Category: Food

November 4, 2020

Take Charge of Your Health This Holiday Season with GemCare Wellness’ Diabetes Prevention Program

Written by Jenna Adams, MFN, RD, LD & Heather Fowler, RDN, LD

Want to get a jumpstart on your health before the new year sets in? Want to learn how to manage your health during the holidays while still being able to enjoy your favorite seasonal foods? Food is a big part of the holidays, and it can be challenging to stay on track, but GemCare Wellness’ Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) can help you learn and implement lasting lifestyle changes to improve your health and delay or prevent type 2 diabetes.

Our free-of-charge*, virtual Diabetes Prevention Program is open to anyone who has been diagnosed with prediabetes or who is at risk for developing type 2 diabetes (T2). Losing 5-7% of your body weight and getting at least 150 minutes of physical activity each week can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes by 58%, and if you are 60 or older, you can lower your risk by 71%.1

DPP classes provide you with knowledge and tools to navigate not only the holidays but each day successfully. You’ll learn how to incorporate the tools you learn in this program into lifelong, lasting change. Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Have a light meal or snack before a holiday event to help control your appetite.
  • Bring a healthy option, such as a veggie or fruit tray.
  • Hold a glass of water to stay hydrated and prevent grazing.
  • Scope out the selections at family meals and prioritize your favorites, forgoing those you could do without.
  • Select a moderate portion of the dessert that appeals most to you.
  • Plan for fun family activities indoors or outdoors, such as going for a walk, playing board games, or having a snowball fight.

Topics we will cover throughout the year include how to eat to prevent type 2 diabetes, shop and cook, manage stress, take charge of your thoughts, and stay motivated. With weekly classes in the first sixth months of the program, you’ll find the needed support to help you navigate the holiday season. Join now, end the year strong, and start 2021 one step closer to your health and wellness goals!

*Program free of charge to participants. Funded by the Ohio Department of Health.


  1. “About Prediabetes & Type 2 Diabetes.” National Diabetes Prevention Program, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Apr. 2019,
October 26, 2020

Can food affect cancer risk?

While food choices cannot prevent a breast cancer diagnosis, a nutritious diet and healthy lifestyle can help reduce risk

by Chelsea Jackle, RD

Did you know that 1 in 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer during her lifetime? (1) These odds may seem grim, but you should also know that survivorship has increased over the past several decades. (2) Better early detection and treatment are part of this improved outlook, but another important piece to the survivorship puzzle is prevention.

In addition to regular self-breast exams, mammograms, and follow-ups with your doctor to detect cancer early, being aware of lifestyle and nutrition changes that reduce your breast cancer risk is key. While no food or diet can prevent any cancer, eating a nutritious diet and living a healthy lifestyle can give you a better chance of reducing your risk.

There are many different types of cancer, all involving a variety of tissues and areas of the body. These differences impact how the disease behaves and how risk factors will affect it. For example, breast tissue is sensitive to changes in hormone levels (like estrogen), and this is especially true in cancer. Tumor growth is often affected by hormone levels. As most ladies know, your hormone levels change throughout each stage of life (and even within a month). This information on hormones will come in handy later.

Researchers are always studying how our diets, activity levels, and lifestyles affect cancer risk and survivorship. One of the largest ongoing projects on this topic is the Continuous Update Project (also known as CUP) from the World Cancer Research Fund. After analyzing many studies and looking for the strongest evidence available, the experts involved in this project identified a list of key factors that can impact your overall cancer risk. (2)

Foods to Include to Reduce Cancer Risk

Fruits and Vegetables

We’ve all heard that we should be eating more fruits and vegetables, but it may help to understand why experts emphasize the recommendation, especially when it comes to cancer risk.

Eating non-starchy vegetables can decrease the risk of a specific kind of breast cancer called ER- (or estrogen-receptor-negative). (2) Non-starchy vegetables include broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, tomatoes, asparagus, green beans, brussels sprouts, leafy greens, onions, and so many more!

