Friday, December 28, 2012

Weight Loss In The New Year

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 1-2 hours after waking up)

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

  • 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. My favorite is Myfitnesspal also has an app for any smart phone. 

JOURNALING is the magic pill of weight loss!! 

Remember consistency is key! If you commit to these 7 things and do them daily you WILL reach your goals! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Have a Snack! Prevent 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, December 3, 2012

Flavor Crave

Get All The Flavor Without the Added STUFF!

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!  


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Don't know what to ask for for Christmas?? Kitchen Must Haves

These kitchen tools are great to have on hand in your quest for making healthier meals

Spice rack- Natural spices are a great way to add flavor to food without all the extra calories.

Garlic press- Fresh pressed garlic is another great way to add tons of flavor to your meals without extra calories.

Citrus zester- Adding lemon, lime, or orange zest is a great way to add flavor to foods from meat and poultry to steamed veggies or even low fat dessert such as yogurt, or angle food cake.

Olive oil mister- Olive oil is a heart healthy fat that is a great substitute for butter when pan frying and sautéing. By using a mister you are less likely to accidently over do it on the oil thus adding extra calories.

Non-stick pans- Non stick pans help eliminate the use of butter or oil while cooking. Be careful sometimes PAM spray can actually ruin your nonstick pans!

Wok- a wok is commonly used for preparing stir-fry. Combine your favorite veggies, lean protein, low sodium soy sauce, and whole grain rice for a great low fat dish!

Crock-Pot or slow cooker- Slow cookers are great when you don’t have time to cook! Create your own soups, stews, and tender juice meats. Many crock-pot or slow cooker cookbooks are available and recipes are online.

Salad spinner- Clean your lettuce in an instant with a salad spinner. This could make eating your greens a little more appealing!

Food Processor-There are many uses for this tool and it can make preparing any meal that much easier. It chops shreds, mixes, and much more.

Small bowls and plates- By having smaller bowls and plates you are less likely to overeat at meal times.

Stick blender/Immersion blender- Great for mixing up protein shakes and smoothies in the morning. Easy to clean compared to magic bullet or a regular blender.

Coffee maker- If you are a coffee drinker invest in a good coffee maker instead of spending all your money at the local coffee stand. Drip coffee is naturally low calorie, but when adding all the “fluff” (milk, chocolate, flavors) if can get expensive and very high in calories/fat.

Measuring cups/ spoons and food scale- It is very easy to over do it on our portions. Having measuring cups/spoons and a food scale on hand can really help you become aware of what an adequate portion is.

Single portion Tupperware containers- Leftovers are great to take to work. Having small Tupperware containers on hand allows you to have just the perfect amount to take when on the go!

What else have you found that helps you create healthful meals in the kitchen?

Monday, November 26, 2012

BURN BABY BURN-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 or elliptical trainer! 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 (4-6 mph- adjust accordingly)

  • 30 seconds sprint (7-9 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! You can also do similar intervals on an elliptical trainer. As long as your are bringing your heart rate up and down you are doing your job.

REMEMBER no matter what you are doing, you are still moving faster than the person sitting on the couch! 

Monday, November 19, 2012

How to Prevent Overeating at Thanksgiving

Overeating is typical during the holidays or for that matter any holiday or large get together.

Here are some things you can do to help prevent overeating. 

1- Don't skip meals. By skipping meals you are slowing down your bodies metabolism. When you finally do eat your body will more likely hold on to all those calories vs burn them effectively.

2- Get good rest. Sleep affects your hunger levels. Make sure you are well rested. 7-8 hours is the recommendation.

3- Focus on your protein and vegetables. Protein and fiber help keep you full. Give yourself a healthful portion of each. Start with your protein and vegetables and then move to the more "empty" calorie foods.

4- Portion control. Fill your plate to the inside rim instead of the outside rim. Think about it before you get up for seconds.  Remember you can always have leftovers. Some good leftover turkey ideas include: Turkey enchiladas, turkey noodle soup, & turkey sandwiches!

5- Watch the liquid calories. It is easy to add on the extra calories through our liquids (alcohol, juice, cider) and at about 100-150 calories per 4-8oz serving you can imagine how quickly these calories add up.

6- Stay out of the kitchen. When you are doing your socializing try to avoid being in the kitchen. This will help eliminate snacking before or after you meal. Little bites may not seem like much, but they do add up!

7- Move more. Make is tradition to play an active game or go for a walk after your meal. By moving you are helping burn some of those extra calories you consumed.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

What Is on Your Plate? How to Put Together a Well-balanced Meal.

The Idaho Plate Method not only helps with weight loss but help control Diabetes!
NOVEMBER is Diabetes Awareness Month
For more information go to

What is on your plate?

