Avoid These New Year’s Diet Blunders

By avoiding these common diet blunders, the New Year will bring a new you!

By avoiding these common diet blunders, the New Year will bring a new you!

The New Year provides a chance to start fresh and dream big. Many people will be making resolutions for 2016, myself included.

If your resolution has anything to do with improving your health or fitness, you’re not alone. Over half of us will make some sort of health resolution. Unfortunately, 90 percent of us will fail to follow through with our goal by Valentine’s Day.

While we can blame lack of willpower, there are a few diet blunders that can easily be avoided to make sure you reach your goal. Don’t let these diet roadblocks ruin your New Year’s resolution:

1. Cut out entire food groups or nutrients.

Low-fat, no sugar, gluten-free—if you’re jumping on board with these elimination diets to drop a few pounds, you’re not going to get lasting results. After all, these diets do not build realistic lifestyle habits.

One of the most common diet trends is to cut out carbohydrates or sugar. First, let me just say that carbohydrates are not to blame. When you choose the wrong kind of carbohydrate (think cookies, candy, and soda) and eat excessive amounts then, yes, that will inevitably end a greater waistline. But it’s also important to remember that carbs are an important source of fuel for your body. If you regularly feel sluggish and fatigued, it may be a good idea to look at your carbohydrate intake and ensure you’re getting the right kind in the right amount throughout the day.

One serving of carbs is about 1 cup (or the size of your fist). Stick with carbohydrates that are a good source of fiber and provide protein as well. Here are a few suggestions: Ezekiel sprouted-grain bread, whole-wheat pasta and bread, and Qrunch Organics quinoa burger. Of course, fruits and vegetables are always good sources of carbohydrates.

2. Skip meals or snacks to cut back on calories.

While it may seem easy to just cut calories by skipping snacks and meals, it’s important to eat every 3 to 4 hours. Go much longer than that and you’ll become hungry and angry, or “hangry” as us Millennials call it. Once “hangry” sets in, a salad with grilled chicken just won’t do.

Keeping healthy snacks on hand is the best way to avoid becoming “hangry.” Here are a few of my favorites:

  • Trail mix with nuts, raisins, wasabi peas, and dried edamame
  • Hummus with bell pepper slices and snap peas
  • Cottage cheese with a bit of salsa and 3 tortilla chips crumbled on top

3. Keep tempting foods in the pantry or refrigerator.

If your kitchen is anything like mine after the holidays, it’s littered with canisters of caramel popcorn and tupperware of homemade cookies. At this point, come to the realization that you’ve had your change to enjoy these indulgences and it’s now time to say goodbye.
The first thing to do when embarking on a health goal is to clean out your refrigerator and pantry. Get rid of any tempting treats that you know will sabotage your diet and instead full your fridge and pantry with delicious, clean foods you’ll be excited to eat. Be sure to put my staple items on your grocery list:

  • Fruit: Berries, Apples, Bananas
  • Vegetables: Lettuce, Broccoli, Bell Peppers, Carrots, Snap Peas
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Almond butter (or other nut butter)
  • Protein bars and shakes
  • Turkey or Ham Lunchmeat
  • Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
  • Plain Greek Yogurt
  • String Cheese
  • 100% Whole-Wheat Bread
  • Nuts
  • Dark Chocolate
  • Sparking water

4. Forget about exercise.

What you eat is about 70 percent of the weight loss equation. Exercise is the other 30 percent. If you want to reach your goals quicker and plan for them to stick for years to come, you cannot neglect exercise.

A couple things to consider:

  • Do a combination of cardiovascular and resistance training. Cardiovascular training will get your heart rate up and resistance training will build muscle fast (and in turn, boost metabolism).
  • Go shopping for fashionable workout gear. Use those gift cards you got from Santa to treat yourself to stylish apparel. You’ll be more motivated to workout hard when you feel good about yourself.
  • Don’t have a gym membership? No problem! Run hills at a park near by, check out doyogawithme.com, or follow workout routines found in health magazines like Women’s Health.

 

ABC segment

I loved sharing these tips on ABC 15 Arizona!

