Think cooking fish is daunting? This recipe practically makes itself. Top this simple stir-fry top with a protein-packed sauce for a flavourful entrée in minutes.
1 pound skinless salmon fillets, rinsed and sliced into cubes
1 small onion, finely diced
2 gloves garlic, minced
6 ounce bag of baby spinach
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Season the salmon cubes with pepper and add them to a pan in a single layer. Sauté the salmon on both sides until golden brown about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer salmon to a platter and keep warm.
Lower the heat to medium and add the onion to the sauté pan. Cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more
Add the wine to the pan and cook until it is almost completely evaporated. Add the chicken broth and cook until it is reduced by half. Whisk in the mustard, yogurt, and half the dill and stir until the sauce is smooth and creamy.
Add the salmon and the spinach to the sauce to heat them for a minute or two longer (until the spinach wilts). Transfer the salmon and spinach to a platter, sprinkle with dill and serve.
**You can substitute salmon for any fish of choice such as tilapia, red snapper, halibut, sole, and flounder. Bake at 400 degrees and estimate a 10 minute cooking time per inch of thickness. Cooked fish will easily flake when pierced with a fork.
Makes 4 servings. Serving size: 4 ounce salmon with spinach and sauce Per serving: 305 calories, 33 grams protein
Cook time 15 minutes
Courtesy of Sari Greaves, RDN, co-author of The Cardiac Recovery Cookbook.
By: Sari Greaves, RDN, LBS Nutrition LLC Dietitian
Let’s face it. Your food choices have a huge impact on how you feel and function during the day. Making balanced choices and feeling your best may be easier said than done when you factor in a busy schedule. The good news for all you time-crunched eaters—with a few tricks, you can prepare easy, balanced meals that will satisfy a craving for something crunchy, sweet, or savory while providing you with sustained energy to conquer your day.
Straight from our home kitchen and into yours, the Registered Dietitians at LBS Nutrition LLC are serving up everyday, nutritious meals that will take the stress out of cooking. Fall into a healthy routine this season by experimenting with one new recipe a day. You will feel the powerful boost of a protein and fiber-packed meal to help you stay full. As an added bonus, these recipes get our stamp of approval for being big on taste and slimming on the waist.
Hungry for more? The Dietitians at LBS Nutrition LLC can create individualized meal plans that meet your personal health and wellness goals. (And that fit in your busy schedule!)
Greek Salad Roll-Up
When you need a grab ‘n go meal, wraps are a convenient way to enjoy a nutritious salad without a fork. In this recipe, we take all the healthy ingredients of a classic Greek salad and roll it into a high fiber wrap. Extra protein points for using the Greek yogurt dressing.
For the wraps:Makes 4 wraps
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ red onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic, from jar
1 cucumber, chopped
1cup cherry tomatoes, halved
¼ cup black olives, chopped with pits removed
2 chopped roasted red bell peppers from jar
2 cups baby spinach or dark leafy greens, chopped
4 boiled eggs, chopped
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup feta cheese
4 whole grain wraps (60-90 calories each, with at least 5 g fiber per wrap) such as Tumaro’s or Flatouts
In a bowl stir together first 12 ingredients, from oil through cheese.
Divide mixture between 4 wraps.
Drizzle with Greek yogurt dressing.
(373 calories, 20 g protein, 11 g fiber) + sauce
Greek yogurt dressing:Makes 4 ¼ cup servings
1 6-ounce container 2% Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons canola oil mayonnaise
½ cup cultured low-fat buttermilk
½ tablespoon champagne or white wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill or chives
1/8 teaspoon each: salt and pepper
Whisk all ingredients together in a medium-sized bowl until well combined.
Pour sauce into an airtight container. Chill until ready to use.
( 71 calories, 6 g protein per serving)
Weeknight Do It Yourself Pasta Builder
Mix and match your favorite batch for less than 500 calories. Each recipe makes 4-8 servings depending on pasta box size. (8 oz. box yields 4 cooked servings; 1 lb. box yields 8 cooked servings) Make a batch and then top your serving with any of our Finishing Sauces. Precooked proteins help you bring it to the table in next to no time.
Pick your ingredients…
1 box of high protein/fiber pasta such as:
Explore Cuisine Edamame or Black Bean Pasta
Banza Chickpea Pasta
Fiber Gourmet Pasta
Ancient Harvest Gluten Free Pow! Pasta
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, hazelnut oil, walnut oil, or canola oil
Low-sodium broth as needed
Choose a flavor base and dice it up:
1 whole head of garlic
1 bunch of leeks or celery stalks
12-16 oz. your favorite protein (Pick one, or mix as many as you’d like)
Skinless chicken breast strips
95% lean ground beef
White beans (canned, rinsed & drained)
Canned tuna (packed in water)
1½ cups of your choice of vegetables (Choose one or mix!)
½ cup grated cheese
Herbs to taste:
Pick your favorite pasta shape; cook it one minute less than package directions. Drain, reserving ½ cup cooking water.
