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:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PSdZFnbjuzU&feature=related

Weightless by Kiya:                                                        http://www.youtube.com/user/kiyaknight?feature=mhum

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)