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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Practice What You Preach

When I was pregnant and breastfeeding I tried to eat a balanced diet, full of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy, lean proteins, and healthy fats. When my girls starting eating solids, I focused on the blander vegetables and fruits. My one rule with my family is that everyone has to sit down for dinner, (which may be really early or really late depending on schedules). The goal: for our girls to see mom and dad eat healthy and for the girls to role model the behavior. I recently read a great research article, forgive me for not citing I do not remember the source, that moms have an effect on their son's eating behaviors, and fathers have effect on their daughters eating behavior. I often remind my husband this, as he eats his broccoli while trying to smile and not gag. The pay off is the picture above. Two happy little toddlers who fought over a piece of broccoli in the fridge. To stop the fight, my husband had to make sure that had each a "BIG broccoli" ("no little ones Daddy" my 2 year demanded). So parents, work hard at fitting in healthy foods and being a good role model, it does work (however I am quite aware that tomorrow might be a challenge in our food struggle since we are dealing with little cave people!).


The Dieting Dietitian

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Goodbye Thanksgiving Hello Extra Pounds

Deep breath. Step on the scale. Really? This must be wrong. Repeat. Yup..looks like it's the same weight. I really gained 6 pounds since last week! I think this is some sort of record for me. I was doing so well...working the treadmill giving myself an extra 15 minutes each day so I can allow myself extra calories for the big day of binge eating. Then the family came to town, along with it eating out and little time for my routine workout. Well I guess when I fall of the wagon I really fall off! If I gained 6 pounds that means I ate 21,000 extra calories. Was it worth it..nope (well the awesome date with my husband was worth it and the fabulous HEALTHY food at Amani's too)! I will remember this horrible feeling next time I do not stick to my routine 30 minute walk and I want to eat 3 pieces of chocolate cake! NOT WORTH IT!!!! Back to the drawing board. Tomorrow I see healthy eating in my future....scrambled eggs and spinach with assorted berries for breakfast.

Just another thought of my big fall from grace, emotional eating. The holidays are hard, especially when you lost a loved one. My husband said I was a big mean this weekend. I attribute the mood to missing my dad. Sometimes we do not even realize we are feeling blue and eat to self-medicate. In my case, it was a super fabulous Godiva chocolate cake I made for the holidays. Should of left it at the relatives house--maybe it would of saved me a few pounds:) I will continue to reflect and smile at old memories but will move forward to make new great memories. Life is such an adventure and everyday truly is a gift. Continue to eat healthy and stay active everyday and you will get to enjoy that gift longer!


The Dieting Dietitian

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Milestone

My Annie Bannannie turned 1 on Wednesday (FYI-not a cake fan :) The poor first kid, the 2 year old didn't even get a cake for her first birthday. I made her a cake out of yogurt and strawberries. The entire family wrote me off as crazy, but it was out of pure laziness the 2nd got cake!). It was a celebration of her life, of survival (for my husband, myself and our 2 year old), and a reminder that I am not the same weight as I was before I was pregnant with her. I also stopped breastfeeding and my body has changed DRAMATICALLY! It's all a bit depressing and I will admit...the cake my husband and I agreed to take to the "party table" at work, ended up being secretly sliced up and tucked in the back of the freezer (Hello it was from Bakers of Buffington..yum)and yes I ate it last night. My husband did find me in bed in my sugar coma and I shared it with him, which we both had buyers remorse later! On top of that, I did not do too many active things that day and did not actively exercise.

This morning I had an "official" reminder that I'm not pregnant or BF if you know what I mean. It took a seminar in weight loss coaching today, (Thank you Laurie you were GREAT), to kick me off my mopey mood and kick it in gear.

Treadmill + healthy balanced dinner + dance off with the 1 and 2 year old = back on track!

And yes the cake was worth it and I'm happy I shared the calories. An extra bit of motivation is having the treadmill in the bedroom. I have to see it when I retreat to the bedroom, and 99% of the time I use it. For those of you who want one but find it too expensive, I got it from someone who upgraded..for free! Check Craig's List and your local community paper. Just make sure you meet people in a well lit and crowded safe!

One more thing! My group of fabulous girlfriends challenged me to a 9 mile hike in Delaware this Saturday. I'm terrified I may drop out half way through (they are actually using a park ranger) and be left by myself. Should I do it?


The Dieting Dietitian

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mature Adults

Okay this one goes out to my "mature adults", yes you can lose weight and eat healthy when you get older and it does make a difference!

Read on to find out how to live to 100:

Many changes take place in physical abilities as we age. Try as I may, I simply can’t swim as fast at 69 as I did at 39, 49 or even 59. Nor am I as steady on my feet. I can only assume my strength has waned as well — I’m finding bottles and jars harder to open and heavy packages harder to lift and carry.

Enlarge This Image

Yvetta Fedorova

Multimedia Feature
Secrets of the Centenarians
Personal Health: 100 Candles on Her Next Cake, and Three R’s to Get Her There (October 19, 2010)
From Taft to Obama, Victrola to DVD: Secrets of the Centenarians (October 19, 2010) But in August, I hiked in the Grand Canyon, prompting my 10-year-old grandson Stefan to ask, “Grandma, how many 69-year-olds do you think could do this?”

The answer, of course, is “a lot.” And the reason is that we work at it. For my part, I exercise daily, walking three miles or biking 10, then swimming three-quarters of a mile. In spring and summer, heavy-duty gardening strengthens my entire body.

But now that my physically stronger spouse is gone, I see that I need to make some improvements. With no one handy to open those jars or lift those heavy objects, I’ve begun strength training so I can remain as independent as possible as long as possible.

In a newly published book, “Treat Me, Not My Age”(Viking), Dr. Mark Lachs, director of geriatrics at the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System, discusses two major influences (among others) on how well older people are able to function.

Delaying Bodily Decline

The first, called physiologic reserve, refers to excess capacity in organs and biological systems; we’re given this reserve at birth, and it tends to decrease over time. In an interview, Dr. Lachs said that as cells deteriorate or die with advancing age, that excess is lost at different rates in different systems.

The effects can sneak up on a person, he said, because even when most of the excess capacity is gone, we may experience little or no decline in function. A secret of successful aging is to slow down the loss of physiologic reserve.

“You can lose up to 90 percent of the kidney function you had as a child and never experience any symptoms whatsoever related to kidney function failure,” Dr. Lachs said. Likewise, we are born with billions of brain cells we’ll never use, and many if not most of them can be lost or diseased before a person experiences undeniable cognitive deficits.

