About Me

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Technically speaking, I'm a dietitian, but I see myself as a listener, a motivator, coach and teacher of nutrition. I prefer to end a busy day with a glass of red wine while chopping vegetables. Lover of almost anything pickled and fresh baked scones just not at the same time. I'm happiest when I'm cooking for people I love. Why am I so into food? Because I KNOW how much eating well can change your life. What you eat every day is going to impact your body and your mind. It's a confusing world out there - full of diet and food advice that always leaves you feeling like it's that one next diet that's going to be the weight loss answer. Stop waiting for that magic diet, and begin to take one step at a time in the right direction. I'm here to help you on your life-long journey, there's no better time to start!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weekend Breakfast: I'm Lovin' The B.E.S.

This weekend, my boyfriend John and I were looking for something good to eat for that late Saturday breakfast time of day, and I threw together a twist on a classic breakfast sandwich. Take the bacon out of the typical bacon, egg and cheese sandwich and add basil! The basil leaves I had this week were enormous so I thought they would fit perfectly atop a tower of lite Jarlsberg Swiss and scrambled omega-3 eggs, sandwiched between a toasted multi-grain English muffin from TJ's.  Here is what you end up with:
The red you're seeing is a dab of ketchup - I'll put ketchup on anything - but with or without my favorite lycopene -loaded condiment, this sammy is going to fill you up.  You've got your carbohydrates from the muffin, protein from eggs and a little fat and flavor from the Swiss cheese. Play around with a new combination - add salsa or tomatoes and even cilantro!

How does the B.E.S. breakfast break down: "The Basil, Egg & Swiss Breakfast Sandwich"
  • Muffin 160 calories, 5 grams fiber, 7 grams protein
  • 1 1/2 eggs 105 calories,  9 grams protein
  • Jarlsberg Lite (1 slice) 50 calories, 7 grams protein
  • Basil leaves - zilch calories - but loaded with good nutrition
Total: 315 calories,  23 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber

Healthy Way Tips: Buy Omega-3 enriched eggs as another way to up your intake of these anti-inflammatory fats.  When scrambling the eggs, us a canola spray instead of butter or liquid oil. Use half a slice of cheese on each side of the muffin instead of 2 slices.

If you need a little more - a great addition would be to add some fruit on the side like a cup of mixed berries or an orange. Why would anyone need to make a run to McDonald's for an Egg McMuffin?  I'm Lovin' It!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

25 Naturally Gluten-Free Snacks

I had a first session with a wonderful new client yesterday, and realized that it can be troubling and time consuming to have easy, go-to snacks around for anyone who has to avoid a food or ingredient. For everyone who is gluten sensitive or intolerant - this one's for you!  
Do you tweet? Twitter is such a great resource for tips, recipes, and support for leading a healthy, active lifestyle. If you check out my twitter profile "MyDietitian" I have a whole gang of great nutrition professionals that I follow.  Get yourself a Twitter account and have access to all of that on your own!  Click here to find me on Twitter.
25 Naturally Gluten-free Snacks
Finding healthy, grab-and-go snacks can be challenging for the gluten-free eater. Gluten is pervasive in most packaged snack foods. Whole foods that are naturally gluten-free like cheeses, fruits, veggies, nuts and seeds, and grains make wonderful snacks when combined. Listed below are 25 original combinations of gluten-free whole foods to meet your snack needs. These snacks must be constructed by hand. They do not exist in these forms in any supermarket.