Fruits, vegetables, and other plant foods like whole grains and beans contain special compounds called phytochemicals. These compounds have some long, fancy-sounding names (glucosinolates, isoflavones, and polyphenols… oh my!), but what you really need to know is that different foods have different amounts of phytochemicals, and they all play different roles, which makes it important to mix up the plant foods you eat. When you eat a variety of foods you get a variety of cancer-fighting phytochemicals.

According to the CUP research, an important family of phytochemical for reducing your breast cancer risk is the carotenoids. (2) If you’re thinking to yourself, “that word kind of reminds me of carrots,” you’re right! Carotenoids are found in carrots, but they are also found in other fruits and vegetables like cooked tomatoes, broccoli, leafy greens, winter squash, sweet potatoes, watermelon, apricots, oranges, and cantaloupe.

Soy Foods

Soy always seems to stir up controversy. Does it help? Does it hurt? According to the CUP project, breast cancer survivors who ate soy foods saw better survival rates!

The controversy around soy has to do with phytochemicals in soy called isoflavones, which are plant forms of the hormone estrogen. (See, I told you hormones were going to come up again!) Since high estrogen levels in the body have been linked to a higher risk of breast cancer, some believe that the plant estrogen in soy is harmful. Some of this belief also comes from studies where rats were given very high doses of isoflavones and saw increased cancer rates.

However, the isoflavone levels we get from real food are much smaller than this, and humans are not the same as rats! Current evidence in humans has not shown a link between soy foods and breast cancer risk. (3) Generally, 1-3 servings from whole food sources like tofu, edamame, miso, tempeh, and soy milk is recommended.

Calcium-Rich Foods

The CUP project concluded that diets rich in calcium decrease breast cancer risk. (2) High-calcium foods include dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, as well as fortified non-dairy alternatives. This research project also found that dairy intake can reduce the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer. (2)

Other Lifestyle Modifications to Consider

Limit or Abstain from Alcohol

Consuming alcohol increases breast cancer risk as well as the risk for other cancers (colorectal, stomach, liver). The risk increases the more someone drinks. (2)

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being in the overweight or obese categories for Body Mass Index (BMI, which can be used to screen for health problems, but in itself is not diagnostic of an individual’s health) decreases the risk of pre-menopausal breast cancer, but being in these weight categories during adulthood can increase the risk of post-menopausal breast cancer. Weight gain that happens in adulthood can also be a risk factor. (2) The key here is maintaining a healthy weight long-term.

Include Physical Activity

Evidence strongly suggests that vigorous physical activity (any activity that elevates your heart rate to 70–80% of your maximum heartrate) can decrease your risk of breast cancer, but any amount of physical activity can be helpful and may also reduce your cancer risk. (2, 4)

Key Takeaways

  • Eat non-starchy vegetables and a variety of plant-based foods
  • Include fruit and vegetables that contain carotenoids
  • Include calcium-rich foods like dairy or dairy-alternatives
  • Limit or exclude alcoholic beverages
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Stay active and include vigorous physical activity if possible

Following the World Cancer Research Fund guidelines has been shown to lower the risk of developing many cancers, including breast cancer. (5) Knowing these guidelines is one thing, but implementing them can be a challenge. Our team of registered dietitians is here to help you make lasting lifestyle changes to improve your health. Book a consultation today: 


June 8, 2020

6 Immune Boosting Nutrients & Snacks

Written by: Eileen Henderson, RDN, LD

It is difficult to avoid getting sick; fueling up on immune boosting nutrients can help your body fight illness and shorten the duration of colds. Knowing immune boosting nutrients is helpful, but it is important to learn how to include them in everyday meals and snacks!

Here are 6 nutrients and snacks that will boost your immune system!