Muscle strength also declines with age, even in the absence of a muscular disease. Most people (bodybuilders excluded) achieve peak muscle strength between 20 and 30, with variations depending on the muscle group. After that, strength slowly declines, eventually resulting in telling symptoms of muscle weakness, like falling, and difficulty with essential daily tasks, like getting up from a chair or in and out of the tub.

Most otherwise healthy people do not become incapacitated by lost muscle strength until they are 80 or 90. But thanks to advances in medicine and overall living conditions, many more people are reaching those ages, Dr. Lachs writes: “Today millions of people have survived long enough to keep a date with immobility.”

The good news is that the age of immobility can be modified. As life expectancy rises and more people live to celebrate their 100th birthday, postponing the time when physical independence can no longer be maintained is a goal worth striving for.

Gerontologists have shown that the rate of decline “can be tweaked to your advantage by a variety of interventions, and it often doesn’t matter whether you’re 50 or 90 when you start tweaking,” Dr. Lachs said. “You just need to get started. The embers of disability begin smoldering long before you’re handed a walker.”

Lifestyle choices made in midlife can have a major impact on your functional ability late in life, he emphasized. If you begin a daily walking program at age 45, he said, you could delay immobility to 90 and beyond. If you become a couch potato at 45 and remain so, immobility can encroach as early as 60.

“It’s not like we’re prescribing chemotherapy — it’s walking,” Dr. Lachs said. “Even the smallest interventions can produce substantial benefits” and “significantly delay your date with disability.”

“It’s never too late for a course correction,” he said.

In a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in 2004, elderly men and women who began strengthening exercises after a hip fracture increased their walking speed, balance and muscle strength and reduced their risk of falls and repeat fractures.

“Minor interventions that may seem trivial — like lifting small weights with multiple repetitions — can lead to dramatic improvements in quality of life,” Dr. Lachs said.

Supportive Environment

As with your body, your environment can be tweaked to enhance life in the upper decades. You can make adjustments at home to anticipate medical problems you are likely to face as you get older — allowing you to keep your independence, remain in familiar surroundings and minimize the risk of injury.

As Dr. Lachs put it, “It’s not just mold and radon that can make homes sick.” His colleague Rosemary Bakker says that most dwellings and equipment today were designed for 21-year-olds, and she has listed a set of issues that can jeopardize older people’s ability to function safely on their own:

¶Windows or doors that are hard to open.

¶Poor lighting, especially in crucial areas like the bathroom and kitchen.

¶ Rugs, irregular floors and other tripping hazards.

¶Tubs and showers that are hard to use if you have arthritis.

¶Stair widths or heights that are difficult to negotiate if you have neurological troubles.

¶Appliances and utensils that are challenging to handle if you have limited manual dexterity.

¶Poor layout of rooms, like a bathroom far from the bedroom, that can be a problem when you walk slowly.

Ms. Bakker, a certified interior designer with a master’s degree in gerontology, is the author of “AARP Guide to Revitalizing Your Home: Beautiful Living for the Second Half of Life” (Lark, 2010). The book shows how homes can be modified to promote lifelong safety and independence and still remain stylish. Many ideas can be found on her Web site,

“These things are underpublicized, underappreciated and underutilized,” Dr. Lachs writes. Most fixes are simple and unobtrusive and “many are dirt-cheap,” he said, adding that if money is tight, it is best spent on improvements in the bathroom.


The Dietiting Dietitian

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Dear Food Manufacters

Dear Food Manufacturers,

I had the time to go grocery shopping without children. Yes I actually enjoy going to the grocery store, seeing the new products (and bogus health claims), pricing out cheap healthy foods, and watching what people buy. I can be there for hours, but I had a 2 hour limit (per my husband). Today I chose Acme as my food shopping victim. I had my list in hand, which I made from my 10 day menu, so I was ready to rock and roll. First the produce section. Lots of items are on my list for great seasonal dishes like spaghetti squash, zucchini chips, baked apples, and cabbage slaw. Produce done. Next aisle I pass, the meats. Shrimp and a whole chicken today. That chicken can stretch all week, a roast on Sunday with root vegetables and baked apples, chicken fajitas the next day and whole grain pasta bows with asparagus in a sharp locatelli cheese sauce the next. Left overs after that I doubt but if so Ellie Kriegers yummy chicken salad wraps! Next aisle is the organic section. Bunny crackers are the girls favorite but can we get some fiber in these? Seriously, all the products, not just the organic ones, only have about 8% the Daily Value for Fiber. I'd love to see 4 grams of fiber and at least 15 grams of whole grains per serving for pretzels, crackers, snack cookies, granola bars and Gold Fish. Oh if only! Maybe we would be a little bit healthy, full of whole grains and feeling a bit fuller. I just don't understand why the food manufacturers aren't all on board with this? It only decreases your chances of developing diabetes, some cancers, high blood pressure, and obesity. Oh and another request, can you put all of these things in vending machines too? Thanks.

P.S. Tricked my family with a blueberry cheesecake recipe. Rarely do I bake cheesecakes, but wanted to test a new recipe. My husband is a self-professed cheesecake addict and had 3 LARGE pieces tonight. Should I tell him it is made from mostly blueberries, whole grain graham crackers, fat free cream cheese and non fat cottage cheese? Nope!


The Dieting Dietitian

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Apple Picking

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What a great excuse to eat just picked apples and hang out with good friends! AND-all the calories you burn walking around looking for the apples! Love fall!

Make it a family affair! Need to find a farm...go to

Happy Fall!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Can't lose weight...check these scenerios out

Excerpt from by Molly Kimball.

It's no secret that losing weight requires you to take in fewer calories than you burn. But it's not always just a numbers game.

If you're fairly certain that you're doing most things right but the extra weight still isn't budging, one (or more) of these common culprits might be behind those excess pounds.

1. Prescription medications

Certain medications can cause weight gain, or at least make it more difficult to lose weight. And unfortunately, it may take months -- and a gain of 10 to 20 pounds or more -- before you realize that a medication might be to blame.

Sal Scaccia, Pharm.D. and owner of Total Life Care Pharmacy in Harvey, lists six main categories of commonly prescribed medications that can cause weight gain:

Blood pressure medications, particularly certain alpha blockers and beta blockers. "Alpha blockers may increase appetite, and some beta blockers can decrease metabolic rate, inhibit the breakdown of fat and increase insulin resistance, all of which can lead to weight gain."

Antidepressants, particularly the older selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including Celexa, Prozac, Paxil and Zoloft. "These SSRIs can increase appetite -- carbohydrate cravings in particular, because they affect the body's serotonin and histamine activity, " Scaccia said. "And tricyclic antidepressants like Elavil and Pamelor not only increase carbohydrate cravings, but can also decrease metabolic rate."

