Wednesday, December 23, 2015

A collection of holiday nutrition advice to get you to January 1st

Like perhaps many of you, I follow a variety of blogs - many of which are food, nutrition and fitness based. Instead of re-inventing the wheel, I decided to provide a few great posts I have seen over the last few days. I am hoping this will give you some great advice all in one place. Happy reading and Happy Holidays!

Looking for something to serve that you won't feel guilty about? These are some great dishes that make my mouth water just reading the recipes.

Love egg nog (like me), but don't love the calories that come with it? Check out this blog for some easy recipes to lighten up this favorite holiday drink.

I mainly like this post for the first recipe listed - healthy, fast and delicious! Check it out for an easy option while you are busy focusing on Christmas dinner prep.

While food choices make a huge difference, making sure you get up and move contributes to a successful holiday season as well. I love this post because it provides practical and creative tips to work in some fitness in between all of the eating and conversing. Check it out!

Your Nutrition Coach,


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Athletes: Keep these 3 things in mind as you enter the holiday season!

As the holidays approach, I get a lot of nervous athletes in my office. Some worry about undesirable body comp changes, some worry that turning down decadent options will offend family members...and the list goes on. What can you do to calm your anxiety as the holidays creep up? Here are 3 key steps:

1. Right now, determine where you want to be - both physically and mentally - in the new year. What does that mean you need to do with your eating this month? Having a goal to commit to will make you much more successful when you approach the dessert table.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Check out these easy Thanksgiving swaps to save on calories!

Eating healthy on Thanksgiving doesn't have to difficult. While the day is traditionally filled with way too many calories, help yourself or the athlete in your life by making these easy swaps. I wrote this post a couple of years back and decided to update and re-post because it is a good reminder of simple tips and swaps to save big on calories without sacrificing flavor. 

Baste with low-sodium/low-fat broth or olive oil. Season with herbs and spice. While the white meat is lower in fat, the dark meat is higher in vitamins and minerals. So a little of each is okay. If your family likes to deep-fry your turkey, don't eat the skin to omit a good portion of saturated fat.

Mashed Potatoes
Substitute trans-fat free and olive oil based tub margarine for butter, sub non-fat plain Greek yogurt for sour cream and sub non- or low-fat milk for cream/whole milk. Cut the added salt by half. Consider sweet potatoes versus white, which are lower in calories and higher in vitamins and minerals. If you go the sweet potato route, spice to your heart's delight but go easy on the brown sugar or marshmallows where calories can add up quickly. Try keeping them plain enough that you can actually taste the potato. When mashing, leave in some of the potato skins, which is where most of the fiber lies.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

How to be a professional triathlete with celiac - tips and tricks

This week, I am so excited to interview my good friend and professional triathlete, Robin Pomeroy. I met Robin many years ago when she first started triathlon. She has since developed into an amazing triathlete. What makes Robin so impressive is that she juggles her training while fueling gluten-free. Robin was diagnosed with celiac in 2004. Here are her thoughts on living, training and competing gluten-free and what she thinks about the whole "gluten-free diet" fad. 

First, tell me about yourself.

I aspire to take triathlon to the highest level I am capable of. I have a background in competitive swimming, bike racing, and running. I enjoy putting all three sports together now to compete in triathlon. I love the Olympic distance race, but have started racing the half distance this year as well. The two distances are unique and very different to train for, but I enjoy both.

I continue to work as well, and absolutely enjoy my career outside of racing. It is hard to juggle the demands of work and triathlon sometimes, but it keeps me continuously occupied. I thrive on a busy schedule; however, it’s important to keep a healthy balance of everything.