Pros and Cons of Paleo

meat

The Paleo diet encourages high meat intake but eliminates grains and dairy. Credit: Flicker

The world was a different place 2.6 million years ago. Nomads roamed the earth in small groups, constantly on the hunt for their next meal. Men used stones, sticks, and bones as hunting tools while women and children gathered nuts and berries. They lived in huts, created cave paintings, and used open fire to cook. Hunger, disease, and injury were among the leading causes of death and most didn’t live long enough to celebrate their 30th birthday.

Not quite the same lifestyle most of us live today, right? So why would eating a diet similar to those who lived in the Paleolithic era be the answer to health?

The founder of the Paleo movement, Loren Cordain, Ph.D., states on his website that the Paleo diet is “based upon the fundamental concept that the optimal diet is the one to which we are genetically adapted”. Others who profess the benefits of eating Paleo take it a step further and claim that the diseases we see today–heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and obesity–are all do to the fact that we have strayed from the diet of our ancesters.

But are human beings genetically identical to the nomads of the Paleo times? In short, no. Our bodies are much different. It’s a simple application of Darwin’s evolution theory: “survival of the fittest”. Certain traits that have benefited survival, such as the ability to easily digest starches or to resist malaria or survive at higher altitudes, contributed to the evolution of human beings.

Still, people are carving through red meat at every meal, eating globs of coconut oil, and swearing off green beans with the hope of getting that caveman body. It’s pretty easy as a dietitian to toss the Paleo Diet into the too-good-to-be-true fad diet pile. But with so many people swearing by its benefits, I thought I would dive into it a bit more and examine the pros and cons of eating Paleo.

Pros

  • Focuses on whole, minimally processed foods. If following the Paleo diet is going to get you off your Hostess Twinkie addiction, then maybe it’s the diet for you. It’s true that most American diets are highly processed and too high in sodium and sugar. According to the CDC, the average American adult consumes over 3,400 milligrams of sodium daily. That’s a lot more than the recommended 1500-2300 milligrams. Additionally, added sugar intake has increased over the last decade and is estimate to make up 10 percent of calorie intake (1). Eating whole, fresh foods as encouraged by the Paleo diet is going to undoubtably improve your health.
  • Encourages eating protein throughout the day. If you want to lose weight, eat more protein. If you want to build muscle, eat more protein. If you want to break a weight loss plateau, eat more protein. If you want to preserve muscle as you age, eat more protein. Getting quality protein throughout the day supports muscle tissue growth which stimulates metabolism and supports fat burn (2). Additionally, it keeps you fuller longer so you aren’t tempted to overindulge at mealtime. Lean proteins such as chicken, trimmed red meats, and fish are the way to go. (Dairy products are also a great way to get quality protein at every meal, but that’s not allowed on the Paleo Diet. More on this below.)
  • Spotlights health and the importance of nutrition. Fad diets can usually do more harm than good. However, I do see benefit in encouraging people to take a look at their diet and lifestyle and make changes for the better. If you think of the Paleo diet merely as a set of guidelines rather than rules, then it could help you lose weight and improve your health.

Cons

  • Meat overload. My friends that have tried the Paleo diet enjoy the freedom to eat a plump chicken breast, savory sausage link, or monstrous steak at every meal. But the fact is that meals like this may have only occurred once or twice a month for a Paleo person. Most days, meat commonly consisted of eating bugs, lizards, small fish, or snails. (There would probably be a lot less people following the diet if that was on the menu!) While recent evidence shows that saturated fat found in meats is not as bad as we once thought for cardiovascular health (3), it’s still calorie dense. Additionally, study after study supports a mostly plant-based diet as the key to longevity (4).
  • Dairy is a big no-no. This one kills me. There are so many health benefits to including dairy in your diet, everything from heart health to weight management. However, because the Paleo peoples didn’t eat dairy, it’s on the banned list. An important argument to address here is that humans have evolved to tolerate dairy (5). While some many have lactose intolerance or milk allergies (although rare), many people can not only tolerate dairy but can truly benefit from it’s protein and calcium content.
  • Grains, beans, and legumes are not allowed. While I do see benefit in limiting the amount of processed grains, eliminating qunioa, buckwheat, amaranth and other hearty gain sources may take it too far. Whole grains provide health amounts of fiber and provide the body with a low-glycemic source of energy. Additionally, legumes such as beans, peas and lentils supply the body with much-needed nutrients such as potassium, folate, iron, and magnesium.
  • It’s difficult to adhere to. It’s impossible to eat exactly as our ancestors ate. Just as the human body had evolved, so has food. The meat from the butcher is not the same as the meat on wild animals millions of years ago (6). It was likely much leaner with the fat content providing around 10 percent of calories or lower. Additionally, fruits and vegetables are not the same. They have been harvested over centuries and selected based on those that had desirable traits such as the ability to grow under harsh climates.