Anti-seizure medications and mood stabilizers, including Tegretol, Neurontin, Depakote, Lyrica and Lithium. "They can decrease energy expenditure and inhibit the breakdown of fat, plus they can increase carbohydrate cravings and increase the conversion of carbohydrate and protein to body fat, " Scaccia said. He notes that 30 percent to 65 percent of lithium patients can gain as much as 33 pounds over a two-year period.

Birth control pills and menopausal hormone replacement medications. It's not clear why hormones may cause weight gain in some people, but it's probably a combination of an increased appetite and fluid retention.

Diabetes medications. "Insulin can lead to weight gain as a result of improved appetite, better use of blood sugar and an increase in the conversion of carbohydrates and protein to body fat, " Scaccia said. "And some of the oral diabetes drugs have been shown to increase appetite, fat mass and fluid retention."

Oral steroids. "Taking an oral corticosteroid like Prednisone for an extended period of time can impair glucose tolerance and can increase the amount of fat tissue in the body, " Scaccia said.

"People usually don't have the option of whether or not to take these medications -- their physical and mental well-being depend on these drugs. But the potential for weight gain is something that they need to be aware of and prepared for, so that they can adjust factors like diet and exercise to prevent or minimize weight gain, " he added.

2. An underactive thyroid

I've heard countless people say that they wish they had a thyroid problem to blame for their weight problems. They're joking, of course. Sort of.

"An underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) affects the entire body, causing symptoms like fatigue, hair loss, dry skin, sensitivity to cold, constipation and menstrual irregularity, " said Dr. Sam Andrews, co-author of "Sugar Busters" and a staff endocrinologist at Ochsner Health System. "Other symptoms may not be so obviously linked to low thyroid function: elevated cholesterol, depression, slow heart rate and delayed reflexes."

Even subclinical hypothyroidism -- estimated to affect as many as 10 percent of all adults and 20 percent of people over 60 -- can result in negative health consequences. Symptoms may be subtle, but still can include sluggishness, elevated cholesterol, and gastrointestinal and reproductive issues.

If you suspect an underactive thyroid, ask your doctor for a blood test to measure levels of thyroid hormones, including TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone), free T4, free T3 and thyroid antibodies.

A high TSH level indicates low thyroid function, which can be treated with medication. "Even if the TSH is only mildly elevated, thyroid medication may still be warranted if the patient is very symptomatic, " Andrews said.

But don't expect the pounds to melt away. "Correcting an underactive thyroid may help someone lose a few pounds, but it's not a significant amount of weight loss, " Andrews said. "One of the biggest differences people will notice is that they feel better, their energy is improved, making it easier to be consistent with a regular exercise program."

3. Polycystic ovarian syndrome

This is a condition in which the ovaries, and sometimes the adrenal glands, make excess male sex hormones. Along with causing fertility problems, PCOS can lead to insulin resistance, which is associated with fat storage, especially around the waist. "Elevated insulin levels make it easier to store fat and more difficult to release that stored fat, " Andrews said.

Symptoms include acne, thinning hair, excess facial and body hair, irregular menstrual cycle, depression, difficulty getting pregnant and weight gain or difficulty losing weight.

If PCOS is suspected, your doctor will check for physical signs and may test blood sugar, insulin and sex hormone levels.

"Treatment often includes the diabetes drug Metformin to improve insulin resistance, along with birth control pills to regulate hormone levels -- unless a woman is trying to get pregnant, " Andrews said. "Losing weight can also help to manage symptoms, normalize hormone levels and reduce the risk of developing diabetes."

The recommended diet for PCOS is typically moderate to low in carbohydrates, since excess carbohydrates tend to be stored as fat, Andrews said. Regular exercise and supplementation with alpha lipoic acid, chromium picolinate and Vitamin D may also help to improve insulin resistance, he added.

4. Overestimating calories burned through exercise

The digital readout on the elliptical machine at the gym says you burn nearly 500 calories in your 30 minute workout. But don't count on it.

"Most cardiovascular exercise machines are calibrated for a 150-pound man, " says Sean Sellers, a local fitness equipment distributor with Fitness First. If you weigh less -- or if you're a 150-pound woman (women generally have less muscle mass per pound, so they tend to burn fewer calories per pound than men) -- you'll burn fewer calories than the readout shows.

Sellers says programs that allow you to enter your age and weight are more accurate, and it's even better when the machine can track your heart rate as well (the higher your heart rate, the more calories you burn).

Another option is to wear a heart-rate monitor that allows you to enter your age, height, weight and gender. The monitor then calculates calories burned based on your personal stats and the intensity of your workout, as reflected by your heart rate.

5. Taking the weekends off

It's only two days. How much damage can you really do? Plenty, if you're not careful. Researchers tracked people's food intake over the course of a year and found that, on average, they consumed an extra 236 calories on each weekend day. Clearly, those studies weren't conducted in New Orleans. Throw in a fried seafood platter, a couple of cocktails and a bag of peanuts during the Saints game, and you can easily add an extra 1,000 calories per weekend day. Spread over the course of the week, that's like adding an extra McDonald's Cheeseburger to your usual intake every day.

For a little motivation to avoid overdoing it on weekends, try stepping on the scale every Friday and Monday morning. If that's still not enough incentive, tighten things up a little more during the week. Saving extra calories during the week (skip the bread basket at dinner; forgo that evening snack) can help to offset weekend splurges.

End result: if you are not losing weight, see a licensed registered dietitian (RD) and get a calorimetry done to test your metabolism. The RD will work with you to develop an amazing eating plan that will enable you to lose weight, be healthier, and tastes good too!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fall Into Good Habits

Football season and school are back in session and have seriously affected my eating habits. I am sad to admit this, but it has also affected my weight. Yes yours truly is up.....a whopping 9 pounds! I knew I was gaining weight and let my emotional eating get the best of me. Wine and no exercise apparently are not good for your waist line.

The good news? Fall is a time of reflection and to let our old habits die off and begin healthy ones again. So back to the drawing board again! This morning was complete with a little hip hop dance workout on Comcast (yes the girls joined in.."Exercising makes me tired, but I'm having so much fun!" A quote from the 2 year old). On the lineup for dinner tonight...turkey meatballs and spaghetti squash with homemade tomato sauce from the garden! Fabulous and 250 calories (goodness I can have two plates worth!). I also made a berry compote which is awesome on nonfat Kemps Frozen Vanilla Yogurt. Thanks Elle Krieger for dessert!