  1. Protein helps the body heal and recover which plays beneficial role in the body’s immune system. It is recommended to consume 0.8 – 1.0 gram of protein per kg of your body weight daily.
  • Snacks: hard boiled eggs, deli roll up, tuna pouch, Greek yogurt, roasted chickpeas
  1. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria in the gut that positively impact health. Consuming probiotics in foods has shown a reduction in GI and upper respiratory illness.1 They can be found in cultured dairy products like yogurt, and fermented foods like sauerkraut.
  • Snacks: Kombucha, Kefir, fermented pickles and other fermented vegetables
  1. Zinc helps the immune system work properly and can help heal wounds.2  The recommended daily amount for zinc is 8 mg a day for women and 11 mg a day for men.3  Lean meat, poultry, seafood, milk, whole grain products, beans, seeds and nuts contain a good source of zinc.
  • Snacks: deli roll up, tuna pouch, Greek yogurt, almonds and pumpkin seeds
  1. Vitamin A regulates the immune system and protects against infections by keeping the skin mouth, stomach, intestines and respiratory system tissues healthy.2 The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin A is 900 mcg and for men and 700 mcg for women.5
  • Snacks: sweet potato fries, raw broccoli, baby carrots and bell pepper slices
  1. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that fights free radicals and stimulates the formation of antibodies which supports the immune system.2 It is has been shown that 1,000 mg of vitamin C supplements may make colds milder and even shorten them by half a day.3
  • Snacks: red pepper slices, strawberries and citrus fruits like oranges
  1. Vitamin D strengthens the immune system by triggering a response to fight off bacteria and viruses. The recommend dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin D is 600 International Units (IU) for men and women and 800 IU for adults over the age of 70.5  Sources include fatty fish such as salmon and tuna, cod liver oil, egg yolks and cow’s milk. The body can also make vitamin D from the sun, but it is important not to overdose on direct sunlight and wear sunscreen.
  • Snacks: hard boiled eggs, mushrooms, tuna, yogurt and a glass of milk

A Quick Meal that includes all 6 immune boosting nutrients is a smoothie. If you prefer a refreshing snack, make popsicles by pouring the smoothie into popsicle molds and freeze for at least 3 hours.

Smoothie Recipe:

  • ½ cup milk or milk alternative
  • ¼ cup plain Kefir
  • ½ cup frozen strawberries
  • ½ banana
  • 1 handful greens
  • 1 scoop protein powder (20 grams protein)
  • 1 Tbsp walnuts



  1. Palmer S. Probiotics’ potential-research suggests beneficial bacteria may support immune health. Today’s Dietitian. 2011;13(1):20.
  2. Klemm S. Support your health with nutrition. EatRight. Published December 9, 2019. Accessed March 17, 2020.
  3. Getz L. Winter nutrition – Healthy eating offers good protection during the chilly season. Today’s Dietitian. 2009;11(1):48.
  4. Kubala, J. Vitamin A: Benefits, deficiency, toxicity and more. Healthline. Published on October 4, 2018. Accessed March 19, 2020.
  5. Harvard School of Public Health, The nutrition source – Vitamin D
February 13, 2020

Intermittent Fasting

Written by: Kimberly Tessmer, RDN, LD

What is Intermittent Fasting?
Curious about the intermittent fasting trend?  To put it in simple terms, intermittent fasting consists of eliminating or restricting calories over a specific period and alternating that with periods of regular calorie intake.  During fasting, you eat no solid food and drink only non-caloric beverages such as water, black coffee or unsweetened tea.

What is the Best Method for Intermittent Fasting?
There are several different ways that you can execute intermittent fasting.  The key is to find the method that best works for you and your lifestyle.

  • 16/8 Method: 8 hour eating window with 16 hours of fasting (this can be anywhere from 12 to 18 hours of fasting and the times in which you eat are completely up to you but for best effect make it earlier in the day such as between 10 am and 6 pm)
  • 5:2 Method: eating normally 5 days per week and strictly reducing calories (approximately 500 calories for women and 600 calories for men) 2 days per week; such as a Tuesday and a Friday
  • Alternate Day Fasting: Combination of complete fasting days (no calorie containing foods or beverages consumed) alternating with days of unrestricted food and beverage intake.  Much like the 5:2 method but doing a complete fast on the 2 days per week.

