Spring Clean Your Pantry!

It’s finally spring, which means it’s time to make everything fresh and new again! This doesn’t just apply to your wardrobe or home. It is necessary for your pantry as well! You should make a point, at least once a quarter, to deep clean your kitchen. Completely clear out all items from the cupboards, pantry, and refrigerator/freezer, and assess which food items should be disposed of. Before putting items back, wipe down and clean the surfaces. I would also suggest challenging yourself to clean up your nutrition regimen as well! Donate foods that don’t fit your healthier way of eating, such as processed foods with artificial ingredients, additional sugars, and foods that are expired.

Below are a list of 10 superfoods that would be beneficial to include in your springtime pantry and refrigerator.

1. Mangoes
- The orange-yellow color of mangoes means they are a great source of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene can be converted to Vitamin A, which is important for the health of your skin, eyes, immune system, and cells.
- Tip: How do you cut a mango? Stand it up on one end and cut it into 3 sections to avoid the oblong pit. Take one of the halves and cut a cross-hatch pattern but be sure not to cut through the skin. Flip it inside out and enjoy, or cut the cross-hatch squares off with a knife.

2. Blueberries
- Blueberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants. Add them to salads, smoothies, or cereal for an instant nutrient boost.
- Tip: Frozen blueberries also pack in tons of nutrients and won’t spoil as quickly as fresh ones. You can even buy fresh ones and freeze them immediately for a great kid-friendly snack that is fun to eat.

3. Avocados
- This fabulous green food is a great source of healthy, unsaturated fats. Increased intake of unsaturated fats instead of saturated fats has shown to improve cholesterol levels.
- Tip: Like burritos? Substitute guacamole instead of sour cream and cheese, but not flavor.

4. Spinach
- Baby spinach is one food I usually have in my fridge. Spinach is a source of non-heme iron, meaning it is an iron source but is not as well absorbed as the heme iron from meats. However, you can increase absorption by also eating tomatoes or citrus fruits, or other sources of vitamin C at the same time.
- Tip: Increase iron absorption by trying a spinach salad topped with strawberries, mangoes, or mandarin oranges and vinaigrette dressing.

5. Kale
- Kale is a powerful leafy green that is low and calories and high in vitamin K and other antioxidants. Vitamin K is important for blood clotting.
- Tip: Steam kale for 5 minutes and prepare with sesame oil and a pinch of salt for a rich-tasting vegetable dish, or serve cold as a salad.

6. Lentils
- Lentils are part of the legume family. They are high in protein, fiber, and low in fat. Fiber is important for regulating our digestive system, stabilizing blood sugar, and helping us stay full.
- Tip: For a heartier soup, add brown lentils.

7. Greek Yogurt
- Yogurt in general is a great source of calcium which is important for bone health. However, because of the way Greek yogurt is strained, it contains much more protein than its regular counterpart (One serving usually has the amount of protein in 2-3 oz of meat!)
- Tip: Watch for fat content in some Greek yogurts: choose low-fat or fat-free and combine with fruit for a great snack.

8. Hummus
- Hummus is a spread/dip made of garbanzo beans. Garbanzo beans are another great source of protein and fiber, which will help build and repair muscle as well as keep you full.
- Tip: Try with slices of raw celery, carrots, or cucumbers for a great way to add more vegetables to your diet. Hummus is easy to make and a fun recipe for kids to experiment with.

9. Salmon
- The USDA recommends choosing at least 8 oz of cooked seafood per week. Salmon is a source of omega-3 fatty acids as well that are important for heart and brain health.
- Tip: Salmon is great for grilling. Try it with a light maple glaze for a sweet and delicious main dish.

10. Quinoa
- Unsure what this quinoa craze is about? Quinoa is an ancient grain that is one of the few “complete” plant-based proteins. This means it contains all the essential amino acids our body needs to get from our diet. It’s a whole grain that is perfect as a substitute for rice or the base of a yummy spring salad.
- Tip: Boil 2 parts water 1 part quinoa for about 10 minutes. Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil and drizzle over quinoa with a pinch of salt for a simple side dish.



The “Fabulous 500” Workout

Are you looking for a quick and effective workout to complete at home or while traveling? This is a high intensity workout that requires no equipment, just your own bodyweight! If you repeat this circuit twice, with minimal rest in between movements, you will complete 500 repetitions in under 20 minutes! It is a great way to increase your heart rate, build muscle, and burn calories! Remember to do movements with correct form to reduce any risk of injury.

  • 25 squats
  • 15 jumping lunges
  • 30 shoulder taps
  • 30 jumping jacks
  • 10 burpees
  • 25 mountain climbers
  • 50 bike crunches
  • 25 high knees
  • 25 butt kicks
  • 15 pushups


Look your Best for the Wedding!

Is your  wedding is just around the corner and you want to look your very best on the BIG day.

Maybe you aren’t the bride but are related to the bride or groom or in the wedding party and you, too, want to look and feel your best.