2015 marks my first year competing as a professional. I have launched a website, so you can follow me here:, or at either of my social media accounts: Facebook or Twitter 

Tell me a little about how you were first diagnosed with celiac?
I found out I had Celiac about 10 years ago in 2004/2005. I was a serious high school and collegiate runner who suffered a femoral neck stress fracture that was 80% of the way across the bone - almost causing me to have a hip replacement. Thankfully, it was caught and I had an emergency surgery to pin it up. About a year later, I fractured the other femoral neck, but did not need surgery for this one. Between these fractures, I had blood work and other tests done that revealed some major deficiencies. I was anemic, amenorrheic, osteopenic, and low in many other vitamins and minerals. The combination of these deficiencies and the serious fracture(s) I had led my primary care doctor to refer me to a gastroenterologist, who in turn wanted to test for Celiac Disease. I am thankful that my doctors were insightful enough to test for Celiac Disease because it was not as commonly diagnosed in the U.S. back in 2004.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

5 Things You Should Do Before Your Next Marathon

Marathon training takes time and commitment. If you are asking your body to do this type of training, you must fuel it well. Here are 5 things you should do NOW before you step on the starting line.

1. Increase your fuel to cover your training
Every day, you need to cover for what you run. This is not just during the run (though that is important too), but at meals and snacks outside of your runs as well. Many runners do not eat enough to cover for their training, which makes it hard for the body to recover and prepare for the next run. This can lead to injuries or illness during training. A rule of thumb is that you burn about 100 kcal per mile you run. Add this number to a base of 1500-1800 kcal daily for metabolic functions and daily activities outside of running. This is the total you should be eating each day. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

6 Things You Can Make With Those Garden Tomatoes

With tomato season in full swing, garden tomatoes are available in abundance. Tomatoes are a fantastic source of:
-fiber: helps to lower cholesterol and improve heart health as well as keep athletes full and regular
-lycopene: an antioxidant that can help athletes recovery after workouts
-zeaxanthin: helps protect and improve eye health

Here are 6 delicious ways to use your tomatoes this year:

1. Make Caprese Salad
Caprese salad is a wonderfully easy and fresh salad that can be made fast. To make: combine any type of tomato you have (chop up if using a large tomato vs. a cherry variety), fresh basil leaves (chopped) and mozarella cheese (baby mozzarella works best but can also be good old regular mozzarella; slide into small sqaures). Place in a bowl and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. If you like, you can also drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

5 School Lunches That Make the Grade

As athletes prepare backpacks and workout bags to go back to school, parents are preparing pantries and refrigerators for school lunches. I often hear complaints about not knowing what to pack each day to make sure athletes actually eat what is packed, but also properly fuel themselves in preparation for after-school or evening practices. Here are 5 school lunches that earn an "A" from this sports dietitian:

The Tried and True
Jam and nut butter on whole wheat bread
Fresh veggies such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes or mini sweet peppers (already prepared!)
Greek, non-fat yogurt (must be Greek!) - flavored okay
Piece of fresh fruit
Whole grain tortilla chips

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sports Nutritionist's Race Report: Naperville Sprint Triathlon

This past Sunday, I competed in the Naperville Sprint Triathlon. It was beautiful weather, and I was excited to compete in my final triathlon of the season (my "A" race). 

Saturday: The day before
All day Saturday, I was focused on eating well and hydrating well. The week prior, I was lacking in the sleep department (the reality of two kids under 3), so I knew I needed to take care of myself nutritionally to avoid arriving completely exhausted on race day. Pictured is my lunch and dinner - lots of whole grains, veggies, fruits and lean protein plus some healthy fat. These are the pillars of great meals in general - but especially when preparing to race the next day. 
Lunch: Homemade pizza on whole wheat crust, salad w/ vinagrette dressing, watermelon, water

Thursday, July 30, 2015

4 Fueling Strategies Athletes Should Try Now Before Going Back to School

I am enjoying seeing many young athletes in my office right now. The timing is perfect because we have 2-3 weeks to try out some fueling strategies before they need to be implemented into the fall school/practice schedule. Having time to try things out when young athletes are less scheduled allows them to better focus on what they would like to eat and what works with their schedule and also helps them game-plan how to transport and store their preferred foods. So, if you have a young athlete in the house that is going back to any level of school/practice this fall, work with them to hone and perfect these four fueling strategies.