While I disagree with the elimination of dairy and grains, the foundation of the Paleo diet–eating fruits and vegetables, emphasizing the importance of protein, and reducing the amount of processed foods–is sound nutritional advice. By following these principles and exercising daily, you’ll have the body of a caveman in no time.

References

  1. Yang Q, Zhang Z, Gregg EW, et al. Added sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases mortality among US adults. JAMA 2014. doi: 10.1001/jamainteranmed.2013.13563
  2. Mamerow MM, Mettler JA, English KL, et al. Dietary protein distribution positively influences 24-h muscle protein synthesis in healthy adults. J Nutr 2014. doi: 10.3945/jn.113.185280
  3. Chowdhury R, Warnakula S, Kunutsor S, et al. Association of dietary, circulating, and supplement fatty acids with coronary risk: A systemic review and meta-analysis. Ann Intern Med 2014;160(6):398-406. doi: 10.7326/M13-1788.
  4. Orlich MJ, Singh PN, Sabate J, et al. Vegetarian dietary patterns and mortality in adventist health study 2. JAMA 2013;173(13):1230-1238. doi: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6473
  5. Hollox, E. Evolutionary genetics: Genetics of lactase persistence – fresh lessons in the history of milk drinking. European Journal of Human Genetics 20o5;13:267-269. doi: 10.1038/sj/ejhg.5201297.
  6. Eaton SB, Eaton SB 3rd, Konner MJ. Paleolithic nutrition revisited: a twelve-year retrospect on its nature and implications. Eur J Clin Nutr 1997;52(4):207-8.

You may also like…

How much protein should I be eating?

A Nutritionist’s Workout Routine

To be Vegetarian, or not to be?

What I Ate Wednesday

Some times all you need is a little inspiration to show you that eating healthy can still be delicious. Check out my eats for the week:

{“Blanched” Green Beans: A cooking technique where you boil vegetables until they are tender, then place them in an ice bath, followed by sauteeing, grilling, or even boiling again. Using this method keeps veggies crisp rather than soggy.}

{Yummy Mexican salad with tortilla crusted tilapia from Costco, fresh salsa for dressing, Greek yogurt in place of sour cream, and a little splurge with a Corona Light.}

{A great snack for on-the-go, the creamy texture of V8 juice fills me up. I also enjoy an afternoon mocktail–pour V8 over ice in a glass, add olives and a dash of pepper. Delish!}

{Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and I LOVE cereal. Instead of being tempted by sugar coated treats, go with a low-sugar, whole-grain, high-protein cereal and throw in fresh fruit to punch up the flavor. Blueberries are my favorite.}

You may also like:

Navigating the Grocery Store: The Cereal Aisle

I could eat cereal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There is just something about that delicious crunch and the sweet milk. Of course, I try to choose cereals that are nutricious and healthy; but with all the ticky labels and sneaky claims on boxes, it can be fairly difficult.

Next time you take a stroll down the cereal aisle, check out all the “claims” on the different boxes. You may see: Made with Whole Grains, Excellent Source of Fiber, or Can Help Lower Cholesterol. So which is best? Should you choose the cereal that promises you’ll “Drop 2 dress sizes in one week!” or go for the one that will give you “Long-lasting energy”?

Here is your cereal solution:

  • 100% Whole Grain. Check the label under “Ingredients”. Make sure the cereal has little to no refined grain. Many times  products say “Made with whole grains” which can mean “made with very little.” This rule goes for any whole gain product with exceptions for rolled oats, rolled wheat, and brown rice–which are always whole.