If the thought of Intermittent fasting tends to be overwhelming but you still want to try it, start slow with just once per week. The easiest way to get started is to extend your fast before and after your sleep cycle.  You already fast during sleep so if you stop eating a few hours before you go to bed and wait to eat a few hours after waking up you already have a 12 hour fast, assuming you sleep for 8 hours.  If you are unsure on how to work with intermittent fasting to reach your health goals, consult with a dietitian who can help you devise a plan that is right for you.

Will Intermittent Fasting Help Me Lose Weight?
Intermittent fasting is not necessarily a “diet” but for those that struggle with consuming too many daily calories, it can help to decrease the amount of food they eat in a day if they are mindful.  In most cases, intermittent fasting will not automatically change what and how much you eat but it will change when you eat. As a dietitian I feel obligated to mention that intermittent fasting is no magic bullet to weight loss.  If you tend to fast and then over-indulge during your eating window, weight loss will be difficult.  It is still important to ensure you are eating healthy well-balanced meals and especially watching portion sizes if weight loss is your goal.

Is Intermittent Fasting Safe for Everyone?
Intermittent fasting may not be the best option for everyone.  If you have a history of disordered eating habits, then this type of eating plan may be a trigger and not your best bet.  For women who are pregnant, breastfeeding or trying to get pregnant, it is best to avoid intermittent fasting.  Individuals with certain health issues that need higher calorie levels, those on certain medications or those that are diabetic may be putting themselves at risk by following intermittent fasting. Although some studies have shown that intermittent fasting may improve heart health, lower total cholesterol, benefit weight loss and reduce inflammation, many dietitians remain skeptical. If you are not sure if this type of eating pattern is safe for you, always consult with your doctor before starting.


  1. Orenstein, B. W.  Intermittent Fasting: The Key to Long-Term Weight Loss?  Today’s Dietitian. December 2014: Vol. 26 No. 12 Pg. 40.
  2. Tello, MD, MPH, Monique. “Intermittent Fasting: Surprising Update”. Harvard Health Publishing.  Harvard Medical School, Feb. 10, 2020; accessed 2/6/2020.
  3. Gleeson, Racey, Jane. “Intermittent Fasting: Is it Right for You?”. Michigan Health. University of Michigan/Michigan Medicine, July 29, 2019; accessed 2/8/2020.
  4. Leonard, Jane. “A Guide to 16:8 Intermittent Fasting”. Medical News Today. Jan. 2, 2020; Accessed 2/7/2020.
  5. Gordan, Barbara, RDN, LD. “What is Intermittent Fasting?”. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Eatright, May 7, 2019; accessed 2/8/2020.
  6. “Not so Fast: Pros and Cons of the newest diet trend”. Harvard Health Letter. Harvard Medical School, July 31, 2019; accessed 2/8/2020.
February 13, 2020

Keto Diet

Written by: Megan Rose, RDN, LDN

You’ve probably heard a lot of buzz around the ketogenic diet, also known as the keto diet. Many individuals have seen rapid weight loss with this approach to eating, but what is the keto diet? What are some things to consider when following it? And is it really the best diet out there? Let’s dive into these questions.

Like every diet out there, there’s plenty of rules that go along with the keto diet – maybe more so than others.

Fat and protein are the main sources of fuel on the keto diet with fat making up 65-75% of calories and protein making up 15-20%. The best fats to focus on are olive oil, coconut oil, canola oil, nut butters, nuts and seeds, avocado, butter, and cream cheese. The best protein choices to incorporate are seafood, poultry, grass-fed meats, cheese, and cottage cheese.

The keto diet is considered a very low carb diet with carbs making up less than 5% of calories. Foods not permitted due to carb content are grains, fruit, starchy vegetables and legumes. Berries are an exception since they contain a lower amount of carbohydrates, but portion control is still key. Keto focuses on non-starchy veggies with little to no carbohydrates and will be important to eat throughout the day to promote fullness, fiber, vitamin and mineral intake. Non-starchy vegetables allowed are asparagus, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, celery, greens, cucumber, eggplant, green beans, leeks, onion, mushrooms, peppers, spaghetti squash, and tomatoes.

Things to Consider

If you choose to follow the keto diet, there are some things to consider before you start.

