September 23, 2014

Reflect. Focus. Move Forward.

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 12:36 pm

We all have something we want to work on…and it can be difficult to figure out how to help ourselves. Often it is related to food, exercise, stress or time management. We get so frustrated that it is not working, we want to fix it, but don’t know exactly how…and we are so darn busy that we do not have the time to figure out what to do. It is like we are stuck in mud and cannot take that step forward.

I have an idea to get you out of that mud and trucking forward to success. A few years ago, I was introduced to 10Q as a tool to use during the Jewish New Year. Traditionally, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah (the New Year, which starts tomorrow at sunset) and Yom Kippur are used as a time of introspection and reflection to atone for our sins. Interestingly enough, many Jews do not participate in this tradition. I never used to take the 10 days to really reflect, atone and think about the year ahead…and I was raised a good Jewish girl!

I was then introduced to 10Q10Q is totally secular – anyone can do it. And you should do it! It is online, free, private and very user friendly. It takes advantage of this important Jewish tradition and asks you 10 questions over 10 days to really reflect on the past year and think about what you want for the year ahead. It is beautiful, so simple and phenomenally effective. I have been doing it for several years and every year I have had an “a-ha” moment while I write my answers as well as when I look back at my answers from years past. It allows me to get honest with myself, focus on what I want and do something to achieve a goal for the year ahead.

So if you are feeling stuck, feeling stressed, ready to move forward….the time is NOW to figure out what is holding you back. Use this as a tool to help you take that very important first step forward.

Now go have some apples and honey…it is going to be a sweet, happy, wonderful year! 

September 19, 2014

Veggie Friday!

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 12:09 pm

Happy Friday everyone!

Vegetables have been on my mind lately. Many clients are wanting go vegetarian, clients as asking for more vegetarian recipes or I have clients who need to eat vegetables and plant based foods and will not do it.

No matter what your health goals are or what meal plan you prefer, plant based foods need to be a part of your life. So…here are 10 recipes full of veggies and vegetarian friendly – make one this weekend!

Yum! Go get em! And go eat a vegetable!

September 7, 2014

Low carb diet is the winner??? Not so fast…

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 8:45 pm

Last Tuesday morning, my inbox was flooded with emails about new research suggesting the Low Carb diet is the best diet for weight loss and cardiovascular health. 

Last Tuesday afternoon, my inbox was flooded with emails about a different study suggesting that all diets are equal and there is no significant difference between them.

Then my email (and my mind!) was flooded with – well, what is it? Low carb or low fat??

Of course this is an important topic for me considering I am a dietitian and discuss weight loss all day long…and I am working at Stanford University on the largest single site weight loss study where we are comparing low carbohydrate and low fat diets. Quite a day!

So, here is the skinny on the two studies

Study 1: At Tulane University, 150 people were randomized into low carb and low fat groups and followed diets for a year. The goals were that the low carb group would drop their intake to 40 grams of carb per day, while the low fat group would drop their fat intake to a diet where fat comprised 30% of their total calories.

At baseline, the low carb group was averaging 240 grams – so they had to drop their carb intake by 83%. Pretty significant change! The low fat group started at 35% fat- so they only had to drop by 5%. Not too difficult! 

Pretty sneaky eh? It is crucial to understand the research and study design to be able to interpret results. While it is true the low carb group lost more weight and improved their cardiovascular health, this may not be due to being on a low carb diet per se, but rather because they made such a significant change in their diet.

Study 2: A review comparing literature of research that looked at low carb and low fat diets. They used “network meta analysis,” meaning they used statistics to compare all diets. For example, if one study compared Diet A to Diet B and another study compared Diet B to Diet C – they used techniques to compare Diet A to Diet C. Well, that gets tricky, and the amount of confusing data out there can get even more confusing…so I have a hard to believing it to be fact.

So, what the heck to do? I happened to write a blog about this two weeks ago – convenient right??As I mentioned, I am not sold on one diet being better than the other just yet. I am convinced in planning your day, eating whole foods, finding a system that works for you and taking responsibility. OWN it and make it happen. 

Here is a great New York Times Op piece discussing the diet drama! David Katz provides an excellent perspective and my boss at Stanford, Christopher Gardner, is quoted.

No need to trust the headlines - TRUST AND BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. You got this. And I am here for support whenever you need.

August 22, 2014

Man vs Diet- Which Plan is Right for YOU?