  • No More then 250 Calories Per Cup. Many people look at the calories in cereal, but they forget to consider the serving size. So a cereal may look alright because it is 200 calories, but then you realize that is only for 1/4 cup (this is the case for most granola cereals). Now if you are only going to eat 1/4 cup, then there is not a problem.. but I bet you’ll be appauled at how little the amount actually is when you measure it out. You will realize that is a lot of calories for such a small portion of food!

  • Fiber. You want to find a cereal that has 3-6 grams of fiber per serving. Now, research has linked increased fiber with lower heart disease and diabetes risk, but that is moreso with soluble fiber than insoluble fiber. Unfortunatley, there is no distinction between the two on nutrition labels, so you can’t be sure which you are getting. The bottom line is that you still want to try to get fiber, but dont always assume that the more the fiber the better.

  • Sugar Monster. This is where my blood starts to boil–the amount of sugars in some cereals is absurd. Take Kellogg Apple Jacks with 12 grams of sugar in one serving. Obviously, when it comes to sugar, less is best.

  • Protein. Few cereals contain adequate amounts of protein. Reserach shows that we should be getting about 30 grams of protein per meal in order to facilitae proper muslce maintenance and growth. Protein can also increase satiety so you feel fuller, longer. Some options to increase the protein of your ceral include: mixing in whey protein powder with the milk (vanilla makes it really yummy!), including hard boiled eggs on the side, or throwing some nuts in the cereal.

………………………………………………………..

Here is a list of my Top 6 Favorite Nutritious Cereals:

{From Top: 1. Kashi GoLean 2. Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted 3. Barbara’s Bakery Puffins 4. Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats 5. General Mill’s Cherrio’s 6. Uncle Sam}

5 Tips For Ordering a Healthy Pizza

Pizza doesn’t have to be unhealthy. Nowadays, pizzerias are are offering more and more options for you to build a healthy meal. Follow these 5 steps to enjoy pizza without the guilt:

1. The Crust. If it is possible, go with a whole wheat crust. It is more “nutrient dense” than white flour crust, meaning that it has more vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Also, opt for thin crust or lavosh (similar to a thin cracker) to cut out extra calories. Deep dish is a big no-no. And don’t even get me started on cheese-stuffed crust.

2. The Sauce. Stick with classic sauce. You may have the option to choose cream-based sauces (such as creamy garlic); however, they can be loaded with fat. Even better than classic sauce, some restaurants have a “naked” pizza that has a light glaze of olive oil and fresh tomato slices in place of the sauce.

3. The Cheese. Although it may be tempting to load on the cheese, it can really add to your waistline. Ask to have the cheese just cover the sauce to avoid extra calories and fat.

4. The Protein. Sausage and pepperoni are not exactly lean proteins. Instead, go with grilled chicken.

5. The Toppings. Veggies, veggies, veggies! You will be surprised by all the different varieties you can come up with. Pile on the veggies to create a hearty meal.

Before you dive in, limit yourself to no more than 2 slices of pizza (of course, you have to consider the size of slice), and pair your pizza with a mixed green salad instead of breadsticks. Enjoy without the guilt!

Staple Items in a Nutritionist’s Fridge

There are a few items that I always have in my fridge….

1. Cut-up Veggies: Easy to take to work or have as a snack with hummus

2. Fresh Berries: My favorite cereal or yogurt topper

3. Cottage Cheese: Perfect side to a sandwich or turkey burger (my go-to dinner)

4. Greek Yogurt: Packed with protein and very filling

5. Eggs/Egg Whites: 1 whole egg and egg whites on an english muffin with fajita seasoning is to. die. for.

6. Whole Wheat English Muffins: to go with my eggs or with almond butter.

7. Lunch Meat: easy lunch. I usually go with turkey, swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, and mustard.