2 cups frozen blueberries
3 tablespoons water
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Combine 1 cup of the blueberries, water, sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add the rest of the blueberries and cook for 8 minutes more, stirring frequently. Serve warm.

I also had a super fabulous meal at SaladWorks. Cindy's Salad...sugared pecans, spring lettuce, sliced granny smith apples, fresh crumbled cheese, dried cranberries and grilled chicken in an amazing dressing...312 calories! It also came with a whole grain roll and apple chips for 250 calories extra. Really when did eating healthy get to be so easy and DELICIOUS!

Below are some basic recipes for Spaghetti easy! Adapted from Healthy Recipe for Kids at

Basic Spaghetti Squash Recipes:
These are the basics for cooking a spaghetti squash. If the spaghetti squash recipes farther below say "cook it" or similar, it implies that you can use whichever of these basic recipes you choose.

Baking Method:

You can bake it whole or cut it in half lengthwise. If you keep it whole, just make sure to pierce a few holes with a large knife, skewer or an ice pick to allow steam to escape.
If you prefer to cut the squash before baking, just halve it and scoop out the seeds and fibers. It's still a good idea to pierce a few holes near the ends.
Then, place the whole squash or two squash halves cut side down in a baking dish with enough water to cover the bottom of the dish (water's not necessary when whole but it doesn't seem to hurt either.)
Bake at 350 degrees about an hour or until the skin gives easily under pressure (using an oven mitt) and the inside is tender.
Once the squash is cooked and cooled for 10-15 minutes, if it hasn't already been cut, halve the squash and scoop out the seeds and fibers with a spoon. You can discard these unless you want to save the seeds to bake for a tasty treat, similar to pumpkin seeds, later.
Then take a fork and scrape out the squash flesh little by little. It will naturally separate into noodle-like strands.
Serve immediately or reheat later by either steaming or microwaving.

Tip #1: Make sure the squash is cooked until it easily gives under pressure (using an oven mitt) or is easy to pierce with a regular fork (not just a knife.) If it's undercooked at all, the strands won't separate and the taste won't be pleasing, especially to kids!

Tip #2: When cutting the spaghetti squash in half, feel free to do it either crosswise or lengthwise.

Microwave Method:
Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and fibers with a spoon.
It's especially important, when microwaving, to pierce a few holes in the squash skin with a large knife, skewer or an ice pick to allow steam to escape.
Place squash halves, cut side up in a large microwave safe dish with 1/4 cup water.
Cover with plastic wrap and pierce the wrap in a few places to allow steam to escape.
Microwave on High power for 10 - 20 minutes or until the skin gives easily under pressure (using an oven mitt.) Let stand for a minute or two.
Using a fork, scrape the pasta-like insides out onto a service plate or bowl.

Boiling Method:
Cut squash in half and scoop out the seeds and fibers with a spoon.
Place squash halves, cut side down, in a large pot. Add water to fill pot to about 2 inches.
Pierce the shell a few times with a large knife, skewer or an ice pick to allow steam to escape.
Bring to a boil.
Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20-25 minutes or until tender. Drain.
Using a fork, scrape the pasta-like insides out onto a service plate or bowl.

Simplest Spaghetti Squash Recipes
We'll start with these quick and easy spaghetti squash recipes with only a few ingredients and then work our way up to the more elaborate recipes:

Back to The Basics Buttered Spaghetti Squash
1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
2 Tablespoons butter or olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare and cook spaghetti squash with one of the basic cooking methods above.
Use fork to pull the squash strands from the shell onto a serving plate or bowl.
Mix with butter or olive oil.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4-6


Simple Cheesy Spaghetti Squash
1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/4-1/2 Cup Butter or Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Cook and Prepare Spaghetti Squash with your choice of basic methods (above).
Toss squash strands gently with butter, cheese, salt, and pepper.

Serves 4-6


Velveeta Spaghetti Squash
1 Medium Spaghetti squash
1/4 - 1/2 Cup Butter
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 Clove Fresh Garlic
1/2 - 1 Cup Velveeta Cheese

Prepare and cook squash (see basic methods above).
Place the pulled squash strands in a microwave-safe dish.
Season the squash with salt and pepper.
Add the butter, clove of garlic and Velveeta cheese.
Cook the mixture in the microwave on High power for about 5 minutes or until velveeta is melted.

Serves 4-6


Spaghetti Squash with Tomatoes and Herbs
1 Medium Spaghetti squash
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1 Can Diced Tomatoes, drained
1 Tablespoon Chopped Fresh Basil
1/8 teaspoon Dried Oregano
2-3 Tablespoons Grated Parmesan Cheese (or Romano Cheese if you prefer)

Prepare and cook squash using any of the basic methods above.
Sauté the minced garlic in the 2 teaspoons Olive Oil until it's softened and fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, basil, and oregano to the garlic and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes.
Spoon the garlic tomatoe mixture on top of squash strands.
Top with grated parmesan or romano cheese.

Serves 4-6


Reduced Fat Cheesy Spaghetti Squash
1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
2 Tablespoons Reduced Fat Grated Parmesan Cheese or Topping
1/2 cup Shredded Reduced Fat Mozzarella Cheese
2 Plum Tomatoes, chopped
1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, chopped

Cook and Prepare Spaghetti Squash using one of the above basic methods.
Toss squash strands with Parmesan cheese, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and parsley
Serve and enjoy.

Serves 4-6


Spaghetti Squash Ratatouille
1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
1/4 cup White Wine
1 small Onion, diced
2-3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 Green Pepper, diced
1 Red Pepper, diced
1 medium Eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 Zucchini, sliced
2 cans Stewed Tomatoes
1 cup Spaghetti Sauce
Oregano, Basil, Pepper to taste

Prepare and cook squash with one of the above basic methods.
Heat wine in skillet.
Saute diced onion and minced garlic in wine for a few minutes.
Add peppers to the skillet and continue to cook until tender.
Add zucchini, eggplant, and tomatoes. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to thicken.
Add spaghetti sauce and stir.
Add oregano, basil, and pepper to taste.
Spoon vegetable sauce mixture over spaghetti squash strands on serving dishes.

Serves 6-8


Spaghetti Squash Hash Browns
1 Medium Spaghetti Squash, cooked
1/3 cups all-purpose Flour (or try Whole Wheat Flour for a healthier dish)
1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
4 Tablespoons Butter or Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
Sour cream garnish (optional)

Prepare and cook squash (see basic methods above).
Mix squash strands with flour and cheese.
Heat 1 Tablespoon Butter or Olive Oil in skillet over medium-high heat.
Spoon 1/4 cup of squash mixture into skillet.
Pat and press the squash mixture to form a thick "hash brown" cake.
Cook until bottom is lightly browned.
Turn hash brown over and cook the other side until lightly browned.
Continue with remaining squash mixture, adding butter or oil to the skillet as needed.
Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper to taste.
serve with a dollop of sour cream if desired.