Place your oil in a 12-inch skillet and warm over medium heat.
Add your flavor base and gently cook until translucent.
Add your protein and sauté on medium-high heat until browned. If using tuna or beans, stir until warmed through.
Add your vegetables and continue to cook until fork tender or wilted. Add additional broth if more cooking liquid is needed.
Stir in the freshly cooked pasta and the ½ cup of reserved cooking water and cook for a few seconds until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese and herbs. Alternately, you can substitute the cheese and herbs with any of the delicious finishing sauces below.
For any of the above, just stir all ingredients until combined.
Mayo-Free Avocado Tuna Salad
Swap out the mayo in a traditional tuna salad for fresh avocado and olive oil to amp up your intake of heart-healthy fats. Serve with 1 cup of antioxidant rich red grapes or 100-calorie bag of Enlightened beans.
Makes 2 servings
4 slices of whole grain bread, toasted and cut diagonally such as Ezekiel Sprouted Grain, Trader Joes California Style Sprouted Whole Grain or David’s Killer Bread
1 5-ounce can tuna in olive oil, drained
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup celery, finely chopped
¼ apple, finely chopped into thin matchsticks
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
black pepper, to taste
1 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
In a large mixing bowl, combine the tuna, mustard, onion, celery and apple.
Add in lemon juice and black pepper to taste. Using a spatula, gently fold in the avocado cubes.
Spoon the tuna gently over toast.
( 350 calories, 19 protein, and 9 g fiber per serving)
Microwave Cup of Zoodles
A delicious medley of zucchini, lentil-tomato sauce, and melted mozzarella combine in one easy, microwave friendly meal.
Makes 1 serving
1 small zucchini, spiralized or sliced into 1/8-inch-thick coins
½ cup jarred tomato sauce
½ cup cooked brown lentils* (or canned cannellini beans, drained)
1 scoop of flavorless fiber powder (such as Renew Life Clear Fiber powder)
Arrange zucchini on a microwave-safe plate and cook on high for 90 seconds. Pat dry with a paper towel.
In a small mixing bowl, combine tomato sauce, cooked lentils or beans, and fiber powder. In a separate bowl, combine ricotta and 2 tablespoons mozzarella.
Arrange half of the zucchini in a microwave-safe mug. Top with1 tablespoon cheese mixture, spreading evenly. Top cheese mixture with 2 tablespoons lentil sauce. Repeat layering zucchini, cheese, and sauce until mug is almost full, then top with remaining mozzarella.
Cover mug with a clean paper towel and microwave on high for 90 seconds, until cheese is melted. Let cool 2 minutes before serving.
(314 calories, 25 g protein and 19.5 g fiber per recipe)
*Basic cooked lentils: Make more to store, and use cooked lentils to instantly elevate the fiber and protein content of salads, stir fries, egg dishes, tacos, and stews.
2 cups dry lentils, rinsed
In a medium-size pot, add the lentils and enough water or broth to cover.
Bring to a boil, cover, and turn down to medium-low.
Simmer until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
Drain lentils and store in airtight container for up to 1 week.
Canned lentils are also another great time-saving option – just be sure to rinse them under fresh water for about one minute in order to reduce the sodium content.
Pan Fried Chickpea Pita Sandwiches
If you are craving falafel without the deep-fry regret, these pita sandwiches are super tasty with lots of texture, and are easy to assemble.
Makes 8 servings
6 whole grain pitas, halved (80-100 calorie) such as Ezekiel’s pockets
2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
8 cups leafy greens, such as spinach or arugula
12 tomato slices
12 thin avocado slices
12 tablespoons of prepared hummus, plain or garlic flavored.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap pita in foil and bake 10 minutes until warm.
Place chickpeas in a single layer between paper towels; pat dry.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add chickpeas and sauté until lightly browned and crispy, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.
Remove chickpeas using a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Add leafy greens to skillet and cook until wilted.
In a medium bowl, combine salt, cumin, paprika, and red pepper; stir in chickpeas and toss well to coat. Fold in leafy greens.
Fill each pita half with about 2/3 cup chickpea mixture, 1 tomato slice, 1 avocado slice and 1 tablespoon of hummus. Serve immediately.
(328 calories, 12 g protein, 8 g fiber per serving)
Quick Coconut Curry
After a long day, this recipe has all the elements of a quick and satisfying meal- crunchy legumes, tender vegetables, and silky coconut broth. You can make different variation of this curry using any fresh vegetable you enjoy, and precooked proteins such as diced rotisserie chicken or pre-cooked chicken sausage.