Eating Breakfast
In my work with athletes, I see two basic problem patterns when it comes to breakfast: either the athlete doesn't eat it at all or the athlete eats something too small for their needs, such as a banana or one piece of toast. Breakfast is the most important meal because it sets the stage for the entire day in terms of both mental energy and muscle energy. Fortunately, I have two great blog articles about breakfast. Last's week's blog (5 Ways to Eat Breakfast Within 30 Minutes of Waking Up) outlines multiple breakfast options depending on your particle morning routine. The second blog article is especially for my athletes who have early-morning practices that make it difficult to eat. Check out "It's Too Early to Eat - Help!" if this applies to you or your athlete. 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

5 ways to eat breakfast within 30 minutes of waking up

Too many athletes make one of the worst fueling mistakes: skipping breakfast. From lack of time to lack of hunger, there is no lack of excuses out there for why breakfast doesn't happen. However, eating breakfast really IS important. In fact, eating within 30 minutes of getting up is needed to get your body re-energized and re-hydrated after fasting and dehydrating overnight. You can't drive your car anywhere without gas, so don't ask your body to go anywhere without fuel! For those of you who don't know how to make breakfast happen, here are 5 ideas, depending on your morning style.

The pre-planner
From your lunch to your clothing, you set up everything needed before you go to bed the night before. Why not do the same with breakfast? Here are a couple of options:
-Overnight oats: A Pinterest favorite, first grab a mason jar or a good ole tupperware. Combine 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats (not quick or steel), 1/3 cup non-fat milk or soy milk, 1/4 cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt, 1/4 cup diced fresh fruit of choice, 1 tsp sweetener of choice (if desired) and any extras you like such as chia seeds, ground flaxseed, coconut flakes, etc. Mix, place lid on jar and leave in refrigerator overnight. In the morning, grab the container and a spoon and head on out!
-Breakfast at the table: Who says you can't set the table the night before? Here is an easy option: grab a bowl and fill with bran flakes, nut of choice and dried fruit of choice. Set on table. Grab a piece of fruit and set next to bowl. In the morning, all you have to do is add milk or Greek yogurt to your cereal and munch on!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Nursing Sports Nutritionist's Race Report: Twin Lakes Triathlon

This past Sunday, I competed in the Twin Lakes Triathlon, which I lovingly called a "sprintlympic" distance: 700m swim, 14 mile bike, 4.5 mile run. I considered this a training race since I had not competed in a triathlon since the exact same day 4 years earlier. Therefore, I needed a race to work out the kinks and see how my body would handle triathlons after having 2 babies (currently 2.5 y/o and 8 months). So here is what went down...

The Day Before
When counseling athletes, I tell them to stick to foods they know and tolerate the day before a race. Don't eat anything new or unknown. Unfortunately, I had to break that rule, as I had to be at a wedding the day before the race. However, I knew this going in as I chose to compete in the race after I had the wedding on the calendar. So, I ate and hydrated well leading up to the wedding dinner. The dinner itself wasn't too bad: chicken, mushroom cap, risotto, roasted potatoes, beans, salad and rolls (my husband and I got two different entrees and split them). Lots of water all day and especially during the wedding and reception. I got to bed around 10:45pm - not bad, all things considered.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Why I Won't Belittle My Athletes as Motivation

This morning - for the third week in a row - I shared the lap pool with one of the local swim
teams. And for the third week in a row, I watched one of the coaches criticize, belittle and embarrass swimmers in an effort to get them to "do better". Today, a young swimmer who I would estimate was around 8 years old teared up after the encounter with the coach. Now, I am not a team coach, a personal trainer or a fitness class teacher. As a sports dietitian, I am a different type of coach - a food coach.  But, like any other type of coach, it is my job to motivate my athletes to make changes that will improve their performance. You might disagree with me, but one thing I have not done and will never do is belittle or - even worse - swear at my athletes. These practices have unfortunately become expected in some settings. Other coaches and trainers often ignore this type of treatment of athletes, believing that this is what needs to be done to make athletes "the best". Whether the athlete is 6 or 60 years old, I disagree. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Pre-workout Eating: Don't do what I did

Because I work professionally as a sports dietitian, I consider myself pretty good at workout fueling. So good that sometimes I forgot to use my head which results in really bad workout fueling. That is exactly what happened this morning. To benefit all of you, I want to share my mistake. I will tell you what happened first and then explain why it happened along with what I should have done differently...the same process I use with my clients.