Serves 4-6


Ginger Spaghetti Squash
1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
2 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Honey
1/2 tablespoon Minced Ginger
Salt and black pepper to taste

Instead of using one of the above basic methods, for this recipe you must follow these steps:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds and membranes.
Place squash on baking dish and add the butter, honey, ginger and seasoning.
Add enough water to cover the bottom of the dish.
Bake for 45 to 60 minutes at 375 degrees until the skin gives easily under pressure (using an oven mitt) and the inside is tender.
Use a fork to pull out the spaghetti-like strands from the inside of the squash.
Toss the strands a little to distribute the seasonings.
Serve and enjoy.

Serves 4-6


Spicy Spaghetti Squash
1 Medium Spaghetti squash
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 cup Minced Onion
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Green Onions, minced
12 ounces Ground White Turkey
2 cups Crushed Tomatoes
2 Tablespoons Red Wine
2 teaspoons Capers
2 teaspoons Minced Fresh Oregano
2 teaspoons Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Parsley

Prepare and cook squash (see basic methods above).
When squash is 30 minutes from being cooked, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
Add the onion, garlic and scallions. Saute for 2 minutes.
Add the ground turkey and cook for another 4 minutes.
Add the crushed tomatoes and red wine
Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the capers, oregano, red pepper flakes and parsley.
Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
If the squash has cooled, it may be reheated in the microwave, covered, on High power 2 to 3 minutes.
Spoon the sauce over the spaghetti squash "noodles" and serve.

Serves 6


Dessert "Spaghetti" Squash
1 Medium Spaghetti squash
6 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 cup Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoons Ground Cinnamon
1 cup Chopped Pecans
Salt and Pepper to taste

Prepare and cook squash (see basic methods above).
Use fork to pull the squash strands from the shell onto a serving plate or bowl.
Toss with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, pecans, salt and pepper.
Serve hot, microwaving tossed strands, covered, on High power for 2-3 minutes if necessary.

Serves 4-6


Spaghetti Squash with Onions and Garlic
1 Medium Spaghetti Squash
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 medium Onion, sliced
4-5 cloved Garlic, pressed
Salt and black pepper to taste

Instead of using one of the above basic methods, for this recipe you must follow these steps:
Cut the spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds and membranes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Place squash on baking dish and add 1 Tablespoon olive oil, half of the onion slices, and half of the garlic to each squash half.
Sprinkle with Salt and Pepper to taste.
Place in deep pan and add enough water to just cover the bottom of pan
Cover pan with a lid or aluminum foil.
Bake at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes until the skin gives easily under pressure (using an oven mitt) and the inside is tender.
Use a fork to pull out the spaghetti-like strands, onions, and garlic from the inside of the squash.
Toss and Serve.

Serves 4-6


Greek Spaghetti Squash
1 Medium Spaghetti squash
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Chopped Tomatoes
3/4 cup Crumbled Feta Cheese
3 Tablespoons Black Olives, sliced
2 Tablespoons Fresh Basil, chopped

Prepare and cook squash (see basic methods above).
While squash is cooking, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
Add onion and saute until tender.
Add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes and cook an additional 2-3 minutes.
Toss the cooked spaghetti squash "noodles" with the sauteed vegetables, feta cheese, olives, and basil.
Serve warm.

Serves 4-6

Okay enough of recipes. Let's keep this ball rolling on health. Keep your chin up and stick it out! You only get one body in life!


The Dieting Dietitian

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Love this!

Drew Carey will not keep that weight off
TV personality Drew Carey has lost a bunch of weight.

Here's a nickel that says he puts it all back on in the next 18 months.

He had the proverbial wake-up call and got down and dirty with a trainer and eating right and blah blah blah. He's losing three pounds a week and has gotten into such great shape that he was able to run a 10K for the first time in ages.

He celebrated by eating a whole pizza.

Which is the basis of my nickel bet.

There's such a thing as doing something too fast. That's why I hate The Biggest Loser series and the Biggest Loser approach. It is not anything that can be sustained.

Losing three pounds a week cannot be sustained.

Plunging into serious, heavy, daily exercise cannot be sustained.

People who want to get to a more desirable weight need to adopt behaviors, both nutritionally and in terms of exercise, that can be sustained for the long haul Otherwise, it just ain't gonna work.

All of the numbers and all of the studies show that this is true. And putting Drew Carey on the cover of Parade magazine and suggesting, therefore, that this strategy can work, will not help anyone except Drew Carey, for now, and Parade magazine.
Quote from Marc Onigman at on September 28, 2010.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Rah Rah Rah!

I couldn't help but this great New York Times article by Natasha Singer on 08/21/2010:

WHY are Americans getting fatter and fatter? The simple explanation is that we eat too much junk food and spend too much time in front of screens — be they television, phone or computer — to burn off all those empty calories.

David Plunkert
One handy prescription for healthier lives is behavior modification. If people only ate more fresh produce. (Thank you, Michael Pollan.) If only children exercised more. (Ditto, Michelle Obama.)

Unfortunately, behavior changes won’t work on their own without seismic societal shifts, health experts say, because eating too much and exercising too little are merely symptoms of a much larger malady. The real problem is a landscape littered with inexpensive fast-food meals; saturation advertising for fatty, sugary products; inner cities that lack supermarkets; and unhealthy, high-stress workplaces.

In other words: it’s the environment, stupid.

“Everyone knows that you shouldn’t eat junk food and you should exercise,” says Kelly D. Brownell, the director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale. “But the environment makes it so difficult that fewer people can do these things, and then you have a public health catastrophe.”

Dr. Brownell, who has a doctorate in psychology, is among a number of leading researchers who are proposing large-scale changes to food pricing, advertising and availability, all in the hope of creating an environment conducive to healthier diet and exercise choices.

To that end, health researchers are grappling with how to fix systems that are the root causes of obesity, says Dee W. Edington, the director of the Health Management Research Center at the University of Michigan.

“If you take a changed person and put them in the same environment, they are going to go back to the old behaviors,” says Dr. Edington, who has a doctorate in physical education. “If you change the culture and the environment first, then you can go back into a healthy environment and, when you get change, it sticks.”