8. Water Alternative: I get sick of drinking plain ol’ water all the time. Sparkling water or  a 1/2 water 1/2 gatorade concoction is what E and I enjoy

9. Minced Garlic: I put garlic with basically anything that I sauté.. I could eat it by itself–definitely my favorite cooking flavor

10. Yellow Mustard: Low in calories and high in flavor 🙂

11. Salsa: On eggs, with blue corn tortilla chips or as a salad dressing, you just can’t go wrong.

12. Isagenix Cleanse: I love my Isagenix products and always have a bottle of cleanse on hand for those much needed detoxification Monday’s

13. Left Overs: I could probably make a cookbook with all the delicious meals I have created using leftovers. Perfect to take to work for lunch

14. 1% Milk: For my cereal, of course. I can’t do skim milk… too watery for me.

15. Wine & Beer: OK, I’m a dietitian, but you have to have some leeway.

………..

What’s in your fridge?

No Excuses! Helpful Diet Tips

Switch to Small Plate

Falling off the “health wagon” is fairly easy to do. Eating out, exhaustion, and excessive portion sizes can wreak havoc on your diet. Here are some tips and tricks to help you stay aboard!

Google Search: Before heading out to a restaurant, search online to find the nutrition information of the menu. Many times foods that sound healthy, such as salads, can have more calories and fat than you would think. Create a cheat sheet on your phone with healthy options so you can refer to it in the future. As a general guideline, aim for less than 600 calories for dinner.

Fruit & Veggie Reminder: Eating the recommended 10 servings of fruits and vegetables each day can be a fairly difficult task. One way to ensure that you are getting the necessary nutrients is to wear 10 stretchy bracelets on one wrist and transfer to the other for each serving you consume. If you aren’t into the jewelry idea, try keeping a tally on a Post-It note or use magnets on the fridge to signify the amount eaten (This can also be a fun activity for kids). By eating 10 servings of fiber-rich fruits and vegetables per day, you will be satisfied and less likely to binge on fatty snacks.

Switch Plates: Use your main dish for vegetables and salad and your “salad” dish for side starch and protein. Research shows that eating on a smaller plate reduces the amount eaten by helping to control portion size and encouraging mindful eating. With this method, there is no need to buy new dishware, and it promotes eating more nutritious and belly-friendly vegetables.

Meal Prep: The number one reason that we choose fast food over home-cooked meals is exhaustion. After a long day of work, the last thing we want to do is slave over the stove. Avoid this by having meals prepared ahead of time. The best time for meal prep is on the weekends for most people. When you get home from the store, prepare 2 or 3 meals than can easily be stored for later on in the week—chop up vegetables, make a salad, cube meat, boil noodles, make dressings. To add to the ease, through the ingredients in a cock-pot before you leave for the day. A delicous meal will be waiting when you get home! Exhaustion will no longer be an obstacle for eating healthy.

What diet tips do YOU use??

Be Well!

You may also like:

Easy, Quick, Healthy Meals

Farm Fresh

Smart Snacks

Healthy Dinner Ideas

Healthy Dinner, pasta

One of my friends from college asked me to give her some advice on healthy dinner ideas. I started typing out some thoughts and before I knew it, I had over 10 different dinners written down! I thought I would share these healthy, easy dinner ideas with all of you… Check it out:

Stir-fry: This is my go-to meal. Cut chicken breast into small chucks or use pre-cooked frozen shrimp. Cook the protein first with a little olive oil then add in veggies. You can cut up fresh veggies (which takes a little more time) or you can just use a bag of frozen veggies. Season with herbs, soy sauce, or any condiment you like. Eat like this or put over brown rice.

Eggs: I am a huge fan of breakfast for dinner—make a scramble with veggies, top with salsa in a breakfast burrito, or use a whole-wheat English muffin with Canadian bacon and make an egg sandwich. I like to use one whole egg and then add in egg whites.

Tuna/Canned Chicken: Tuna or chicken salad CAN BE a healthy, hearty meal… How you make it is key. I suggest using a small amount of “Lite” or olive oil-based mayonnaise, a bit of mustard, plus a sprinkle of garlic powder; all the flavor without all the calories. You can mix in chopped nuts, veggies, or fruit. My favorite is chopped walnuts with apple bits—delicious!! You can eat it with crackers or make a sandwich with the salad.

Whole Wheat Pasta: I like to top whole-wheat pasta with marinara sauce, chicken/chicken sausage, and veggies. You can also just use a little olive oil, Parmesan cheese, and veggies for something lighter. (Remember: One serving of pasta is only ¼ cup! I recommend adding extra veggies to the meal so you will be satisfied.)

