a chocolate square in it and started the roasting process.

Across from me was my other sister in law roasting the typical sized marshmallows. So I had to ask, "how many calories are in those?" 40 calories for 2 was the answer.

Typically I would be satisfied eating one regular s mores, but these giant marshmallows where just too cool to pass up!
So instead of eating 1 marshmallows on my s mores (20 calories) by choosing the cool GIANT MARSHMALLOW I was accidentally eating 4 (90 calories)!

WOW that is what you call portion distortion!

Here are some tips to cut back on portions, thus decreasing calorie consumption.

*Eat off of a smaller plate

*Use smaller spoons and forks. Set down your spoon or fork after each bite.

*When at a social event (BBQ, open house, pot-luck, etc) fill your plate only to the inside circle instead of all the way to the outside rim.

*After you are full, don't leave the plate of unfinished food in front of you, push it away of set a napkin on top to limit mindless eating while socializing.

*Read labels on food to see what the appropriate portion is

*If you over do it! Get up and MOVE!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Normal Weight Obesity

Calculate Your BMI - Standard BMI Calculator:

What is your BMI??

BMI is a ratio of height and weight to help determine the health status of an individual.

Underweight = BMI < 18.5
Normal weight = BMI 18.5-24.9
Overweight = BMI 25-29.9
Obesity = BMI > 30

Although BMI works well in most cases there are limitations to using this method.

The more accurate way to determine health in an individual is looking at body fat percentage.

Women should be 30% body fat or below
Men should be 20% body fat of below

How to determine body fat.
Many methods are used to determine body fat. The most accurate way is to do either underwater weighing or the Bodpod, but these tests can be expensive.

Local gyms or doctors offices typically have other methods such as skin callipers or biological impedance (Tanita scales).

Different scenarios

Have you ever been around that person who is a "twig" but eats a ton of junk and doesn't work out? Their BMI may be in a normal weight range, but guaranteed their body fat is above 30% thus placing them at risk of heart disease, diabetes, and many other co-morbidities. I call this a skinny fat person, or normal weight obesity.

Or what about the body builder who has a lot of muscle mass and very low body fat, but their BMI states that they are obese? It would be silly to call a fit individual obese.

It is important to know where you stand! What is your BMI? What is your body fat percentage? Where do you want to be?

What is one change that you would like to make in your diet/exercise pattern to improve your health??

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Get the Skinny on Your Coffee

You may already know that coffee is naturally a very low calorie drink. Then how do all those calories creep in there? Check out the calories in these popular coffee drinks!

White Chocolate Mocha (16oz, 2%milk) - 400 cal., 11 g. fat, 61 g. carbs, 15 g. pro.

Carmel Macchiato (16oz,2%milk) - 240 cal, 7 g.fat, 34 g. carbs, 10 g. pro.

Flavored latte (16oz, 2%milk) - 250 cal, 6 g. fat, 36 g. carbs, 12 g. pro.

Carmel Frappuccino (16oz, whole milk) - 390 cal, 15 g. fat, 61 g. carbs, 4 g. pro.

Her are some tips for the next time you are at your favorite coffee stand.

REMEMBER Although milk is very nutrient dense it also contains calories.

Fat free (skim)/low fat (1%) milk = 100 cal, 12 g. carbs, 8 g. pro.

Reduced fat (2%) milk = 120 cal, 12 g. carbs, 8 g. pro.

Whole milk = 160 cal, 12 g. carbs, 8 g. pro.

*Instead of a Latte try having an Americano topped with nonfat milk. Add a sugar free flavor if you like your coffee sweet.

* Always ask for a skim milk vs. whole milk that is typically used (this can save you 60 calories for every 8oz of milk used)

Is your sweet coffee really worth all the calories?? of course you deserve to treat yourself sometimes, but think about your long term goals! It might taste good now, but how will is affect you in the long term? Every little bit helps.

There are 3500 calories in 1 lb. By decreasing your calories by 500 each day that is 1 lb. weight loss over the week, 4 lbs a month, and 52 lbs a year!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Africa 2010

As I arrived in Africa I was told by one of the missionaries based there that this trip would change my life more than I would have ever thought. He was right! Not only was I able to help those in need, but the people of Africa taught me a lot about faith, love, and hope!

