Nutrition As We Age – Throughout Your 20’s, 40’s, and 60’s

Nutrition As We AgeAs we age, our calorie needs and nutrient requirements change. In addition, over 30% of Americans are overweight, with many of these folks struggling with their health and weight management throughout the lifecycle. Below, we have shared tips on how to eat healthfully and age gracefully throughout the decades.

20’s: You may be working long hours, making new friends, dating, and possibly getting married and having children. Life, at this stage, is very unpredictable and grabbing meals on the go means taking in more calories and fewer nutrients.

  • When eating in restaurants, take half of the portion home.
  • Aim to have fruits and vegetables constitute half of your plate at lunch and dinner.
  • Substitute fruit for dessert, most of the time.
  • When you need a quick meal, pick up healthy convenience foods like rotisserie chicken, instant brown rice, and frozen vegetables.
  • Reduce sugar-sweetened beverages and substitute water or no-calorie beverages.
  • Moderate alcohol consumption – equivalent for one serving per day for females and two servings daily for males.

40’s: Life is hectic working full time, supporting a family, and saving for retirement. You may not notice your metabolism starting to slow down. Watch out for increased belly fat as a result of dropping estrogen levels for women, decreased physical activity, and long hours sitting for both men and women. 

  • Find ways to add movement during the day. Get up early to go to the gym, take off during your lunch break to walk to bike, or jog around the soccer field during your kids games.
  • Add strength training to slow the inevitable loss of muscle mass with aging.
  • Calorie needs drop as we get older. Cut 100 calories a day from your pre-40 diet. For every decade after 40, we need about 1% fewer calories, equivalent to 1 cookie.
  • Limit extra fats and sugars to about 100-150 calories per day.

60’s: You may be looking forward to increasing your activity level in retirement, or you may be slowing down due to injuries or chronic health problems. Despite your fitness level, your overall calorie needs have decreased while your nutrient needs have stayed the same or increased. 

  • If you live alone, try to halve recipes or freeze in small portions for later use to avoid eating spoiled leftovers.
  • As we age, our thirst mechanism decreases but our fluid needs are maintained. Drink plenty of fluids to avoid dehydration.
  • People in their 60’s need more protein to maintain their muscles. Choose lean meats, fish, beans, nuts, and tofu, and eat them consistently throughout the day.
  • Beware of losing too much weight too quickly. People who are underweight and undernourished don’t fare as well when faced with illness and injury.


Grilled Pineapple

Looking for a sweet treat this summer that is easy to make? Try grilling some pineapple during your next cookout! It is super simple to make, doesn’t require many ingredients, and is a refreshing dessert! One slice contains just 52 calories!

Print this recipe, cut along the dotted line and add to your recipe box.

Grilled Pineapple



Anywhere Summer Workout: Tabata Training

Tabata TrainingNo time to work out this summer? You haven’t tried the time-efficient Tabata workout yet! Tabata is a great fat burning workout that takes little time to perform. It involves 4 minutes of high intensity interval training, alternating between 20 seconds of maximal training, followed by a 10 second rest, for a total of 8 rounds. I would recommend performing a warm-up and cool-down before and after the Tabata training.

Tabata training in known to increase aerobic capacity, boost metabolism, and burn more fat than a traditional 60-minute aerobic workout. Tabata’s can be completed anywhere – in your home, at the park, on the beach, or in your gym!

Try these two Tabata sequences and repeat each twice to complete the full 8 cycles:

Tabata #1:
Treadmill sprint
Jump squats
Jump rope

Tabata #2:
Box jumps (or step ups)
Mountain Climbers
Lunge and torso twists
Bicep curl and press



Do I Need More Vitamin B12?

It’s estimated that between 3 – 5% of the population suffer from a vitamin B12 deficiency with other studies suggesting that the number of people who are borderline deficient is even higher. Many association anemia with an iron deficiency, however, there are several different deficiencies which cause it, including B12.

What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is responsible for keeping our nerves healthy and also helps the production of red blood cells and DNA, which help to transport oxygen around the body. A lack of this can result in weakness, feeling faint, pale skin, bruising easily and weight loss. Fortunately, if you’re feeling any of these symptoms, you can be diagnosed by your doctor with a simple blood test. If you do have a vitamin B12 deficiency, regular B12 injections will be administered as treatment and it may be recommended that you consume more B12 in your diet.