What happened
Wednesday morning is my spin class morning. Spin is at 8:15am. My kids are generally up early (6am-ish). Typically my husband is up with my daughter at 6am, I get up to feed my son around 6:30am and the morning progresses from there. This morning was different in that I got up with my daughter at 6am and my son slept in, which meant I woke him up at around 7am. I ate breakfast with my daughter at 6:15am before tending to my son. I left the house around 7:45am for class.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Kitchen Clean-up: 4 foods to toss in the garbage today

A few weeks ago, I posted about spring cleaning the pantry. Building off of that theme, I sometimes am asked if there are any foods that shouldn't even be regularly brought into the house. While I am a fan of moderation and treating oneself on occasion, there are some foods better left un-stocked and only purchased in small quantities when "treat time" arrives. Here are just a few of those foods...

1. Bulk bags of chips or cheetos
Chips, cheetos and other snack-type foods should not be stocked in large quantities. It is too easy to grab a handful here - a handful there - and suddenly half of the bag is gone. Instead, purchase the individual-sized bags only on occasion. This makes the snack portion-controlled. When the bag is gone, the treat is over. Because - lets face it - there really isn't anything "healthy" to be found in these snacks.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

3 Nutrition Practices I Wish Would Disappear

As a sports dietitian, I spend a good amount of time dispelling myths created by the media, movie stars or the like. Whether it is some supplement that promises toned abs and gigantic muscles or some method of eating that is SURE to result in 20 pounds of weight loss in a week, the media is never short of ways to play to the emotions of those desperate for a solution. But of all of the practices I despise, hare are a few that top the list.

1. Detoxing
By far the one of the most irritating practices that continues to be encouraged is detoxing. By detoxing, I mean using a product (shakes, pills, powders, etc.) or elixir (think lemon juice and chili powder, for example) to "clean out" the gut from months or even years of food byproduct build-up or toxins spread throughout the body. This entire practice is based on a fallacy, as digestive by-product does not build up in the gut, so there is no need to clean out anything. Plus, the body rids itself of toxins very well on its own using the liver without the need for additional help. What most of these products do is irritate the lining of the intestines, resulting in diarrhea...which makes the user feel like he/she has achieved something. Want to detox? Regularly focus on eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables and drinking plenty of water to keep the body and intestines working properly - no products required. 

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Sports dietitian, eh? So what do YOU eat?

It never fails. I'm out and about and someone finds out I'm a dietitian. What they say next is typically one of the following: "Don't look at what I'm eating!" or "I bet you never eat _____, huh?" Lucky for those individuals, the following two things are always true about me:
1. I never pay attention to what other people eat unless I'm being asked (and paid) to. I have enough clients who need my expertise that I don't go around evaluating others on my free time just "for fun". And plus, if you aren't asking for advice, unsolicited comments from a random dietitian will likely only tick you off.
2. Whatever it is you think I don't eat, chances are I do....maybe not every day or even every month, but I probably do. 

So on that note, here is an example day of eating from me - unfiltered and 100% honest.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Sports RD Race Report: 9-Mile Ride N Tie

This past Sunday, my husband and I competed in a very unique race called a Ride N Tie: two people, one bike - start and finish together by leap-frogging eachother over a 9-mile course. Going into the race, we were unsure of our strategy since we had never done a race like this before. In retrospect, this was one of my favorite races I have ever done. It was SUPER laid-back - no timing chips, very basic race bibs, no finisher medals or food. But, there is something beautiful in getting a bunch of people together that just love to exercise.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spring Cleaning the Pantry: A Step-by-Step Tutorial

Although the cold temps are once again swinging through Chicago area this week, the calendar tells me it is spring. What a great time to spring clean more than just the bedrooms, living room and garage - how about the pantry too? Overwhelmed by the idea and not sure where to start? Follow these steps for a performance-supporting pantry in no time!

