April 8, 2015

Exercise? Or take a nap?

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 5:36 pm

A client wrote me this the other day:

“I’ve had this dilemma recently. Do I take a nap or go to the gym? I haven’t been sleeping my needed 8 hours because of my kids having trouble sleeping through the night.

Any words of advice? Maybe one day gym, the next nap?”

What do you think? Sleep or workout?

You may be surprised that I suggested sleep over exercise to her. My specific suggestion was to take a nap after work and consider a 10-15 minute walk afterwards with her kids. The more and more I work with individuals on weight loss, the more I realize that stress is often causing individuals to keep weight on rather than simply eating too much or not exercising enough.

When you do not sleep enough, the body is stressed and not functioning at its most efficient. If stress hormones run too high your body will hold on to fat rather than not. And if you are tired, you will get delirious and likely not make the best food choices.

Don’t get me wrong, if you overeat and/or live a sedentary life…that is a stressor to the body and will likely cause weight gain! But if you eat too little or workout too much, that is a stressor too!

So, what to do…workout? Sleep? De-stress?

Of course I don’t know the exact right answer….but I know that you should notice how you are feeling. And being honest with yourself regarding how much sleep you are getting, how you are eating, how much you are exercising and how stressed you are feeling.

I know we live in a world of “work hard, play hard” but sometimes if you push yourself too much you are only causing your body to shut down.

Some of us live in a world where we follow the concept “be good to yourself” – maybe that could be just what you need to get you on your way.

Be well.

March 29, 2015

Baby Steps and Quick Sprints

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 6:31 pm

There is a lot of discussion around behavior change and making new habits. But how do you get them to stick?

Baby steps and quick sprints.

Baby steps – what is one small step you can do towards reaching a goal? People are finding that the cumulative effect of thinking of change in baby steps adds up to significant change.

  • If you want to eat more vegetables, try doing that once a week. Change one meal in your week to add more vegetables and less starch. One meal. Thats it. Take it from there.
  • If you are trying to exercise more, instead of signing up for a marathon, maybe you agree to starting with working out once a week. Or do a 15 minute walk 2 times a week at your lunch break. Or do 10 squats, 10 pushups or 10 crunches before you get in the shower.

Quick sprints – think short rather than long term. 

It is hard to commit to a new habit when you know it is forever. Vegetables….forever?? Working out…every darn day? Yikes. Forever does not sound as appealing as focusing on a week. Set a goal for a week, or a month and see if that keeps you on track. April starts this week….what if you set yourself a goal for April. Or the first 10 days of April.

The goal of course is things will stick forever…baby steps will turn into marathons, one week challenges will turn into lifestyle change. But give yourself a break and let go of the pressure and expectations.

What is one baby step you can make?

What is a quick sprint challenge you can create for April?

Stay accountable by emailing me your first goal.

Go get em!

March 23, 2015

A way of life

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 6:41 pm

A client of mine just got back from a week at a fancy spa in Mexico. Tough life right? Well, I was beyond thrilled when she wrote the following about her trip:

Big takeaway: I like being really physically active, and I’m going to find ways to build more activity into my daily routine.

This is a woman who has avoided exercise for the last year that I have known her. And the few workouts she has done, she is beyond proud of herself for being “good” for that one workout. Now, after immersing herself in exercise, she realized that she wants activity to be a part of her life. She actually likes it! She loves how it makes her feel, and she sees how it not a burden, but a gift to live life active and well.

I am thrilled because this is a behavior pattern that is going to stick for the long term. She is no longer going to do exercise out of obligation or feel guilty if she does not get a workout in…but exercise is simply this thing she does everyday. Every day. Whether it is 15 minutes, an hour or 4 hours…being active is a part of her life now.

Can you see what a game changer that is? Can you see how that could apply to nutrition? How that could apply to alcohol consumption? Or eating in social situations?

We get so stuck on being good or bad….on forcing ourselves to behave and hating it. But what if we just were healthy eaters? We wanted vegetables rather than french fries, because vegetables are full of nutrients and french fries make us sick and overweight? We stop after one drink so we can wake up early the next morning without a hangover and get that workout in? Could you imagine how easier this would all be if we didn’t fight it?