Makes 4 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup chopped onion, fresh or from frozen package
2 tablespoons minced garlic, fresh or from jar
2 tablespoons almond flour/meal or all-purpose flour
1 ½ tablespoons curry powder
1 cup fresh cauliflower florets
2 cups mixed squash, sliced or cubed: yellow, green, butternut
4 cups unsalted vegetable stock
1 teaspoon black pepper
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup light coconut milk
Choose a crunchy protein/fiber topper: 6 ounce bag of dry roasted chickpeas, edamame, or beans (any flavor) such as Saffron Road Dry Roasted Chickpeas, Seapoint Farms dry roasted Edamame, or Enlightened Beans
In a large pot, heat olive olive oil and swirl to coat.
Add onion and garlic; sauté for 5 minutes
Add flour and curry powder; cook 1-1 ½ minutes or until flour begins to brown, stirring constantly. Stir in vegetables. Add vegetable stock, pepper and salt. Bring to a boil over medium—high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 15-20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Remove pan from heat; stir in coconut milk. Divide mixture between 4 bowls; sprinkle each serving with crunchy topping.
( 266 calories and 6.5 g protein+ your crunchy topping)
Power Up! Protein Salad
If you are craving a light and sweet meal that keeps your hunger level in check, look no further. A leafy green salad topped with protein and a citrus twist not only adds a juicy bonus to your meal, but also enhances iron absorption (Iron is an essential mineral needed to make hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells. Iron is needed to maintain healthy skin, hair, and nails and if your body is not getting enough, you can become fatigued). Top your salad with any protein you have on hand from animal to vegetarian sources.
Makes 2 servings
2 cups diced fresh strawberries (or any Vitamin C-rich fruit such as kiwi, grapefruit, oranges, watermelon, or pineapple)
2 tablespoons chopped red onion
1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
¼ teaspoon black pepper
juice of 1 lime
½ ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cubed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint (optional)
3-4 cups dark leafy greens, divided into 2 bowls
Choose a protein topper for each salad: 2 ounces Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips*, veggie burger from frozen package such as Morningstar Farms, 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese such as Friendship 1% whipped or muuna cottage cheese, 1 boiled whole eggs + 2 whites, 2-3 ounces of diced skinless rotisserie chicken breast, chicken or salmon burger from frozen package, 1 cup cooked quinoa-black bean mixture, 2-3 ounces cooked shrimp, 2-3 ounces of cooked lean sirloin/flank steak.
In a bowl stir together strawberries, onion, vinegar, pepper, lime, avocado and mint.
Divide mixture and spoon over each salad bowl.
Add your favorite protein topper to each salad.
(142 calories and 5 g protein pre serving) + protein of your choice
*Crispy Coconut Chicken Strips
Makes 4 servings
½ cup oats or ground flaxseed meal
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 omega-3 fortified egg
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into strips
1 tablespoon honey
Preheat oven to 400 degree and coat a baking dish with cooking spray.
If using oats, placed in a food processor and grind for 20 seconds.
In a mixing bowl, combine ground oats or flaxseeds with cheese and coconut flakes.
Beat egg. Dip chicken strips in egg and dredge in oat/flax mixture.
Arrange chicken strips in a single layer on baking sheet, drizzle with honey and cook 10-15 minutes per side, until golden brown.
Metabolism can be a tricky thing. Feed it too much, and it burns out. Your metabolism is only so powerful, and if you feed it too much, it won’t have enough energy to burn it all. This is why eating too much can cause weight gain.
Feed it too little, and it also burns out. This is why skipping a meal can be so damaging to your body. Every time you eat, your metabolism starts up and burns off whatever you eat. If you skip a meal, your metabolism won’t move for a while. During this time, you are not efficiently burning fat. Eventually, when you skip too many meals, it slows down entirely to conserve energy.
This is why eating 3+ times a day is best for weight loss. It’s also why breakfast is so important. Starting your metabolism early helps it stay running throughout the day. If you don’t keep it moving, you won’t be burning fat efficiently.
When you skip a meal, you’re also missing an opportunity to nourish your body. You are not doing it any favors by doing this. Skipping a meal can make it extremely difficult to reach your protein goals.
Skipping meals also makes it more likely for you to overindulge or overeat. If you let yourself get too hungry, you’re likely to grab whatever is nearby or eat too much at the following meal.
Lastly, skipping meals can drop your energy levels and blood sugar. Low energy levels means you are more likely to skip exercising. Fluctuations in blood sugar can cause sugar cravings and fat storage.
So, make sure to listen to your body and eat intuitively! Eat when you feel hungry, and pay attention to the signals your body is sending you.
Thyroid conditions are becoming increasingly more common, with approximately 20 million Americans suffering from a thyroid condition.
Why does this matter? What does your thyroid even do? Well according to Kelly Brogan MD, it is in control of your metabolism, and depending on what kind of thyroid condition you have, it dramatically affects your weight and many other things.
If your thyroid is under-active, meaning you have HYPOthyroidism, then your body’s processes are slow.
Your metabolism is slow
You gain weight more easily
You’re often tired
Have poor concentration
A slow heart rate
A slow digestive system
If your thyroid is overactive, and you have HYPERthyroidism, then your body’s processes are too fast.