Indeed, despite individual efforts by some states to tax soda pop, promote farm stands, require healthier school lunches or mandate calorie information in chain restaurants, obesity rates in the United States are growing. An estimated 72.5 million adults in the United States are obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Last year, about 27 percent of adults said they were obese, compared with about 20 percent in 2000, as reported in a C.D.C. study published this month. And, the report said, obesity may cost the medical system as much as $147 billion annually.

So what kind of disruptive changes might help nudge Americans into healthier routines? Equalizing food pricing, for one.

Fast-food restaurants can charge lower prices for value meals of hamburgers and French fries than for salad because the government subsidizes the corn and soybeans used for animal feed and vegetable oil, says Barry Popkin, a professor of nutrition at the Gillings School of Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“We have made it more expensive to eat healthy in a very big way,” says Dr. Popkin, who has a doctorate in agricultural economics and is the author of a book called “The World Is Fat: The Fads, Trends, Policies and Products That Are Fattening the Human Race.”

The inflation-adjusted price of a McDonald’s quarter-pounder with cheese, for example, fell 5.44 percent from 1990 to 2007, according to an article on the economics of child obesity published in the journal Health Affairs. But the inflation-adjusted price of fruit and vegetables, which are not subject to federal largess, rose 17 percent just from 1997 to 2003, the study said. Cutting agricultural subsidies would have a big impact on people’s eating habits, says Dr. Popkin.

“If we cut the subsidy on whole milk and made it cheaper only to drink low-fat milk,” he says, “people would switch to it and it would save a lot of calories.”

Health experts are also looking to the private sector. On-site fitness centers and vending machines that sell good-for-you snacks are practical workplace innovations that many companies have instituted.

On a more philosophical level, innovative companies are training managers not to burn out employees by overworking them, says Dr. Edington of the University of Michigan.

“Stress comes up. It can lead to overeating and obesity,” Dr. Edington says. At companies that see employee health as a renewable resource, he adds, managers encourage employees to go home on time so they can spend more time with their families, communities or favorite activities. “Instead of going home with an empty tank, you can go home with the energy that we gave you by the way we run our business,” he says.

CORPORATE-SECTOR efforts aren’t entirely altruistic. It’s less expensive for businesses to keep healthy workers healthy than to cover the medical costs of obesity and related problems like diabetes. For employees at I.B.M. and their families, for example, the annual medical claim for an obese adult or child costs about double that of a non-obese adult or child, says Martin J. Sepulveda, I.B.M.’s vice president for integrated health services.

I.B.M. has been promoting wellness for employees since the 1980s. But in 2008, it began offering a new program, the Children’s Health Rebate, to encourage employees to increase their at-home family dinners, their servings of fruits and vegetables, and their physical activities, as well as to reduce their children’s television and computer time.

In addition to helping prevent obesity in children, Mr. Sepulveda says, the program is aimed at employees who might neglect to exercise on their own but would willingly participate as part of a family project. Each family that completes the program receives $150.

All of these ideas sound promising. But the architecture of obesity is so entrenched that policy makers, companies, communities, families and individuals will need to undertake a variety of efforts to displace and replace it, says Alan Lyles, a professor at the School of Health and Human Services at the University of Baltimore.

And American efforts can seem piecemeal compared with those in Britain, where the government has undertaken a multipronged national attack, requiring changes in schools, health services and the food industry.

Britain now places restrictions on advertising fatty, sugary and salty foods during children’s shows, for example. And by 2011, cooking classes will be mandatory for all 11- to 14-year-old students in the nation. The hope is to teach a generation of children who grew up on prepared foods how to cook healthy meals, and perhaps to make eating at home — instead of at the local fried fish-and-chips shop — the default option.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer Disaster

Well summer is almost over (sniff, sniff) and it has been difficult trying to eat healthy. My summer has been filled with board walk food (fudge!), BBQs (and beer), and hot days leaving me not wanting to exercise. However, I am proud to say I have maintained my weight during the summer! It's not all good news, I haven't kept up with my exercise plan as I have liked (maybe I was an over achiever) and wasn't happy with my "beach body" as a result. The hot days really knocked me off the plan, but once you fall off, you jump back on. Fall is right around the corner and so are hectic schedules...before you know it is holiday time. Let's get it right this time and keep eating healthy. Move more, eat less! If I do find a BBQ in the meantime, I will nosh on the grilled veggies and delicious watermelon! Here's a great summer BBQ recipe (1 1/2 cup 45 calories).
Serves 4

2 sliced green zucchini
1 purple eggplant sliced
1 sliced yellow squash
1 small package of button mushrooms
1 sweet onion sliced
1 red pepper sliced
1 yellow pepper sliced

Add veggies and 2 tablespoons of olive pepper, dash of kosher salt, dash of ground pepper, grill 2 minutes a side in a basket....enjoy!

It's okay if you didn't meet your weight goals this time, tomorrow is a new start!


The Dietiting Dietitian

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Thank Heaven for Little Girls (and chocolate)

While I am extremely happy to have my two little girls, I am frustrated with the "bulge" the newest one has given me. It has been difficult to go to the beach and strut (not quite a strut more like a fast walk back to my beach chair) my stuff along the sand. It's okay because it's a reminder I need to move more and WRITE down EVERYTHING I eat and drink. It's so easy to forget what you eat everyday. I do allow myself a few dark chocolate 1 oz pieces (it's an antioxidant!), but I need to remember to put the trail mix away (yes it's full of healthy fats like peanuts but holy calories!). So this week, I will try a new On Demand video and find my inner Jillian Michaels. Eat less, do more this week!


The Dieting Dietitian

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Little Molehill

Weekly weigh in gone wrong! Up from my goal weight..... Oh how I relaxed a bit too much (curses to cuisine to go delivery and the creator)....but no worries I am back on track today. I have a very pleasant short term goal...the beach for (a kid free) memorial day/birthday weekend . The bathing suit is hanging on my mirror in the bedroom almost smirking at me. I do have a "back up" tankini. I never thought I would even own a tankini and now I think ......will I ever be able to put a two piece on again? Love the children but boy do they completely change your body! I will not set myself up for failure and I will be happy with myself. Remember life is about being able to be confident, sexy and sure of yourself both inside and out-even if you do not reach your weight and health related goals. So until then I will use my trusty food journal and write away. Remember people who write down what they eat and drink EVERY DAY will lose TWICE as much weight as dieters who don't. Another tool to get to my short term goal...bottled water in my hand 24/7, sipping before and after meals and all the times in between.