How much Vitamin B12 do I need?

Found in a lot of foods, such as meat, eggs, fish and dairy, in theory it should be simple enough to get an adequate amount of vitamin B12. However, statistics show this isn’t the case with many experts blaming a poor, unvaried diet as the main cause. Vitamin B12 deficiencies among vegetarians and vegans are often used as an example of why you should consume meat products. However, this isn’t the case as vitamin B12 can also be found in many fortified vegan products, seaweed and organic produce.

How much vitamin B12 you need depends on your age; the older you are the more you need. Adults typically should aim to get 2.4mcg a day, whereas children only need 0.5mcg. If you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, you’ll need even more. If you’re finding it hard to get your daily recommended amount of B12, there are plenty of multivitamins available, which will act as a backup just in case.

The dangers of deficiency

Having any sort of vitamin deficiency can be incredibly dangerous and detrimental to your health. For example, a vitamin A deficiency can cause blindness in children; a vitamin C deficiency results in a damaged immune system and increased risk of illness; and a vitamin D deficiency can lead to bone conditions, such as osteoporosis. These shocking health risks highlight the need for a balanced, full, healthy diet, as well as getting enough sun and perhaps taking supplementation where you feel your lifestyle may be lacking.

Written by guest blogger Laura Chapman

New Healthy Energy Bar NAKD BARS

New Product Lookout: Nakd Bars

The kind people at Natural Balance Foods recently sent me a large box of their new “Nakd” fruit and nut bars. I am always a fan of trying a new snack or treat, so I was excited to taste them and provide a review of the product for the company.

The box contains so many different flavors, I had no idea where to start! Each tasty fruit and nut bar contains whole food ingredients such as dates, raisins, and dried fruit. There are a variety of flavors to choose from and suit your taste buds- so far, I have tried the rhubarb custard, ginger, apple crunch, and cocoa crunch. I enjoyed all of them, and would definitely recommend them to my clients. Not only do the Nakd bars taste great, but they are not processed, and include only whole food ingredients. This is always an important quality to keep in mind as a dietitian, as I would rather recommend natural, whole food products rather than something filled with artificial sweeteners, trans fats, or high fructose corn syrup. Nakd bars are vegan, gluten free, and paleo friendly- great for clients with specialized diets!

These tasty fruit and nut bars are great for a quick breakfast, traveling on-the go, adequate snacking, or even a pre-workout snack option. Please visit their website to order a sample pack of their products for only $9.99!    @NAKD     #NakdBar

7 Ways to Get Younger Looking Skin

Would you love to have younger, more radiant looking skin but you just don’t believe the hype and the claims of commercials and products? I never ignored my skin altogether, but I leaped from one name brand to the other – everything from drugstore products to high-end department store products. My personal outcome was my skin was okay, never terrible, but never fantastic and didn’t really give it much thought.

However, in 2012, after dealing with the death of both of my parents, my face was a mess from the stress. One day, a friend from one of my tennis teams years ago got in touch with me to tell me about a new company that had products that could shrink pores, smooth skin, reverse wrinkles, reverse brown spots from sun damage, calm red skin, reduce acne, and more.

Rather than being intrigued, I found this to be laughable. I pride myself in not being one to fall for gimmicks and magic potions, especially because in my 29 years as a dietitian, I have shunned propositions from companies full of ridiculous nutrition claims. However, because she was a friend, I did take the time to investigate this company, products, and claims, mostly so I could be armed to tell her why I was not interested in this. However, I found Rodan and Fields (the name of this company) to be named after two people, Dr Katie Rodan and Dr Kathy Fields. I had never heard of them, but they are the two Stanford trained doctors who formulated Proactiv® almost 20 years ago, capturing and keeping 85% of the acne market. They are fellows with the American Academy of Dermatology, adjunct professors at Stanford, published in medical journals, and still practicing medicine today.

The more I investigated, the more impressed I became, to the point of deciding to join the company as a consultant and Ashley did too! The reasons to join are too numerous to list, but I can tell you that the Rodan and Fields products can, in fact, do all of the things that my friend told me about. The products are formulated to treat the 4 most common, everyday skin concerns at home, no appointment necessary.

