Nutrition

How to Build Healthy and Satisfying Salads

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Salads are one of those meals that have gotten a bad reputation as being a “diet” food – aka food that is low calorie, doesn’t taste great, and isn’t very filling. I am here to stop that way of thinking!

I love salads because they’re generally easy to make, they allow me to get creative with all sorts of fun flavors, and they have the ability to be super nutritious and satisfying when done right. 

Below is my formula for making nutritious + satisfying salads!


Step one: Choose a Base

Arugula

Romaine

Kale

Spinach

Spring mix

Shredded brussels

Butter lettuce

Shredded cabbage


Step two: Choose your veggies (2-4)

Cucumber

Tomato

Onion

Bell pepper

Broccoli

Carrots

Artichokes

Beets

Radish

Roasted cauliflower


Step three: Choose a carbohydrate

Roasted sweet potato

Roasted butternut squash

Brown rice

Quinoa

Chickpeas or lentils


Step four: Choose a protein

Boiled eggs

Chicken or turkey

Lean beef

Salmon

Shrimp

Jalapeno cilantro turkey meatballs

Tempeh or tofu


Step five: Add a fat

Sliced avocado

Cashews

Walnuts

Sunflower or pumpkin seeds

Olives

Crumbled goat cheese

Crumbled feta

Step 6: Dress it up!


Olive oil + balsamic vinegar

Pesto

Tahini + lemon + honey

Jalapeno Cilantro Lime dressing

Spicy Peanut Sauce

Mustard Balsamic Dressing


Optional Flavor Boosters

Fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, parsley, mint, dill

Fruit like citrus slices, apple, pears, peaches, berries, pomegranate seeds


What are some of your favorite salad toppings? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Biggest Mistake I See People Make When it Comes to Food and Nutrition

I work one-on-one with clients for a variety of reasons. Some of my work involves therapeutic dietary interventions to manage PCOS or GI disorders, while other aspects involve more behavioral elements for establishing long-term healthy habits in a busy life. Regardless of what a client is coming to see me for, I always talk about the satisfaction factor. What is the satisfaction factor you might ask? Let me explain:

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We eat for countless reasons. We eat to nourish our bodies & to have energy, but we also eat because food is fun, social & enjoyable. If you continually leave meals and snacks feeling unsatisfied when trying to “eat healthy”, the way you are eating is likely not sustainable (aka - this is just another diet).

Considering the satisfaction factor with food is something that everyone should be doing on a daily basis, regardless of what your health and wellness goals are. This means asking yourself: What do I feel like eating? What will be truly satisfying in this moment? This involves drawing on your “inner wisdom”. Then ask yourself: How can I make this a more well-rounded meal that will also nourish my body and make me feel good? This is involves drawing on your “outer wisdom” or nutrition knowledge.

The satisfaction factor is one of the KEY things that I see people neglecting when dietary behaviors are not sustainable. A lack of satisfaction often leads to overeating past fullness and grazing as your body searches for satisfaction in something. Making positive dietary changes for your health or managing a health condition through food should never mean that you are eating food that is not enjoyable.

So – the next time you’re planning a meal or selecting something on a menu, I encourage you to first think about what truly sounds good (hot? cold? crunchy? sweet? savory?), and THEN think about how you can make that a more well-rounded & nourishing meal for your body.

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Do you consider the satisfaction factor when you’re planning meals and snacks? I want to hear from you!

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The Best Foods & Nutrients to boost your immune system this Winter

The Best Foods & Nutrients to boost your immune system this Winter

What can I do to support my immune system? I get asked this question constantly during the winter months! First of all, the immune system is very complex and there are so many factors involved in maintaining a balanced immune system— sleep, stress, environmental toxins, age, food, etc. There is no one food or nutrient that will dictate how your immune system is functioning or responding by itself. However, there are a variety of important nutrients that we know the immune system requires to function optimally and it can be beneficial to make sure you are getting enough of these on a daily basis!

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What you should really be focusing on when it comes to food and nutrition in 2019

Around the Holidays and with the start of the New Year, we are totally inundated with messages on social media and tv promoting all sorts of diet plans and detoxes. I get it - Holiday eating is often far from normal and can leave us feeling a little run down. After what feels like 2 weeks of non-stop celebrating with family and friends, I definitely notice a difference in how I feel. Layer on a lack of sleep + little movement and here I am feeling a little bit sluggish, and I'd be lying if I didn't say my digestion has been far from normal (TMI?).