A fast metabolism
A fast heart rate
A fast digestive system
Four nutrients that are extremely important for a healthy thyroid include:
Hearing this, it may seem like a good idea to automatically supplement with these nutrients. However, if these minerals are too high, they can cause problems. This is why it is important to consult an expert when dealing with thyroid conditions.
Foods to Avoid
Pro-Inflammatory foods : if your condition is caused by inflammation (autoimmune diseases like Grave’s or Hashimoto’s), reducing inflammation can be very beneficial. Common pro-inflammatory foods include:
Sugar: discuss with your dietitian how much sugar is recommended and how much are in your favorite foods
Saturated fats: high fat meats and cheeses, processed foods
Trans fats: watch for ingredients such as “partially hydrogenated” and “fractionated” in ingredient lists, that means there is trace amounts of trans fats! Common foods: frozen breakfast foods, pastries, donuts, etc
Refined carbs: those “white” carbs: white rice, pasta, instant mashed potatoes…
MSG: typically in soy sauce and Asian dishes, but can be found in salad dressings and deli meats
Gluten: Wheat, rye, and barley. Hidden in many foods. Just because it is pro inflammatory, you may not need to be off all gluten
Alcohol: everything in moderation
Avoidance of these foods can vary depending on the individual, because everyone has different food sensitivities and is unique! It can also be dose related, so a good rule to follow is everything in moderation.A great way to find out what is causing inflammation in your body is by having a LEAP food sensitivity test done, which you can have done through LBS Nutrition LLC.
Soy is another food that may decrease thyroid function if consumed in large quantities. Common foods with soy include: soy sauce, products using meat substitutes (check the label), miso, and edamame (soybeans). However, soy can also be a healthy addition to your meal plan. Again, discuss this with your doctor and dietitian.
And of course, physical activity is very healthy for your thyroid. This may be hard, because fatigue is so common when you have a thyroid condition. Gradually, it will become easier to exercise, and your body will thank you for it. Start slowly and work your way up towards more high-intensity training. Don’t feel like you need to only do cardio! Strength training is great for your body, too.
This can all seem complicated, and your thyroid is absolutely a complex system. Knowing what to do to stay healthy and balanced is not easy, so consulting an expert is the best way to go. An individualized nutrition plan is needed for individuals with thyroid conditions, because knowing the cause and type of your condition impacts the treatment. The Registered Dietitians at LBS Nutrition LLC can help you determine what food plan is right for you, supplements to take, and how to minimize the negative effects of your condition.
Balancing plant-based sources of protein with meat can be very beneficial to your health. There are many plants, grains, and legumes that can offer lean sources of protein. Since meat is typically higher in saturated fat, replacing some of your proteins with high fiber, plant-based options can be great for your heart. They also come with vitamins, & minerals packed in, so there are many nutritional benefits. Keep reading to find out how you can reach your protein goals without relying solely on animal sources, and even eat a little bit cleaner!
Seitan (derived from the protein of wheat, meat substitution): 3 ounces, 15 grams
Nutritional yeast: 2 Tbsp, 6 grams
Buckwheat: 1/2 cup, 4 grams
Quinoa: 1 cup, 8 grams
Quinoa is especially nutrient-dense because it contains all nine essential amino acids. Our body uses amino acids to grow and repair. Some of these amino acids are not produced by our bodies, and therefore we must get them through our food. Quinoa has ALL of these essential amino acids!
Nuts & Seeds
Most nuts & seeds (flaxseed, chia, sunflower, pumpkin, hemp) contain about 6 grams of protein per ounce or 1/4 cup. (pretty much a nice handful!)
Tempeh (made from soybeans): 1/2 cup, 15 grams
Tofu: 1/2 cup, 10 grams
Edamame/soybeans: 1/2 cup= 8 grams
There is a debate regarding soy consumption. Remember the motto, everything in moderation!
Plants & Greens
1 cup most veggies = about 2-3 grams
Try to eat deep green leafy veggies for more nutrition.
Non dairy/plant based protein powders
If milk products do not digest well, you can try some of these non-whey based protein powders for your smoothies or even to bake with! These include soy protein, hemp protein, brown rice protein, & pea protein
Here’s an example of a meatless day that has a sufficient amount of protein:
Maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle can require some effort, especially when we are constantly on the go. Whether you’re rushing to get to work or running from one errand to the next, you still have to eat! Knowing how to make decent choices and plan better for our hectic lives is crucial for staying on top of our wellness goals.
Tips For On The Go
The most important thing to remember is having foods around that will be filling and hold you over longer. This includes protein/healthy fat based snacks. Going long periods of time or eating carbohydrate heavy snacks will make you even more hungry and increase cravings.
Protein shakes (make at home or get pre made ones)
Protein bars (should be balanced, at least 15-20 g protein and less than 6 g sugar)
Cheese sticks and large handful of nuts or seeds
Raw veggies- try sugar snap peas and sweet peppers
Also try to stay mindful and accountable! Tracking what you eat at least 3-4 times per week on an app or the old fashioned way, pen and paper, will help. This will keep you honest and maybe even prevent you from choosing that cookie or bag of potato chips!