This is a great visual of how we should put our plates together! This will not only help you lose weight but also help control blood sugars if you are diabetic. 

Food Group
Sample Dinner
1 cup of cooked Italian vegetables
3 ounces of salmon
1/2 cup of watermelon
1 cup of milk

For more ideas check out the website 

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Picking Quality Foods

 (Quick tips to use while reading food labels)

Because not all food are created equal here are some tips to help you pick quality foods that will not only feed your hunger but help keep you full so that you are not over eating later on in the day. 

Practice these two tips when buying any packaged food

1- Look at label & if the food doesn't contain fiber or protein put it back! Fiber and protein help regulated your blood sugar and keep you full. 

2-  Look at a label for the carbohydrate to protein ratio. We need carbs for body function, but it is important that we link carbs with protein at our meals and snacks. When looking at the carbohydrate grams on a label make sure there are no more than 2 grams of carbohydrate for every 1 gram of protein. ( i.e. = If a protein bar has 30 grams of carbohydrate it should have at least 15 grams of protein).  This ratio of 2 carb grams to 1 protein gram will again help regulate your blood sugars and help keep you full. 

**** NOTE that if you are an athlete competing you may need more carbs to help keep your energy levels high for your event. 

What do I do if there is not enough protein in the food I am choosing?? 
Think of a protein that you can add to this item. 

For example: Whole Wheat crackers ( top them with low fat cheese, or lean lunch meat)
                    Apple slices ( top with 1 Tbsp of peanut or other nut butter) 

Also, if you are going out to eat at a chain restaurant the nutrition facts are typically online. Look up your favorite meals and see if they fall under these two rules for stabilizing blood sugars and keeping you full.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

10 Reasons To Exercise...Beyond Weight Loss

Being engaged in physical activity is an important part of your health and longevity. Many of you have family and friends that depend on you! Do not only yourself but them a favor by taking  a little time each day to help improve your risk of disease! Although the list could go on forever, below are 10 reasons to exercise!
  1. Increased energy levels
  2. Decreased bloop pressure
  3. Decreased risk of chronic disease such as diabetes, cancer, and dementia
  4. Increased immune function
  5. Decreased body fat
  6. Develops strong bones
  7. Improves sleep
  8. Decreases risk of arthritis
  9. Reduces anxiety
  10. It's FUN!
Here are some exercise ideas to help you get active:
Take a fitness class through your local gym or Parks and Rec Dept
Enjoy the outdoors - walking, hiking, biking
Wii - Just Dance or other active video game
In home fitness DVDs
Walk the mall or other large stores
*** Find a friend or family member to help keep you accountable! Remember consistency is key! 

I cannot stress the importance of living an active lifestyle. Many people are not proactive and just think they will deal with issues as they arise. Exercise and healthful eating are the 2 things that you can do to prevent many chronic diseases. STAND UP for your health and get moving! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Start Your Day Off Right! Eat Breakfast!

I continually run into people that struggle with eating breakfast! It is interesting that these same people also struggle with their weight!

Do yourself a favor and start you day off right and your body off right with a little breakfast in the AM!

Aim for 20-30 grams of protein to help keep you full as your metabolism gets a jump start!
You may not always reach this, but all meals and snacks should have at least some type of protein in them to help keep you full and aid in maintenance of muscle mass!!

Here are some quick ideas for all of you with the excuse I just don't have enough time or I am just not hungry. Breakfast doesn't have to be a big complex meal!

1- Premier protein shake (Costco) and a pc. of fruit

2- Blended protein drink: make in blender, magic bullet, or shaker bottle. Mix whey protein powder with water or milk, add in fruit.

3- Greek yogurt topped with almonds or Kashi cereal. Chobani and Fage are my favorite Greek yogurt brands. Make sure to read the food label. Not all yogurt is created equal! A good Greek yogurt has at least 10+ grams of protein per serving.

4- Protein bar: My favorite brands are Zone and Balance bars. When looking for a protein bar make sure there are no more than 2 grams of carbohydrate for every 1 gram of protein! :)

5- Eggs! Veggie omelet: Saute spinach or any other vegetable add in 2 eggs and scramble. You can use egg whites to reduce the calories and increase the protein!
Don't have time for that? Grab a hard boiled egg and string cheese on your way out the door!

By eating breakfast/more calories earlier in the day, you will limit overeating later in the day which can cause weight gain or inhibited weight loss! Remember you body is a machine you have to fuel it in order for it to properly work!

Share your favorite protein packed breakfast ideas below!  

