Confessions of a Nutrition Consultant

If you ever read the gossip magazines, they have that feature “Stars, They Are Just Like Us!” and they show them doing everyday things like getting groceries, getting gas or washing their car. I always laugh at that because celebrities are humans just like us even though they may have luxuries we will never know.
As a nutrition consultant, I often have friends and family members make comments when I am with them asking for permission or forgiveness for what they are eating. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not a health food fanatic. I love to eat healthy and try to do so as often as possible, but there are days when I just want to splurge!

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Last night was a perfect example. My father is in town so we went out to eat for BBQ and then we came home and my dad and I dove into the gelato. I am happy to report, I did not eat the whole pint, but I did eat 3/4’s. I felt pretty guilty but I went to the gym this morning to ease that guilt 🙂
My point is, don’t apologize for your food choices. If you eat a healthy diet regularly and splurge every once in awhile, no big deal. The earth will not spin off its axis or open up and swallow you if you polish off a pint of Haagen Dazs. Just start over the next day and commit to trying harder!

Happy Friday!!!

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You have met your weight loss goal…now what?

If you are anything like me, you do much better with goals. I met my weight loss goal back around the new year and decided to stop logging my food at the end of January. It was nice not logging my food but after awhile I felt lost! I thrive on self-motivation and not having any specific goals over the last couple of months has been detrimental to me both physically and mentally. So what do you do when you don’t need to lose anymore weight but you still need goals? 

Set Goals Hand Red Marker

I decided to commit to lose the couple of pounds I gained back and to get toned! My mom and I are going on a cruise in April, so that is a good amount of time to get in shape for bathing suit season! I had stopped going to the gym as often as I like because of scheduling conflicts, so that is another goal. Try to go at least four times per week! When I was going regularly, I felt better and had more energy (both mentally and physically). I just signed up for two classes this week at 6:15am. I am NOT a morning person so that was a huge step for me!

What other personal goals have you set after you have met your weight loss or fitness goals? Share your story!

Victory Over Temptation

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As a nutrition and wellness consultant, everyone assumes that I always want to eat well and it comes easily to me. That is partially true; I love healthy foods and I can eat veggies and fruit until they come out of my ears. Every now and then I get cravings that are so overwhelming that I could eat an entire carrot cake if given the opportunity (and I have). Last night was one of those nights. I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a couple of items for dinner this week. I walked through the store with my list in my head. I strolled through the frozen food section to peruse the ice cream because I have been craving Haagen Dazs Peanut Butter Chocolate for months. As I looked through the frosted glass doors, there it was. A harmless little pint of ice cream….ok, not completely harmless. At 340 calories and 23 grams of fat per serving (1/2 cup), I could do some serious damage in a very short amount of time. Ultimately, it was the price that turned me off ($5.89). I could get two half-gallon cartons for that price! So I moved on down the aisle and scanned the less expensive options. Unfortunately, many of those brands contain a ton of chemicals that I cannot pronounce. So much for that idea!

I made my way to dairy section scurrying past the tasty cakes and doughnut display. I picked up my ricotta, which is why I had stopped to begin with and headed toward the front of the store. Trap #2 in the bakery reared its ugly head…one lonely slice of carrot cake. It was sitting there begging me to take it home. After all, I would split it with my husband and it is on sale! I weighed the options in my head; how long will I have to run to burn this off? Is it worth it? Do you need it? I put the carrot cake back. As I turned around, cream cheese brownies were staring me in the face. Mmmmmm….brownies….Just. Say. No.

As I walked out of the store with only the items I planned to purchase, I had a smile on my face. Victory!

Do you have a similar story to share?

FIT Hits the PAN Friday – Veggie Overload Chili

I was told by my husband this is the best chili recipe yet so I had to share it with you. Chili is one of those dishes that you can really make your own. We hosted a Salad Master dinner party about a month ago and as a gift received the SaladMaster tool! For those of you unfamiliar with the SaladMaster brand, it is a US company that has been around since the 40’s. They sell water-less/oil-less cookware titanium cookware. The Salad Master tool is their signature piece and it is my new favorite kitchen tool! There are five different cones that fit to the tool to grate, slice and shred vegetables and fruit to your liking! When we decided to make chili, we used the tool to add a ton of veggies. You can use any tool to prepare your vegetables.