Last but surely not least, make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can mimic hunger. Sometimes buying the bigger bottles (24 oz or more) can help you get your fluid requirements in easier than the smaller bottles. Do what works for you! Drinks such as Powerade Zero, Propel, Vitamin Water Zero will also work if you want to switch it up.
The main idea is, you want to avoid getting too hungry! This is what leads to poor decisions that will ruin your progress (and being starving is not fun). Keep high-protein / healthy fat snacks on hand to keep you satisfied all day. “Snacking” on a large handful of nuts and a cheese stick will leave you much more satisfied than a bag of chips or pretzels!
It can be difficult to make good choices when you’re in a rush, so being prepared can be very helpful. Here are some quick meals to pack if you know you will be out all day:
Salads or wraps with chicken/fish meat/ask for avocado
Yogurt with seeds, nuts, and some berries
Lean meat and vegetables
Convenience Stores & Rest Stops
Emergency meals can be tricky, so being prepared is always the best option. Still, we all get stuck at times and end up stopping at a convenience store for chips and candy. Knowing the more balanced choices before the situation arrives can help you stay on track. Go for nuts, seeds, plain yogurt (add nuts or a little granola), fruit with nut butter, vegetables with hummus, hard boiled eggs, protein drinks, and protein bars rather than the cookies, chips, cereal, cereal bars… the list goes on.
Even fast food chains can have decent choices. When in a pinch at these fast food restaurants, here are some of the healthier choices:
Chipotle: burrito bowl with chicken, veggies, black beans, and guacamole
Smashburger: Avocado black bean burger and veggie frites (veggies fries!)
Chick-Fil-A: grilled chicken nuggets
KFC: grilled chicken wings and small side of cole slaw
Subway: salad with chicken, turkey, or tuna and a little dressing, you can ask for extra protein
Starbucks: oatmeal(without the brown sugar), wraps, Moon Cheese, hummus/protein box
Again, notice that each of these meals is a balance of protein, fiber, and fats to keep you feeling satisfied for longer periods and prevent cravings.
Remember that we have to learn how to balance our healthy with our hectic days! They aren’t going anywhere unfortunately. However, this doesn’t mean you have to ruin your progress and how far you’ve come. Being just a little prepared beforehand can help you make better choices and keep you progressing nicely towards your goals.
“Monday I am going to start running before work in the morning and eat salads for lunch and dinner”
“I am not going to drink for the next 2 months so I look great for my cousin’s wedding”
“No added sugar or refined carbohydrates starting January 1st, this will be the best year yet!”
How long do these behavioral changes last, or do they ever get past the initial yearning/thought? Week after week, my fellow dietitians and I at LBS Nutrition LLC listen to many people who state how they planned to start eating ‘healthier’ or work out, but they “just never got to it.”
Life tends to have a way of, well, getting in the way.
So my question is why? Why are these goals unable to be met? There must be something holding us back. We can blame external events such as work and social pressures, but the truth lies in our personal values and willingness to commit to these lifestyle changes. Maybe we need to work on rephrasing our health goals and restructuring the game plan.
The article attached, Does ‘false hope syndrome’ make it hard to lose weight? By Juli Fraga parallels how many feel when they continuously perceive they are failing at achieving a goal, whether it is public speaking or losing weight. Often we set ourselves up for failure by jumping into broad resolutions without really analyzing how these goals reflect our values and genuine willingness to commit to the changes necessary to achieve the end product.
ACT (Acceptance Commitment Therapy), as discussed in the article, provides us with an effective structure to rephrase and restructure our goals. No longer will false hope syndrome hold us back!
Summer is coming… so lets review some ACT principles to make sure your goals become reality!
Sample goal: To eat breakfast daily- NO MORE SKIPPING!
What are the barriers?
I need to be at work by 7 am so I have trouble waking up early enough to make breakfast.
I am not very hungry and feel nauseous when I wake up
Traffic is heavy in the mornings so I often do not have time to stop and buy something or am in a rush to make it there on time
Does this goal align with my values?
I really enjoy eating breakfast on weekends when I have time
I feel energized and usually eat better throughout the rest of the day when I eat breakfast
I cherish sleep and will not wake up much earlier to make breakfast, as then I will lack sleep and feel exhausted
What emotions may come along?
Improved energy from eating breakfast, but less energy if waking up much earlier
I often feel anxious about everything I need to do in the day so making breakfast adds another stressor
Confusion about what composes a “balanced” breakfast
To make sure this goal is compatible to the individual’s values, barriers, and emotions, an action plan must be made that is detailed, measurable and realistic.
