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Downingtown Nutrition & Weight Management Center

Thursday, December 29, 2011

New Year New You

Happy New Year! I am very excited to have the opportunity to bring you food and nutrition tips, what a great way to start the New Year! Do you have a New Year’s resolution? Let's kick those resolutions into gear with 12 simple steps to get you on the right track:

Step 1: Start Small
Are you throwing away most of your produce because it went bad? Or paying for a gym membership that you do not go to? We have good intentions to eat healthy and exercise but often make too many overwhelming changes at once. Stick to one lifestyle change at a time, such as committing to working out at least 3 times a week. Small steps lead to big changes.

Step 2: Set goals
Make one goal, such as I am going to eat one fruit or vegetable serving every time I eat a meal or snack. As you reach your goals, continue to set new ones.

Step 3: Find a buddy
Make a standing date with a friend to meet at the gym, a weight loss support group, or walk at lunch. It is more fun with you have a friend to laugh and lean on!

Step 4: Reward yourself
After you reach your goal, reward yourself! If you went to the gym 3 times a week for 1 month, get a massage, a new outfit, or a round of golf. Knowing there is a prize at the end of your hard work, makes it more tolerable and brings out your competitive side!

Step 5: If you fall, get back up
Well I blew it Friday with the pizza and drinks. I will start my diet again on Monday. Sound familiar? It’s easy to fall off the wagon, but it’s the people who climb back on who are the real “losers”!

Step 6: Weigh yourself routinely
In a large weight loss study, people who took corrective action after eating excessive calories were most likely to keep the weight off. What’s corrective action? Weighing yourself 1-2 times a week or exercising longer than normal before you dine out.

Step 7: Do something active every day
My favorite game with my family is right after dinner we play “dance party”. We put on music and bust a move. Other active things you can do include joining a walking club, parking further from work, or taking 15 minutes to walk before work.

Step 8: Plan your meals
What am I going to make for dinner? Ahh the age old question! I keep a dry erase board on the fridge with the days of the week on it and what we are having for dinner. It helps me plan out my meals and pull frozen food out to thaw the night before. A great website to find quick and easy recipes is Meals Matters at, which even makes you a grocery list!
Step 9: Make a grocery list
Speaking of grocery lists…after you planned your meals, make a grocery list. Have you ever gone in the grocery store not really knowing what you are getting or worse hungry? Going hungry and without guidance can lead to some not so healthy food choices. Plus you save money!

Step 10. Eat out less
Data from our National Weight Loss Registry reveals people who lose weight and keep it off, eat out only 1-2 times per month. Navigating the menu to find healthier options is often difficult. Websites, such as, can help you find the healthiest items.

Step 11. Write it down
People who keep track of their portions are more aware of what they eat. In fact, people who write down what they eat or drink, lose twice as much weight as people who don’t. I challenge you to use as a tool to keep track of what you are eating.

Step 12. Move more, eat less
In the end, weight loss is an energy balance equation. Using free online programs, such as My Fitness Pal can help you keep track of your calorie (energy) intake. My favorite way to track my activity is wearing a pedometer every day. Aiming for over 6,000 steps a day, with the ultimate goal of 10,000 steps per day, will help you reach your goals to lose weight and be healthy.

Everyone at Downingtown Nutrition & Weight Management Center wishes you a happy and healthy New Year!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Vegan for a month

I've been following a vegan diet for the month, mostly from a challenge by a client and a past health concern. A vegan diet, in case you did not know, is free of animal products and by products. Vegetables, starches, fruits and vegetables are pretty much the same as in any other diet, however the meats and dairy are often replaced with soy, nuts, and other meat alternative products. It was difficult the first week, especially since the rest of my household wasn't 100% participating. The difficulty arose from the protein source and having to make an alternative to what everyone else was having. After getting over the this and careful planning, it was really easy. I've had some awesome dinners and lunches this month! Even the little ones enjoyed many of the dishes! My favorite dish which can be the main course or a side dish was Kale with White bean sauce (recipe below at bottom of post).