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 12:21 pm
Many of you know I am busy at Stanford researching low fat to low carb diets and everyone always asks me… “So? What is the verdict?” Well I gotta say the jury is still out…I myself cannot wait to see the results. What I am very certain of is “the right diet” for you is not just what makes you get to a specific “ideal” weight. There is a lot to the story…what does your blood say? How is your energy? How is your mood? Are you happy eating the foods you are eating? Is it sustainable for you? How do you feel in your clothes? How do you feel in your body?
This article in Outside Magazine gives a nice perspective - the writer spends a year of his life going on 6 different diets – two months on each plan. Pretty interesting!
What I love is there is not one perfect answer. There is NEVER one perfect answer. We all have unique routines, motivation, preferences and genetics…we all have different needs!!!
I am catching on to some common themes when trying to create a successful plan. Here ya go…
1. Never get too hungry - eat every few hours – avoid feeling ravenous and hangry.
2. Whole foods is the way to go. No matter what you are doing, cut out the junk. This means processed sugar, trans fats, chemicals – you should be able to understand all the ingredients and know where the food came from.
3. The body needs protein, carbohydrates and fat. How much of each? Not certain. But if you go too extreme and cut one of these out you are going to get into trouble.
4. You have to be able to indulge, enjoy a treat and splurge or you will fall off the wagon.
5. Learn about YOU. What is going to work for YOU. That is what is most important.
What is the perfect mix for YOU?

August 13, 2014

Easy Dinners for Midweek Craziness

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 11:19 am

Bon Appetit wrote this great piece last week on meal ideas for the mid week slump - thought I would share for you all to enjoy.

Happy Wednesday! Wowza – week is already flying by, things are a little more crazy than I expected, thought I had a little more food prepped in the fridge, man I am tired…what the heck are we going to eat for dinner? Sound familiar?

When life gets crazy and we get hangry, it is very difficult to motivate to cook something. That is when the convenience, processed, less-than-ideal foods come into play. Take a look at the article for some ideas to motivate and inspire you. I love breakfast for dinner so their fried egg idea is a go to for me.

Some other quick dinners:

A hearty soup with a beans, lentils or quinoa in it to fill you up. Throw some leftover protein in there and heat it up…or fry an egg and throw it on top (you will see a theme here with fried eggs, by the way). Always have some soups in your pantry/fridge as a back up plan.

Leftover tomato sauce. Heat up some leftover tomato sauce, or throw a can in a pot, add some leftover meat if you have some, leftover vegetables, some spices, olives, capers, vinegar…and oh yeah, throw an egg on top.

Have some proteins always ready to go such as canned salmon, tuna or sardines or some precooked sausage…pair that with some frozen brown rice that you have stocked for emergencies and throw some hot sauce on top for flavor. If you have any vegetables leftover throw those in the mix, or heat up some frozen vegetables you have on stock.

Breakfast for dinner - make some porridge from oats, quinoa or buckwheat and add yogurt, nuts, fruit…maybe an egg or some turkey bacon on the side?

Smoothie it up - check out my blog from last week and make a quick smoothie with protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Veggie and fat - grab whatever vegetables you have in the fridge, sauté them up, squeeze a lemon over it all and add some fat such as tahini, avocado or olives….and maybe throw an egg on top for some added protein. There is that egg again…

Doesn’t have to be fancy, doesn’t have to be gourmet, keep things quick and simple….keep things tasty and healthy.

Enjoy dinner tonight!

August 6, 2014

Smoothie Right – Gain Muscle, Gain Weight, Lose Weight – Be Smart

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 10:41 am

Ahh smoothies…so many of us think they are the healthiest choice. Smoothies can be the perfect addition to your meal plan or they can truly be your saboteur.

Be smart! It is very important that you know why you are adding what you are adding and there is a purpose to it. Otherwise, the calories and sugar can get totally out of control and you arebasically drinking dessert and empty calories.

See below a list of categories of different things you can add to your smoothie. Based on your goals, palate, creativity and level of motivation, make your smoothies work for you. This could be a quick pre or post workout meal, a meal replacement during the day or a meal supplement to add to your day for extra calories. Use a good quality blender or I prefer my immersion wand to make it even easier to prep and clean. Do not forget to make in bulk! You can whip up several servings of your favorite smoothie and place cups with lids in the freezer and you will have smoothies for the week. 

Food categories for your smoothies

Vegetables - Great addition to a smoothie to get some extra vegetables in. And in a blender you keep the fiber which is so important. Most do not love the flavor of 100% vegetable juice and add a lot of sugar to cover it up…not exactly the goal. So…be mindful of what you add and if it still does not taste good for you, take the veggies out and eat a salad later!

  • Eat fresh or frozen vegetables of choice

Fruit - Delicious and nutritious, but many people add 2-5 servings of fruit in one smoothie! Watch the portions. One portion is the size of a tennis ball, about 3/4-1 cup or 1/2-1 fist

  • Eat fresh or frozen fruit of choice. NOTE: I am not a fan of fruit juice…eat your fruit, do not drink it! 