Fiber: Many individuals following this diet struggle to meet their fiber needs due to the lack of grains, beans, and fruits. Fiber promotes regularity and better heart health. Focus on eating non-starchy vegetables through the day to help reach your fiber needs. A fiber supplement can help, but it’s much better and more effective to get fiber from whole foods. The general recommendation for fiber is 25 g/day for women and 38 g/day for men.

Water: Adequate hydration is really important, especially when following a restrictive diet, such as keto. Water helps keep you fuller longer, boosts metabolism, and can help keep you regular.

Micronutrients: Since you’re cutting out whole food groups, this can make it hard to meet your vitamin and mineral needs. A good multi-vitamin with minerals supplement is recommended to be sure you’re not becoming deficient in any of these essential nutrients.

Think Long-term: When considering any diet, it’s important to look at the long-term pros and cons of the diet. Is this something I could follow for the rest of my life or would it be a short-term solution? If it is short-term, what will be my approach to maintaining the weight once I’ve reached my goal?

When researchers have studied diets long-term, and that means any diet, they’ve found that most individuals end up gaining the weight back, and sometimes more. So, it’s important to consider if you should go on a diet at all, and if you do, what your lifestyle will look like once it’s over.

What’s the solution to long-term weight loss, if diets aren’t the answer? Small, sustainable choices, every day. We all have changes we’d like to make and if you’re motivated to see change long-term, it’s best to choose one or two of those changes and implement them slowly. It’s those daily choices that add over time. If the keto diet is still something you’d like to try, consider approaching it as a change in mindset and long-term lifestyle, and not a quick fix for weight loss.


July 15, 2019

Vacation Tips

Traveling can put a major ripple in your healthy groove. It can be a struggle to maintain healthy habits while you are traveling. However, it can be even harder to transition back to them when you return home. If you find yourself at a loss for how to continue healthy eating and exercise while traveling, you can find many ideas below to help you through times of travel.


  1. Locate the closest supermarket
  2. Plan out your meals and between-meal snacks


  • Pack a lunch box or cooler with nutritious snacks such as fruit, veggies, peanut butter, hummus, cheese sticks, and low-sodium deli meat (Tip: Prep snacks ahead of time. For example, pull grapes off the vine for making kabobs you can eat one-handed.)
  • Look for more nutritious foods at gas stations such as yogurt, unsalted nuts, fresh fruit, trail mix, energy bars, low-sodium soup cups, 100% fruit or vegetable juice, and low-fat milk.
  • Choose healthier options if you stop for fast-food. Order a small size instead of the large, choose grilled instead of fried, pick a salad or fruit instead of fries, and order water or unsweetened tea instead of soda.
  • Investigate airport restaurant menus ahead of time to find out whether they have suitable, nutritious offerings. In many airports, you may be able to find a grilled chicken sandwich, lean meat or bean burritos, smoothies made with low-fat dairy, fruit, green salads with low-fat toppings, or veggie and lean meat entrées at Chinese restaurants.


  • Do your best to keep portion sizes in check and remember that half your plate should consist of fruits and veggies at each meal.
  • Purchase groceries and/or cook meals
  • Order smaller portions if possible, or share a meal when at restaurants
  • Drink water instead of soda
  • Choose grilled, baked or broiled foods instead of fried


May 28, 2019

Choosing Healthy Snacks

Written by: Kimberly A. Tessmer, RDN, LD

We have all experienced the dreaded snack attack.  Whether it be after a hard workout, late afternoon at the office or lounging in front of the television after a long day.  The question is, how do we best handle a snack attack.  Is it acceptable to snack between meals and still stay faithful to your weight management program?

The good news is, if approached in the proper way, snacking can be a good strategy for weight loss, maintaining a healthy weight and contributing to your overall daily nutritional needs.  There are no explicit “rules” when it comes to snacking.  Snacking should be an individualized strategy of combining foods from two or more food groups to help promote satiety, provide energy and essential nutrients and keep you satisfied longer between meals.  Getting to your next meal without the feeling of those intense hunger pangs can be a big help in controlling what you eat and how much you eat at that next meal.