You know there will be hundreds of photographs snapped, videos being captured, reception lines to navigate, along with showers to attend, and mountains of wedding details that have to be completed over the next few months. You want to eat the right foods at the right time but it is so hard when life is so busy.

What if there was a simple change you could make… one that would help you reach your goal of Looking your Best?

unhealthy snacks and how to eat betterWe have a free training webinar that will share this very secret with everyone on the call. Teaching you the one thing you can do that will help you every single day.

A skill to help you make better food choices all day and quiet those hunger pangs – and help you stay healthier!

However, if you do this one thing incorrectly, it can sabotage your efforts. Don’t let this happen!

Join Ashley Acornley of Triangle Nutrition on this free webinar on Tuesday April 22nd at 8pm Eastern.

This training is FREE so take advantage and sign up.

Also, please share this session and signup link with your friends and family.

Tracy & Ashley


Should I see a Sports Dietitian?

Sports DietitianMost athletes who want to be the best will do whatever it takes to get there. However, most health professionals have found that athletes don’t come to see a Registered Dietitian until there is a problem to be solved in their overall performance. Often times, athletes do not realize that what they are feeling or experiencing might not only be caused by poor nutrition, but also be solved with balanced nutrition and adequate hydration.

Instead of accepting aches, pains, cramps, and lack of energy as “normal,” review this list to see if proper nutrition might be your answer.

Are you fueling correctly?

  • Are often sore during the training week
  • Suffer from muscle cramping before, during or after practice or throughout the night
  • Feel overly fatigued by the end of the practice week
  • Cannot keep up the effort you feel is possible
  • Are constantly sick or rundown
  • Suffer from one injury after another
  • Wake up frequently during the night
  • Unintentionally lose more than 2-3 pounds of weight during the competitive season
  • Suffer from stomach cramping, bloating or feel like you “have to go” in the middle of training or competition
  • Have been diagnosed with low iron or suffer from constant fatigue or feeling like you could “sleep all day”
  • Started a special diet without consulting with a dietitian to assure you are meeting your body’s needs
  • Are overly restricting your intake on a daily basis or feel like you cannot eat certain foods
  • Are not getting your period on a monthly basis or have not gotten your period for 3 or more months (females)
  • Constantly dehydrated and have a dark urine color

This list is a good starting point to help you identify what may be controllable and improved with good nutrition. It is best to be proactive as an active individual and spring is a great time to come on in.

Keeping Food Safe for Your Family

Food StorageWhen the warm weather arrives, it is very important to keep your food safe in order to avoid any unfortunate food borne illnesses. During your outdoor sporting events, tailgates, outdoor parties and picnics, there are some simple safety precautions to take to ensure that your meals and snacks are prepared and stored correctly.

  • Purchase foods from reputable suppliers and companies who operate clean establishments that have appropriate refrigeration and are subject to proper health inspections
  • Refrigerate foods that need cold storage, such as milk, raw and cooked veggies, fruits, and meats as well as opened jars, bottles, and cans.
  • Cook seafood, poultry, beef, pork and other meats to their proper internal temperatures and for the time required to kill microorganisms. Note that this time and temperature varies based on the type of meat, so follow label instructions.
  • Wash hands with soap and water hot enough to tolerate, especially after using the restroom.
  • Thoroughly rinse raw vegetables and fruit before cutting or serving.
  • Serve only cheeses made with pasteurized milk and drink only pasteurized milk products.
  • Carefully wash cooking equipment, utensils, and food surfaces both before and after food preparation using soap and hot water OR a dishwasher.
  • Separate cooked meats from raw foods to prevent cross-contamination.
  • Minimize the time any food spends in the danger zone (temperature zone ranging from 41-135 degrees F).
  • Follow instructions and advisories of local authorities when your community water supply has been compromised.
  • Discard any food that has been time and temperature abused, has visible mold, is discolored, or has an unusual odor.
  • Avoid serving smoked seafood or deli meats to pregnant women due to the risk of Listeria.
  • Discard food from damaged or bulging cans due to risk of Botulism.
  • Discard cut and prepared foods, especially cut melons, that have been at room temperature for 4 hours or longer.
  • Discard any meats, dairy products, cut vegetables, or cut fruits suspected of being contaminated or that haven’t undergone proper refrigeration.

Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse

Detox diets, juicing, and cleanses are increasing in popularity, promising weight loss, body detoxification and the treatment and prevention of everything from the common cold to cancer. One of the most well-known detox diet is the Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse, created by Dr. Mehmet Oz, Dr. Mark Hyman, and Julieanna Hever MS Plant-Based Dietitian.

weight loss Dr Oz

According to Dr. Hyman, the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) is making us sick. These toxins can affect every system in the human body. All in all…Poor diets lead to toxicity, and toxins make us sick! Thus the need for a detox or cleanse. Signs that you may need a detox cleanse? Constipation, headaches, muscle ache, fatigue, constipation, food allergies, weight gain, and skin conditions such as acne.

The Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse claims to:

“Eliminate harmful toxins, restore your system and reset your body with this detox cleanse for Dr. Oz. All you need is 3 days, a blender and $16 a day.”

My immediate reaction to this statement? Sounds too good to be true! As an aspiring dietitian, my curiosity grew…Can this cleanse really make someone feel better? Are there even toxins to eliminate? Will I only need 3 days, a blender, and 48 dollars?…It almost sounds too good to be true. To better answer these questions for myself and those I will work with, I decided to give the 3 day cleanse a try!


Each day of the 3-day plan consists of: 4 shakes (3 meal shakes & 1 snack shake), green tea, vitamins and a detox bath.

For the mid-afternoon snack shake: Repeat any of the 3 meal shakes

Dr Oz 3 Day Detox
According to Dr. Oz, $16 a day is all you need. But, my grocery bill was closer to $38 a day (not including supplements). I guess I need to find out where he shops!

detox cleanse shopping list


By the end of the first day, I was a bit surprised to find the cleanse wasn’t too bad! For the most part, I didn’t feel tiered, and didn’t feel like I was starving. But….this didn’t last long. By Day 2 ad 3, the negative effects (specifically headaches, fatigue, hunger, and irritability) kicked in.

  • While we are talking about cheats, I will take this opportunity to come clean and admit that I also didn’t take a supplement or do the detox bath. Overall, I consider myself open-minded and willing to try anything. But the idea that bath salts can draw toxins out of my body is where I draw the line.
    • All drinking and no eating. I found myself missing the act of chewing.
    • For me, the hardest thing was the fatigue. I tried to stay busy to avoid thinking about being hungry. But, it was hard to do things to stay busy because I had very little energy.


  • Its only 3 days. Other than drinking coffee, and skipping on the supplements and bath salts, I was able to stick to it. Whenever I was tempted to eat something, I thought to myself you can do anything for 3 days. Although I’m not jumping up to volunteer, I think I could do this again.
  • It may be helpful in overcoming cravings and stopping bad habits, such as consuming too much caffeine or sugar. Evidenced by my inability to go 24 hours without coffee.

My Favorite? The Breakfast Shake.By far the tastiest shake! I drank this shake for each of my snack shakes as well.

Dr Oz Breakfast Shake

My Least Favorite? The Lunch Shake. I couldn’t handle the weird texture. It helps to make sure to process the celery as much as possible.

 Dr Oz Lunch Shake

1. It’s not cheap!

  • My grocery bill totaled $115, which comes to $38 per day. Much more than the $16 per day cost Dr. Oz projected.

2. Preparation is key

  • Make time to prep. It took me the majority of an afternoon to make everything. Be ready for lots of chopping!
  • Prep ahead of time. I would recommend to do all the grocery shopping and prepping the day before you start the cleanse. Having each drink already made allows you to be ready when hunger sets in and helps you avoid eating other foods not on the cleanse.

3. Get a good blender that can do the job

Dr Oz Shake Recipies

It will be expensive, but it will be worth it. Fortunately, I already had a Vitamix blender that I was able to use. In my opinion, a good blender makes a better consistency and better tasting smoothie.

4. Drink water

  • Drinking water will make you feel fuller and keeps you hydrated.

5. Make extra time for rest/sleep

  • I expected fatigue. But I was surprised at how little energy I had during the 3-day cleanse. Try to pick days (like a long weekend) when you don’t have a lot going on.


The basic idea behind detox diets is to temporarily give up certain kinds of foods that are thought to contain toxins. The idea is to purify and purge the body of all the “bad” stuff. However, there has been no research to show that detox diets and cleanses help rid the body of toxins. Plus, the human body is designed to purify itself and I’m not convinced that our bodies need help in the detox process. Dr. Frank Sacks of the Harvard School of Public Health says the idea that your body needs help getting rid of toxins has “no basis in human biology”. Your organs and immune system handle those duties, no matter what you eat.

In my opinion, food should always come first! Proper nutrition is the primary line defense for your body. There is no magic diet, cleanse, or detox that has be shown to rid your body of toxins, prevent sickness, or lead to long-term, sustainable weight loss. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Most cleanses and other fad diets lack calories, and lack nutrients, which can be dangerous to health and lead to adverse side effects. With that said, when compared to other juice cleanses the Dr. Oz 3 day cleanse is not too bad, nutrient wise. The 3 day detox plan was formulated to meet all of the guidelines including about 1200 calories/per day, along with many vitamins, minerals, and very important to a cleanse fiber.

A nutrient analysis of the 3 day detox cleanse revealed the following nutrients to be below the recommended amount:

Protein, Calcium, Iron, Selenium, B12, Vitamin D, and Choline. The low level of nutrients may be accounted for by taking the recommended multivitamin supplement, omega-3, and probiotics.

Info about The Dr. Oz 3 Day Detox Cleanse found here.

Written by Hartley Collins, University of North Carolina Greensboro Masters in Nutrition Graduate Student.

Super Foods for Super Savers

Super FoodsThe effect that diet can have on how you feel today and in the future is amazing.