Prepare breakfast options on Sunday night that can easily be taken and eaten on the road or when at work (hard boiled eggs, make mini protein/oat muffins, Greek yogurt with nuts or high fiber granola, pre-made or make your own protein shake, trail mix, cottage cheese and fruit with a sprinkle of flaxseed)
Morning food preparation for this individual should not take more than 3-5 minutes to ensure long term success as he or she highly values sleep and current wake up time.
Talk with a dietitian about easy to prepare ‘balanced’ options that can be made at home and kept/ made at work
Protein shake! It takes 2-3 minutes with the right ingredients and equipment. Or you can even make it the night before!
As seen, your goals must be approached in a unique fashion depending on your values, emotions and potential hurdles. It is essential to meet with a registered dietitian to best structure your individualized, nutrition-based goals to make them most realistic and compatible to your life.
You’ve heard the expression “you are what you eat.” If you find yourself cranky and tired in the mid-afternoon, you may be able to boost your mood by changing what you eat.
Many of my clients start their day with a breakfast of champions such as eggs/omelets, oatmeal with walnuts, and protein shakes. But still, they are left snoozing after lunch time. Which begs the question: what are you eating for lunch? Typically, responses include “I have no time for lunch, I buy something from the vending machine, or “I grab a bagel or low fat blueberry muffin at the coffee shop.” Even “healthier” choices such as a a basic garden salad are brought up. However, without the right combination of nutrients, these choices will inevitably result in an energy bust instead of an energy boost.
A lunch break is the ideal time to choose foods that will fuel your body and give you sustained energy to conquer your day. Here are some personal go-to 5 brown bag lunches that take only a few minutes to prepare. Best of all, the total cost of ingredients is $25.00 (That’s 5 brown bag lunches at $5.00 a pop). Each meal encompasses the correct balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
Mix it up and choose the lunch that best matches the specific demands of your day.
Brown Bag 1: High Energy Pasta
Best if: You’re hitting the gym after work.
1 cup lentil or chickpea pasta, ½-3/4 cup tomato sauce, 2 tsp olive oil, a handful of skinless rotisserie chicken, 1 small chopped tomato, and a few Tbsp shredded cheese. Try throwing some cooked zucchini or broccoli on top for added fiber. Brown Bag Bonus: This pasta combination will provide time-released fuel for your cardio blast workout without weighing you down.
Brown Bag 2: Heart-Healthy Peanut Butter Sandwich
Best if: You’re giving a presentation late in the day.
Fill a small whole-grain pita or a slice of high fiber (3-5 g per slice) bread with 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter, almond butter, or Sunbutter. Pair with a 6 oz. container of a low sugar, high protein Greek or Icelandic yogurt, and some baby carrots with 2-3 Tbsp hummus. Brown Bag Bonus: The healthy fats in the nut butter combined with the high protein yogurt can contribute to an upbeat mood and sustained energy. *Buyers beware: if the first ingredient on a multi grain or whole wheat product does not say “whole” it is not truly whole grain.
Brown Bag 3: Veggie & bean Soup, Fully Loaded
Best if: You’re tempted to hit the vending machine for a late afternoon munch.
Stir 2 cups of chopped pre-washed leafy green salad blend (try kale, spinach, arugula) chop up a few carrots, and ½ cup bean of your choice, into 1 can of low sodium vegetable soup. Add seasoning/spices to taste. Enjoy with a toasted high protein, whole grain tortilla broken into chip sizes such as La tortilla factory mini whole grain tortillas or Ezekiel tortillas.
Brown Bag Bonus: Fiber packed vegetable soup naturally helps stabilize blood sugar to stave off end of day hunger.
Brown Bag 4: Portable Picnic Lunch
Best if: Your evening will include cocktails and cake.
1 small apple or pear, ¼ cup nuts or seeds, hard boiled egg, 1 cheese stick or ½ cup low-fat cottage cheese. Brown Bag Bonus: If you know you’ll be tempted later, a light but filling lunch (or when you do not have time to prepare an actual “meal”!) is a crucial defense. Nuts or seeds will provide heart healthy fats and an egg will give you a filling protein punch. The apple will deliver a gratifying crunch adding to your daily fiber goals!
Brown Bag 5: Nutty Pear & Chicken Salad
Best if: You’re tied to your desk the rest of the afternoon.
Combine a handful of skinless rotisserie chicken with 2-3 cups of leafy greens of your choice (arugula, kale, spinach), ¼ cup canned beans, 1-2 tablespoon of walnuts or pecans, and a small ripe pear. 1-2 Tbsp shredded cheese or 1/4 avocado slices is optional. Try making your own dressing with a teaspoon of grapeseed oil and balsamic vinegar.
Brown Bag Bonus: A veggie-centric, high fiber/low sugar lunch is an easy way to keep a meal low-calorie yet high volume when you are going to be sedentary the next few hours.
A Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist (RDN) can work in a variety of settings with a great diversity of clientele. Often when thinking of a nutritionist one thinks of a professional who helps people eat “healthier” for weight management or weight loss. Often I hear people calling me the ‘food police’ and get ashamed to admit that they nibbled on a cookie over the weekend.