1. Pull everything out of the pantry
Whether you think the food is healthy or not, remove everything from the pantry and place on an easily-accessible working space such as a large countertop or kitchen table. 

2. Divide everything into groups of food
Sample groups might be: crackers, chips, cookies, other snacks, canned fruits, canned vegetables, grains (rice, pasta, etc.), cereal, etc.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How-To: Training Your Stomach to Tolerate Fuel During Exercise

Many athletes that walk through my door report difficulty tolerating food or even fluids during workouts. But, fueling during exercise lasting longer than 60 minutes is hugely important to overall performance and body composition goals. So, training the stomach like athletes train muscles needs to happen. The question is, how exactly does one DO that? Well, I'm glad you asked....

1. Start with your easiest workout
By easiest, I mean the workout that is either lowest intensity or during which you seem to tolerate fuel best. It may mean a cycling workout instead of running, a lifting day instead of speed or a long swim day instead of dry land.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

How to Combat GI Distress in Endurance Athletes

When I was in high school, I often suffered "GI (gastrointestinal) consequences" after hard workouts or races. However, I just assumed that was part of running hard and there was nothing I could do about it. I wish I had known back then what I know now: GI distress is not something you have to grin and bear; GI distress can be avoided and prevented. Whether it is diarrhea, stomach cramping or nausea, these symptoms can be controlled with proper sports nutrition techniques.

1. Hydrate
Poor hydration is the most common cause of GI issues both during and after activity. This is because during activity, the body shunts water to the muscles to fuel exercise, leaving the gut with whatever is leftover. In times of dehydration, what fluid is left is often minimal. Athletes should take in about 2 cups of fluid 2 hours before a workout and 1 cup of fluid 1 hour before a workout. Once the workout has started, drink 8-12 ounces of fluid per hour of workout. This is obviously a huge range that can be perfected with practice and assessment. Not even close to where you should be? Start with small increases of perhaps only 25% more fluid per hour than you are drinking now. Training the gut to absorb more water is possible. Also realize that electrolyte supplementation may be necessary to help the body hold on to water and stay better hydrated overall.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Great Easter Eats for Athletes

With the celebration of Easter this weekend, many athletes traditionally go to breakfast or brunch. The fantastic thing about this tradition is that many common brunch foods are an excellent source of nutrition for training and recovery. Here are just a few that you should hop over to on Sunday.

1. Salmon
Salmon is a power food, packed with muscle recovering protein as well as inflammation fighting omega-3 fatty acids. All you need is 3-4 ounces (about the size of a checkbook) to get your needed nutrients.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

3 Things Supplement Companies DO NOT Want Athletes to Know

As we near the outdoor competitive season, many athletes are thinking about their performance nutrition regimen. Some may start experimenting with powders, pills, other mysterious products that promise enhanced recovery, increased muscle gains and better energy during workouts. I love discussing supplements with my athletes because - unlike a lot of internet outlets - my advice is 100% science-based, unbiased and unpaid for by any companies. Here are three things I tell my athletes that many supplement companies would not be too thrilled to hear.