The term “super foods” are a new catch phrase in the health industry over the past few years, but what does it mean? Super foods are high quality, unprocessed foods that are nutrient dense and help improve overall health. Instead of reaching for medications, a healthy diet incorporating a variety of antioxidant-rich super foods can help maintain weight, fight disease, and live longer. Many people think fresh produce and healthier options are more expensive.

However, this chart below helps guide you to a variety of super foods, and how to prepare them, incorporate them into meals, and save money on them in the future!


Featured Client: Brian Obiedzenski

Brian ObiedzenskiBrian Obiedzenski is a professional race car driver from the Triangle area and 2013 Ace Speedway ASA Rookie of the Year. Brian visited Triangle Nutrition Therapy in January, and his goal was to perform at his best this year as a race car driver, which meant getting back into the gym and cleaning up his diet. Since January 1st, Brian has lost 20 pounds in six weeks and has made diet and exercise a priority in the midst of his busy schedule. Here are some of the keys to his success:

  1. No coffee, red bull, soda, or alcohol since January 1st
  2. Increased water intake to roughly 75 ounces daily, keeping him hydrated, alert, and more energized.
  3. In order to limit his consumption of “junk” foods, he decided not to snack after 8:30 pm.
  4. Increased intake of fruit, using that as a perfect on-the-go snack.
  5. Brian and his wife used Pinterest in order to find healthy variations of their favorite meals. On long work days, they made crock pot meals, instead of frequenting restaurants and fast food joints.
  6. Brian joined a gym and began working out 3-4 times per week. He is now currently running 4-5 miles, and completing a 30-minute circuit training routine and a 12 minute core routine. He spends about 45 minutes to 1 hour at the gym, depending on the day.

Brian’s racing season begins this spring, and he is competing in 71 races this year! Brian has a race in North Carolina On October 12th that will be broadcasted on ESPN2! Be sure to check him out! He has been kind enough to share with everyone his experience with Triangle Nutrition Therapy. See his testimonial below:

“Everyone knows that eating right and staying fit is the way to stay healthy. No one has the same body, or metabolism. So what is right for me to eat, how much of it is the correct portion, and when should I eat those portions?

These are the things that Triangle Nutrition Therapy simplified for me. I was given all of the correct information and know how to be able to apply it to my daily routine in order to meet my goals. I was not looking for a major life change like some people, but just a tweak to get me where I needed to be.

I am very glad I took the time to meet with Ashley, and figure out what I needed to do, to properly meet my goals in a very efficient time frame. The will power and drive still needs to come within but she was able to set my goals and allow me to chase them. I very strongly suggest that anyone who has health, fitness, or nutritional goals seek the help of the professionals at Triangle Nutrition Therapy.”

The Wedding Crunch Program Launches Feb 25th, 2014

There is a “Diet-Free” Approach to Looking and Feeling Fantastic on Your Wedding Day!

lose weight for wedding

Is your wedding day right around the corner, and you are still not in the shape you want to be for the big day?

If so, what are your plans to reach your goals? Many females have goals to lose weight, get into better shape, and have plenty of energy for their wedding day. Therefore, they will go to the extreme limits to achieve these goals. There are plenty of fad diets and misinformation out there that unfortunately lead you in the wrong direction, and can comprise your health.

Recently reported as the new “extreme diet,” brides-to-be who are under pressure to lose weight have opted for an extreme measure known as the K-E Diet, where a small feeding tube is inserted into the nose to supply fat, protein and water to the body; and this suppresses body’s feeling of hunger for nearly 10 days. This new diet craze leads to weight loss of up to 10 pounds by supplying only 800 calories to the body per day.

However, many healthcare professionals are not advocating these drastic measures. Health counselor Dr. Ishi Khosla states, “brides look at western models and try hard to squeeze into size 0 dresses without even knowing their body types. We have had women come up to us saying that they want to lose weight by going on a liquid diet, but we don’t advocate such methods. Instead we should put them on a balanced diet, as crash dieting causes dehydration, electrolyte imbalance that often leads to blackouts.”

These drastic diets are not condoned by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, either!

Aside from the K-E diet, there are a variety of other unhealthy diets that brides have resorted to for quick weight loss.

For example, the Dukan diet is a strict regimen that begins with consuming only lean meat, low fat dairy products and oat bran for a week, after which non-starchy vegetables are added to the list. In addition, the Cabbage Soup Diet only allows the consumption of cabbage soup with a small amount of bread. Along the same lines, the Grapefruit Diet claims that grapefruit, when had for 12 days along with meat and eggs, can help one lose weight quickly. Finally, the Master Cleanse Diet is a 10-day process where one drinks herbal teas and lemon juice without solid food.

As enticing as these diets may sound, these particular diets leave you malnourished and weaken your immunity over time. Crash dieting is not healthy for your metabolism or health, and after all is said and done, you risk regaining the weight, in the form of fat, not muscle within days of stopping the diet.

At Triangle Nutrition Therapy, we understand your desire to look great, and have developed a unique program called “The Wedding Crunch” because we know you are so crunched for time to get everything done!