The truth is, dietitians utilize the science and art of medical nutrition therapy to improve clients’ medical status. This does not necessarily indicate weight loss or removal of certain foods; dietitians promote optimal nourishment and often this means promoting balance and eradicating nutritional myths. When working with eating disorders, a dietitian is drastically removed from this stereotypical role.
Let’s first define what an eating disorder is. An eating disorder is any of a range of psychological disorders characterized by abnormal or disturbed eating habits. This includes but is not limited to Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), and Binge Eating Disorder. For more information about eating disorders outlined in the DSM-5 please refer to the link below.
Eating disorders come in all shapes and forms and often do not fit perfectly into the categories above. Usually in that case one will be diagnosed with EDNOS or Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified. A Dietitian who works with clientele displaying symptoms of an eating disorder must be aware of the various diagnoses, assess individual behaviors, thoughts, external factors, and medical and family history to best develop a nutrition treatment plan. One must be ready for hurdles and necessary changes to this treatment plan, as an eating disorder is a dynamic struggle that requires consistent care and modifications. Working with a treatment team including a therapist, primary physician and often parents and other support figures is absolutely necessary. Successful treatment of an eating disorder requires consistent collaboration with the whole treatment team, as it is a genetically, socially and environmentally based condition with threatening physical outcomes if not treated.The role of a RDN in the care of eating disorders is similar to that of all other conditions: he or she develops and implements the nutrition treatment plan while providing support in accomplishing the goals set out in the treatment plan. Just like with any other client, the dietitian works with the individual based on his or her unique eating disorder behaviors, needs and motivation level. Dietitians who are involved in the treatment of eating disorders must take time to understand the client’s motivation for recovery and readiness level while respecting the individual as a person, not an eating disorder.
A Registered Dietitian will calculate the individual’s energy, protein, vitamin/mineral, and fluid needs and assist the client in creating a meal plan that is realistic and adaptable to his or her daily life. During times of severe caloric restriction, a dietitian will strategically increase energy intake in small increments to prevent re-feeding syndrome, a potentially fatal condition in which shifts of fluids and electrolytes occur in a malnourished person. Once a client or patient is medically stable, the introduction of new or “challenging” foods continues at a slow pace, however, energy or calorie needs are often heightened due to prolonged abuse and damage to internal organs from long-term malnutrition.
Many patients with a diagnosis of anorexia nervosa or those with restrictive intake patterns may experience hypermetabolism with symptoms of extreme hunger and night sweats in the beginning of recovery. This is due to the body’s sense of security that nutrition will again be provided and thus turning its engine on to replace fat and muscle stores, organs, bone mass, hair, nails- all that were depleted during prolonged starvation or restriction. A dietitian will guide the client during this phase to ensure sufficient energy, protein and fluid intake.
What about those with binge eating disorder or those with restrictive-binging tendencies that are at a healthy weight or even potentially overweight? A dietitian will never promote weight loss or diets for clients who display BED (binge eating disorder). In this case a dietitian will work with clients to promote regular or normalized eating habits, sufficient nourishment throughout the day, and detection of external or internal triggers that may result in the binges. Working on techniques to battle these triggers, gain control of eating behaviors and prevent the sense to restrict or compensate after a perceived binge is essential in the treatment of these conditions.
Educating clients about nutrition while challenging clients’ food roles and fears is another important role of a dietitian in the care of eating disorders. Many clients have false beliefs about what composes a healthy diet and gravitate to extremes to gain a sense of control. Clients with eating disorders necessitate proper education that all foods do fit in a balanced diet. Carbohydrates and fats are extremely important components of our diet, but societal cues today cause much confusion. Trained Eating Disorder dietitians will often execute exposure relapse prevention with the client. This consists of creating a hierarchy of fear foods starting from those that are least anxiety provoking to those that cause intense stress or discomfort. A dietitian will carefully expose a client to these foods, one at a time, continuously until his or her SUD (subjective unit of distress) decreases. This is a great method to overcome food fears for those with eating disorders.
Although the main goal for a dietitian working in Eating Disorder care is to promote adequate, balanced nutrition with decreased irrational thoughts, behaviors and fears about food and the body- clients often display comorbid medical issues such as gastroparesis (slow digestion/poor muscle motility in your stomach), bone loss and amenorrhea (loss of menstrual cycle) due to long-term restriction or compensatory behaviors. A dietitian will have to be wary of such conditions and assist with symptom alleviation while ensuring sufficient caloric and protein intake via liquid supplements, low residue foods, and high-density meals and snacks. Proper supplementation is also crucial for many in recovery due to bone loss, deficiencies and hormonal imbalances.
A Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist is a vital component of eating disorder care. He or she takes the time to work through a client’s struggles, food beliefs, personal preferences, social support team and medical history to create a nutrition treatment plan personalized for his or her specific needs. The dietitian will need to work with other clinicians including a therapist and primary physician to guarantee dynamic care. Remember an eating disorder is rarely about food and an eating disorder dietitian understands this.