Rodan and Fields products

How can you have younger, more radiant looking skin? I will be sharing in upcoming articles how to have smoother skin, how to reverse wrinkles, how to reverse sun damage, how to calm red irritated skin, how to avoid breakouts, how to have a younger looking neck, and how to know exactly what your skin needs.

I look forward to sharing with you what I have learned as I have worked with Rodan and Fields, at what I call my “fun girl” job! And, what about my own results? My skin tone is much more even, brown spots are gone, I am 99% foundation free, and all with fewer wrinkles.



Grill Your Way Lean This Summer!

Grill your way lean!With the summer season here, it is prime grilling time. Grilling is a healthy way to prepare food for many reasons. It is typically a very easy and manageable way to cook your meals. Grilling doesn’t have to be the same boring hot dogs and hamburgers – spice it up with different spices, marinades and side dishes!

Benefits of grilling:

  1. Grilling decreases fat. Instead of cooking in fat, the fat drips off of the food, which decreases the overall fat content of the meat. If you put a very lean cut of beef, pork, or skinless chicken, onto the grill, you’re off to a healthy start.
  2. Grilling retains moisture. Grilling sears the food, which helps retain moisture. This means added fats, such as butter, are unnecessary, which further helps to reduce total calories.
  3. Grilling retains nutrition. Particularly when compared with boiling, grilling is a method of cooking that helps food retain its vitamin and mineral content. This means you get more of the good nutrition that the food had when you brought it home.
  4. Grilling is fast and easy! Grill smaller portions of meat, poultry, and fish so they cook faster and spend less time on the grill. Another trick is to pre-cook the meat, fish, and poultry in the oven or microwave, then finish cooking on the grill. Be sure to flip meats often on the grill to prevent formation of HCAs.
  5. Grilling fruits and veggies is healthy! Grilling fruits and vegetables is a great idea, whether or not you’re grilling meat or fish to go with them. We all need to eat more fruits and vegetables, and this is an appealing way to serve them. Eating fruits and vegetables benefits the body in so many ways – reducing your risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, obesity, and some types of cancer.

Some fruits and vegetables to grill:

    • Tomatoes
    • Onions
    • Bell peppers
    • Zucchini
    • Eggplant
    • Endive
    • Pineapple
    • Mango
    • Apple
    • Pear

Challenge yourself to grilling these foods:

    • Fruits, especially pineapple, mango, apple and pear
    • Vegetables, especially bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant, onions and tomatoes
    • Other lean meats such as venison and pork
    • Fish, especially shrimp, salmon and tuna steaks
    • Pizza! Put your pizza dough with toppings right on the grate – delicious!
    • Marinate your meats to make them flavorful and tender – try wines, vinegars, lemon and lime, honey, garlic, onions, herbs, and spices.
    • Try threading small pieces of meat, fish, or veggies on a skewer so quick and easy appetizers, or serve over a bed of quinoa or brown rice as a meal!



Potato Salad Recipe

What could be more fun and relaxing during this season than having a barbeque at the pool or park with friends and family members! Of course, the classic grilling essentials aren’t the healthiest options: hamburgers, hotdogs, baked beans, and macaroni salad to name a few. Try this modified version of potato salad, adapted from The Biggest Book of Diabetic Recipes Cookbook. This recipe contains fresh fennel, onions, and asparagus, and replaces some of the high fat mayonnaise with Greek yogurt. This recipe has been a client favorite, so let us know what you think!

Prep: 25 minutes
Chill: 2-24 hours
Serves: 4-8 servings

Nutrition Facts:
Per 1/2 cup serving: 122 calories, 1g fat, 0mg cholesterol, 322mg sodium, 23g carbs, 5g fiber, 6g protein

Print this recipe, cut along the dotted line and add to your recipe box.

Potato Salad

Health Nut

Health NutEverybody is talking about the health benefits of nuts these days and for good reason. Aside from simply being delicious and versatile, nuts are loaded with nutritional benefits, especially considering their compact nature. They are one of the best plant sources of protein, which makes them a great addition to salads and cereals for increased satiety and crunch. Their high fiber content helps to stabilize blood sugars when consumed with other healthy carbohydrates (think fruits and vegetables), and they contain phytonutrients, plant sterols, and antioxidants that are all beneficial.