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Veggie Overload Chili
Serves 15
Nutrition Info: Calories 124, Fat 1g, Protein 9g, Sugar 5g, Carbs 21g Sodium 508mg

Ingredients

  • 3 cans dark red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 oz lean ground turkey, browned
  • 2 – 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes (low sodium is best)
  • 1.5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 raw medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup zucchini squash, chopped
  • 1 cup sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • chili powder to taste (I used 5 tbsp, but we like it spicy)
  • dash of cayenne pepper
  • dash of pumpkin pie spice

Directions

  • Cook the turkey in a skillet until cooked through
  • Add all ingredients to crock pot and mix well
  • Cook on HIGH for 1 hour, then LOW for 3-4 hours (if you are leaving it all day, cook it on low)

You can add as many vegetables as you like! This is your creation 🙂 Enjoy!

Allergies are here….

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The last six months have been an allergy nightmare! Living in Florida means a limited winter so we have different things blooming all year round. Great for nature; bad for me. I did the big daddy scratch test at a local allergy office and surprise, I have allergic rhinitis. Essentially, I am allergic but they cannot pinpoint to what. I have taken every OTC and several RX drugs and they always make me tired or cranky. So aside from taking over the counter or prescription allergy medicine which have multiple side effects, what can we do?

I took a trip to a local natural food store and they suggested Quercetin. Found in wine and many fruits and vegetables, quercetin may work as a mast cell stabilizer. It helps block the release of histamine that causes inflammation.¹

Another popular herb is Butterbur; Derived from a common weed in Europe, butterbur (Petasites hybridus) is another alternative to antihistamines, though it may be hard to find in the United States. In the days before refrigeration, its broad, floppy leaves were used to wrap butter during warm spells, hence the name butterbur. A Swiss study, published in British Journal of Medicine, found that butterbur was as effective as the drug cetirizine, the active ingredient in Zyrtec. Even though cetirizine is supposed to be a nonsedative antihistamine, researchers reported that it did cause drowsiness, though butterbur did not. Participants in the study took 32 milligrams of butterbur a day, divided into four doses. A word of caution though — butterbur is in the same family as ragweed, so it could worsen allergy symptoms in some cases. Effects of taking butterbur over a long period of time also are unknown.²

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There are also certain foods you can add to your diet to help with allergy symptoms.Âł

  • Whole grains, dark leafy vegetables, and egg yolks are high in vitamin E.
  • Cold-pressed flax oil or Evening Primrose oil also contain high levels of vitamin E. Drizzle 1 tbsp. on your salad every day.
  • Oily fish such as cod, herring, mackerel, salmon, menhaden and sardines provide the Omega-3 fatty acid called eicosapentaenoic acid or EPA.
  • Spirulina (an alga often used in “green drinks”) also contains eicosapentaenoic acid.
  • Pineapple contains the anti-inflammatory enzyme bromelain.
  • Papaya contains the anti-inflammatory enzyme papain.
  • Turmeric (a rich spice often used in Indian and Far Eastern dishes) contains the anti-inflammatory bioflavonoid quercetin.

Alternative Options

The allergist gave me a neti pot which is used to irrigate the sinus cavity. It is a little like sucking water into your nose in the swimming pool but when used correctly is quite effective. The kit I was given came with a packet of USP grade sodium chloride & sodium bicarbonate mixture that is mixed with warm water. The solution is squeezed into the nose and comes out the other nostril. This cleans out the pollen and mucus in the nose and sinus cavity.

Last, keep a clean home! Pets, dust, mold and other environmental triggers can run rampant in our homes without proper cleaning. Keep your floors dusted and mopped, carpets cleaned and vacuumed and your sheets and beds clean. Also, bathe your pet regularly. Their little paws and fur covered bodies pick up all sorts of allergens running around in the yard and they bring them into your home.

While it is virtually impossible to eliminate allergies altogether, these small steps can help alleviate some of the symptoms we face every year!

Happy Spring!

 

Âą”Natural Allergy Remedies: Supplements and Herbs.” WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
²”6 Natural Allergy Remedies.” Mother Earth News. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.
Âł”Allergies: Natural Solutions.” Natural Allergy Remedies and Allergy Relief. N.p., n.d. Web. 06 Mar. 2014.