Category Archives: health coach

Walking the Aisles Talking about Food

It is Okay to Shop in the Middle of the Grocery Store

Have you heard that you must shop the perimeter of the grocery store to be eat healthy? The idea is that all the healthy foods are on the outer circle of the store. Following that logic, the foods in the center aisles must be horrible for your health. I call bullshit.

I’m writing to you today from my home in Florida where “hurricane season” has come up on the 2020 Jumanji dice. In planning for the potential for a power-blip from the incoming storm, I ordered some shelf stable foods from Instacart for delivery today. Shelf-stable foods get a bad rap from health-promoters. While some deserve the unhealthy reputation, there are many health-promoting foods to be found in the aisles.

Besides, fearmongering about foods and the “health halo” judgment from those with food privilege pisses me off.

You can find plenty of articles on healthy-foods in the aisles, so let me share just a few of the shelf-stable foods that are typically a part of my heart-healthy, nom-focused eating style.

Walking the Aisles Talking about Food

Dried beans… every week.

Hubs and I have been enjoying chickpeas (garbanzo beans) in our salads for the past few months. Extra delicious when you toss in some feta cheese, sliced almonds, and top with a spicy vinaigrette! Black beans are another family favorite. Last weekend, I cooked up a pound of dried black beans, then portioned them into baggies in 1-cup servings and froze them. Now, I just grab a bag from the freezer each time I use one up and they are ready the next day.

I wrote about how amazing beans are a while ago. And for the cost – mon dieu – dried beans are the way to go! A 16-ounce can of beans has about 1 1/2 cups of beans. You can buy a store brand can for around $1.00. Dried beans though, that 16-ounce bag makes about 6 cups for the same price. I can do that math. Four times as much if you take the time to cook your own beans.

If we lose power, the beans will need to get eaten first since they’ve been cooked. Roll up black beans mashed with avocado from the countertop and some shelf-stable salsa in a thin flatbread and you have a tasty wrap.

Peanut Butter.

Not only do the dogs enjoy the natural peanut butter to get their daily pills down, hubs and I are huge peanut butter fans. I add some to my protein shakes for thickness and flavor, stir it into yogurt, mix it with salsa for a spicy sauce, top rice cakes with it (plus banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon), and eat it right off the spoon. If we lose power, we can just spread some peanut butter on a rice cake or banana and have a nice, filling snack.

Any nut butter will be a heart-healthy delicious choice so don’t get stuck wondering which nut or seed is the most nutritious, just choose what you enjoy. And check the label to make sure there is no sugar added or sugar alcohols (xylitol is toxic for dogs). It’s a winner if you see just the nut/seed and salt on the ingredients list.

Fruit Cups.

I’m on a mandarin oranges jag. These little beauties are great in yogurt, cottage cheese, tossed in those salads, or just straight out of the cup while leaning over the sink. I’m a macro-counter and when I need more carbs in my day, these work great. My hubs adds them to some bourbon drink he likes too. Look for the ones packed in their own juice or with no sugar added.

While these are found in the perimeter of the store (so I’m a little off topic), I am talking about foods to eat if you lose power. So, I will throw in that many fruits can be kept on the counter like bananas, apples, and peaches oranges as well as tomatoes and avocados.

Soup and Canned Chicken.

Not weekly staples but great if we lose power. Soup is easy to heat up on the propane grill. Canned chicken can be mixed with mayo and mustard packets and spread on a slice of bread with a tomato from the kitchen counter.

I hear you groaning “but the sodium, so much salt!” I would agree.

We choose the lower-sodium versions. You could also rinse of the chicken if sodium is a concern (but we don’t). And remember, if you eat a high sodium lunch, that will balance out if you eat a low sodium dinner. Your health isn’t broken by the healthfulness of one meal. Nutrition gives us the grace of time and cumulative effects.

Via Packs & Shelf-Stable Almond Milk.

A storm is coming and I won’t be without coffee. Enough said.

Plus for protein, I use the almond milk as a base for a protein shake – made with some shelf-stable protein powder – and grab a handful of walnuts to keep my macros balanced.

I could go on and on because I love food. Why else would I do what I do for a living? But I will stop here and instead ask, what are your favorite healthy finds in the aisles?

Share in the comments and let’s all help each other find those shelf-stable foods so we can get rid of the food fear and just start enjoying the fact that we have safe, readily available, and healthy options for everyone.

Yours in good health,

-Coach Alexia Lewis RD

Picture of looking through a glass ball showing the landscape upside down with text Perception is Reality. How Does this Impact RDs?

Perception Is Reality

There have been a lot of opinions flying around after it became more widely known that HB1193 added an exemption to the Florida Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Law under the Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act. See more about this exemption.

One thing I firmly believe is that the laws are designed to stop the honest people and the rule-followers. People have been providing nutrition advice without a license in Florida. This is illegal and it is not new.

RDs have been focused on “playing defense” as the nutrition license laws are systematically challenged state by state. Our associations have been working hard on this task with some success and some compromise. I do not want to downplay their efforts. They are working hard for what they believe is right. I respect that. More people should do the same.

My belief is that we should stop wasting resources, time, and money, on fighting attacks on the nutrition license laws. There are states without nutrition license laws and the sky has yet to fall. Let others onto the playing field. Competition is good for us all. It makes us be creative and grow. It fills the needs of the public – and they need help with nutrition and health.    

See this idea through.

Some people will provide excellent, well-researched, and appropriate nutrition advice and people will thrive and those providers will be rewarded with referrals and reputation-building.