Finally, and often the most confusing, is that nuts are quite high in fat, albeit the healthy poly- and monounsaturated fats, both of which have been shown to improve cardiovascular risk. The high fat content, however, means they are high in calories, too, so adding nuts to your diet should be done in moderation and at the expense of another, less-healthy snack. For example, nuts would be a great substitute for a bag of chips, pretzels, or processed cheese and cracker packs. They would also be a better addition to salads or cereal than dried fruit.

So, are they all created equal? In a word, no, but most of them contain the same general nutrients that are responsible for their stellar reputation. In fact, in 2003, the FDA approved a health claim for seven types of nuts stating, “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 oz. per day of most nuts as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease.”

What are the seven types, and what nuts aren’t quite as good for you?

The FDA claim refers to almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, some pine nuts, pistachios, and walnuts as the seven “wonder” nuts. Peanuts, even though they are officially in the legume family (like beans), still have the same benefits and are included on the list. The nuts not mentioned that you might be considering are Brazil nuts, cashews, and macadamias, which are not necessarily bad for you, but their saturated fat content is higher and, therefore, they did not make the cut. Chestnuts, finally, are lower in calories than other nuts, but offer far fewer nutritional benefits. Flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds may offer similar benefits and are also creative, healthy additions to salads, vegetables, and cereals.

Consequently, stock your pantry! Remember that 1.5 oz. of nuts is really only a small handful, or about 3-4 tablespoons. It is difficult to generalize on actual numbers because 1 oz. of peanuts, which are quite small, contains far more nuts than 1 oz. of walnuts, for example. So use good judgment, and measure your portion instead of just reaching into the container. They are hard to stop eating if you don’t pay attention to quantity! Finally, look for raw nuts as your primary source. Roasted, dry-roasted, candied, honey-roasted, BBQ, or any other types of processing and flavoring adds calories, loads of sodium, and sometimes even more fat, although not the healthy type. Usually the raw nuts are found in clear plastic containers that the stores package themselves and sell by weight. Also, all of these benefits apply to nut butters, too, so try them! Just make sure the ingredients list only nuts and maybe salt, with no added sugar, and again, measure your portions.

Now go nuts!


Adult Acne

Adult AcneNo one likes acne when it comes to visit, but adult acne can have an added layer of frustration and embarrassment because most adults believe they should not be struggling with this dark cloud from adolescence.

What causes acne? It can be brought on by a change in hormones, stress, or an increase in oil production, which can be brought on by a change in hormones or stress… irritating cycle. There are some theories that dairy products and a high sugar diet can be a trigger also, but this is not totally embraced and confirmed by all dermatologists.

So what should an adult or a teen do when acne comes calling?

It truly can help to understand the cycle of acne. When a pore becomes clogged with oil and the oil gets trapped in a pore along with dead skin cells, it brews and becomes red, inflamed and irritated. Once this happens, in two weeks it shows on the surface of the skin as acne. When acne shows up, keep in mind it is a result of what happened under the skin two weeks prior to the spot showing up.

Drs. Rodan and Fields took the acne world by storm in the 1990’s when they founded Proactiv®. The Proactiv® product line was a revolutionary way to treat acne because, up until that point, acne products were all about spot treating the acne, aiming to treat the already developed acne. Their product line, Proactiv®, was just as the name indicates – it was Proactiv® and set about to prevent acne before it got started.

Drs. Rodan and Fields went on to develop a new company of skin care, named after them, called Rodan and Fields in 2002. It was initially sold to Estee Lauder but purchased back by the doctors In 2008. It contains four product lines to deal with the four most common skin conditions. One of the products is called UNBLEMISH. Much like Proactiv®, it uses multi-med therapy, as the doctors believe in providing the right ingredients, in the right order, in the right concentrations.

How does this differ from Proactiv®? While Proactiv® captured 85% of the acne market in 180 countries, the doctors say the Proactiv® line is almost 20 years old and can be drying for some people. The doctors got to work and developed a new line called UNBLEMISH, with new formulations, and many people are beyond thrilled at the results offered by UNBLEMISH.

The best thing is that all Rodan and Fields products have a 60-day money back guarantee because Doctors Rodan and Fields know that skin changes slowly over time so one needs to use a product for 60 days to truly see results.

Ashley and Tracy can both help you get started on your journey to fantastic looking skin! With a money back guarantee, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

As Rodan and Fields skin care consultants, Ashley and Tracy partnered with Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields, the Stanford trained dermatological divas that created Proactiv, so we are happy to share their knowledge about skin with you.