Here is a video from when I went to Africa earlier this summer! I learned a lot from the people of Uganda. They are so generous yet have absolutely nothing. We were able to give them HOPE by showing them love and fulfilling their basic needs (food and clothing).

Hopefully, watching this video will motivate you to help those in need. I truly believe that humans are innately good people and want to help others, but we get so busy in our daily tasks and forget to take time to give back!

I encourage you to get involved. It doesn't have to be a big trip to the most remote corrupt areas of the world but how about; donating clothes to the homeless, working at the local food bank, being a mentor to a young child or teen, or helping an elderly person with chores around the house.

I would love to hear your stories about helping others and how by doing that you truly helped yourself! :)

Monday, August 2, 2010

In Defense of Food

Michael Pollan, Author of In Defense of Food, an Eaters Manifesto, conveys in his book that because of the technology/food science of today what we are eating isn't really food but substances and how we are eating (on the run, in front of TV) isn't really eating.

The fact that food has been replaced by nutrients and common sense with confusion is what Pollan describes as the American Paradox : The more we worry about nutrition, the more unhealthy we seem to become

Here are a couple of rules that Pollan expresses in his book to help us on our quest for health.


1- Don't eat anything your great grandmother wouldn't recognize as food

2- Avoid foods products containing ingredients that are

A) Unfamiliar

B) Unpronounceable

C) Have more than 5 in number
3- Avoid products that make health claims

4- Shop the outside of the store, and stay away from the middle

5- Get out of the supermarket whenever possible

In today's society it is hard and maybe unrealistic at times to stick to these rules, but the small things you do can make a big difference!

An easy way to get started is find out where your local farmers market is at. You wont find any hydrogenated oils or high fructose corn syrup there. Buy fresh and local!

Sample meal plan: here is a quick menu to give you some ideas




3 egg omelet with veggies for taste (spinach, onion, tomato)
1/2 c. oatmeal topped with cinnamon and fresh fruit

All natural Vanilla Chobani Greek Yogurt
Add fruit and nuts if you choose


Grilled chicken taco salad (top salad with beans and fresh salsa)

To season chicken use natural spices such as cumin, chili powder, cilantro etc...

All natural tortilla chips

Hummus dip and carrots


Skewers on the BBQ

Choose your favorite meat, veggies, and fruit (pineapple, mango, etc)

Skewer and drizzle with olive oil and favorite spices

Sliced fruit (melons and berries)



Thursday, July 29, 2010

Adding to Your Tool Box

There are so many different workout DVDs on the
market. In fact one day I hope to have my own :)
I wanted to share with you my favorites!!!!

Add these to your home fitness library.

Jillian Michaels 30 day shred

Turbo Jam

It is always great to be prepared! Have these at home for when you need a quick pick me up or need to sneak in a quick FUN workout.

You can find the DVDs in stores or online. Turbo Jam is a Beachbody product and can be found in the shop tab above.  They both offer different levels to meet you were you are at on your journey and help you reach your fitness goals.

If you don't want to go out and spend the money, try On Demand TV or Fit TV. DVR your favorite workout. Many cable providers have these different options. You can find endless workouts for free using these services!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Who Has Heard of Quinoa???

Quinoa (pronounced keen-wah) is a gluten free grain that originated in the Adean civilization. Although it has been around since at least 3,000 B.C. it is not very well known in North America.

Quinoa is a complete protein which means that it contains all 8 essential amino acids needed for tissue development. Quinoa is often commented on as the best protein source from the plan kingdom. Grains such as barley, corn, and rice have less than half the protein of quinoa. This seeds that comes from a leafy green plant is also full of calcium, iron, and vitamins.

Cooking with quinoa is fast and easy. Try it in casseroles, soups, stews, stir-fries, or even as a side dish/cold salad. Check this recipe out from Rachel Ray.

I challenge you to try something new!!! Let me know what you think!!!

Quinoa can be found in most stores under the health foods section.

Herbed Quinoa Recipe - Every Day with Rachael Ray