The key to snacking is to be mindful and plan them ahead of time. But be sure to also have healthy foods on hand when that snack attack sneaks up on you.  Keep unhealthy, high calorie foods such as sweets and chips out of the house so they don’t tempt you in a moment of weakness.  It is when you eat based on cravings alone that snacking can become detrimental to your weight loss efforts.  Common triggers for unplanned snacking can include stress, emotions, dehydration, skipping meals, and low blood sugar.  Planning for snacks can help to keep these triggers in check.

Snacks don’t have to be complicated. There are tons of healthy delicious ideas. Here are a few tips to follow 

Plan for Protein: pairing a protein with a starch and/or carbohydrate can help to boost your energy and satisfy you longer.

  • Apple with nut butter
  • Cottage cheese and fruit
  • Greek yogurt and granola
  •  Mozzarella cheese and cherry tomatoes
  •  Hummus and cucumbers or other fresh veggies
  • Low-fat cheese on whole grain crackers
  • Hard boiled egg and whole wheat English muffin
  • Almonds and part-skim mozzarella cheese stick

Keep the Sweets to a Minimum: snacking on sweets with no nutritional value will leave you feeling drained.  Substitute healthy sweet flavored foods for those with empty calories.

  • Fruit
  • Chocolate soy or almond milk
  • Dark chocolate (1.5 0z)
  • Frozen Grapes
  • Kind Bar or Lara Bar
  • Whole grain cereal and berries with unsweetened almond milk
  • Graham cracker topped with peanut butter
  • Frozen yogurt or sorbet
  • Protein smoothie made with fruit (frozen fruit works great)


April 23, 2019

Plant-Based Diet

Studies have shown that following a plant-based diet can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol, certain types of cancer and other major health issues.  Not to mention it can boost energy, reduce inflammation, enhance weight loss, induce better sleep, and improve digestion, mental health and overall well-being.

Technically, a plant-based diet eliminates or minimizes animal products and highly refined foods.  This includes meat, fish, dairy, eggs, gelatin, animal by-products and processed foods including those made with white flour and refined sugars.  This eating approach consists mainly of whole plant foods, including vegetables, fruits, legumes/beans, lentils, grains, soy-foods, nuts and seeds.

The degree to which you follow this style of eating is completely up to you.  Whether you switch exclusively to plant-based foods or simply add more plant-based foods and choose to include meat, fish and/or dairy products but in much smaller amounts, is your choice. The idea is to find a plant-based approach that is right for YOU and fits your preferences.  Wherever you fit on the plant-based spectrum, this eating approach will provide countless health benefits.


  1. Start slowly: start with just a few plant-based meals and snacks per week. Use plant-based foods that are already familiar to you and that you already enjoy such as veggie stir-fry, bean and rice burrito, lentil stew, meatless spaghetti and hummus or salsa.   Begin to build on those foods.
  2. Begin to be mindful of eliminating processed foods: start to cook with whole, fresh foods instead of items that are boxed, canned or bottled.
  3. Slowly limit animal foods: there is no need to go cold turkey. Make simple changes by altering the proportion of animal foods to plant-based foods in your meals.  Make meat more of a garnish and veggies the star of your meal.  Gradually swap animal-based ingredients with plant-based ingredients in your favorite recipes.
  4. Eliminate the animal foods you like least first: you won’t miss the foods you like least so let go of those animal-based foods first.
  5. Start your day with a plant-based breakfast: instead of the usual go-to such as eggs and bacon, try a fruit and veggie smoothie made with almond milk, oatmeal with fruit, whole grain cereal with fruit and almond milk or avocado on whole-wheat toast. This will get your day headed in the right direction.
  6. Pay attention to protein: plant foods contain amino acids, the building blocks of protein, and there is plenty of protein in plant-based foods to meet your requirements. Be sure you are eating enough calories and focus on whole foods instead of refined foods and your protein intake should be adequate.
  7. Stock your kitchen with healthy plant-based foods: set yourself up for success by having healthy plant-based foods readily available such as beans, dried lentils, whole grains, olive oil, fruits and veggies.  Explore the vegetarian and fresh produces sections of your local supermarket and health store to see the large variety of plant-based foods available.
  8. Go for the greens: get creative and try a variety of green leafy vegetables. There are plenty to choose from including kale, collards, swiss chard, and spinach.  Try new recipes and use cooking methods such as steaming, grilling, braising or stir-frying to preserve the nutritional content.
  9. Build a whole meal around a salad: such a simple meal and full of plant-based foods. Fill a bowl with a variety of salad greens and add veggies, fresh herbs, beans, brown rice, peas, nuts/seeds or tofu.  The choices are endless.
  10. Make meals fun and exciting: don’t make it too difficult on yourself. Focus on foods that you enjoy and that are easily accessible to you.  If cooking isn’t your passion, stick to easier recipes. Talk to others that enjoy plant-based eating, scour the web for recipes, and learn how to make meals more fun and flavorful.