I've had a bowl of fruit out all this week as a household experiment. I put two pieces of fruit per person and older child on the table to see if people were eating their servings daily. Day 1 and 2 I saw a little dent in the bowel but by Monday of this week the bowl has been empty! Word to the wise: stick with apples, pears, oranges and bananas as they hold up a bit better at room temperature.


The Dieting Dietitian

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I will not go to Pretzel Boys Pretzels. I will not go to Pretzel Boys Pretzels. I will not go to Pretzel Boys Pretzels. I will not go to Pretzel Boys Pretzels. I will not go to Pretzel Boys Pretzels.

You are not "allowed" to buy one pretzel you have to buy three.......

I will not go to Prezel Boys Pretzels. I will not go to Preztel Boys Pretzels.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I did it! I set a goal and reached it! I'm officially back to my pre-pregnancy weight! Did I say that loud enough. I'm back! Well not totally, things are definitely NOT in the same places they were before, but I'll accept that (at least for now). It took a long time and small goals along the way to get to this big goal. Easter was the hardest and days that I was feeling down. Support from friends and family was the best, especially the ones that suggest activities to MOVE instead of going out for a bite. This weekend I met a friend at a step class. I thought step? That sounds so 1980's. Okay well it was fun, even for someone that isn't coordinated or can follow directions :) It was an hour and I felt great...until Sunday.. Oh my goodness did my body ache. So there you go, I thought I was in shape post baby but not even close. It is fun to mix up an exercise routine (and hang out with a friend at the same time).

So mix it up, get your friends together and sass-shay! Oh and try a new recipe this week while you are at it!


The Dieting Dietitian (to maintain her weight:) )

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Rewarding Succuss

Hello and welcome Spring!
As the weather gets warmer, our layers come off. Some of us feel like we need to lose more and others feel like they will never trade their pants for shorts. Remember weight loss is a journey, it takes time to reach your long term goals (like losing over 30 pounds!). Setting short term goals along the way with built in non food related rewards is a way to keep you focused on the bigger picture...your health! Maybe this month you plan to walk a 5 K. Better yet what if you jogged some of it? Seems too hard? Remember baby steps will get you there slowly, but it will still get you there. Another non food related reward could be after losing 10 pounds you get a pedicure or new golf club (you can use all the money you saved from not eating out as much). You re worth it now go ahead and reward yourself along the way!


The Dieting Dietitian

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Oh Another Holiday

This week I went to an Easter Egg Hunt with my two year old. I was surprised by what was put into the eggs for toddlers! Laffy Taffy, Hershey Kisses, and Peanut Butter Cups. Really? Even my teeth hurt after eating a Laffy Taffy, imagine how kids with only half their teeth feel (not to mention the dental cavities it may lead too). So what I did notice was other eggs filled with: stickers, rubber dinosaurs, fruit snacks (100% juice). And do you know what? Those kids loved the other eggs just as much, if not more, than the ones filled with candy! I understand the concept of wanting to give a treat during the holidays, but remember it does not need to be filled with sugar and additives. Special time with a parent or sibling is just as special then sharing a candy treat. Creating these associations with holidays will set our children up for "diet sabotage" as adults. They will associate all holidays and special celebrations with high calorie, low nutrient dense foods leading to overindulgence as opposed to normal snacking. Holidays and celebrations are about the moment and the family and friends you spend it with-not the food as much. Let food be the secondary focus. So next time you want to make a special holiday for your children or partner, think of a non-food related activity, such as coloring, crafts, scrapbooks, taking them to a special park, or having a family game of volleyball or softball.
So enjoy those tasty treats in moderation but remember not to focus on them. Take the time to enjoy your families and yourselves.


The Dieting Dietitian

Monday, March 15, 2010

Vacations and Eating Healthy

Recently, I went to Florida to meet my new nephew. It was a fantastic trip but posed many difficulties for my healthy eating goals. Finding healthy choices when traveling is difficult, however, it is not impossible. On both travel days to and from the airports, I packed a low-fat mozzarella string cheese, apple, high fiber granola bar, baby carrots, and hummus in small snack containers and bags. It worked out great! I wasn't so hungry that I was tempted by the Annie's Pretzels or candy at all the terminals. Once I got to my destination, we ate lunch at Panera's and had many healthy options so I was fine. The weather was not good and walking outside was not an option, so that left me with one day of no exercise, but I planned on not exercising that day (thinking I'd be tired from traveling with a baby). Each day afterwards I had fun walking and including fun activities with my family that included exercise. Prior to each morning shower, I still fit in my ab and strength training (using my 4 month old as a weight!). The hardest part of the trip was finding my brother's food pantry. If you wanted it and craved it, they had it! I stuck to serving sizes, but still indulged in a 1/2 cup of cookie dough ice cream, 1 peanut chocolate smidgen, and 7 salt and vinegar potato chips. Afterwards, the next morning, I felt like my work that week was shot! I picked myself up and counted the unplanned calories = 430 calories. If only the amount of exercise needed to burn off the calories was on the food labels!

I ran at a higher intensity and for a longer time in the afternoon (with a 3 year old and a baby!) the next day to create the calorie deficit needed to meet my weight goal. So there you have it! Indulging in some guilty pleasures but not ruining my weight and diet goals! Eating healthy can work!


The Dieting Dietitian

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

46 Pounds Lost

I'm so close to my goal weight, that I'm actually thinking of going clothes shopping! Setting realistic weight, food and exercise goals really works and keeps you on target. The journey to weight loss has been long, but I know losing 1-2 pounds per week, (at least most weeks), is the ONLY way to keep the weight off for the rest of my life. Yes there are fad diets, the vinegar diet, Atkins, South Beach..... but following a balanced REAL diet you and your family can live with (and afford) is the best solution. I know I'm eating healthy foods (and having treats in moderation) and winning the battle of the bulge.

I saw an ad in the paper for a free exercise trainer in our area. It did advertise nutrition counseling, which scares me. Many "nutritionists" are not educated in medical nutrition therapy as registered dietitians are, but I will go and see what it's like (the exercise training part only)! Maybe I will learn a new way to work out to burn more calories in my exercise time and teach them a few things about nutrition too!

Until then, keep moving and eating balanced!


The Dieting Dietitian

Sunday, February 21, 2010

9 weeks to goal weight

9 weeks seems so far away! My goal weight is coming quickly around the corner (as is Spring!) and it feels like I'm chipping away slowly at it. I'm working hard at all my diet and exercise goals....okay that was a lie. I was VERY bad over the weekend. Chinese food, including chicken fried rice (I think I saw some vegetables in it) and Chewy Sprees. Was it worth it? NO! I could have had ordered the veggies in the brown sauce and had a smaller portion of the chicken fried rice. It would have saved me over 300 calories! Sunday was spent working off the silly food choices I made so now I'm back in calorie deficit. Why did I make those choices? Poor planning on Friday night and Sunday I skipped breakfast and that lead to me craving sugar. Why did I skip breakfast? Poor planning again! To the grocery store this week so I'm better planned!

