Thursday, March 23, 2017

Break Those Bad Eating Habits

Living a happy and healthy lifestyle is something that many people wish to have. It is entirely possible to achieve this goal, and all it takes are a few simple steps.
Of course, though, breaking unhealthy eating habits requires some sort of discipline and determination. In the nutrition world, there are always new foods popping up that are tied in the middle of being classified as “healthy" or "unhealthy”. Truth be told, having too much of anything can be unhealthy. Moderation is always key when it comes to food, or anything else that is a treat. 
The first step to achieving this goal begins at breakfast. Breakfast is extremely important, as it feeds the body the energy and nutrients needed to function properly throughout the day. It also helps with keeping hunger on a more leveled scale, therefore no need for making last minute unhealthy choices to satisfy hunger. Another common necessity people have in the morning is caffeine. Cutting down on caffeine will help with keeping energy throughout the whole day instead of just that morning. 
Many people who work long hours tend to either grab their lunch from the nearest fast food restaurant. Bringing a packed lunch will help with knowing exactly what is being nourished in the body, along with saving a lot of money! 
In addition to that, snacking on fruits and vegetables is a great way to get all those great vitamins and minerals. Breaking bad eating habits all just comes down to cooking at home and starting the day with a delicious and healthy breakfast.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Myths about Metabolism

I am sure you have heard many claims about metabolism, some of which seem too good to be true. With this post, we will explore some of those common myths.
For starters, consuming chili peppers and green tea will not raise metabolism or cause weight loss. While spicy foods can temporarily raise a metabolic rate, it is not enough to allow for extra caloric consumption. 
Next, we have heard that our metabolism can’t change. This is simply not true. As we age our metabolism naturally slows down as we tend to lose muscle mass. Increasing or decreasing physical activity can change metabolism. 
Eating late in the evening does not make our metabolism slow down and cause weight gain. It is likely because of the additional calories and mindless eating while watching television that contributes to the extra pounds. 
Very low caloric consumption is not the best idea for jump starting weight loss. While we do need to burn more calories than we consume to achieve weight loss, too much of a deficit can actually cause our metabolism to slow down because it is not receiving enough calories to function properly. 
It is important to research claims from reliable sources so we do not cause harm to our bodies. For reliable nutrition information visit or speak with a Registered Dietitian.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Eating for Two?

During pregnancy, a proper diet is extremely important for both the health of the mother and that of the child.  As this 9-month period is accompanied by weight gain and food cravings, it is important to be aware of exactly how many pounds the mother should be gaining.  Knowing this information can help prevent conditions, such as gestational diabetes and birth defects.

A series of weight gain recommendations for full-term pregnancies has been formulated based upon the mother’s pre-pregnancy Body Mass Index.  A list of these recommendations is shown below:
·      Underweight: 28-40 lbs.
·      Recommended weight: 25-35 lbs.
·      Overweight: 15-25 lbs.
·      Obese: 11-20 lbs.

Weight gain will increase for those expecting twins (with no set recommendation for underweight mothers-to-be):
·      Recommended weight: 37-54 lbs.
·      Overweight: 31-50 lbs.
·      Obese: 25-42 lbs.

In addition, increased energy needs are based on that of trimesters, but should be gradually increased as the pregnancy progresses:
·      No extra calories are needed for the first trimester.
·      An added 340 calories per day is advised for the second trimester.
·      The mother should consume 450 calories more calories per day (than when not pregnant) in the third trimester.

This added energy should come from foods high in nutrients rather than those high in fat and/or sugar.  Such foods include: lean proteins, dairy, vegetables, and fruits.

These guidelines should be combined with 30 minutes of moderate exercise a day if the mother seems to be gaining more weight than is recommended for her BMI.

Lastly, it is important to consult a physician concerning any exercise routine or additional supplements taken during the pregnancy.

These guidelines and more can be found at:

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Clearing the Confusion on Pre and Probiotics

What is the difference between pre and probiotics?
You may have heard that prebiotics and probiotics are beneficial to your health and that we should consume more of these, but why? Pre and probiotics work to promote healthy gut bacteria, which has been linked to many digestive health benefits. 
Prebiotics are the parts of food that your body does not digest. These feed your “good” gut bacteria. Bananas, onions, garlics, leeks, asparagus, artichokes and even soybeans are great prebiotic sources. 
Probiotics actually contain live cultures of the “good” bacteria you would find in your gut and contribute to a healthy balance of microflora. Probiotics have been linked to reductions of symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, allergies and possibly even instances of lactose intolerance.  Probiotic sources include fermented dairy products such as yogurts, aged cheeses and kefir, as well as kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, and tempeh.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What’s Lurking in Your Refrigerator?