March 8, 2019

National Nutrition Month

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign, created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and occurs each March. It spotlights the importance of making informed decisions and developing beneficial eating and physical activity habits.  Taking charge of your health promotes overall well-being, a healthy weight, disease prevention, increased energy and a healthier heart just to name a few.

Adopting new habits doesn’t need to happen in one giant leap or even in the one month of March.  Changes don’t need to be drastic and feel out of reach.  Instead, focus on small changes that you can realistically incorporate one day at time.  It is better to take baby steps on your quest to build a stronger, healthier version of yourself.  Setting small goals and accomplishing those goals can be just the motivator you need.

Most people go through four phases of change when adopting a new habit.  Don’t feel defeated when a new habit doesn’t automatically stick.  It takes time and thought.

  1. CONTEMPLATION: You are considering a change
  2. PREPARATION: You decided to make a change 
  3. ACTION: You have taken action to make the change
  4. MAINTENANCE: A change has become a new part of your routine.

Grab your calendar and start jotting down just one challenge on each day of the month and start creating some new beneficial, healthy, long-term habits!

Here are a few daily challenge ideas to get you started:

  • Eat a healthy higher protein breakfast
  • Eat 3 servings of veggies, make one of them dark green
  • Take a brisk 20-minute walk
  • Try a NEW fruit you have never had
  • Try a NEW vegetable you have never had
  • Eat no added sugar for the whole day
  • Make a switch to a whole grain, such as eating brown rice in place of white rice
  • Drink 8 glasses of water and start your day with one glass before you eat or drink anything else
  • Do two 30 second planks
  • Make a new healthy recipe for dinner
  • Prepare a meatless meal
  • Eat grilled or baked fish for dinner
  • Go to bed 1 hour earlier
  • Read the food label on one of your favorite foods
  • Write down what you eat as you go through the day
  • Plan meals and snacks ahead of time for the next day
  • Place fruits and veggies at eye level in your fridge
  • Meditate for 10 minutes in middle of your day




February 1, 2019

Boost Your Fiber Intake

Did you know that fiber can help with weight loss by filling you up and keeping you satisfied longer? It also decreases your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, and some forms of cancer. But sadly, Americans rarely consume enough. Check out these tips on ways to include more fiber in your diet:

  • Switch to a whole grain cold cereal at breakfast (if you prefer hot cereal, try oatmeal)
  • Choose whole grain breads, pastas and cereals in place of more refined/processed choices
  • Add a side salad with lunch or dinner
  • Add a piece of fruit for a mid-morning or a late afternoon snack
  • Try a fruit or vegetable smoothie at home (two servings of fruit (fresh or frozen), two servings of leafy greens, almond milk to consistency, a few ice cubes, and blend)
  • Double up on your veggies at dinner
  • Add fruit or beands to your dark leafy green salads
  • Add raw fruits or veggies to your sandwiches or wraps
  • Add chia seed or flax seed into your oatmeal or smoothies
  • Snack on raw fruits and veggies as often as you can

Things to remember:

Men should aim for at least 38g per day, while women should aim for at least 25g per day. Increase your fiber intake slowly and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation or nausea.