Salad for the Week If you make a salad, I suggest making a big one and having in the fridge all week so it is easy to pair with whatever you make for dinner. (Mix it up by getting different kinds of veggies, adding nuts, and trying new dressings.) Here are some ideas:

  • Make a Mexican salad by topping greens with black beans, cheese, rice, meat—use salsa as a salad dressing.
  • Top with Leftovers—If you have any leftovers from the night before (rice, fish, chicken, etc.), throw it over greens for another meal.

Sweet Potatoes: You can cook potatoes in just a few minutes in the microwave—just make sure you poke them with a fork first or else they will explode! Depending on the size of the sweet potato/yam, it can take about 6-10 minutes to cook. If you want it crispy on the outside, cook it for 5-6 minutes in the microwave and then bake it in the oven for ~15 minutes. These are a good side or can be paired with veggies for a meal.

Quesadilla: Use whole-wheat tortillas and fill with canned chicken, cheese or cut up veggies (bell peppers, tomatoes, onions). Top with black beans (just get the canned and wash with water before eating), salsa, avocado, or a bit of plane Greek yogurt (instead of sour cream).

Pizza with salad: Use a whole-wheat pita and top it with red sauce, veggies, and a bit of cheese. Pair with a side salad. For the salad dressing, choose an oil-based (not a cream-based) dressing—low fat vinaigrettes are a good choice.

Soup: For a quick and easy meal, I always keep cans of Progresso Light soup in my pantry. They are low in calories and don’t expire quickly. Pair with a roll and salad or other veggie.

Beans and Rice: For a filling meal, mixed canned beans (black, kidney, pinto) with brown rice. You can get “boil in the bag” brown rice at the store… you just plop a bag of the rice in boiling water for 10 minutes and its done. Mix in veggies (I like it with broccoli!) for a meal or use as a side.

Hot Sandwich: You can put toast in the oven (on “broil”), then top with tuna salad, turkey and cheese, or veggies and cheese.

Greens: My favorite side with a meal is greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard). All you have to do it put a little olive oil in a skillet (you can add a little garlic too if you want), throw in the chopped up greens, and cook down. (Tip: A huge pan of fresh spinach will reduce down to a small portion side.) Top with balsamic vinaigrette or red wine vinaigrette.

Turkey Burgers: You can make turkey burgers on the stove or grill. I like to use a whole-wheat sandwich thin as a bun. Top with veggies like crisp lettuce and sweet tomatoes. Sides can be cottage cheese, slices avocado and tomatoes, or baked beans.

BOTTOM LINE: Do not be afraid to experiment! Look up recipes online. Go to a local farmer’s market for fresh produce. Plan out dinner for the week before going to the grocery store.

Make eating healthy a priority. Your body will thank you!!!

You may also like:

Fabulous Food Finds

How to Read a Nutrition Label

10 Easy Tips to Stay Healthy

Power-Packed Breakfast

Your mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and science is backing her up. After a night of sleep, your body needs the fuel from food to preform both physically and mentally. I am amazed at how many people skip breakfast, or even worse, consider coffee as their breakfast meal (Ahem, Eric.). Of course the caffeine is going to give you a boost, but it is simply masking the need for food. Most of the time, the caffeine will wear off and you will be famished by lunch time. And lets face it, a meal with fresh vegetables and lean protein is not going to be on your mind at that point.

Not only will eating a balanced breakfast give you energy, it has been shown to help with weight management. Mayo Clinic Nutritionist, Katherine Zeratsky, R.D. L.D., points out that eating breakfast can help reduce hunger later in the day, promote healthy food choices throughout the day, and increased ability to preform physical activity.

A balanced breakfast should consist of complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and minimal amounts of fat. Avoid simple carbohydrate items that are composed mostly of syrups and table sugar–aka that cheese danish in the office kitchen is not a balanced breakfast.

Here are some power-packed breakfast ideas!