It doesn’t take a fancy spa to change your life. Just do it. One step in the right direction makes all the difference. Go get em!

March 18, 2015

There’s no crying in baseball!!!

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 7:08 am

Maybe it is because spring training is in full swing, or the baseball guys at USF, who I work with, are fighting hard in their season, but I cannot help but think of the movie A League of their Own. Do you know it? There is a scene, where a very sweet outfielder, is screamed at by the coach, because she does not seem to understand the defensive play of using the cut off man when throwing to home plate. He starts yelling at her and she starts to cry, which leads to the famous“There’s no crying in baseball!!!!” scene. You know it? It is a good scene…

(Disclaimer – The reason I know what I am about to write is not because I am a die hard fan, but because I went to hundreds (hundreds!) of my brothers baseball games growing up. Thank you Casey – read with pride!)

In baseball, when an outfielder is throwing to home plate, they would never attempt that in one throw. Instead, they always throw to a infielder – the cut off man – and then he makes the play to home plate.

Even though it may seem inefficient, it has the highest chance for consistent success.


Too many of you are going from lunch at 12-2pm all the way to dinner at 7-9pm. Way too long without food! Way too long. This puts you in a stressed metabolic state causing you to hold onto fat, increases cravings for sugar, makes you hungry and angry=hangry leading to a very bad mood and you will likely not be able to make a smart choice for dinner since you are so hungry.

So, while it may seem inefficient to eat between 3-5pm – DO IT! Trust me. It works. It does not have to be a lot but eat something. And ideally, something that has carbohydrate, protein and fat in it. Again, this will lead to more consistent weight loss, energy, moods and portion sizes. Some quick and easy ideas:

  • Half a sandwich
  • Yogurt or cottage cheese and fruit
  • Avocado, turkey slices and veggies
  • Olives, veggies, hummus and quinoa
  • Nuts, fruit, cheese

Now now, don’t cry. Just get that afternoon snack in…it will make you smile!

March 11, 2015

Orthorexia – Have I gone too far?

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 7:04 am

read this article a few weeks ago and continue to have mixed feelings. It discusses how there is a new eating disorder (or disordered eating) emerging as many are becoming so focused on the foods they eat, the level or processing and where their food comes from. It is called orthorexia. Unlike anorexia, which addresses how much you eat, orthorexia is about what you eat.

It is suggested that those you are eating foods that are gluten free, allergen free, local, organic, pasture raised….etc…are taking things to an unhealthy state both physically and mentally. 

On the one hand, of course I can see how this makes sense. Eating disorders and disordered eating often stem from a need for control. And now with this new wave of sustainability and eating whole, real foods, some are taking this to an unnecessary state by cutting out food groups, eating a deficient amount of nutrients and obsessing about food, which does no good for anyone. Many individuals are following extreme diets and they do not even know why – they are following fads and trends and hoping it will benefit them.

I am troubled because I do not think it is unhealthy or inappropriate to ask “Where does my food come?” We deserve to know and for far too long, we have been kept it the dark regarding where food is sourced and how it is prepared. We have been hidden from so much regarding our food supply that now many of us are sick and dying and unhealthy due to something that could have been resolved if we asked more questions regarding our food.

I only want to eat local foods grown under sustainable farming practices. I will only buy pasture raised eggs and meat. I flat out refuse to eat hundreds of foods due to their processing or how they were grown. I do feel some foods make me inflamed and I avoid them. Am I orthorexic? I don’t think I am. I feel quite good about how I eat and enjoy each and every bite. I eat a balanced diet, am not deficient in any nutrients and at a healthy weight with a very good blood profile. But I say “no” to a lot of foods – do I have a disordered eating pattern?

I am worried that many of us who are not informed enough regarding nutrition and food have taken clean eating to an extreme state. But, I am also worried that not enough of us are demanding to know how our food is sourced, how our animals are raised and what is in our food. 