1. Corn tortillas with hummus and sprouts
2. Smoked salmon on rice crackers
3. Blue corn chips and salsa fresca
4. Bananas and cashew butter
5. Bosc pears and gruyere
6. Make your own trail mix: raw cashews, raisins, almonds, hazelnuts, dark chocolate chips
7. Plain yogurt with maple syrup, cinnamon, and apple slices
8. Celery sticks and goats chevre
9. Hard-boiled egg with sea salt and crushed black pepper
10. Honey crisp apple slices and peanut butter
11. Dark chocolate squares and fresh strawberries
12. Black bean dip with yellow corn chips
13. Next day rice with crushed nuts, seeds and tamari
14. Fresh blueberries and heavy cream
15. Avocado and cherry tomatoes
16. Canned tuna fish, carrot sticks and sweet pickles
17. Red grapes and swiss cheese
18. Baked sweet potato with ricotta and sautéed chard or spinach
19. Cottage cheese with peaches
20. Warm corn tortillas with smoked salmon, tahini and greens
21. Edamame (soy beans)
22. Tofu chive spread on Mary's Gone flax crackers
23. Sliced deli meat and avocado on a brown rice tortilla
24. Van's whole grain GF waffle with honey and hazelnut butter
25. Air popped popcorn mixed with crushed dried nori, garlic salt and pepper

Genevieve Sherrow, Candidate Master's of Science in Nutrition and Samer Koutoubi, MD, PhD, Professor and Core Faculty, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"Slimocado" gets C rating in my book

My website is live! Visit www.notonadiet.com and check it out.  If you want to know how you're doing - look for the Food Diary Swap service: Send me a food record for 1 or more days, and I'll analyze it to let you know. The best part is - I'll send you a meal plan back in return to help with any suggestions or "holes" in your eating that I think will help you with your goals! 

Tonight at the grocery store with my sister, I couldn't resist picking out a nice ripe "Slimocado".  First of all - it was HUGE! About three times the size of the avocados I usually find.  Nope, it's not a hybrid or a genetically modified product like I initially assumed. After doing a little research, I found that it is a Florida avocado, which is just naturally 35% fewer calories and half the fat of a California Grown Hass avocado. I was not impressed with the taste; and I personally prefer the delish, buttery, rich texture of the avocados I'm accustomed to.  That being said, since it does still provide some of the healthy fat (monounsaturated fat) you might want to consider making guacamole or other recipes that call for avocados with half Hass and half Slimocados to decrease total calories.

I want to remind you- that the approach for sustainable, healthy weight loss is to learn to adopt new eating habits - not dieting!  Today's post, is to impress upon you the importance of including healthy fats in your diet.  Fats are important for absorbing fat soluble vitamins (A,D, E, and K) and for almost all the cells in your body including your hair and skin. Do you know what healthy fats are? Do you know how much is enough? Let's take a look:

Monounsaturated Fats: Olive oil, avocados, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, almonds, peanuts
Polyunsaturated Fats: Omega -3 Fats -> Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, halibut, trout, mackerel others; ground flaxseed (we don't break down the shell so make sure to grind yours!), hemp, canola oil, walnuts

Generally - eating a variety of the above mentioned foods are the best bet.  Eat a variety of nuts and seeds, fish at least 2-6 times per week,  and mainly olive oil when cooking. Coconut oil can hold up well to very high temperatures which olive oil does not. You don't need to eat the same thing every day - but I do want to encourage you to consciously include healthy fats every day. Fat helps you feel satisfied, even when you're cutting back on how much you're eating - so by including healthy fats you feel better and more satisfied on less total calories.

Important things to keep in mind to include healthy fats and not gain weight due to the high calorie nature of fats: 1 Tablespoon of oil (any oil, yes, even olive oil): 120 calories and approx 15 grams of fat.There are 3 teaspoons in a tablespoon, so 1 teaspoon of oil: 40 calories, 5 grams of fat. What does that mean? That means it's a good idea to teach yourself what does 1 Tbsp and 1 tsp look like when you're cooking or dressing your salad. Measure at home using measuring spoons and find out! 

The average person requires about 4-6 teaspoons of added fats/oils daily to reach fat targets. Remember - your fat goal is about 25-30% of your total calories. You will also consume some additional fat that is present in meats, dairy and other foods you eat on a typical day.