For nutrition counseling appointments call 732-210-9581.
For more information on Eating Disorders please visit:
Contrary to popular belief, bariatric surgery is not a guaranteed long-term weight loss solution. You have to put in the work and make lifestyle changes in order for your surgery to be a life long success. Continuing or going back to old, unfavorable habits can quickly bring you back to where you were before your procedure. Start 2017 off right and follow these tips to ensure that you will have permanent results.
Bariatric Surgery Long Term Success Tips
1. Continue follow-ups with your bariatric surgeon and bariatric dietitian
It is very important to continue regular visits with both your bariatric surgeon and your bariatric dietitian. Just because you are losing weight and you feel wonderful at the moment does not mean you should stop these meetings. Remember that the weight comes off much faster in the first few months following surgery, so nothing may alarm you. However, this surgery is a lifelong commitment and should not be taken lightly. Aim to meet with your surgeon as directed right after surgery and at least 1-2 times per year after that, and try to check in with your dietitian once every 3-4 months. This will help you stay on track, continue progressing, and prevent issues before they arise. Always remember that preventative medicine is best! You should be keeping up with your blood work and meeting with your dietitian go over your food/nutrition plan to ensure you are getting in proper nutrients and not losing too much muscle. You took this step to change your health, it is OK to get some assistance along the way.
2. Utilize the surgery
You just got a wonderful procedure done and your stomach is much smaller than it once was. Make sure to pack it full of nutrients and filling foods such as PROTEIN, fiber, & healthy fats. This will ensure you will stay satisfied longer and prevent overeating. This is the point of the surgery isn’t it? When you do have some space and hunger, make it count with a nutrient dense choice. Try your best to avoid going too long without eating, every 3-4 hours is ideal. Getting in your fluids and staying away from excessive amounts of coffee/caffeine is also important and another way to utilize your surgery. Again, you’ve been handed an amazing tool of a smaller stomach, so make sure to take advantage! Over time you will be able to eat more so adapting these habits from the start will keep the weight off for good. If you are not eating protein & fiber packed foods, skipping meals, and not getting in enough fluids, you are not fully utilizing your surgery. (and taking advantage of such a wonderful tool you’ve been given)
3. Always remember the rules (& never get too comfortable)
When you first arranged your surgery, you were provided with a bunch of rules of thumb to follow. These are not only for the first few weeks following the surgery, they are life long! You are given these rules for your advantage. You are not invincible and things can change over time. It will benefit you greatly to adhere to:
Not drinking and eating together: waiting 20-30 minutes after drinking to eat, and 20-30 minutes after eating to drink
Avoiding carbonated beverages, even diet (can expand your stomach in the long run!)
Reaching your protein goals & eating it first at your meals
Avoiding high calorie/sugary drinks (juices, lattes, alcohol) the empty calories add up and go down even smoother
4. Keep yourself accountable
Tracking any and everything from what you eat, drink, exercise, and even your mood will help you stay accountable and mindful. Just even 2-3 days per week if it is tough to do daily is great. It will also help you and your health care provider recognize any unhealthy habits/patterns that are starting to form. In the beginning, you are so limited to what you can eat, so what are a few snacks here and there going to do? Well over time, you are able to eat more (and are more comfortable) and that one handful of chips or pretzels or that 1-2 chicken nuggets can easily turn into a few more. Continue with weigh ins, follow-up visits, and support group attendance. You are the only person you are cheating if you aren’t honest with yourself. This surgery can be so extremely beneficial, but it is a must to stay accountable and pay attention to what you are doing!
The end goal of the surgery should be to be fit & healthy. Maintaining a healthy weight consists of both a balanced diet and exercise. Exercising will keep you burning calories (especially on those days you had that extra piece of chocolate) help tone loose skin, and build muscle to help your metabolism. It may not accelerate your weight loss, but it is a key factor in keeping the weight off for years to come. It is also very beneficial for mental health, heart health, and overall well-being.
If you have fallen off track or if you see yourself heading down an unhealthy path, make sure you reach out to your healthcare providers. Do not feel embarrassed or shy! They are here to help you. Experts in this field, such as your surgeon and bariatric dietitian, can help you stay or get back on track by providing you the tools you need to jump-start again and stay motivated.
The worst thing you can do is go back on an extreme diet or take a diet pill. This will only set you back further. Figure out what is preventing your progress and work on these issues one by one. If you still have too many barriers, consider meeting with a therapist to help.
Eating your protein first will never get old either. Protein will keep you fuller longer, avoid eating too many “empty” calories, utilize the surgery, and it is necessary for so many of your body’s functions. And just one more last piece of advice: avoid exploring too much. Just because the surgery isn’t stopping you, doesn’t mean do it. 🙂
We always focus on protein! So here is a sample high protein day:
*this is only for patients that are beyond the first few months of surgery