Our program is overflowing with practical manageable, light and lean nutrition tips and meal plans that are full of ideas, along with calorie blasting cardio, muscle-toning moves, and a bonus session of successful skincare tips. We teach you solid, fact based tips and tricks about how to eat healthy, with an emphasis on fitness so you can to look fit, toned, and healthy on the  big day, without having to depend on a drastic diet! The entire 12-week program is based online, so anyone in the entire bridal party can sign up for this journey, no matter where they live in the country! (For those who are based in the Raleigh area, individual and group personal training is available to accelerate your results!—contact Ashley Acornley)

Our first 12-week wedding weight loss program is launching on Tuesday, February 25th.

There are 5 sessions, along with 2 Bonus sessions.  This will be hosted on a conference call on Tuesdays from 8-8:30 pm, with time for questions at the end of each session. If you miss a session, no worries as the calls will be recorded.  We will not have a session every single week because we know you are busy.  You will hear from us 2 times every single week though via email.  We will send you two “Mental Mindset” quotes to keep you inspired and positive about reaching  your goals!!

For more information and to sign up for this great opportunity, please contact Ashley Acornley at ashley@trianglediet.com.

We look forward to helping you and anyone in your wedding party look Fit and Fabulous fantastic on the Big Day!


New Program for Brides-To-Be Launches in February: Sign up Early for a Discount!

Tracy and I are so excited to introduce a program that we have been working on for the past year – The Wedding Crunch! This is a fun and interactive nutrition and fitness program designed for the bride-to-be, as well as the entire bridal party! This program is 12 weeks in length and goes into depth about a variety of diet and exercise topics that will get you looking confident and fit on your wedding day! All sessions are conducted via webinar and you can learn from the comfort of your own home! Our first 12-week session begins on Tuesday, February 25, at 8:00 pm Eastern. You don’t want to miss it! 

What the program includes:

  • An individualized counseling session and “nutrition makeover”
  • Customized controlled meal plan and workout
  • Fast food flab buster tips
  • Learn ways to eat, drink, and be merry
  • Discover techniques to tame temptations

Early enrollers receive bonus sessions:

  • Skincare session
  • Finishing Touches
  • Meal Planning and recipe resources


  • Commit to a happy and healthy wedding day
  • Build a support network that will keep you accountable
  • Plan for success and confidence!
  • Look great in your dress!

Contact Ashley for details!

Wedding Crunch Workout

If you live in the Raleigh area, individual personal training or group “bridal bootcamp” can be arranged by appointment to increase your fitness, accountability, and success! Here is a taste of what there is to offer:

Fast 7-Minute Workout

Alternate 30 second exercise with 10 seconds rest in between. Complete this circuit two times for a high intensity calorie burn, without any equipment necessary!

  1. Jumping jacks
  2. Wall sit
  3. Push-up
  4. Crunches
  5. Step ups
  6. Squats
  7. Tricep dips
  8. Plank
  9. High knees
  10. Lunges

Set Yourself Up for Success for the New Year!

By Stephanie Diettrich, Nutrition Student

Healthy-ResolutionsDon’t eat sweets; lose weight; get fit; cut out unhealthy foods; exercise more – sound familiar? These are among some of the most common New Years’ resolutions that we set for ourselves year after year. What do these goals have in common? They all set us up for failure! A lot of us can admit that by the end of January, we’re back to our old eating and exercise habits and the resolutions we were so determined to keep are nothing but distant memories. I’m going to provide you with three simple tips to help you develop and achieve your New Years’ resolutions for 2014: quantify your goals, focus on one goal at a time, and be realistic with your goals.

  1. “You can’t manage what you don’t measure”- This is especially important to remember with goal-setting. Quantifying your goals is the keystone to accomplishing them. It is not enough to say “I will exercise more.” What do you mean by “more?” If you quantify it, you can determine whether or not you are meeting your personal goals. For instance, “I will exercise for 30 minutes at least four days a week.” By setting days and times for exercise, you will be able to measure your achievements or areas in need of improvement. Did you exercise all four days this week? Fantastic! Or maybe you only exercised two days for 20 minutes each day. Don’t be discouraged if you aren’t always as successful with your goals as you would like to be; remember that by quantifying your nutrition and fitness resolutions and making them measurable, you are already well on your way to achieving them.
  2. Now that you’ve got the hang of how to quantify your nutrition and fitness resolutions, let’s talk about how to approach them. Any type of change can be difficult; old habits die hard and new habits take time to develop. Let’s suppose your goals include “exercise four days a week, eat at least one serving of vegetables with each meal, don’t eat out more than two times each week, lose 15 pounds by April.” Instead of overwhelming yourself with so many goals at once, focus on one at a time. For example, after you have become accustomed to adding one vegetable to each meal, then tackle the goal of not eating out more than twice a week. If you make one of your resolutions a habit before attempting another one, you are more likely to stick to each goal for the long run.
  3. Finally, if you want to fulfill your nutrition and fitness resolutions, be realistic when setting them. When planning your goals, try to accommodate your own schedule. If you know that the house will be super busy after you get home from work, set your workout time in the morning instead. Or, if you know that you won’t have time in the morning to make a healthy lunch for work, aim to prepare it the night before. In addition to working your goals around your busy life, it is crucial to be in realistic terms of the time frame you set for achieving your goals. Fad diets can be tempting when they advertise the ability to help you lose 10 pounds in five days, but this is not realistic, nor is it healthy. It is important to realize that reaching your nutrition and fitness goals takes time and effort. Setbacks are a realistic possibility that can contribute to the time and effort invested in a goal, but these instances can provide you with the motivation needed to get back on track.