Can we find a balance? Yup, still confused on this one….thanks for listening.

March 3, 2015

Ambivalence Mode

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:22 pm

Ambivalence – The state of having mixed feelings or contradictory ideas about something or someone.

Many of you want to eat better, make smarter choices, improve your health, lose weight, exercise more, feel better….yet you cannot seem to put one foot in front of the other to create the change. You say “yes” but your actions say “no” – it is an extremely difficult and frustrating space.

As a counselor working with you, doing my best to educate and motivate you, I am often at a loss when my clients go into ambivalence mode. I am not sure how to support you because you are so conflicted with what you want, your belief in the process and yourself and how you want to create a change. Its a tricky spot for the client and the health professional.

We all have moments in ambivalence mode, but some of you tend to live here and set up camp, this has become your comfort zone and I am encouraging you to recognize it. Once you are aware of ambivalence mode, we can figure out how to get you out so you no longer have mixed feelings, but rather conviction in the process of moving forward.


  • You purchase exercise classes, nutrition packages, a membership for a weight loss clinic but you never attend.
  • You keep saying you want to make the change, yet you do not actually do it. You are a “I will start on Monday” person but the “right Monday” never comes.
  • You own every cooking utensil, diet book, online membership to recipes…yet you do not use them.
  • Your schedule, time, work, family, others get in the way – there is always something to pull you away from moving forward. Yet you always talk about how you want to move forward!

Can you relate? Are you ready to take a step forward?

Have no clue what I am talking about? Feel like you are on a great plan? Stay focused and motivated! But keep an eye out for ambivalence as it can sneak in. 

Can you related but don’t even want to think about this? That’s all right too…but when you are ready to move forward, ask for help and we can get you on track.

One foot in front of the other…day by day…find a mode outside of ambivalence that allows you to move forward to living a healthier life.

February 23, 2015

Salads – Cozy, Satisfying and Exciting – What???

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 12:32 pm

When folks are “on it” with their nutrition, salads become a big part of their life. A “salad with chicken” is pretty textbook for lunch and what happens is you eat salad after salad after salad, get bored and angry and then you (understandably) break and overeat. 

Salad should be a part of your life as they are filled with vegetables that are essential for a sustainable, healthy plan, but finding ways to enjoy salads more and not just eat them to be “good” is key to figuring out how to lose weight and keep the weight off….and live a healthy life with nutritious foods.

First – Are you really eating a salad? So many of us think we are ordering a salad, but are in fact getting cheese, fruit, nuts, fats and starches piled high with a bit of lettuce. So…be sure you are actually ordering a salad filled with vegetables.

Second – Get creative with cooking and make salads that are flavorful and tasty in any season. During the winter, you may not want a raw vegetable salad…here are some cooked, winter salad recipes that look fantastic.

Third – Prep ahead! Either cook these dishes in bulk so you have salads ready for the week or even if you prefer raw, wash and cut lettuces and veggies in advance so you can quickly assemble and enjoy.

Fourth – Don’t forget the protein and fats! The priority of a salad is non starchy vegetables – full of fiber and nutrients and little calories. However, protein and fats are going to fill you up and make it a balanced plate. Add each to make it a well rounded, satisfying meal.

Salads do not have to be bird food…make them tasty, filling and your new favorite. The key to eating well is vegetables…so incorporate some of these salads into your life for good living. Enjoy!

February 3, 2015

Me on TV! Shop Smart – Eat Local – Live Well

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 3:22 pm
I had a blast a few weeks ago filming this segment for a new ABC show called Bay Area LIFE.

We went to the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building Marketplace to talk about how to be a smart consumer. If you do not shop at a farmers market, please consider adding it to your routine. It is the best way to support your local farmers. When you shop local, you have a connection with your farmers and create a healthier relationship with food for you and yours. It is extremely important to know where your food comes from!