  1. Opt for Whole Grains: 100% Whole grain breads, bagels, cereals and tortillas will deliver sustainable energy and provide essential fiber. Top with peanut butter and fresh fruit like blueberries!
  2. Lean Protein is Key: Avoid excess fat by choosing lean proteins such as chicken or turkey sausage, eggs, or beans. Turkey bacon is another great alternative.
  3. Try Steal-Cut Oats or Quinoa as an Oatmeal Alternative: These grains have higher protein content. You can also add protein powder to your oatmeal for that extra kick.
  4. Greek Yogurt or Cottage Cheese mixed with Yogurt: Pump up the protein in yogurt by using Greek yogurt or mixing low-fat cottage cheese in with regular yogurt. (Always check the sugar content of yogurt–aim for less than 10 grams.) Top with granola and fresh fruit for a complete meal.
  5. You can never go wrong with Eggs: Eggs are a fantastic source of protein. Pair with a complex carbohydrate source such as a whole-wheat English muffin or tortilla. Make hard-boiled eggs to grab on-the-go, or scramble eggs in a coffee cup and cook in the microwave. I like to top my eggs with salsa.
  6. Protein-Packed Smoothies: Whey protein is the most easily digested protein powder. Add in a variety of fruits (and veggies if you’d like!) with low-fat yogurt or milk.
  7. Nut butters: For a quick meal, lather whatever nut butter you prefer (peanut, almond, etc.) on a whole-wheat grain or mix into oatmeal. Top with sliced bananas or blueberries.
  8. Leftovers: Chicken stir-fry with brown rice or spaghetti with turkey sausage from the night before can make for a balanced breakfast. There is no need to waste!
What a Nutritionist Eats for Breakfast:
Eggs with Heirloom Tomatoes
Egg Whites with Heirloom Tomatoes & Spinach
Fruit & Yogurt
Fresh Fruit with Vanilla Greek Yogurt & Almonds
Peanut butter Toast with Shake
Whole Wheat Toast with Peanut Butter & Honey. Isagenix Isalean Shake.
Egg Sandwhich
Egg Sandwich with Hot Sauce.

You may also like:

Sinless Sweets

Stop Mindless Eating

Quick, Easy, Healthy Dinner

Fabulous Food Finds

I took a trip to Whole Foods with the gracious bday gift card my mom & dad got me on a search to find some unique, healthy, practical foods. It can be a little pricy, so I suggest picking up products here as supplements to your regular grocery needs (Quick Tip: Whole Foods has great coupons on their website!). Here is what I found…

FOOD FIND #1: Bolthouse Farms Chunky Blue Cheese Dressing– This dressing is just as creamy and tasty as the regular fatty blue cheese dressing you can get at any grocery store. The secret is that the base for the dressing is-drum roll-yogurt. Who would have thought?? Try this yogurt-based dressing on your salad and reduce the calories by 75% and fat by 85%! I give this five stars. If blue cheese isn’t your flavor, they have Ranch, Caesar Parmesan and Thousand Island. Take your pick. PS-Try it on a nutrient-packet Kale Salad. TO DIE for!

FOOD FIND #2: Crispy Green 100% Freeze-Dried Mangos– Only 40 calories for one packet of this delightfully unique texture and sweet & tang taste. They are perfect to conquer a killer sweet tooth or top a bowl of low-sugar cereal instead of opting for sugar crusted white flour puffs. Choose from mangos, apples, bananas & pears.

Food Find #3: 365 (Whole Foods Brand) Beans & Greens Blend– This product grabbed my attention because it could have multiple functions: act as a hearty side-dish, addition to a soup or pasta, or could easily be topped with sautéed chicken, fish, shrimp or scallions.  The box says you can microwave steam, stovetop steam, or stovetop boil the blend.. I tried microwave steaming the bean and kale mix. It turned out… okay. The beans seemed a little dry. I would still encourage you to try it or one of the other blends because they are so nutrient packed, easy, and affordable.. but maybe try cooking it another way. 2 stars in my books.

Prices of Products: Bolthouse Farms Yogurt Dressing ($2.99), Organic Kale Salad ($4.49), Crispy Green 100% Freeze-Dried Fruits- Six Individual Packets ($6.99), 365 Bean & Kale Blend ($1.99)

I will keep searching, tasting, and telling!!

What Fantastic Food Finds can you share??