Remember, nothing worth having comes easy, and that includes your nutrition and fitness resolutions. If you make the effort to set quantitative and realistic goals and take the necessary steps to achieve them, then 2014 is your year to succeed!

Author Bio: Stephanie Diettrich graduated with a B.S. in nutrition science from North Carolina State University in 2013. She is currently receiving a second B.S. degree in dietetics at North Carolina Central University. In some of her free time, she volunteers in the food and nutrition department at a local hospital. After graduation, she will complete a Dietetic Internship to pursue her goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian.

Do I Need To Hire a Personal Trainer?

Personal-TrainerThroughout my time as a health and fitness professional, the question, “Do I REALLY need to hire a personal trainer?” is one of the most common questions I have people ask me. I bet many of you have found yourselves contemplating this very same question. Whether you are a fitness newbie, weekend warrior, avid exerciser (or somewhere in between), many people do not know that NOW is the time to contact an expert in the field. Many clients have health goals that they haven’t successfully reached on their own – some don’t know where to begin, some can’t find the time to fit exercise into their busy schedule, and others are bored with their current routine and not seeing the results they desire.

No matter where you stand on the spectrum of fitness and wellness, it is always a great idea to try something new and challenging, and to hold yourself accountable for your current activity level. Below are some great ways to get rid of all the excuses in your “book” and to get fit with a personal trainer!

  1. The common “I don’t have time” excuse is replaced with an important appointment on your calendar – if it is on your calendar, you have the time to exercise!
  2. While you know what to do, making yourself do it is a completely different story. A personal trainer will motivate and challenge you to get more out of your workouts, and can design a program specific to your goals.
  3. The body is a very smart machine, and it is always going to pick the “path of least resistance.” Therefore, your body and mind are not going to do more work than absolutely necessary to complete a task. The presence of a personal trainer will motivate you to work harder – think about how many burpees or push-ups you will do on your own versus alongside a personal trainer!
  4. A personal training will provide you with a safe workout environment, because your form and level of exertion are always being monitored to keep you healthy.
  5. People always play to their strengths and avoid their areas of weakness. When left to our own direction, we are more likely to choose exercises or activities that come easily to us and will avoid things that seem too challenging. In this case, a trainer will identify muscle imbalances in your body and help you strengthen what is weak, and guide you toward a stronger, better balanced you!
  6. Working with a personal trainer is fun! The workouts are different and challenging, so your body and mind don’t get bored and eventually plateau.
  7. You will become a great role model for your friends, family, and children. Your new strength and healthy lifestyle will allow others to know that being fit is empowering, fun, and beautiful!

Gobble not, Waist not- Guilt-Free Tips for a Healthy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving-DinnerInterested in tweaking a few minor dishes or habits on turkey day? Use this list as a guide to creating healthier holiday alternatives to your favorite foods!

  1. Opt for sweet potatoes or cauliflower mashed potatoes versus white mashed potatoes.
  2. Use light cream or skim milk versus heavy cream or whole milk.
  3. Use low sodium chicken broth versus regular chicken broth.
  4. Prepare homemade cranberry sauce or chutney versus canned cranberry sauce.
  5. Bake a crustless pumpkin pie or pumpkin mousse versus pumpkin pie with crust.
  6. Lighten your leftovers by fixing a turkey salad, making a low carb turkey and cranberry wrap, or using avocado or hummus instead of mayonnaise on sandwiches.
  7. Eat breakfast on Thanksgiving Day – eating inconsistently during the day makes you overeat during the main course.
  8. Include a colorful vegetable as part of your appetizer or main course – make sure your spread has a variety of options!

For more ideas on healthy Thanksgiving dishes, visit Live Better America.

Turkey Day Workout

Turkey-working-outFor those who are looking for a different workout rather than the typical Turkey Trot, we have a fun and challenging workout for you!

The average American consumes roughly 3,000 calories on Thanksgiving Day. If you were planning on eating a larger meal this year, here is a quick, high intensity, travel-friendly routine for the holiday. Email us your total time for this workout and receive a gift from Triangle Nutrition!