Monday, October 15, 2012


I am reading my very first John Maxwell book and one thing that has inspired me is his insight into the law of consistency:

Motivation gets you going, discipline keeps you growing

No matter what obstacle you are trying to conquer being consistent is the key to your success!

It is a fact, if you work towards your goal every day you will eventually reach it! If you fail to work at it and just put it on the back burner it is a guarantee you will never reach it.

What do you want to achieve? 

For example: "I want to lose weight!"

 Here are some things that you can do DAILY to help accomplish your weight loss goals.

1- Prepare: plan your meals, make a healthful lunch to take to work, pack healthful snacks
2- Exercise: Schedule time in your busy day for physical activity
3- Journal intake: Know what you are putting into your body( ).    Does it fit within your weight loss calorie range?
4- Read: Read and educate yourself about nutrition and exercise

What are 3-5 things that you can do daily to help you achieve your goals? REMEMBER these things must be done daily and eventually that goal will be reached. It doesn't have to take a lot of time, but it needs to be done. Some days you may spend more time than others.

And remember when you don't feel like doing something, which I can guarantee you there will be those times, JUST DO IT anyways! You will be glad you did!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

NO Excuses! Workout Anywhere!

NO EXCUSES! You dont need any equipement or a lot of time on your hands to to get a very effective workout! Try this workout below! 

Pick out 7 exercises:

  1. Squats
  2. Push ups
  3. Sit ups
  4. Jumping jacks 
  5. Lunges
  6. Stairs or stair jumps (box jumps)
  7. Plank (drawn knees one at a time to chest)

Count out your reps
Do them all for 25 reps, then 20 reps, then 15 reps, then 10 reps


Set your timer
Do them all for 60 seconds, then 45 seconds, then 30 seconds

Next time you do the workout change up the sequence!

SO, how was it???

Monday, October 8, 2012

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

You Only Have One Body, Take Care Of It! 

Simple preventative measures that can keep you living a long and healthful life!

October is Breast cancer awareness month! What can you do to help decrease your chances of obtaining this disease??

1- Preventative medicine

women, in addition to checking weight, high blood pressure, and other basics, your doctor's visit may specifically include:
  • A test for cervical cancer, called a Pap smear, every one to three years
  • A clinical breast exam to check for any unusual lumps or bumps in your breasts
  • Starting at age 40 (or younger if you have a strong family history for breast cancer), a breast cancer screening with a mammogram every one to two years
  • Starting at age 65, a referral for a bone density test to screen for osteoporosis, the disease that causes brittle, fragile bones and typically affects older women; women with more than one risk factor for osteoporosis may start earlier
For men, in addition to checking weight, high blood pressure, and other basics, your doctor's visit may specifically include:
  • Starting at age 50, or younger if you have a family history, a rectal exam to check for abnormal bumps in the prostate and a prostate specific antigen (PSA) blood test to screen for prostate cancer
  • Between the ages of 65 and 75 if you have ever smoked cigarettes, an abdominal exam to check for an enlargement in your aorta; an abdominal aortic aneurysm, a weakness in the lining of the aorta (a large blood vessel in your chest and abdomen), can develop with age and become a life-threatening problem.

2- Eating Healthful

Top 10 Foods and Drinks for Cancer Prevention

  • Grapes and red wine, especially for the resveratrol.
  • Legumes: beans, peas and lentils, for the saponins, protease inhibitors and more.
  • Berries, particularly blueberries, for the ellagic acid and anthocyanosides.
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, bok choy and kale. These score high for containing many anti-cancer substances, such as isothiocyanates.
  • Globe artichoke for very high levels of salvestrols.
  •  Flaxseed, especially if you grind it yourself and consume when fresh, for the essential fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid, lignans and other “good fats.”
  • Garlic, onions, scallions, leeks and chives, for many anti-cancer substances including allicin.
  • Green tea for its anti-cancer catechins, a potent antioxidant.
  • Tomatoes, for the famous flavenoid lycopene.

3- Exercise

Adults need at least:
walking2 hours and 30 minutes (150 minutes) of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., brisk walking) every week and
weight trainingmuscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest,  shoulders, and arms).
jogging1 hour and 15 minutes (75 minutes) of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (i.e., jogging or running) every week and
weight trainingmuscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest,  shoulders, and arms).
walking joggingAn equivalent mix of moderate- and vigorous-intensityaerobic activity and
weight trainingmuscle-strengthening activities on 2 or more days a week that work all major muscle groups (legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest,  shoulders, and arms).

4- Getting Enough Sleep

The Harvard Women’s Health Watch suggests 
six reasons to get enough sleep:
  1. Learning and memory
  2. Metabolism and weight
  3. Safety
  4. Mood
  5. Cardiovascular health
  6. Disease