This to me is a sign that I should focus on incorporating more of the foods and behaviors back into my life that make me feel my best - energized, clear headed and well rested. Not a crazy cleanse or quick fix diet. Not because of the number on a scale. Not because I want to make up for the food I ate last month (because I will continue to drink wine and eat cheese this month and every month of 2019).

I understand the appeal that diets and cleanses may have on the surface, but you are doing yourself a disservice by engaging in behaviors that deprive your body of essential energy and nutrients. Buzzwords like cleanse and detox are thrown around irresponsibly (especially this time of year!), making it seem as though we need to follow a radical diet to improve our health. Let's talk about the truth when it comes to detoxes.

Our bodies have built in detoxification systems including kidneys, lungs, a liver, the colon and the lymphatic system (just to name a few) to remove unwanted substances from our bodies and to regulate bodily processes for optimal health. Our bodies are pretty dang good at what they do, but they cannot do their best work under conditions of deprivation and stress (aka cleanses and restrictive diets).

In order for the body’s detoxification systems to work optimally, a variety of nutrients are required to make this happen. For example: your liver needs adequate amino acids, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium and selenium to function. Juice cleanses and other restrictive diets actually deprive your body of many of these essential nutrients.

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I am all for starting the New Year with a fresh set of goals and intentions, but I truly loathe the messages that make us feel as though we need change our bodies, starve ourselves, or go to extreme measures to make up for the "bad" foods eaten during the Holidays. Research shows that 95% of diets do not work in the long-term. And ironically, chronic dieting is one of the biggest predicators of weight gain. Overindulging from time to time is part of an overall healthy diet. We all do it. No one is perfect. Bottom line: there is never a time in life no matter what you have eaten or drank that your body does not need adequate fuel.

With the start of 2019, I encourage you to stop thinking about your diet as a rigid plan, and to focus less on which foods you are going to restrict or avoid in the new year. I challenge you to think about how foods and behaviors make you feel both physically and mentally (digestion, mood, energy, etc.) and to focus on incorporating more of what makes you feel your best. Below are some ideas for ways to reset without falling into the dieting/detox trap, which can ultimately lead to an unhealthy relationship with food and poor health outcomes.

  1. Meal planning/prepping. If you feel a little out of sorts from traveling, Holiday parties, etc, focus on returning to your usual eating habits. For me, this means planning a couple meals/snacks at the beginning of the week and having homemade food on hand to eat throughout the week. Focus on eating a variety of nutrient dense, whole foods.

  2. Increase fiber intake! Include more fiber rich vegetables and fruit at meals - this could be as simple a handful of spinach in smoothies or some peppers and onion in an egg scramble.

  3. Up your hydration game. Dehydration can contribute to low energy levels, brain fog, headaches and GI disturbances. Pick up a new water bottle and carry it around with you to promote adequate hydration.

  4. Get moving. You don't have to do an hour long spin class to reap the benefits of exercise. Get out for a walk with a friend or zone out to music while you do some cleaning to get those endorphins pumping.

  5. Focus on Satisfaction. If you're craving fresh crunchy veggies in a big salad, awesome! If you're not in the mood to eat a salad, that's cool too! Don't force yourself to eat something because you think it's what you "should" be eating. Choose foods that sound good and that also nourish your body.

**These are very broad and basic tips for a gentle reset. There is no one sized fits all plan and I wholeheartedly believe in an individualized approach to nutrition. Reach out below to learn more about my one-on-one nutrition counseling services.

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Tips for Navigating a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season

Tips for Navigating a Healthy and Happy Holiday Season

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed this Holiday season when it comes to health and wellness, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. It IS possible to strike a balance between feeling good, maintaining health promoting behaviors, and fully enjoying this time of year. Check out my top tips for navigating a healthy and happy Holiday season!

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Fuel for Fitness: What to eat before and after a workout

Fuel for Fitness: What to eat before and after a workout

Too often I see clients working out hard in the gym, and then sabotaging their efforts with poor nutrition. Nutrition is important for everybody, but particularly for individuals who demand more of their body systems through exercise. Common questions I get from clients include “what do I eat before and after a workout?” and “does the timing of meals and snacks really matter?”. Let’s answer these questions!

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Chronic Inflammation: Ten Tips for Reducing Chronic Inflammation

Chronic Inflammation: Ten Tips for Reducing Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is one of those buzzwords that gets thrown around left and right - but what does it actually mean? Why should you care? Let’s break it down!

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My thoughts on New Year's resolutions, diets and detoxes + tips for a gentle reset

My thoughts on New Year's resolutions, diets and detoxes + tips for a gentle reset

   

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