The doctors now have a whole skin care line that treats 80% of all skin conditions that they would see in their office daily. Their products and tools address sun damage, sensitive skin, acne and anti-aging. We have seen dramatic improvements and would love to help you too. Contact Ashley or Tracy and we will help you with a “virtual appointment” with Drs. Rodan and Fields.


The Fuss Over Fiber

Eat Your FiberIt seems everywhere you look these days there is a reference to fiber and how wonderful it is: television commercials, food labels, magazine articles, and cereal boxes. What is the big deal? Why should we be so concerned about fiber? There are, in fact, more than a few reasons to increase the amount of fiber in your diet, and the average person consumes only a fraction of what is recommended by health professionals. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men, but most people only get 11 grams per day. Lucky for all of us, there are many easy, inexpensive, and tasty ways to get more fiber. Following are a few reasons you’ll want to make the effort.

Aside from keeping your digestive system moving along smoothly (i.e., “regular”), fiber protects against cardiovascular disease in the general, healthy population. Additionally, much research has shown a clear link between a high fiber diet and a low body mass index (BMI), which demonstrates its benefits for weight control. Other studies have shown that high fiber consumption can reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and improve cholesterol levels. In simpler terms, fiber helps keep you fuller longer, leaving you less hungry by slowing down carbohydrate absorption and, ultimately, curbing your caloric intake. As if that isn’t enough, there are so many different, delicious sources of it that you can surely find ways to get more of it into your daily diet.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and beans (legumes) are all fantastic sources of fiber. The key to getting the most out of your food sources is to eat them whole. That is, eat fruits and vegetables without peeling them (when appropriate, of course…banana peel and kiwi skin will never taste good!). Also, don’t always drink your fruits and vegetables as juices, since you don’t get the fibrous benefits when you only drink the juice. Look for cereals that have “fiber” or “bran” in the name or that have at least 4 grams per serving (many options have more than that), and breads that have at least 3 grams per slice. It is necessary to check the nutrition facts label for total fiber. Soluble and insoluble fiber on the label just refers to whether or not the fiber dissolves in water, but both are great for you and contribute to your total fiber goals, so just be concerned with the total amount.

Finally, increase your fiber intake slowly, since it can be associated with gas and bloating if your system is not accustomed to it. This will decrease with time, or not be a problem at all, once your body gets used to it. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day, as always, but especially as you start to eat more fiber. And don’t worry about getting too much. As long as you can tolerate it, the more the better!

Some examples of fiber content in common foods:

Oatmeal (old fashioned) 1/2 cup 4 g
All Bran cereal 1/2 cup 10 g
Popcorn (air-popped) 3 cups 4 g
Brown rice, cooked 1 cup 4 g
Black beans, cooked 1 cup 15 g
Kidney beans, cooked 1 cup 16 g
Chickpeas, cooked 1 cup 12 g
Blackberries, raw 1 cup 8 g
Raspberries, raw 1 cup 8 g
Strawberries, raw 1 cup 3 g
Apple small 3 g
Almonds 1 oz. (20) 4 g
Peanuts 1 oz. (28) 2 g
Flaxseeds 1 oz. 8 g
Sweet potato medium 3 g
Cooked greens 1/2 cup 4 g
Broccoli, fresh, cooked 3/4 cup 7 g

As you can see, fiber only comes in plant foods, but it is everywhere! Don’t limit yourself to this list, as there is fiber in all fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes, so enjoy a variety, and enjoy often. The fuss over fiber is for its fantastic health benefits, so increase your intake, and health, today.



Green Leafy Goodness

Green Leafy GoodnessIt is no secret that dark green, leafy vegetables are highly nutritious and should be included in your diet several times per week. Not only are they fantastic sources of vitamins and minerals, but they also contain phytochemicals, or plant-based nutrients that have anti-cancer properties. Furthermore, dark green leafies are very low in calories, high in fiber, and have no fat, making them ideal for weight management as well. Knowing all of these benefits, along with the goal of increasing daily non-starchy vegetable consumption, why does it seem that spinach gets most of the attention?