My past health concern was high cholesterol. When I was a dietetic intern, I worked part time for Christiana Care Health System's Cancer Outreach team. I spent my weekends doing glucose and cholesterol screenings in the community (which was amazing and I am so blessed to have been able to have had that experience..thank you to one of my best mentors in my life Nora Katurakes!). As a joke, my mentor asked well let's see the future dietitian's cholesterol, as she checked me. I was shocked and cried at the number....347! A normal cholesterol is under 200. Granted exercise was a bit hard to fit in, especially during the internship, but I did walk 5 days a week to and from 2nd to 18th Street in Philly. I also had free food and ate a salad at the Sodexho kitchen. How is this possible?

The first 3 months, I made sure to eat at least 2 fruits and 3-4 vegetable servings a day. On my walk home, I always passed Jim's Steaks, and I'm not going to lie, I ate one at least once a week (and a soft pretzel 3 times a week at 350 calories a pretzel!). The cheese steaks and pretzels were cut out. I also cut out all meat and dairy products (replacing them with tofu, soy and almond milk. When I got tested my cholesterol went down under 300.

The doctor said I had another 3 months or he was going to prescribe cholesterol lowering medicine. I maintained the same diet as before but started to go to Curves. My Curves buddy was my mom, which made it more fun. We went 4-5 times a week and rewarded ourselves with clothes every Friday for going! When I got my cholesterol tested it was 218! The doctor said to keep it up and he would check again in year.

Cutting out animal products and aerobic exercise for at least 1 hour really made a difference, however my family history of cholesterol made it very difficult to keep down. The interesting thing about the vegan diet is that I lost weight while doing it and it brought down my LDL (the Lousy or bad cholesterol).

I had a Tuna Salad Lettuce Wrap today and broke the vegan run, mostly out of tuna craving. Each Tuna Wrap was only 100 calories and loaded with healthy Omega 3 and veggies. To make combine 7 oz light tuna in water, 2 tablespoons of low fat mayo, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 cup chopped celery, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1 shredded carrot and pepper.Scoop in center of Romaine leaf and roll into sandwich. Makes 4 Tuna Lettuce Wraps.

Kale with White Bean Sauce
2 bunches of kale
1 can of white beans
3 cloves smashed garlic
1/2 cup vegetable low sodium broth
dash of pepper

Brown 1 clove of garlic in (PAM sprayed) pan. Add broth, pepper and destemed Kale bunches. Add lid and simmer for 15 minutes. In a separate small (Pam sprayed) pot, add rest of garlic and beans with liquid in can. Bring to simmer and take off oven. Add beans and garlic mixture to a food processor and blend until a puree. Add to kale and serve. Garnish with Parmesan if desired. I tripled the recipe and froze in small 1 cup containers for lunch and dinner.

1/2 cup cooked kale with 1/8 cup bean garlic sauce is 50-75 calories and very filling! Plus it is high in calcium and protein and low in fat.

My challenge to you is to try one vegetarian dish this week! You may find you really enjoy it!


The Dieting Dietitian

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

What's in the dietitian's fridge

I had someone ask me what's in my fridge, so here it is ( but I'm skipping the door holders!). I also want to put it out there that it is time for me to go to the produce store (love Choi's in Thorndale, very cheap) as I'm out of my favorite treat, fresh berries!

On the shelves of the fridge:Almond milk, salsa, hummus, natures pride double fiber whole grain bread, kalmata olives, sugar free chocolate swirl pudding, extra firm tofu, fat free feta, extra sharp cheddar, mozzarella, low fat mozzarella cheese sticks, container of cut of ready to eat veggies, romaine and arugula, zucchini, spinach, eggs, fleishmans butter, ground flaxseed,apples, grapes, clementines, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, mushrooms, Brussels sprouts

So what the heck am I going to do with all those ingredients? Let's start with dinners:Tuesday-chicken rollups stuffed with garlic spinach and mozzarella, roasted Brussels sprouts
Wednesday-mahi mahi over salsa, sauteed mushrooms, steamed broccoli
Thursday-whole green spaghetti with meat sauce ( aka crumbled soy), whole grain rolls, gingered carrots, mixed salad with veggies
Friday-whole wheat pizza (love wegman's) 1/2 broccoli, sauce, mozzarella for the kiddos and the other half caramelized onions, arugula and feta. (Then kiwi frozen yogurt for dessert!)