Fats - Excellent addition to a smoothie! Especially for those of you trying to gain weight or keep weight on. 1Tablespoon of oil/butter is considered a serving, 2 Tablespoons of nuts, dairy or avocado is a serving. Some of you need one serving, some of you can handle 3-5 servings. This is how you can make this smoothie packed with calories – each gulp will count. NOTE: If you are trying to lose weight, watch the portion sizes!

  • Avocado
  • Nut butter
  • High Fat Dairy – yogurt, milk, kefir (cow, goat or sheep milk)
  • Coconut Butter or milk
  • Grass fed butter
  • Coconut oil
  • Flax seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Oils – olive oil, nut/seed oil such as walnut, almond or flax

Protein - Essential part of your smoothie! You must add protein to make it a balanced meal.

  • Protein powder – As you all know, I am not really a huge fan of powders and supplements, but if you really want it, the key is to find a product that is made of only one ingredient – whey protein powder. That is it! So many powders have so much junk and added stuff in it. I  do not support crazy processed products. Find a powder made from organic, local, sustainable sources. Here is one brand I like.
  • Non fat Dairy – Greek yogurt, milk, kefir (cow, goat or sheep)

Flavor - This is just the beginning of a list of things you can add for flavor – what do you like? Please note, some of these have calories and some do not…be smart about your choices!

No calories, full of flavor
  • Cinnamon or Nutmeg
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almond extract
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Lemon or Lime
  • Fresh herbs like mint or basil 

Flavor and sweet but have sugar and calories!

  • Honey, Agave, Maple syrup, Molasses
  • Cocoa powder

Liquids 

  • Coconut water – not a ton of calories and has potassium in it
  • Almond Milk – not a ton of calories and dairy free
  • Coffee – no calories, added caffeine and quite tasty!
  • Tea – use your favorite tea as your base – no calories

Grains/Starches - add some bulk and fiber

  • Oats, quinoa, brown rice, buckwheat and any whole, unrefined grain or starch

Want a recipe? I know I know, many of you are going to want a specific recipe for a smoothie. The truth is only you know what you want! Choose a few flavors above that you like and throw it in the blender and see how it works. You cannot really mess this up…just keep adding a bit of this and that until you get what you want. Here are some ideas of Food52 to get you started too.

Email me your favorite recipe and mix of ingredients – I want to hear!

August 1, 2014

It’s Friday…Make a Plan for Next Week

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 6:24 am

Thank goodness it is Friday – yay! Hope you all have fun weekends ahead. Do me a favor though…take a moment today to look at your schedule for next week to figure out how food is going to fit in..how can you create a successful plan for yourself?

You all know by now what a fan I am of batch cooking – spend 1-2 hours over the weekend getting food ready for the week ahead. You do not have to cook though, you can simply grocery shop for the week, or get food prepped for the week…Whatever works for you.

Because here is the thing...if you do not have a plan, you are likely going to get yourself in tricky situations. You are going to rush out of the house without breakfast and then get super hungry later in the day. You are going to work through lunch and then munch on that cookie at 3pm. You are going to go into dinner starving and eat whatever you want. I wish I could say there will always be whole, nutritious food available to you, but that is not usually how it works. Sugary, high fat, high salt food is usually what is accessible and that is what we go for when we have not planned our day.

Lets make it work:

Today: Look at your weekend and next week’s schedule. Is your weekend so busy that you actually need to go grocery shopping today since Sunday will not work? Do you have dinner plans all next week or do you have some nights at home? Is work jam packed with client meetings or are there some days you can bring your lunch? Are the kids still on summer break or do you they have a camp or school next week? Once you look at your week you can see just how much you have cook and prep, when can you eat out and how to put it all together. Take today to assess the next week and get a plan in place.

Saturday and/or Sunday: Execute the plan – grocery shop, prep and cook. Buy plenty of food to get you through the week. Cook and prep more than you think. Seriously – cook/prep more than you think so you do not have to worry about it for days.

Next week: Be a step ahead rather than three steps behind. If you are going to a restaurant with friends or clients, take a look at the menu in advance so you know what to order. For the days where you have a jam packed schedule, pack some extra snacks so you can be prepared. Or maybe there are a few days where you need to buy two lunches at noon to get you through the afternoon.

May seem like extra work but TRUST ME when I say it will make life so much easier. This is how to create a long term habits – life is so much less stressful when you have a plan.

Have a plan. Make it work. Own it. There is no perfect answer that works for everyone… as long as it is working for you, go for it! 

Want to make a plan? Email me and let’s make it work.

July 23, 2014

Give yourself a break!

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:53 am

All true stories…

A client told me he was mad at himself for pressing snooze at 4.30am (4.30am!!!) and got to the pool at 6.30am instead of his usual 6.00am.

A client was frustrated with herself for having two glasses of champagne instead of one at her 20th wedding anniversary dinner. 