5 rounds for time:
5 burpees
10 pushups
15 squat jumps
20 sit-ups
30 second plank

How Your Lifestyle Affects Your Skincare

rodan-fieldsMany people come to our office and complain of a multitude of skin issues, including acne, oily skin, breakouts and rashes, and inflammation. They want us to provide them a solution for these issues, partly because they feel as if food directly affects the quality of your skin. This is, in fact, true. Nutrition and skincare are certainly interrelated. However, there are a multitude of lifestyle factors that affect your skincare.

Skincare and lifestyle factors are closely related to each other, and as we age, this makes an even more prominent difference. In fact, how we take care of our body from the inside makes a difference in our outer appearance. As Dr. Rodan and Dr. Fields say, “The biggest culprit in aging is sun exposure, drinking, smoking, stress, and sleep habits.” Here are some lifestyle factors that can contribute to quality skincare:

Alcohol consumption
Nutrition (consuming high quality foods)
Water and hydration
Sleep quality
Birth control
Climate and sun exposure
Exercise (or lack of)
Use of skincare or anti-aging products

Thankfully, the right skincare regimen, combined with an adequate diet and exercise plan can help defend your skins appearance against the effects of time and the environment. At Triangle Nutrition Therapy, we offer the Rodan + Fields skincare line to compliment your diet and exercise regimen. There are four product lines to choose from, depending on your needs and skin type, along with a variety of lip balms, mineral powders, sunscreen, and exfoliators to try. There is a 60-day money back guarantee, so what have you got to lose?

The end result is a visibly firmer, radiant, and healthy complexion!

Try the skincare solution tool.

We both have Rodan and Field’s Facebook pages. Go to our pages (Ashley’s pageTracy’s page) and hit LIKE to become a fan of our pages. You will have opportunities to sign up for free gifts and learn about special pricing, all while getting a daily diet of the BEST skin care advice, straight from Drs. Rodan and Fields. Did you know only 20% of how your skin looks is due to genetics and 80% of how your skin looks is in your control?!

Fat-Burning Circuit Workout

kettlebellsHere is a powerful circuit workout for you to try either at the gym, outdoors, or in your home! This routine is great for a few reasons: it is quick, efficient, and only involves one piece of equipment – either a dumbbell or kettlebell. Ashley personally loves the kettlebell. It is a very challenging and effective piece of equipment. However, if you are new to using kettlebells, please seek the advice of a personal trainer prior to using them. There is a special technique involved in using kettlebells compared to weights and we wouldn’t want you to end up injured in the process of getting into shape! Check out this fat burning routine below and see what you think. If you have any questions regarding the exercises or would want advice on using a kettlebell or developing a more in-depth fitness routine, please contact Ashley at ashley@trianglediet.com.

6 exercises, back-to-back, 5-8 reps each without resting
Complete 3-4 circuits, rest 90 seconds between rounds

  1. Swing
  2. Sumo Dead-Lift
  3. Bent-Over Row
  4. Goblet front squat (kettlebell placed in front of chest, toes pointed slightly out, squat until hips are below knees)
  5. Push Press (press weight overhead, drive up as trying to jump)
  6. Diagonal chop

Bodyweight Exercises

bodyweight-exercisesGetting exercise in does not require hours at the gym or even a gym at all! Here is a simple and easy exercise routine that uses your bodyweight, so you do not need a gym membership or equipment!

Instructions: Do each exercise for one minute, without stopping, then go on to the next exercise until you have completed the entire set of exercises. Once you have completed one set, repeat the entire routine for one or two more times (for a total of 2-3 sets). You can always workout with a friend and compete against one another if you are looking for a challenge. Have fun!

  1. Squat Jump: PREP: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes forward; lightly touch your fingers behind your ears and extend your elbows to your sides. ACTION: Bend your knees, then explosively jump as high as you can, land softly on the balls of your feet and immediately lower into your next squat, so that it is a continuous fluid motion.
  2. Forward Lunge: PREP: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your hands on your hips. ACTION: Step forward with your right leg and slowly lower your body until your right knee is bent at least 90 degrees. Push back to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. That’s one rep. Continue alternating legs.
  3. Bend and Thrust (burpee): PREP: With your arms at your sides, stand with your feet hip-width apart. ACTION: In one motion, bend your knees and place your hands on the floor on either side of your legs, then jump both feet back so you’re in a push-up position with your back straight. Quickly reverse the motion to return to start. That’s one rep, continue the motion for a minute.
  4. Push-up: PREP: Get into a push-up position with your feet hip-width apart and your hands slightly outside your shoulders. Your body should form a straight line from head to heels (for modification you can go to your knees). ACTION: Lower your body until your chest nearly touches the floor. Pause, then push back to the starting position as quickly as possible. That’s one rep, continue for one minutes.
  5. Jumping Jacks: PREP: Stand with your feet a few inches apart and your arms at your sides. ACTION: Simultaneously raise your arms out to the sides and over your head, and jump your feet out so they are slightly more than should-width apart. Without pausing, quickly reverse the movement. Repeat.
  6. Plié Squat: PREP: Stand with your legs two to three feet apart, toes turned out; place your hands on your hips. ACTION: Push your hips back and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Pause, then slowly push yourself back to the starting position. That’s one rep, continue for one minute.
  7. Seated Rotation: PREP: Sit on the floor with your legs in front of you, knees bent, and heels lifted a few inches into the air, lean back at a 45-degree angle and extend your arms straight in front of your chest, palms together. ACTION: Slowly rotate your torso to the right, pause, then rotate to the left. Continue alternating sides for one minute.
  8. T Stabilization: PREP: Start in a push-up position with your body in a straight line from your head to your heels. ACTION: Keeping your arms straight and core engaged, shift your weight onto your left arm, rotate your torso to the right, and raise your right arm toward the ceiling so that your body forms a T; your right foot should now be on top of your left. Pause for 3 seconds, then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side. That’s one rep, continue for one minute.