1. The marketed positive outcomes of supplements is often based on theory, not proven science.
There are millions of physiological processes that happen constantly in the body over the course of a day. This opens the door for supplement companies to pick a metabolic process, pull out a nutrient utilized in the process and try to convince you to supplement it. One example of this is L-carnitine, which facilitates the influx long-chain fatty acids (i.e. fat stores) into the mitochondria of cells in order to be utilized for energy instead of using stored carbohydrate, or glycogen. Because of this fact, supplement companies encourage supplementation of L-Cartinine to "enhance fat burning" and "spare muscle glycogen" during exercise. The problem? No studies have shown this to actually happen when L-Carnitine is supplemented. While it may make sense in theory, it doesn't pan out when put to the test.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Why coffee and tea are great for your health

For years, coffee and tea have gotten a bad rap. Health professionals have scolded those who choose to indulge in a morning cup of joe, stating that the caffeine was dehydrating and was linked to heart palpitations. However, with  more research, the benefits of drinking coffee and tea have now come to light. Here is why drinking coffee or tea may actually be beneficial to the endurance or high-intensity athlete.

Benefits of Coffee
The amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee tends to be close to 60-70mg for coffee bought at a gas station or similar location and can be as high as 130mg for coffee bought at a high-end coffee shop. Aside from caffeine, coffee is full of health-promoting antioxidants. Antioxidants are also found in foods such as dark fruits and vegetables; they help the body "clean up" the muscle of free radicals after exercise. In addition, research has linked drinking coffee to a decreased risk of developing diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's and certain cancers as well as depression. The mechanism behind these protective effects has yet to be determined. 

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

How to use protein powder so it actually works

Of all the supplements I see in my office, protein powder is the most common. But like all products, even the best powder can fail if not used correctly. So, what should you do to make sure your powder does it what promises to? Follow these steps...

1. Assess your reason for using it 
Are you trying to lose weight? Bulk up? Lean out? Are you a vegetarian or vegan needing to up your daily protein intake for overall health? Figuring out why you think you need a protein powder is an important step before you buy a powder. This is because powders are often formulated for specific reasons, from different protein sources and with different additives. Using a good powder for the wrong reasons makes it the wrong powder. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why athletes should be snacking

High-level athletes ask a lot from their bodies day-to-day. Proper fueling is essential for an athlete to be able to arrive at each day's workout ready to give 110%. A key part of proper fueling is snacking. Read on to find out why athletes should be snacking and score a few healthy snack ideas too.

1. Blood sugar regulation
Eating only meals typically means many hours between eating sessions. Athletes should be eating every 2-3 hours to be sure to keep blood sugar stable. Spikes in blood sugar can lead to loss of focus and concentration and increased headaches as well as feeling cranky, dizzy or lightheaded. These symptoms can keep athletes from getting the most out of a training session. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Why you need to worry about dehydration when exercising in bitter cold

It's February 19th, yet here we are again with below-zero wind chills in the Chicago area. Competing or training in cold weather presents its own set of challenges. Dehydration – believe it or not – is a major issue. Here is why...

1. The body tries to keep your core warm
Normally your body carries blood to your extremities during exercise. But in the cold, your body preferentially tends to keep blood close to its core in order to stay warm. This increases your blood pressure, which will affect your kidneys and increase your need to urinate. 

2. Cold, dry air = more fluid lost
When you exercise in the cold, your lungs have to warm and humidify the incoming cold, dry air. Just by doing this, you can lose up to one quart of fluid daily. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Spiralizing Veggies - the Newest Trend: Should you do it?

Avocado-Basil Zucchini Noodles with Chile-Lime Shrimp & Corn

One of the newest trends in nutrition is using a spiralizer to spiralize your vegetables. Spiralizing means taking vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes or zucchini and turning them into noodles. These vegetable noodles can then be used in place of regular grain-based noodles. While the dishes look very pretty, is this a trend you should follow? The answer is depends on your goal....

If you are a high level athlete putting in long training hours
The more training required of an athlete, the more carbohydrate that needs to be present in the diet. Using spiralized vegetables instead of pasta noodles cuts down significantly on carbohydrate content of the meal. This is not entirely bad if the athlete is then getting carbohydrate from another food source, such as fruit, bread, etc. However, that carbohydrate does need to come from somewhere, as lacking carbohydrate intake on a daily basis can lead to poor recovery, increased risk of injury and a weakened immune system.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Lentils: A hearty and healthy's why!