How to add in healthy fats:
1 Tablespoon of all natural almond butter on sprouted toast; 2 Tbsp ground flax in your oatmeal or yogurt; 2-4 avocado slices on your sandwich or salad; substitute salmon for chicken or beef 2 x a week; dress your salad with lemon juice and olive oil instead of store-bought dressing; add a few chopped walnuts into your yogurt or cereal; snack on mixed nuts and small piece of fruit;

Lastly, be aware of portion sizes with fats - a couple tablespoons of nuts is typically a good serving size. If you've got a question about fats - don't be shy! Leave a comment or a question below!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Your Best Gift Ever

Despite the fact that the economy is still pretty crummy, the holidays will come as they do every year. It can be stressful for many. Having to buy presents for everyone on the list. Preparing large family meals and celebrating all the special occasions that go along with the last three months of each year.  I happen to love the holidays - starting with the very first cold day of Fall. However; there is that feeling that another year is coming to an end, which is often a bit overwhelming to accept.  How will you feel about the way you lived in 2010? Did you do your best to stick to those resolutions you set for yourself back in January? Did you change your lifestyle to make it fit your goals and your visions of health?  Maybe you did... but maybe you didn't. Well, instead of feeling sorry for yourself and having a big pity party for the remainder of the year; here's what I want you to do.  Don't wait until January, after you've gained another 5 or 10 pounds to top off the year, to start again. This year, give yourself and your family the best gift you can possibly manage. It's a gift that doesn't cost a penny. Show those who care about you, and show yourself, that you're worth it. That you are going to be the healthiest, fittest you that you can be. Your family needs you. If you don't do it for yourself - do it for the people who love you.  Have you ever seen someone you care about finally do something for herself or himself? And did you see how happy, how confident, and how alive they became when they lost weight or started exercising?  If you have ever experienced that feeling of being so proud of someone you care about - then you know that is the best gift you can give to those around you this year.  You have a good amount of time left in 2010 to still make it a great health year.  You can still tackle that resolution you set ten months ago - and head into the holiday celebrations this year feeling and looking your best! Don't miss out on family activities, brisk morning walks or jogs with people you only see once or twice a year.  I want you to participate in your life - not just sit there and watch others living a life that you happen to be observing. Where can you start today? Check out my healthy shopping list. Get yourself a pair of walking or jogging shoes. Put them on. If dinner has to be on the table 30-minutes later tonight so you can get some exercise then so be it.  Focus on eating balanced meals that satisfy you but leave the meal not feeling overly full. Do your best to eat meals and planned snacks, and leave grazing and mindless eating behind. That mean's no skipping breakfast, no skipping meals. Bring 200-calorie snacks with you when leaving the house so you aren't tempted to eat out or hit the drive through.  That is all part of the gift you're giving this year. One day at a time, one workout at a time, one meal at a time.  It is worth it. Starting right now... ready, set, go! Happy Holiday Season!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

When You Want to Lose Weight Quickly…

When You Want to Lose Weight Quickly…

This article (link above) was written by Nancy Clark, MS, RD, CSSD a well-known sports dietitian. I think this might be the number one thing I have to remind clients of over, over, and over again. In our busy crazy world, we Americans want everything to come immediately. I don't think it is our will power we have lost sight of; rather, our PATIENCE! I'll admit it - I LOVE immediate gratification -but we can't always have things just the way we want them. I have had to learn to help people see, that when reaching a weight goal, the only way you can get there and stay there - is to take it one day at a time. Stay consistent, minimize time spent "off the wagon" or however you put it, and believe in the science of nutrition. Otherwise, it's like your running to a finish line that keeps moving and you'll never get there. Can you accept that there is no magic pill, magic drink, or magic diet?