By the way, I saved over $200 at the grocery store this week! Score on budget shopping! Eating less meats, more beans, and having planned leftovers has really made a difference. What I'm I saving towards.......small goal a swing set for my little ones, big goal a beach house (that's a lot of beans:)


The Dieting Dietitan

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Bump in the road

Unbelievable! I've managed to be the same weight at my weekly weigh in as the week before! It's so frustrating especially since I know I'm doing everything correctly. I just have to remind myself that plateauing in weight loss is common and my next weigh in will be better. Until then I'll keep on moving and eating balanced.

This past weekend we celebrated a little one's birthday and yes it was filled with cake, soda, BBQ pulled pork sandwiches, meatball sandwiches and chips. I struggle with not offering any "junk" foods, but know its a party and I have to give in a little. My compromise? Offering diet sodas, bottled waters, a fantastic salad that was a meal in itself and a veggie and fruit tray. I loaded up on the veggies and fruits and had 1/2 a BBQ pork sandwich. Interesting I noticed many other attendees going for the healthy items, (people who don't normally go for those things), and there were no left overs of the veggies and fruit! So when the healthy food is made available people will eat it. The same is true for the unhealthy food, if it's out, you will eat it! It is possible to have a festive event and eat healthy, even if it means you have to bring your own dish. Another successful week for me even if I didn't lose any weight...because I didn't gain any weight either!


The Dietitian Dietitian

P.S. Thank goodness all this snow is melting and our routines are back!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Stuck in the house AGAIN

I knew the storm was coming and I'd be stuck in the house all weekend so I purposely made sure only healthy food and snacks were in the house. I was doing well until boredom and possibly postpartum hormones struck.....I wanted chocolate. I tore through our cabinets and found some sugar free chocolate jello pudding. SCORE! I made it with nonfat skim milk, put sliced bananas on top and divided into 1/4 cup size portions. IT WAS AWESOME! Even the hubby (whom normally turns his nose up to anything sugar free, said it was delightful). So there you go..thank you Jello for saving my diet and my waistline when I had cabin fever.

In one of my weight management classes that I teach, a trainer taught us how to aerobically exercise...correctly. Using the Borg Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale, one can rate the level of perception of exertion. This basically means how tough and strenuous the exercise feels to you while working out . The RPE Scale does give you a good sense of intensity of your level of exercise and you can use the scale to determine if you need to speed up or slow down your activity level. The scale goes from 6 to 20, with 6 meaning "no exertion at all" and 20 means "max. exertion". To see where you are on your exercise routine go to Hey if you are going to work out, make the most effective workout you can so you can lose the maximum amount of calories.

Take home lessons for the week:

1) I need to switch up my exercise routine or my body and muscles will get use to the routine. No treadmill everyday! Switch off to the elliptical next week and increase the intensity. Check my RPE when working out to see if I am getting the most out of my workout.

2) Keep the high calorie, high fat foods out of the house......especially if there is a blizzard coming!

3) Modify recipes. Really any recipe can be altered to make it healthy. Check out this one at Replace the chicken with the 95% lean, (or leaner if you can find it), ground turkey, decrease the amount of ground meat in half and double the peppers! Voila! Less calories and fat and more fiber, potassium and vitamin C. YUM! Perfect in the crock pot too. Just brown the turkey using a non stick pan and a canola or olive oil spray. Place all ingredients including the browned turkey in the crock pot on high for 4 hours. Nice when you are snowed in!

Off to the gym for a nice long cardio session on the treadmill.


The Dieting Dietitian

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Plan Plan Plan

This week has been FABULOUS! Most mornings I've been able to get my core workout in and at least twice I was able to make it to the gym, right along with my exercise goal. Packing my lunches and planning my meals has been another key to my success. Planning is so important when trying to lose weight. Having a planned snack or meal, of which is nutrient dense and low calorie, is like having weapons to weight loss. On the "party table" at work, were dark chocolate covered nuts and a carmel popcorn tub, unnecessary calories in my day. Yes I could of had a few and be fine, but a few tastes could of driven me to handfuls later in the day. Best to avoid the "party table" and go for my planned snacks (low-fat mozzarella cheese stick and Triscuits-very filling, high in fiber and calcium).

This morning I went grocery shopping and planned my families meals for next two weeks. Again planning enables me to know my caloric intake and saves on my groceries. Allowing for nights out and ordering in , also allows freedom in choices and allows me to feel like I'm "cheating" on my diet without over doing it! (If anyone wants to see the 2 week menu, let me know I'd be happy to share!).

Tonight on the menu we are having a winter picnic. Santa brought my hubby a grill so we are cooking pineapple slices and turkey sliders (instead of burgers, smaller portions) on toasted whole grain sliders. Condiments include avocado and sweet potato fries. Dessert includes soaked watermelon balls in sweet liqueur (just a little for taste). A fun mix to our winter menu and super easy to put together.

Enjoy your day!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tales of a Dieting Dietitian

Yes dietitians diet too.

Yes it is difficult for us too.

Yes I hate exercise.

Yes I love food...all food and I do not discriminate.

My new baby girl is 10 weeks old and I have not reached my exercise goals. I'm not going to cry a river about it and I'm not going to put myself down. I am going to get back on the wagon and continue this journey. My exercise routine has greatly changed since my oldest one, Molly, became a toddler. I used to hit the treadmill for a nice long run, than the mat for a series of crunches and last the sauna for some chill time-then I had children. Now it consists of Comcast On Demand Exercise TV in the morning for the 22 minute core workout (that is if Molly has jumped on me trying to plane airplane or using my weights as balls-ouch!). In the afternoon we put on some music and dance for a good 20 minutes. Hey it's exercise and I get some quality fun time with my kids. The newbie Annie gets a kick out of it too. Making time for exercise is a REQUIREMENT for weight loss. You have to move it to lose it, enough said.

Goals for tomorrow:

1) I will do the 22 minute core (after my coffee of course) by 9 am.

2) 20 minute walk with the girls, if weather permits, if not we are going to the mall to do it (and leaving my wallet in the car so I can't buy anything from the food court AND packing water and carrots as snacks for us).

3) Take 30 minutes for myself to relax and read Cooking Light-stress adds pounds too!


Jennifer The Dieting Dietitian