Lentil and Brown Rice Soup. Photo by Derf

Perhaps many of you have heard of them, but not all have tried them. Lentils are a fantastic pantry staple: easy to cook, versatile and packed with powerful nutrition. To find out why and how to cook with them, read on.....

1. High in fiber
Because lentils contain a high amount of soluble fiber, they may help lower blood cholesterol levels. Maintaining good cholesterol levels lowers risk of heart disease over time. Plus fiber helps keep you full for longer, potentially lowering overall caloric intake.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

One food you should be eating during Super Bowl XLIX

As we near this weekend, I'm sure many of you are planning your menu for the big game on Sunday night. Amid the delicious dishes you might choose, there is one ingredient you should be sure to include: avocados. Why? Avocados are packed with nutrients that are especially important for football fans....

Lutein is an antioxidant that may help maintain eye health as we age. This antioxidant helps protect and maintain healthy cells inside the eye. One ounce of avocado contains 81 micrograms of lutein! Keep your eyes sharp during the game by getting your daily lutein!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

3 Tips to Making Healthy Eating Work When You Have Kids at Home

As a mom of two little kids, the tactics I use to make healthy eating happen on a daily basis from week to week are somewhat different from what I did when I was single with no kiddos around. There is no doubt a added level of difficulty to eating healthy when you have more than yourself to worry about. Here are 3 tips to keep your meals and snacks healthy this year:

1. Plan ahead
It is no secret that planning ahead is the key to eating healthy. It doesn't have to be a long, drawn out, scheduled event each week (though it can be). I do my best meal planning when I am driving between home and the office. Often the hardest part about planning is just remembering to do it. If you are new to meal planning, set alarms or alerts on your phone, make post-it note reminders or schedule time in your phone calendar to get the planning done. If you plan to do it once a week, do it the same day and time every week. Pick 2-3 proteins, 2-3 grains and 4-5 vegetable/fruit options you need to purchase and possibly prep that day for the entire week (the actual number will depend on the size of your family). If you plan to plan and prep daily, this is only possible if you have meal components at home that you can quickly throw together to make meals. Personally, I do a bit of both daily and weekly planning. I do weekly planning when I make my grocery list and I do daily planning each morning for dinner that night. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

4 Nutrition Excuses You Need to Give Up in 2015

As we enter 2015, I'd like to help you get started on the right foot. In my office, there is no shortage of excuses for not following nutrition recommendations. While I work exclusively with athletes, these excuses can be heard from just about everyone trying to make healthier choices toward bigger goals. So it's time to "name it, claim it and tame it" is a new year, after all.

1. I like to sleep.
This is most often used an excuse for not eating breakfast or not eating a post-workout snack after late night training. I like to sleep too - who doesn't? However, it is about priorities. While getting 7-9 hours of sleep on average is a must, so is fueling your body correctly. Re-evaluate where your time is spent. Is there a reason you need to watch 3 hours of television at night? Do you really need to stay on social media until midnight? Its time to unplug early and go to sleep...or stop hitting snooze in the morning. Make a commitment to eating when your body needs you to.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

What your nutrition-related New Year's Resolution should look like

We are eight days into the New Year, which means resolutions are running full speed ahead. Here were 2014's top three New Year's Resolutions: 1) Lose weight 2) Get organized 3) Spend less, save more. Sadly, only 8% of Americans are successful in meeting their resolutions each year. To get into that 8%, here are some tips when crafting and living out your nutrition-related resolutions.

1. Keep it simple
When it comes to nutrition, avoid fad diets or extreme dieting measures, such as cutting out entire foods groups or excessive record-keeping of every calorie consumed. This typically works for about 3 weeks, causes extreme stress and is quickly abandoned. Instead, keep it simple. Try writing three basic "eating guidelines" for yourself. Here are a few examples:
-Eat a fruit or veggie 5 different times each day
-Buy only nonfat dairy foods
-Drink alcohol only 2 times each week with 1-2 drinks each time
Goals such as this are easier to achieve and not overly restrictive.