Losing weight is a journey. It takes time. It is a living, changing, flexible, unpredictable journey. You will face new barriers and old barriers multiple times. If you think weight is a destination... that one day you will be there, at your goal weight, and you don't have to keep up with healthy behaviors, you're fooling yourself. Imagine you can wake up tomorrow morning at your goal weight, with your dream body. Are you ready to eat, drink and live the way you will need to in order to maintain that body size and weight? Maintenance is just as important as the losing part. So - if you say "Yes, I am ready to live the way I need to to maintain my goal weight" then go ahead - start today! You'll have to do that eventually to maintain your weight anyway - right? This includes exercise and food. So, Ive been lecturing recently on fad diets and how to avoid falling victim to them. That led me to choose a "Fad Diet of the Year Award". Here's the winner:

The fad diet of the year award goes to... The Lap Band! Not only is it the number one fad diet advertised in LA, but it is also the most mis-understood diet based on what I hear from people. I have to say, it was a tough call between The Master Cleanse and the lap band, but I went with the one that gets the most publicity. I think I've been getting a lap band flyer in my mailbox once a week for a while now. What bugs me the most are the billboards, the radio commercials & the signs on the side of public buses. You, your friend, your parents, the guy next door.... we are all victims of clever marketing tactics from the fad diet industry. The fact that there is so much money being spent on lap band procedures (in order to take up all the most expensive advertising space in Los Angeles) is incredibly upsetting. So... where are all the people who are losing weight, changing their lives, and getting healthy from the lap band? I have worked with numerous post-lap-band clients. I feel sad for them. Sad that they are in pain, not able to enjoy food in a natural way. The worst part is, they have subjected themselves to a surgical procedure, that implanted an inflatable tube around the top portion of their stomach, and still - they don't lose weight. Why not? Because the physicians and staff at the money-hungry lap band office neglected to disclose all the information. The patient is too-often not informed of the necessary changes you have to make in order to be successful with the band. You see, the truth is, losing weight with a lap band is NO DIFFERENT from losing weight naturally on your own. You have to eat healthy foods (with protein and fiber), in smaller portions, exercise regularly, and confront your emotional eating triggers and habits. Thousands of people are now paying for these "safe, one-hour, outpatient procedures" without sitting down to talk to a dietitian who can help them determine if they are honestly ready to change. A couple years ago, when I worked with patients who were in the process to get lap bands - I'd say "You've got to go home and try to live the way you'll have to live with the band. Try it out, see how you do. No soda, no juice, no ice cream or milk shakes, small meals, 6 x day. and exercise most days of the week. You see, a self-confessed chocolate addict, (or soda, cookies, ice cream...) is not going to lose any weight with the band if chocolate is the problem unless they learn to foster a healthy relationship with food. Overeating with the band is still totally possible. You just know how to "cheat". Candy goes down really well, so do creamy rich soups and sauces, liquid calories, potato chips.... all the junk. It has no protein, no fiber so it basically dissolves when you eat it and slides right through the narrow band opening, allowing you to continue to eat the way you always have. If you're not losing as fast as possible, the doctor will "fill" the band more. It is like an inner tube - they inject saline into a port directly under your skin on your abdomen, and the tube fills up, creating a smaller and smaller hole for food to fall through from the upper portion of your stomach to the lower portion. So, sometimes they fill the band so much that patients vomit up most of what they eat. But hey ... as long as that weight comes off, what's the problem, right? WRONG.

You should know by now, after reading some of by blogs, that the best indication of fat loss is not how fast you are losing. Quick, drastic weight loss from severe calorie restriction results in loss of lean body mass aka muscle. You will store fat and lose muscle, making your body fat % even higher than it was when you started. Don't do this to yourself.

You can lose weight. You can do anything you put your mind to. Don't start tomorrow, start right now. Go take a 5, 10 or 30 minute walk. Make your next meal or snack something nutritious. Something with a good balance of carbs and protein. Try to eat less foods out of boxes and wrappers, and more foods from the ground. One thing at a time, one day at a time. But please - beware of fad diets. You're smarter than that.