Snacks:Hummus and lentil chips, veggies
Salsa and lentil chips
Cheese sticks
Zucchini egg casserole (made the day before, lasts a week covered in the fridge)
Assorted cereal with added flax seed and fruit (alwYs keep frozen berries on the freeze)
Pancakes, flaxseed, berries (usually make once every month and freeze for "fast breakfasts"
Oatmeal, flaxseed, fruit, cinnamon
Hard boiled eggs
Leftover dinners

Lunch:Left over meals
Tuna sandwich loaded with celery, cut peppers, onions, and shredded carrots on spinach
Salads with feta, walnuts, and apples

So there you go and that does not include the freezer or cupboards! Need help grocery shopping or planning healthy meals? Let Downingtown Nutrition assess your kitchen! No judgements here, just quick and easy solutions to the daily question: What's for dinner?

Email for an appointment.


The Dieting Dietitian

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Hobbies and time for yourself

Has anyone ever asked you your hobby? Do you have one? Finding time to do something that you genuinely enjoy and brings you happiness is important for your health and your waistline. Taking time for yourself may decrease your stress levels and decrease your attention on food. Studies show people who do "something" for themselves are happy and healthier than those who do not. So what's your something? Or as my friend used to say, "what's your verb?".

When I get this question I say nutrition. Yes the science of nutrition makes me happy and I enjoy it! Recently, I attended the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics national conference. At this (kidless!) event I networked with amazing nutrition professionals, observed delicious food demonstrations, and attended informative lectures. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to be so lucky to have the opportunity to help people improve and maintain their health. When you lose weight, decrease your cholesterol, lower your glucose levels, or are actively moving more....I win too! What made this conference even more special was it was so motivating to hear patients weight loss stories. I heard countless stories of people losing 45 pounds or more and they are still going! YOU can do it too! There were factors that enabled better success:
1) Having a support system (hello Wellness Wednesday's at,
2) w=Wear a pedometer,
3) Ate at home 4 or more times per week (and I don't mean take out people),
4) Made at least 3 people smile a day (image that you smile at someone and they smile back)
5) Weighed themselves weekly or by a health professional like a Registered Dietitian ( click on find a dietitian for one in your 'hood)

So there you go small steps lead to big changes! Keep it up and if you have been slacking get to it! We are here if you need the support or expertise!


The Dieting Dietitian


Monday, August 8, 2011

I'm not going to lie I fell off the wagon

I had straight rock star eating healthy status right until about 3 weeks after my last post and then....summer hit. My husband was home, which completely destroyed my routine. The workouts shortened and the snacking increased.....the outcome 8 pounds more than what I started the summer being! I'm sad and mad at myself for letting this happen. How easy is it to gain weight and how hard is to lose weight! So true right? However, back "on the wagon" started last Monday and I'm doing really good.

So what picked me up from my crusade of overeating and lack of exercise? A benefit 5K for my cousin. Anthony, my 5 year old cousin, was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy and his parents had a benefit at the Detroit Warrior 5K Dash. (Here's his story if you are interested at My brother and I flew into Detroit, obviously not in that good of shape, especially when we realized we had to climb up stacked cars, run through mud, jump over fire, crawl under barb wire, and climb up Marine walls and ropes! Right before our 3:30 p.m. heat goes off, the announcer blasts its the hottest day in Detroit history. Lovely. I asked my older brother what he did to train and he said Jillian Michael's. My brother is over 6 feet tall and very thick. It made me chuckle thinking of him kicking his legs and shaking his hips with Jillian. So right before the horn blew for our heat I knew we were in trouble. We were with 75 runners at the start. Some were dressed up like Richard Simmons, ballerina dancers, and warriors. We were rocking neon green Anthony's Army T-shirts (so were over 200 supportive friends and family). A mile in, my brother kept saying he didn't realize were were going to be running in sand. I was cramping from the all the water I drank before the heat. We started walking...a bit embarrassing, especially as grown men in tutu's ran past us. Then we got to the crazy obstacles. One of them was a plastic tent to the ground which was pitch dark and hot (remember record hot day?). We had to crawl like we were in the army. The women ahead of me starting freaking out so I just pushed her out of the tent for about 20 feet. When we climbed our last wall we saw the finish line and saw the light! I was sore for two days afterwards and my brother still thinks he broke his finger.

It was so worth it. Once I realized I could do that (especially since my 5 year old cousin was battling just to walk), I knew I can get back on track. I've been running 4 miles almost every day and doing core/upper exercises (Thank you Trainer Tiffany at Downingtown Nutrition!). The best part of being on week 2...the strength I feel compared to last week (okay the scale looks alot nicer too). Pretty simple analogy: move more, eat less or more alot more, and eat normal (aka healthy with the occasionally splurge).

The first week on my new plan I tried 1,000 calories which didn't work when I was working out for one hour. I felt deprived and ended up eating more calories than what my body needed (which was about 1,200 calories to get to my weight goal, but when I was not allowing my self more than a 1,000 I ended up eating almost 2000 calories!).

Moral of the story: Do not be too restrictive counting calories, but make sure you have fruits and vegetables (dark leafy greens especially) with every meal and when you snack make sure it's portion controlled. Hey I'm at the beach right now and yes I still had my favorite red shoe string licorice and Grotto's pizza. And yes I ran 4 miles and did Trainer Tiffany's "Beach Body" work out. And yes I waited until the 2 and 3 year old were asleep!

It can be done, just set your mind to do it! Hey if you need inspiration, there's always the Warrior Dash :)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Vacation and Meeting Your Weight Goals

As any seasoned dieter can attest, there are three dining options on vacation: Losing, gaining or maintaining.

Eating well and staying active on a getaway can, no doubt, be a challenge. Many people use the word “vacation” as an excuse to indulge and take a break from everything, including a healthy lifestyle.

But according to those in-the-know, maintaining and even losing weight is possible while still enjoying your time off, whether it’s a trip to a theme park, island retreat or a cruise with its all-you-can-eat mentality.

“People focus in on vacation as food,” says Rosemary Barresi, a Staten Island Weight Watchers leader and leader mentor. “A lot of members say, ‘vacation is I’m on vacation.’”

But, a question needs to be asked: “Are you there to see the sites or to see the restaurants?”

“It’s all about personal choice,” says Ms. Barresi. “What’s important for me at this moment? And what does it get me long-term?”

She recently took a trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and lost 2.6 pounds while there. She dined out, but was mindful of portion control, using her motto of “food as fuel, not food as fun.” That’s not to say she didn’t indulge with dessert, but she didn’t ask for seconds and didn’t have it with every meal.

Ms. Barresi also made sure she didn’t skip meals, which can set you up to overeat during the next meal. And she paid attention to her own hunger signs. “Your body let’s you know when you’re done,” she says. “You don’t have to keep hitting override.”

For exercise, Ms. Barresi simply walked. Whenever she had the chance, she used her legs instead of taking the easy, lazier route. For example, instead of taking a monorail across the theme park, she walked the distance.

“I always walk because I always have my feet on me, there’s no excuse,” she says.

Grace Duffield, author of “Travel Well: Exercises and Healthy Habits for People on the Go” ($29.95, Personal Best Publishing), notes that healthy habits don’t have to be “all or nothing” during vacation. Being too uptight can be just as bad as being too lenient.

“If you’re too strict, people realize I can’t do this on vacation and then go to the other extreme,” she says.

Before leaving for a trip, it’s good to be prepared, the author says. Call your hotel or cruise line and ask if they can put a refrigerator in your room. This way, you won’t have to eat out every night and can store healthy options in your room.

Also, take snacks with you. “A lot of the control that we lose when we’re traveling is that we get too hungry. For some reason, we skip a meal or it’s too late. You want to prepare for this. Once you’re hungry, you might eat a whole basket of bread at a restaurant,” Ms. Duffield says.

When it comes to ordering out, she advocates choosing foods that are steamed or poached and staying away from options with cream or that are deep fried.

“Don’t always feel like you have to clean your plate,” she advises. “You may share meals with people and don’t get appetizers at every meal. If it’s a buffet and food is free, especially like those on a cruise, just because it’s free doesn’t mean you have to over-consume.”

In addition, plan for exercise, says Ms. Duffield, the founder of the Your Personal Best Trainer, Inc. fitness studios in Ridgefield, Conn., and Somers, N.Y. Remember to pack a bathing suit for the pool and good walking shoes.

Although your hotel may have a gym, don’t count on it for exercise, she says. Workouts can be done in your room, whether it’s a squat performed against a wall, resistance band exercises (an easy item to pack) or exercises using your chair, like a butt raise to work the glutes. You can also bring a favorite exercise DVD.

When it boils down to it, whether it’s healthy eating or staying active, Weight Watchers’ Ms. Barresi points to an expression used in her groups that can apply to both: “You rest, you rust.”

“A vacation is not a vacation from your lifestyle,” she concludes. “Ask, what do you want to happen when you come back? If it’s about the food — the mindset is it’s all inclusive, I paid for it — you’re going to pay for it on the scale.”

Wow who would of thought you can reach your health and weight goals and still have fun on vacation!

Available at

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Have off this summer and your kids too...join us

Ready to lose weight & live healthy? PIck a program below:

Join us this summer while we learn how to eat healthy and burn calories to reach our weight goals. The program includes:

Workouts with a Certified Personal Trainer
Nutrition education & healthy recipes
Weekly weigh ins and biggest loser prizes
Babysitting available & includes a fun health program for kids
June 7th to August 19th♦ Tuesdays & Fridays at 9:30 a.m

Shadyside Park, 1645 Shadyside Rd, Downingtown

Keystone and Personal Choice insurances covers entire program. Call to inquire about costs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

In the news

Community Benefit: First ‘Dance Your Health Out’ Event
Published: 4/19/2011 1400

Cher-Ron Truitt was one of many women who had her blood pressure checked at Christiana Care’s first ever Dance Your Health Out event.

Christiana Care recently hosted women from across New Castle County for an evening designed to inspire attendees to take action to improve their health through exercise and smart nutrition choices.

By uniquely combining dance, fun and education, the first ever Dance Your Health Out event held at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Wilmington provided free Zumba instruction, healthy food prep demonstrations and health screenings to more than 200 women.

Attendees took part in a 50-minute Zumba workout led by local instructor Davi Mozie that had them dancing, clapping and moving to the music. Zumba combines Latin and International rhythms with a fun, aerobics-style workout. The group included women of all ages – from teenagers to a woman in her nineties – with varying movement abilities, including “newbies” and skilled dancers.

Christiana Care employee Cindy Noble was one of the more experienced dancers in attendance, having lost 47 pounds in the past year thanks to Zumba and an improved diet. She was impressed by the number of first-time participants at Dance Your Health Out.

“Every time I would turn around just to see what was going on in the room, I was amazed at the volume of people who were there dancing and into it,” noted Noble. “People kept coming onto the floor and they weren’t intimidated.”

“I think the group was exceptionally energetic,” commented Mozie. “When we got started I really didn't think they would be able to last. We ended up going ten minutes longer than we had planned because the group just didn't want to stop. It was great.”

Others took advantage of the free health screenings available throughout the evening. Staff from Christiana Care’s Imaging Services and Center for Heart & Vascular Health assessed attendees’ risk for bone and heart disease, while members of Christiana Care’s Department of Family & Community Medicine calculated body mass index and provided body fat analyses.

Following Zumba, Jenn Barr, with Christiana Care’s Center for Community Health, conducted a healthy cooking demonstration. Attendees sampled low-calorie dinner options provided by local caterer Food for Thought and learned about the importance of nutrition in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

A post-event survey of attendees offered telling insight about the effectiveness of the inaugural event. More than 97 percent of respondents said they were motivated to eat healthier and increase their physical activity.

The event was a collaboration of several departments within Christiana Care, including Women’s Health Services; the Center for Heart & Vascular Health; Family & Community Medicine, Center for Community Health; Food and Nutrition Services; Imaging Services; Preventive Medicine & Rehabilitation Institute’s Food & Nutrition Services; Employee Health; and Volunteer Services.

Monday, April 18, 2011

How to for Parents to Get Their Kids to Eat Health with the Dietitian


Downingtown Library and
Downingtown Nutrition & Weight Management Center
have partnered to offer a nutrition and healthy eating program for parents. The workshop, taught by a registered dietitian, will offer tips on getting your child (and maybe you too!) to eat healthy.

Thursday, May 26th from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Downingtown Library, 2nd Floor Multi-purpose Room
330 E. Lancaster Ave, Downingtown

To register, call 610-269-2741 or go to

Friday, April 15, 2011

Summer is around the corner

Yesterday was a beautiful day! Although it was a fun way to play outside and get some exercise, it reminded me bathing suit season is quickly approaching. I've been working hard exercising and eating balanced, but obviously I haven't been perfect (especially since I just discovered chocolate pretzel M&M's). Lately, I feel like all the moving and healthy eating I'm doing is just making up for my sweet tooth! I work hard to create the calorie deficit, but I'm using it for evil. Yesterday I made "healthy" brownies with my girls, pureed prunes was swapped for the oil, Truvia for the sugar, flax seed and water for the eggs, whole grain flour for the white flour and ovaltine for the chocolate. It actually isn't bad and tastes okay. Luckily, it's a treat for the girls they can shape like Easter eggs and I'm not going to drool over it all week. In the meantime, I have to avoid the candy check out and just keep it out of my house. I did have a small gain of victory last night. I was faced with homemade coconut and butter creme eggs in pastel foils, but I said no, but almost said yes. Easter is hard, all those peanut butter smidgens, malted eggs, Cadbury eggs, Peeps, and coconut chocolate. It's like heaven for chocolate lovers. But my desire to feel good and look good are more important than a few sweets in my mouth. YOU CAN DO IT TOO. Enlist a friend, neighbor, co-worker, partner, or family member. Get a walking/workout buddy. Misery loves company. Just kidding but it does make you go everyday if you know someone is doing it with you. Then that can be your go out buddy and you can make good choices together. If you are going out, check out the new apps for your phone. Look at the calories at the menu and make a decision BEFORE you go. Opt for 400 calorie meals or less. YOU CAN DO IT!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Losing weight is hard

Even dietitians wish there was a magic bullet to lose weight quickly. I see so many tempting fad diets, (mostly for the advertised quick weight loss), such as the hormone diet, no or very low carbohydrate diet, grapefruit diet, diet pills, and on and on the list goes. The truth about these diets may be that they lose weight quickly, but mostly because you are decreasing your caloric intake or dropping water loss. These diets are not a way of life. Finding a meal plan that you can have many choices, dine out at restaurants, visit friends dinner parties, eat dessert and attend sporting events is important. Life is about living and food is tucked in every moment of life. We bring food to some one's house, when someone has a baby, eat cake at weddings, and eat at funerals. From womb to tomb we EAT!

It has been a difficult few weeks trying to maintain my weight. Planning out what I'm having for the week, with a little room to go out if needed, and planning my exercise (fun things too...swimming, dancing, group programs with friends) has really helped. It's also motivating to talk to other people who struggle with the battle of the bulge. Reminding myself that summer is around the corner also helps!

In short, there is no easy way to fast weight loss. Slow and steady will win the race to a healthy weight and longer, happier life. Keep on moving everyone. Sunday is suppose to be great and the Muzzy 5k is this weekend. Come out and join me Sunday, April 10, 2011 to burn a few hundred calories and enjoy a beautiful day on the Strubel Trail. For details on the Muzzy run go to

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Too funny not to share

Some very creative students at WCU, can't wait to see their work when they start their careers. Way to go!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wow you have a tire

This past month has been quite the adventure for me! I've done an extensive amount of traveling and had many opportunities to dine out. Unfortunately, I have not balanced my activity levels with my eating intake. As a result, I have gained about 8pounds (in 1 month)! I am disappointed in myself as I have been working really hard, just to blow it in 1 month. The situation I'm in reminds how easy it is to get off track of being healthy, especially when your routine is disrupted. The worst part is I knew I was gaining weight, but when I read the menu of a new restaurant, my mouth salivated over vanilla crusted mahi mahi with lightly pan fried spinach and potatoes, fried tropical calamari, Baja fish tacos, mango shrimp, every wine you can imagine, and flat bread pizzas in real brick ovens. So yes indulged in appetizers (a few too many of these), entrees (the entire dish plus a few bites from everyone elses), drinks, and snacks (lots of trail mix, crackers and cheese). So I gave in. Too be honest, I still went for walks and did a 15 to 20 minute core and strength training routine. I didn't over do it on desserts either. I just REALLY enjoyed my meals, which goes to show how easy it is to go over your calorie needs for the day! Sticking to portion size really makes the difference in controlling your calories. So what (or who) kicked me in the head to make me aware of my actions? Well, this week I was with 2 people that know me well and are very honest with me, my brother and my close colleague. My brother says what's up with the tire, as he points to my belly. Okay that made me feel bad about myself. The next day, my colleague says wow I haven't seen you with a belly like that since you had a baby! Okay now I really feel bad about myself and embarrassed. Hello aren't I the food and weight loss expert and I have a "tire"? So thanks to some honest and loving criticism I'm back on track (still not on routine yet....still traveling). Sneakers and workout gear (including rubber bands, I can use them in the hotel room) are in my bag. I'm going to encourage my colleagues to walk with me and discourage dessert so I have some buddies in this process. And the food journal is back! I'm writing everything I eat and drink down in a little book with the portion sizes. It has made a difference and held me back from that extra evening snack (which of course is where many of my extra calories come from!).