Another client is planning the most fantastic trip abroad, but is so worried about gaining weight on holiday that she doesn’t want to go. 

A bride to be is worried that the food is going to be too good at her wedding and she may gain weight over her wedding weekend. 

This all breaks my heart. Truly breaks my heart. Life is too precious to be beating ourselves up like this. Can we just give ourselves a break?

Being good to yourself will lower stress and you will feel better when you are not being so hard on yourself. However, “giving yourself a break” does not mean stop working out and start eating whatever you want…often when we are “being good to ourselves” we pick up really damaging behaviors and habits.

Eating healthily, being mindful, staying active, taking care of ourselves and being consistent is just life. It just is. However, life happens! And it is crazy out there sometimes. Things go wrong, things go really great, there are hilarious moments, joyous celebrations and dark times. Life happens.

You press the snooze on your alarm clock, have that second glass of wine, enjoy the piece of cake and then move on. Enjoy it, be present with it, embrace the moment and then move on.

Being so hard on yourself is not helping anything. It takes the fun out of the high moments and makes the low moments really low…

Next time you are about to really beat yourself up, take a moment, take a breath and give yourself a break. Day by day..step by step.

Want to chat about making nutrition work for you? Click here and lets talk.

July 16, 2014

Thrive All Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:15 am

We all have unique preferences, motivators, stressors and pet peeves.

Some of you enjoy waking up at 5am to workout while others go for runs at 10pm.

Some of you crave chocolate and ice cream, while others crave potato chips.

Some of you need bourbon at night, some of you need espresso in the morning.

Some of you can eat the same thing everyday while others need to mix it up.

Some of you need a specific goal to stay motivated, while others get stressed out with a goal.

We all have our “shticks” – yiddish for themes or gimmicks. We all have our unique bag of shitcks that make us who we are. They can hold us back as well as motivate us to improve. Regardless, they are there and it is essential to know your shticks and how to get them to work in your favor, rather than your detriment.

When you take the time to know who you really are, you thrive.

Do you know a characteristic about yourself that is holding you back? Preventing you from reaching your goal?

Know yourself, embrace your shticks and thrive.


July 8, 2014

Snack Right – Lose Weight

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 4:00 pm

Last week, there was a great article in the Wall Street Journal highlighting how the snack industry has taken over how we eat – “according to a 2013 survey, 48% of Americans skipped meals at least three times a week, and 63% decided what to consume less than an hour before eating.

So? To Snack or not to snack? Here are the pros and cons of snacking

PRO: Life is busy and you must make it work for you! There are a lot of great snacks out there – find pre-packaged food that is real food – and works for you. There are now pouches of high quality cooked proteins available that you can keep in your fridge ready to go. Vacuum packed cooked lentils that you can make into a quick salad. Yogurt, string cheese, nuts, cut up veggies, fruit, whole grain crackers…have these foods available and ready to go so you can eat on the fly!

CON: READ THE INGREDIENTS – whole, real foods only. You would be amazed at how much junk is in packaged foods. Nuts and nut butters should be made of nuts – no added sugar, salt, oils and chemicals. Kale chips should be made of kale, a little oil and some salt. Dried fruit should be made of fruit only. Yogurt is made of milk. Bars should be made of whole read foods and not chemicals and weird powders. Soups and pre made meals should be made of the vegetables, grains and protein – cut out the junk!

PRO: There is no set research that you must eat 3 meals a day – small, frequent balanced meals throughout the day is what the body usually likes. So smaller than a meal…maybe a snack size…every 3-4 hours. Each time you eat there is a protein, carbohydrate and fat present.Please remember -GRAZING IS DIFFERENT THAN SMALL FREQUENT MINI MEALS. Grazing means you munch on food all day long..similar to a cow grazing on grass. You still want to wait 3-4 hours between eating. Leave the grazing for the cows…that is not exactly the body type most of us are going for.

CON: Often times snack foods are not satiating. You can easily eat 400-600 calories of snack food and still want more. If you eat really bland food all the time, you are likely going to get bored and then overeat on something sugary and fatty – be sure you are eating foods that satiate you physically and mentally. Add spice, eat something crunchy, add textures and get protein and fat in there to fill you up.

PRO: Use snacks to your advantage. If there is one time of day that is always tricky – you are in meetings, sitting in traffic, headed out the door – find the snack that works to set you up for success.

CON: If you do not have a plan, you are likely going to make a bad decision. It is very difficult to expect that the foods you want are always going to be available so for the 63% of you who do not plan more than an hour ahead, I can GUARANTEE if you took just a bit of thought into your day, you would likely improve your nutrition, weight, health and energy.

So what do you think? To snack or not to snack?

Want to chat? Email me and lets discuss how to make nutrition work for you.

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