Healthy Tips for Eating Out

healthy-menuDo you ever go out to dinner and become overwhelmed with the amount of choices that restaurants have to offer? Then, among those choices, do you ever panic to make the healthiest choice on the menu? Then, this is the article for you! Here are some great tips to going out to dinner with friends, spouse, or family, without sabotaging your diet! You can have fun and walk away feeling great! The first tip is to do a little research before going out to dinner – figure out if the restaurant has healthy options and review the nutrition facts for any choice that looks appetizing to you. If you do not have time or if the restaurant does not have their nutrition facts posted, then you can ask your waiter for the nutrition facts or you can select from the “healthy” portion of the menu (most chain restaurants have symbols to indicate healthy options).

If the restaurant does not have a healthy menu, then here are some tricks to picking the perfect, delicious, and most satisfying meal:

  • Ask for water instead of sweetened beverages of soda. Some great options are unsweetened tea, low-fat milk, or drinks without added sugars.
  • Choose main dishes that contain vegetables, which are filling and contain vitamins and minerals for a healthy life!
  • You can also have a salad or vegetables before the meal so you are not as hungry when your main meal comes out, and you save calories!
  • Look for words like steamed, broiled, or grilled instead of sautéed or fried.
  • Choose “small” or “medium” portions off of the menu instead of eating from buffet style options.
  • If you choose a meal that is a large portion, you can split it with a friend or ask the waiter to “doggie bag” half of the meal before you get it. Remember that you are not required to clean your plate! Eating half only means that you can enjoy the second half for another meal!
  • You can also control your calorie intake by asking for dressing on the side. Usually the vinaigrette options are lower in calories.
  • Also try to avoid foods that contain creamy sauces or gravy.
  • Add little or no butter to your food (you can always ask your waiter to not add butter).
  • If you are in the mood for dessert, try the dessert that contains fruit.

With these easy tips, you will be able to dine-out and eat healthy too!

Energy Boosting Breakfasts

It’s that time again…back to school! This means that everyone is searching for a few quick and healthy breakfast options to serve their family on early school mornings. Breakfast is STILL the most important part of the day, for adults and children alike. Eating within 1-2 hours of waking jump starts your metabolism and helps improve your energy and mood throughout the day. A healthy breakfast gets your engine going and puts fuel in your “tank” in order to accomplish your daily tasks!

1. Waffles with ricotta and peaches: 1 waffle, ½ cup ricotta, 1 sliced peach.
300 kcal, 15g protein, 13g fat, 38g CHO, 6g fiber

2. Quinoa yogurt parfait: layer ½ cup cooked quinoa, 6 oz yogurt, 1 small apple, and cinnamon.
315 kcal, 20g protein, 2g fat, 55g CHO, 7g fiber

3. Breakfast BLT: toast English muffin, top with 1 tbsp. lowfat mayo, slice of warm Canadian bacon, and lettuce ,tomato, and onion.
205 kcal, 16g pro, 4g fat, 30g CHO, 3g fiber

4. Greek yogurt with fruit: top with 1 Tbsp. nuts, add banana or other fruits.
220-260 kcal, 18-22g pro, 5g fat, 25-38g CHO, 3g fiber

5. Berry protein smoothie: ½ cup skim milk, 6 ox yougurt, ¾ cup berries, ice, 1 scoop protein powder (opt.)- blend.
210 kcal, 21g pro, 0g fat, 31g CHO, 3g fiber

6. Cinnamon cottage cheese with sliced apple: sprinkle ¾ cup cottage cheese with cinnamon, serve on top of sliced apples.
250 kcal, 25g protein, 2g fat, 36g CHO, 5g fiber

7. Spinach-egg-cheese scramble: sauté a handful of baby spinach in oil spray, then add 1 whole egg whipped with 2-3 egg whites. Sprinkle with ¼ cup shredded cheese and scramble. Serve with grapefruit.
330 kcal, 29g protein, 11g fat, 32g CHO, 7g fiber

8. Garden veggie omelette: whip up 1 whole egg and 2-3 egg whites, then stuff it full of veggies- spinach, onion, tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, etc. Have with whole grain toast and PB or a piece of fruit.
280 kcal, 27g pro, 9g fat, 26g CHO, 5g fiber


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