A refrigerator is often seen as the safest place for food items.  However, this safety is greatly compromised if the cleanliness of the space is neglected.  A dirty refrigerator can be full of harmful bacteria, increasing the risk of food poisoning.  These potential pathogens make it imperative to keep all shelves, drawers, walls, and handles of this appliance clean.  

There are simple ways to maintain a clean fridge environment, including:
·      Weekly sorting of foods—this keeps your fridge clean and also helps your wallet by throwing out foods that have expired and quickly using those that expire soon.
·      Immediately cleaning spills—this is especially important for juices from raw meats that can spread e. coli or other foodborne illnesses.  Thawing meats should also be placed on the bottom shelf in covered containers to further prevent cross-contamination.
·      Cleaning the front grill—keeping this area free from dirt and dust allows for greater efficiency and faster cooling, which can keep foods from spoiling too quickly.
·      Keeping up with both the inside and outside of the fridge—the inside walls and shelves should be wiped down with warm, soapy water and dried while the outside handle should also be cleaned.  Some cleaners can leave a taste on food and/or cause damage to the walls of the fridge—avoid these.

These simple tips and more can be found at:

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Applebee's Has Nothing On Me!

Don't let eating out get in the way of your weight loss goals! Whether it is for a holiday, celebration or special occasion, dining out can be an enjoyable part of your meal plan! Follow the general strategies and restaurant tips below to make your next dining out experience fulfilling and rewarding!

Plan ahead: Balance a higher-calorie restaurant meal with lighter, lower-calorie meals during the day. For example, build up on fiber containing meals during the day, such as those including fruits and vegetables that will keep you feeling full and satisfied until you go out to eat.

Be assertive: Ask how the food is prepared. For example, are the vegetables buttered? Is the sauce made with cream? Make a special request if you would like, such as asking for chicken broiled instead of fried or asking for vegetables to be cooked in olive oil or balsamic dressing instead of a high saturated fat substance, such as butter. 

Stay in control: In order to curb your appetite, fill up on a low-calorie beverage, broth based soup or salad before the main course. Take one slice of bread without butter and then move the breadbasket away from you, or have it removed from the table. Ask for salad dressing on the side. If the portion is too large, eat half of it and take the rest home with you for another day. Share an entree! Remember to take a break from eating and enjoy conversation, as well as stopping to eat when you are satisfied, not when you are stuffed.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Is Your Body Trying to Tell You Something? Common Nutrient Inadequacies and Deficiencies

Vitamin B6

This vitamin helps maintain a healthy immune system, preserve normal nerve function and prevent certain types of anemia. A classic physical sign is a rash and other skin problems, which usually is seen as dandruff and red skin around oily parts of the body such as the face, chest, and back. Depression, confusion and even seizures can be present if the deficiency is too bad. To help prevent a B6 deficiency, eat foods such as fortifies cereals and grains, beans, poultry, fish, dark leafy green vegetables, oranges and cantaloupe.


The most common sign of a deficiency is fatigue. Other symptoms include dizziness, headache, chilly extremities, paleness in the skin and under the eyelids, and weakness. An unusual craving for non-food items such as ice is a telltake sign. Early detection helps promote healthy growth and development. The best sources of iron include lean meat, poultry, and seafood. Good plant-based sources include lentils, beans, spinach or iron-fortified cereals. Bonus points for eating a Vitamin C-rich food at the same time, since vitamin C increases absorption of iron from plant foods!

Vitamin D

The “sunshine vitamin” includes perks such as better bone health and boosted immunity. A deficiency may look like bone pain, muscle weakness or increased infection. Fortified dairy products, fortified orange juice, salmon and tuna are rich in this nutrient. Don’t forget that spending some time in the sun during the warmer months (without getting burned) helps your skin naturally make vitamin D.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C deficiency is not a thing of the past. People who don’t get enough fruits and vegetables are at risk of inadequate intake. If you notice bleeding gums, easy bruising and wounds that seem to heal slowly, you could have an insufficient vitamin C intake. In addition to oranges, pineapple, lemons and limes, other good sources of this vitamin include bell peppers, broccoli, potatoes, kiwi and strawberries.

If you have any symptoms or concerns, consult your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist.