Nutrition Facts Panel is Changing!

The FDA has approved a new nutrition facts panel! So what's changing and what does it mean for us? The new nutrition facts panel has been in the works for a couple years now, but the the FDA has finally approved the updated design! There have been a few changes made to the overall appearance of the panel and some changes to what information is included. They've also made some important updates to serving sizes and the way they're used. This is big stuff!

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Cooked Food Better Than Raw?

Which is better? Cook food or raw food? It's a common misconception that raw foods are always more nutritious. In fact, there are certain nutrients that are better absorbed when cooked! So which nutrients are damaged or lost in cooking and which are enhanced? And should we be eating raw food or cooked food to be healthy?

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The Biggest Weight Loss Myth


Calorie Counting

There is one weight loss myth so big that almost everyone would agree that it's true. You've probably even tried it yourself. The thing is, this particular method can not only lead to an unhealthy body, but an unhealthy mind and relationship with food as well. It's time to bust this weight loss myth and talk about what we can do instead.


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Is Organic Food Better?

Organic food is often touted to be much better for you than non organic food. But what's the difference? And is organic food really better for you? Here's the breakdown on organic vs non organic and why all organic food isn't created equal. [x_video type="16:9, 5:3, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2" m4v="" ogv="" poster="" hide_controls="" autoplay="" embed='' no_container="true"]

Get more info about the USDA Organic program here

How to Find Local Food

Gardening Playlist

Health Benefits of Garlic

Garlic is a delicious food with several health benefits. Learn more about why garlic is so great, plus a tip to maximize the healthy compounds in your garlic. [x_video type="16:9, 5:3, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2" m4v="" ogv="" poster="" hide_controls="" autoplay="" embed='' no_container="true"]

Garlic's health benefits

Garlic and immune system health

Garlic and heart health

Garlic and cancer

Cholesterol Not Bad? | Real Food Round-Up

It looks like the new US Dietary Guidelines won't include a limit for cholesterol. This is a big deal after so many years of recommendations to limit cholesterol to 300 milligrams per day. But why is this changing and what does it mean for us? [x_video type="16:9, 5:3, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2" m4v="" ogv="" poster="" hide_controls="" autoplay="" embed='' no_container="true"]

The U.S. government is poised to withdraw longstanding warnings about cholesterol

DIY Natural Pink Food Coloring

Coconut Custard from Mommypotamus

Peanut Butter Brownie Bars from 100 Days of Real Food

Does WHEN You Eat Matter? | Real Food Round-Up

We know that WHAT you eat and HOW MUCH you eat are keys to a healthy weight and healthy body. However, a new study suggests that WHEN you eat might also have an important role in this. According to this study, restricting your eating to 12 hour window could make a big difference in your weight management and overall health. [x_video type="16:9, 5:3, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2" m4v="" ogv="" poster="" hide_controls="" autoplay="" embed='' no_container="true"]

A 12-Hour Window for a Healthy Weight

Journal Abstract: Time-Restricted Feeding Is a Preventative and Therapeutic Intervention against Diverse Nutritional Challenges

A Simple Carrot Soup Recipe from 101 Cookbooks

Does Cooking Food Destroy Nutrients?

Cooking can make food taste great, but can it also make it less nutritious? To get the most out of your food, there are some things you should do and others you should avoid. [x_video type="16:9, 5:3, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2" m4v="" ogv="" poster="" hide_controls="" autoplay="" embed='' no_container="true"]USDA Nutrient Retention Factors

Getting More Iron From Your Food

Getting enough iron is something that a lot of people worry about. Luckily, there are many food that naturally contain iron. In this video, I'll tell you which foods are good iron sources and how to plan your meals to get the maximum amount of iron out of your food. [x_video type="16:9, 5:3, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2" m4v="" ogv="" poster="" hide_controls="" autoplay="" embed='' no_container="true"]

Is Caffeine Bad for You?

Caffeine is in some of our favorite foods, including coffee, tea, and chocolate, but is it bad for you? Here's my answer. [x_video type="16:9, 5:3, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2" m4v="" ogv="" poster="" hide_controls="" autoplay="" embed='' no_container="true"]

To make your decision about caffeine and whether or not you need to cut it out entirely, we need to ask three questions.

  1. Is caffeine real food?
  2. Is caffeine safe?
  3. How does caffeine affect you?

Is Caffeine Real Food?

Since caffeine isn't technically a food, we need to take this a step back and ask: Are the foods that contain caffeine real food?

Some things that contain caffeine, like energy drinks, energy shots, and caffeine pills, definitely aren't from nature, so we can toss those out as junk.

However, foods like coffee, chocolate, and green tea totally pass the real food test. The only exception with these is when the gross stuff is added to them, like chemical preservatives or flavorings.

Is Caffeine Safe?

Just because something is natural doesn't mean it's good for you. There are plenty of things that occur in nature that can be harmful to us. Poison ivy anyone?

As far as caffeine goes, it's totally safe in normal doses. For the general population, it's perfectly fine.

How Does Caffeine Affect You?

In the end, it all comes down to the individual. Caffeine is found in real foods and it is safe for the population as a whole, but that doesn't mean that it's great for everyone. Caffeine affects different people in different ways.

If your heart starts to race or you get jittery, it's probably a good idea to lay off the caffeine.

If consuming caffeine on the reg results in withdrawl symptoms when you miss your morning cup of coffee (hello headache) then you might want to moderate your caffeine intake. I fall into this group.

If you can drink strong coffee every day and have no issues when you miss a day, then you might be able to be more liberal with your caffeine intake. Now, I'm not saying go crazy pounding the coffee. We don't want too much of any food. You just have to know where you stand and adjust accordingly.

Bottom Line

If you don't like foods that contain caffeine or want to avoid it for whatever reason, that's fine. But if you do like coffee, green tea, or other foods that naturally contain caffeine, you need to pay attention to how it affects you and make your decision from there.

Where do you stand on the caffeine spectrum? Jittery mess? Totally immune? Somewhere in between? Share in the comments below!

What To Expect: Follow-Up Session

For a lot of people, it's difficult to imagine what a session with me might be like. I want you to know exactly what to expect, so in this post, I'm breaking down what goes on during your follow-up sessions. If you haven't read about what to expect at your first session, make sure you go look that over and then come back here. It'll make more sense that way. :D In most cases, you'll meet with me about every 2 weeks. While every client and appointment is different, this is the typical timeline. What To Expect Nutrition Follow-Up Session


Catching Up

You'd be surprised how much can happen between sessions! We'll start off each session just catching up on the happenings of life. Because food is such big part of our every day, even small changes in our routine can bring on new challenges to work through. Sometimes, there isn't much to report. Other times, you'll be telling me about the great new job you got that's completely changed your schedule or how staying up with a sick kid left you with no energy to make dinner.

Goal Review

Once I'm up to date on what's been going on with you, we'll move on to the goals you set at our previous session. You'll tell about your progress and where you encountered challenges. We'll talk about the factors that influenced your success with each goal and talk about what you could do to set yourself up for more success in the future.

Discussing and Strategizing

This portion of the session can vary from client to client and appointment to appointment. It all depends on how successful you were with your goals and if you've experienced any significant life changes. This time is for us to talk about whatever you need guidance with in relation to your lifestyle changes. From there, we'll work together to find solutions that will best suit you and your situation. This is also where I may provide you with additional education and you can ask any other food and nutrition questions you may have.

Goal Setting

Based on your success with your previous goals and what we talked about during your session, you'll set new goals for yourself. Goals that you found particularly challenging may stay the same or be modified to be more realistic. Goals that you were successful with may be refined so you can continue to improve in that area, or replaced with a new goal entirely. As we continue to work together, you'll see old goals grow into new habits. This process of gradual change is the key to building a lifestyle and finding your new normal.

Still have questions about my services? Ask in the comments below or contact me directly.

The Truth About Saturated Fat

There has been a lot of talk about saturated fat in the media recently. TIME magazine's "Eat Butter" cover has really stirred things up, but what does it all mean? In today's video, I'm explaining it all and giving you the low down on saturated fat. [x_video type="16:9, 5:3, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2" m4v="" ogv="" poster="" hide_controls="" autoplay="" embed='' no_container="true"]

What To Expect: Your First Session

As it turns out, most people don't really know what it's like to work with a dietitian. I'm constantly getting questions about how exactly I help clients. Do I sell supplements? Give out meal plans? What do we talk about during your sessions? Now, I obviously can't speak for every dietitian out there, but I can give you some insight into what it's like to work with me. Today, I'm laying out what we'll cover at our first session together.

Nutrition What To Expect First Session

The Basics

Before we start going through the components of your first session, I want to clear up some of the confusion about what I do.

I do not sell nutritional supplements. I help people build a healthy lifestyle based around whole, real foods. People eat food, not pills and powders.

I do not hand out meal plans. There are a couple reasons for this. One, meal plans are short term. You follow them until you reach a certain goal and then you stop. I'm not in the business of dieting. Rather, I want to help you find a new, healthy way of living that is sustainable and lasts. No going "on" or "off," just living. Second, meal plans are boring and static. No one can eat the same foods all the time and variety is key when it comes to nourishing your body. What happens when you want to try a new recipe or go to a new restaurant? I want to arm you with skills and knowledge that you can take with you, not rules and stagnant plans.

Now that we have that out of the way, let's talk about what happens at your first session. :D

What You Want

We'll start off by getting clear on why we're working together in the first place. Now, by the time you end up in my office, I'll already have some idea of what your main focus is from our initial conversations and your paperwork. However, no two people are alike, and the same general goal can turn out to be quite different from one person to the next, once we really get down into the details. This is about me getting clarity on what exactly you are working towards and also helping you to take the time to truly consider what it is that you really want.

Health History

As diet and lifestyle are so closely tied to your health, it's important for me to know about your health history. Having this information helps me make appropriate recommendations based on your individual situation.

Diet History

Our past experiences help to shape who we are. We'll discuss any notable weight fluctuations, plans or programs you've tried in the past, and any other nutrition or health information you may have picked up along the way. This helps me to better understand how you got where you are now and how those experiences may influence your habits and beliefs around food.

Current Lifestyle

Once we've dealt with the past, we'll talk about what you're doing right now. What you're eating, your physical activity, sleep habits, and more. Everyone is starting at a different place and my recommendations are always tailored to where you are currently. I'm gonna push you to make changes that are challenging for you, but not unrealistic or so overwhelming that you just throw up your hands and give up. This isn't about a quick fix, it's about gradually replacing old habits with new ones so you can build a healthy lifestyle and find a new normal.

Education and Questions

Now that I know more about you, we can start talking about changes. Looking at where you are now, we'll figure out what you first step will be. I'll give you the education and information you need to get started and you'll get your initial food and nutrition questions answered.

Goal Setting

At the end of our session, you'll set some goals for yourself to work on until the next time we meet. These are smaller goals that will help you reach your ultimate goal over time. We'll make sure they are challenging enough that they require some effort on your part, but not so drastic that they become unrealistic. You'll leave knowing exactly what to work on.

Wondering what comes next? Make sure to read about what to expect at your follow-up sessions! Still have questions about my services? Ask in the comments below or contact me directly.





Why This Dietitian Buys Whole Milk

Everyone knows that they should be choosing low-fat and non-fat dairy options, but is this really what's best for our health? In today's video, I share the reasons why I choose whole milk for myself and the one instance you should never buy whole milk. [x_video type="16:9, 5:3, 5:4, 4:3, 3:2" m4v="" ogv="" poster="" hide_controls="" autoplay="" embed='' no_container="true"]

Should You Try A Juice Cleanse?

Juice cleanses and juicing in general are all the rage right now. But are they really healthy? In this video, I break down the truths and myths that surround juicing and give my thoughts on whether or not we should all be running out to buy a juicer.

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Should You Go Paleo? Part 1

First, let me start off by saying that this post is way overdue. I have had a lot of thoughts about the Paleo diet for a while now, but it can frustrate me so much that it's hard for me to sit down and get it all out in writing. There are several issues concerning the Paleo diet that irritate me, and I bet it's not what you're thinking. In Part 1, I'll explain what the Paleo diet is and talk about some of the incorrect information that's floating around. Paleo

 Note: I made a video to accompany this post as well since I think it's an important enough topic to address both here and on YouTube. If you're the type who would rather watch than read, scroll down to the bottom of this post for the video.

What is Paleo?

The Paleo diet is based on the premise that the healthiest way for us to eat is the way our ancestors ate thousands of years ago, before the advent of modern agriculture. This means no to processed foods, sugar, grains, legumes (aka beans), or dairy and yes to wild and pastured meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruits. This is all according to Robb Wolf, a leader in the Paleo community. I don't necessarily agree with everything he says, but I think he gives a good breakdown of Paleo from the perspective of the Paleo enthusiast.

Comments from the uneducated.

I am sick and tired of listening to and reading criticism from people who don't even know what the Paleo diet is! Maybe it's that fact that there are so many diets out there, nutrition and health professionals can't keep up with it. Or, maybe it's the fact that it's assumed that every dietitian is an expert on every nutrition topic or issue. Either way, there are tons of quotes out there from people who simply don't know what they're talking about. I read one just yesterday that said the Paleo diet included whole grains, which is just plain wrong!

The main criticism I see is that it's just too hard to follow and that this is reason enough to discount it. Difficulty is relative and should not be the sole reason to agree or not agree with a particular style of eating. A diet that doesn't include a McDonalds hamburger twice a day might be "too hard to follow" for some people out there, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't recommend that they break the habit.

Followers who don't understand it.

I see lots of people who are supposedly following the Paleo diet, but then their food choices show that they don't have all the details. For example, the meats eaten are supposed to be wild (like our ancestors would have had) or grass-fed. This is one point that many people seem to miss. Every time I see a picture of someone gorging on factory-farm, highly processed, nitrate laden bacon with #paleo in the caption, I cringe. Quality matters and you should choose meat that comes from properly raised animals and not from a CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation). Also, have your bacon, but have it in a reasonable portion. The pig is only partly bacon, and our ancestors would have eaten all of the other parts as well.

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Stay tuned for Part 2 for my thoughts on the diet itself and whether or not it's something we should all consider.

What have you heard about the Paleo diet? Do you think it's explained well in the media? Share in the comments below!