While spinach is a fantastic choice and can be eaten raw, wilted, sautéed, steamed, etc., there are many more options that might seem unfamiliar and thus, are avoided. Experimenting with them, however, is easy and can be fun, as well as add more variety to your green leafy intake. You can find various options year-round at the supermarket, and seasonally at local farmers markets. Try kale, mustard greens, mesclun, turnip greens, arugula, collard greens, escarole, Swiss chard, rainbow chard, watercress, or bok choy.

In general, the softer, more tender greens, such as mesclun, baby spinach, escarole, arugula, or bok choy are ideal raw in salads and/or wilted as a side dish or topping on soups or sandwiches. The bigger-leafed, heartier choices with thick stems, such as Swiss chard, kale, or collards, are best when cooked, and can all be treated similarly. First rinse well and pat dry. Then remove the thick stems by running a knife along each side of the stem, saving the leafy greens. From that point, you can chop them further and add to sautéing onions with garlic and olive oil, followed by broth to steam and soften them, and whatever herbs or spices you like (try cayenne pepper, a squeeze of lemon, or paprika). You can also get creative by adding other veggies, such as cremini mushrooms or red pepper strips, to the sautéed onions and garlic before you add the kale. The idea is to tenderize the tougher greens and add flavor, but you can add anything you want to make them your own (preferably not bacon fat!).

Another fun idea is to make chips out of dark leafies, which allows for plenty of creativity and totally changes the way you’ll think of greens! Even kids tend to love kale chips, and you can make them as spicy or simple as you like. Consider tossing the baked chips with cayenne pepper, ginger, nutmeg, or smoked paprika to change the appeal. Simple sea salt alone, however, is quite delicious, but should be used in limited quantities to keep the sodium content low. Who would’ve thought a superfood could be your new favorite snack?

So open your mind to the spectrum of dark green leafy vegetables, and don’t be afraid to experiment! There are countless simple recipes online, or you can stick with the basics and just vary the greens depending on cost, availability, and seasonality. When it comes to greens, more is more!


The Boon of Body Weight Exercise

The Boon of Body Weight ExerciseIf you’ve ever thought you need a gym membership, a personal trainer, a set of dumbbells, or hours of time to improve your physical fitness, you’ll be happy to hear that simply isn’t true! Body weight exercise or activity that uses only the weight of your own body as resistance is perhaps the holy grail of simplicity and effectiveness when it comes to improving your physical fitness. There are multiple reasons why using your own body weight is an ideal way to work out.

First and foremost, it’s accessible. You can do body weight exercises anywhere including at home, on vacation, out of town on business, during TV commercials, or while brushing your teeth (some limitations apply here). Weather isn’t a factor, there’s no need for specialized equipment, and the exercise variability is limitless. You can search online for a myriad of ideas, but think squats, lunges, triceps dips, planks, push-ups, etc. The key is to do a set (or two or three, time-dependent) until exhaustion. You don’t have to commit to an hour a day, either, as doing several sets throughout the day when you have 3 minutes here, 5 minutes there, etc., still conveys benefits.

Second, body weight exercise can account for both strength training and cardiovascular activity. Squats, push-ups, lunges, and the like, are more for strength training, but jumping rope, high knees, jumping jacks, mountain climbers, etc., are all cardiovascular exercises. Just try doing a set for one minute and feel your heart pounding! Thus, you can get a complete workout with nothing but a pair of sturdy shoes in your time, at your pace, at your convenience.

Third, there’s a reduced risk for injury since you’re not using heavy weights. In fact, body weight exercises are often used for rehabilitation and physical therapy. Varying your routine, changing the speed of movements and range of motion, and moving at different angles can also engage different muscles and stabilizer muscles, making body weight exercise uniquely effective. You can improve balance, too, if you challenge yourself to do some things on one foot, for example. Also, think about keeping your core contracted (as if someone were about to punch you in the gut) during all activities to protect your back and strengthen your core at the same time.

Finally, it’s free! You can find endless ideas online, as well as through your Triangle Nutrition Therapy experts. It’s also adaptable to individual fitness levels, and it’s progressive as you become stronger. Challenge yourself to use those spare minutes effectively, squeezing in a set of squats in those last two minutes while dinner finishes cooking, or do a modified set of push-ups before getting into the shower in the morning. The key is to make exercise accessible, flexible, fun, and effective. Push yourself until you can’t do one more rep, however, as you can’t expect results without hard work.

Make your body weight work for you! You can even start today.


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!


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