People carry their weight gain in different places: butts, hips, chest (Hi can I have some here too!), thighs, face, and belly. In reality, weight is distributed evenly it's just where you notice it the most. In my case I look like I'm 5 months pregnant. So back in the game and getting rid of that tire! Thanks to my family and friends for some tough love and snapping me back in reality. I highly suggest surrounding yourself with people who can tell you like it is!

P.S. Love you Terry and Shawn!


The Dieting Dietitian

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Join us for Wellness Wednesdays

NEW! Join us for Wellness Wednesdays, starting February 16th 7-8 PM.

Get the help and support you need to LOSE WEIGHT! Program includes:

Healthy bites & recipes by a Registered Dietitian
Nutrition information for busy people
Weekly weigh ins
Fun fitness sessions
A supportive, non-judgmental environment
Covered by most health plans. Program costs $59.95 per month.

Surviving Super Bowl

Well it's not the team Philly fans wanted, but it is still the Super Bowl. Fun parties, friends, the Wing Bowl, and good food! Personally, I only follow Downingtown Football :-) but I still love a good food spread! But what if you are trying to lose weight or maintaining your weight like your truly? Here are some tricks and tips to get you and me through the big day:

1) Focus on the people, the game, the commercials, not the food. Remember the main reason why you are there. Is there someone you haven''t seen in a while? Enjoy the conversation, practice your listening skills! Help clean up, entertain the kids, anything but eat!

2) Eat a large snack or meal balanced with fruit and protein (think apple or cheese stick or a small bowl of oatmeal and fruit) BEFORE you go. You will not be starving, so you won't help yourself to a heaping plate.

3) Grab the smaller dish, think saucer size. It will limit your portions and cut way more calories.

4) Bring a "safe" dish. Bring veggies and a low fat dip, fruit tray, diet beverages, salsa with veggies and whole grain tortillas, a veggie side tray, etc. You will know its not loaded in calories and fat and all are low fat and low calorie.

5) Yes have wings, if that's your thing, but only a few. Remember the plate method? Your meat portion should be 1/4 the plate and if you are using a smaller plate, you will be okay. Load half the plate with fruits and veggies and the other quarter with a grain/starch (chips do NOT count in this section!)

6) Drink water. It will allow you to always have something in your hand that you can "OD" on. If you are drinking, alternate between your drink and water. Just remember the more alcohol you drink the more likely you will mindlessly snack. That can lead to 500 to 1200 EXTRA calories of mindless eating!

7) Workout TODAY and the day before to rev up your metabolism. You will most likely over eat more than you usually would, so plan for it!

You've been working hard at that waistline. Do not let wings, beer, spinach dip, chips, and potato salads ruin that! Remember the long term goal...You slimmer and healthier! FYI-for my diabetics, super bowel eating can really affect your blood sugars. Remember to try and eat consistently, like you do during the week day, it will help to maintain your blood sugars.



The Dieting Dietitian

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Miss B's Birthday Celebration

A night out, no children and a babysitter all lined up. Yes we did it, we got out of romper room and went OUT for dinner! The spot... Maggiano's! What is so exciting is that every time I have eaten there I was a poor college/grad student. This time I actually had money to order an entree! So I planned my meal and calories ahead of time (which I thought of as I worked that treadmill, especially the cake and wine). Then, I worked out a bit more than usual (15 minutes more) TWO days before, ONE Day before and THE Day of so I can enjoy gnocchi as an appetizer, 1/2 the Tilapia meal, 1/4 birthday cake and two glasses of wine (sounds nice right!). I was so prepared and ready to feast! Unfortunately, just as it happens in life, it did not go as I planned.