Some tips:
Try something newWe tend to eat the same foods – get out of your comfort zone and try a fruit or vegetable you have never tasted or consider trying a new varietal of a common food you like.Romenesco instead of Cauliflower, cook beet greens or enjoy one of the many citrus varieties available right now.
Talk to your farmer. Your farmers want your support, and they are working their tushies off to bring you gorgeous, fresh, local food – talk to them! They are full of wisdom and want to share. I promise.Ask them how to store food, recipes, flavors and ask for samples. Try it to see if you like it. Ya never know what you might like!
Organic vs Sustainable. The USDA has created Organic laws which prevent using GMOS and pesticides in farming practices. However, due to financial and administrative issues, there are a lot of farms that are following organic practices, but are not technically USDA organic.They often call themselves “sustainably grown” or something similar. Again, ask your farmer and they will tell you!
Want to save some cash? If you shop later in the day, you will likely get better prices as the farmers are trying to sell their product. Also, if you do your research and buy most of your produce from one farmer, you can negotiate better.
Eat your veggies! I jokingly say this in the clip but I mean it - eat more vegetables if you want to lose weight, get healthy, look better and feel better. The more the better. Eat up. Half your plate. Do it.

When you eat local, you know you are eating in season, you are eating fresh, supporting our farmers and making a difference for your health and the environment.

Want to know where to find more farmers markets? Check out Local Harvest for more information.

Happy shopping!

January 28, 2015

Recipes! Enjoy!

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 1:40 pm

Hi guys!

One of my responsibilities as a dietitian is to cruise the internet looking for recipes…so I picked up a few and thought I would share. Enjoy!

Zucchini Boats – Five Ways

Homemade Chicken Soup followed by many soup recipes to try

Date – Coconut Energy Nuggets

Chicken in Milk (yes I wrote that and it is delish!)

Seven Terrific Bean Recipes

Tangy Meatballs

Cooking the Perfect Frittata

Beet Burger

Udon Noodle Soup with a Soft Egg

Fish en Papillote with Citrus

Peppers stuffed with Quinoa and Feta

And because I am obsessed – some ways to cook with preserved lemons

Go get em! Enjoy! Do you have a recipe you love? Would love to see what it is!


January 22, 2015

Eat With Confidence

Filed under: Uncategorized — JBNUT @ 9:59 pm

About six months ago, I had a call with a client who was desperate to lose weight. She was frustrated, doing everything “right” and could not figure out how to get the pounds off. She also informed me she had just started a super extreme diet – 500-800 calories per day and taking supplements. I expressed my obvious concern and explained this would likely not lead to long term results, but she was determined. She was going to do this plan, lose the weight and then figure out the next steps. We lost touch-she lives on the East Coast, she had a plan she wanted to follow and I had a hunch she didn’t want to hear much from me since I wanted her create a more sustainable plan.

I was beyond thrilled when I received an email from her last month with a quote that now inspires her. “I don’t diet, I eat in accordance with my goals.” She said this quote has allowed her to look at food and weight loss differently. As opposed to going on and off a diet and feeling guilty when she is off and deprived when she is on…focusing on her goals is way to stay mindful and more positive with each bite.

Some of you may find this odd or counter intuitive, but eating healthily, eating in a manner that will allow you to achieve your goals, is a major confidence builder. Every time you choose foods that create the lifestyle you want, the health you want, the body you want, the energy you want, you are doing something to get you closer to that goal. And knowing you are taking steps towards your true goals is a phenomenal feeling! Making these decisions will become easier and easier.

So eat with confidence! For example, it may feel uncomfortable or awkward at first to order a bit specific at a restaurant, or workout while on holiday, or drink less when you are at a social event or eat differently when you are with your friends…it is a skill that requires practice…and practice makes perfect. What once felt daunting, becomes effortless.

What was also fantastic, is this quote has allowed my client to talk about food differently around her family, in particular her daughter, who she is so worried is going to fall into the diet mentality far too quickly.

I am so darn proud of you – and you know who are you! – because you are discovering how to create a healthy relationship around food. It is not going to be a quick fix. It is not going to easy. But it will happen. Day by day…and you will reach your goals and beyond!

Paying it forward…maybe this quote will inspire you!

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