The company was great, a great opportunity to focus on the conversation and not the bread at the table. Then, disaster. The waiter told me gnocchi does not come as an appetizer. What? Is this not an Italian restaurant? So I asked nicely AGAIN. Sorry it is not an appetizer. Okay, well give it to me as an appetizer, but just half and package the rest. Ok he said (well mumbled). I had my heart set on gnocchi, you know how you think of something and then you have to have it...well that gnocchi had my name all over it!

So it comes, not packaged in half and I ate the whole thing (shared maybe 4 tablespoons..maybe). Then I did the rest as I said. THEN, the waiter brings us an entire gnocchi to go with the check and says they are running a special. But that's fine I will divide, freeze and conquer again at home! Later, I calculated what I ate (because I'm not going to go completely off the wagon after all my hard work) and holy cow! The gnocchi was 1,870 calories (70 calories over my DAY'S worth of calories to maintain my weight), 51 grams of total fat (100% of my total fat allowance) and 137 grams of carbohydrates (that's like eating 9 pieces of white bread!). The extra calories have been the thick tomato vodka sauce, which was really high in calories. So I topped the night (one meal) with 2,560 calories after the wine, tilapia and dessert. It made me sick to my stomach. Was it worth it...oh yes...would I have done it differently again, yes. Maybe one glass of wine less and skipped the cake (it wasn't that gone anyway, the coffee was fab though). The gnocchi, I should have just left half or asked for the to go package and divided it in half myself. Sitting in front of me, that heavenly pasta dish, was beyond my will power not to eat it. Well I worked out the next day and went swimming with my little one (who loved it) so I am back on track (and a rock star in my almost 3 year old's eyes because I took her swimming).

Moral of the story: You can go out but you can't plan it all out, life does happen. Make corrective action as needed, motivate yourself to do it. It may be hanging up that bathing suit on the bathroom mirror or putting an "old" picture of your slimmer self on the fridge. Whatever it is that motivates you, find it and use it! Go girl go!


The Dieting Dietitian

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What does my pedometer read

Snow day = 2 sick kids at home + 1 husband. What is not in this equation is exercise or movement! I just checked my pedometer and I didn't even get to 5,000 steps! That's horrible and disappointing. The goal is to at least get to 6,000 steps for weight maintenance and 10,000 steps a day for weight loss. I didn't even hit it in the middle. To top it off, my oldest convinced me to make cupcakes (the size of your thumb-how is that for portion size), but I shoveled in a handful without even tasting it. I'm thankful for NOT keeping any tempting goodies in the house (i.e. chocolate, cookies, candy, did I say chocolate?), because I would have eaten them all! It was that kind of day, off of my schedule, chaos, and stuck in the house. For future snow days, I will plan more activities that involve movement, (think dance contest and Wi Fit!), when we are all stuck in the house. Yes shoveling counts too, but the husband accomplished this (did I mention he lost over 20 pounds since December! Thank you Dietitian wife :-) However it was his motivation that really kicked him into gear).

1) I did try to stick to smaller portions
2) I tracked my activity (hey at least I knew I didn't burn any calories today)\
3) There was no "junk" in the house.
4) I'm able to reflect I need to do more and I WILL DO IT!

YOU WILL DO IT TOO! Be positive and remember tomorrow is a new day, full of possibility and challenges. Remind yourself you are strong and confident. You can reach your goals too, just keep going!

Monday, January 3, 2011

New Year, New Start

Happy New Year everyone! I love this time a year, it reminds me when I was in school and there was a new marking period and another opportunity to start all over again and earn an A. Now is our time to earn an A! Forget the holidays and what happened (notice how I didn't blog) and start living your life healthy (again!). I'm starting my morning with 6 ounces of Wegman's pre/probiotic stawberry yogurt with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed and a banana and feel GOOD! The 10 ounces of chocolate flavored coffee (no calories!) helped me with my extra boost and was a fabulous antioxidant! So bring on this year, it is OUR year!

For all of my FABULOUS clients the New Year is filling up so call (484-680-5366) or email ( to schedule your appointment to get back on always no judgement, just pure motivation, support, and some amazing tips to kickstart your fabulous year!

The Dieting Dietitian