Others will provide crap advice, trigger or glorify disordered eating, and make people sicker and those providers will not survive for long.

Yes, people may be harmed as this sorts itself out – but people have a right to make their own choices. And no law is going to prevent them from seeking out the latest BS MLM shakes or miracle pills anyway. If you believe, as an RD, it is your job to protect everyone from harmful nutrition advice – well, that will be tiring and frustrating and I wish you luck.

In the end, those who provide the best service and solve people’s nutrition problems will be the ones who thrive.

Yes, you absolutely need to be an RD to calculate a tube feeding.

No, you absolutely do not need to be an RD to coach a generally healthy person on nutrition.

In fact, RDs who calculate tube feeds are typically lousy coaches. But that’s okay. Good coaches probably suck at calculating tube feeds.

So… I propose to you that perception is reality and RDs need to focus on MARKETING what differentiates RDs from other health providers and coaches.

Picture of looking through a glass ball showing the landscape upside down with text Perception is Reality. How Does this Impact RDs?

I think that RDs have buried their heads in the sand about their (our) reputation. Sadly, I refer to myself as an RD very rarely offline because I have been listening to what people think in the wellness and fitness arenas.

I asked a kick-ass, supportive Facebook group that focuses on exercise with a CrossFit leaning about their perceptions of RDs. While far from being a methodologically sound study, it provides some information us RDs would be wise to pay attention to.

My post request: Would like to do an informal request for info: What is your opinion of Registered Dietitians? Do you think you need to see an RD to get valuable nutrition advice? Disclosure – I’m an RD fighting to change our organizations, so we work more with others… and am hoping to show my peers the truth about how we are perceived. I want the good, the bad, and the ugly!

In 8 hours, there were 76 comments and responses. I stopped counting at that point. Here is what those 8 hours reflect. There were 25 (33%) positive opinions, 16 (21%) neutral or no opinions, and 35 (46%) negative opinions.

There is no amount of legislation that is going to make 46% of people say, “I really need help with food and I think RDs suck but since it’s the law I’ll go to the RD who won’t help me instead of the nutrition coach who will help me.”

THIS is the problem. It is in how RDs are perceived not how nutrition advice is legislated. We need a marketing campaign, not another lobbyist.

Let’s look at some of the comments. RDs there are a lot of things we can learn from here.

Positive Comments

I think it sounds cool but also expensive. It would be great to sit down with someone and go over meal plans, goals, macros, etc. BUT there is so much info online, it’s hard to justify spending the money.

I honestly would totally use the hell out of the services of a registered dietitian, but I can’t afford it. I would love to see all insurance companies covering this service.

 I’m one who would work with someone. I was looking into it before all the lockdowns started. I know all the info is online, but I have no desire to figure it out. The amount of information can be overwhelming. I also like the idea of someone checking in on me. That helps me to keep at it.

 I think that RDs could make a HUGE impact within the fitness community if they marketed themselves right. I firmly believe that abs are made in the kitchen, and a lot of people fall victim to unhealthy dieting and/or eating habits. I hate seeing personal trainers with no formal nutritional training trying to play the role of an RD. Basically, I think there is a place for RDs in the fitness world, but it would take a lot of effort to get a strong foothold and get the public to truly recognize your value (because y’all are worth your weight in gold IMO).

We are working with one right now since my daughter is struggling with her IBS. We tried a low FODMAP diet on our own but struggled when trying to reintroduce foods. We needed advice about what and how to add foods back into her diet. This is a time when common sense and self-education weren’t enough and a dietician was definitely needed.

 I’ve been meeting with an RD for a bit over a year. She’s free to me through my employer which is awesome. She’s helped me transition from weight loss into eating for performance and weight maintenance. She’s not pushed any specific diet plans to me, just giving me advice like how to adjust my food intake before half marathons and longer training runs and what I needed to do nutritionally to avoid muscle cramps during runs. She’s done metabolism testing on me (again, free to me) to get a baseline of how much food I really need to be eating and found I was severely under eating.

I’ve used weight watchers, nutritionists and registered dietitian. RD worked more in my mindset, which will help me more in the long run.

I have been seeing an RD for a little over a year now at the recommendation of my doctor. She has helped me. She keeps me in check and I have been successful.

 Nutritional intake are the basic building blocks for these beautiful body machines. RDs are the best asset to help get the most from your efforts.

I had a great experience with a dietician in my health plan when I went in with really detailed questions and wanted recommendations about how I could increase protein as a vegetarian without going over my carb limit or eating too much fat. If I had just gone for a basic education appointment that was planned I would have felt like I already knew the information, but I took so many specific questions. The dietician gave me a lot of suggestions and some free hacks like use the information she gave to go to the local grocery store that offers a shopping trip with a dietician and some blogs that have super simple recipes that combined foods I already liked. I really wish that part of my yearly checkup included a referral back to the dietician.

 I have met one twice and due to her limitations in time she could give me (a state sponsored one) I was impressed with how much she gave me personalized advice. So overall I’m positive. I’m not sure I would want to pay for the service though without someone who I trust recommending them as I feel I have a lot of knowledge myself and if someone isn’t knowledgeable enough and try to sell me a one size fit all I would not feel like it’s worth it at all.

Having an RD has definitely helped me. Even though I am now post-bariatric, even before having surgery it definitely helped change my mental mindset to help me make better choices and allow me to educate myself better with certain foods.

I think RDs are invaluable. Having said that, it is very difficult where I live to find one that understands fitness nutrition. I’ve talked to several, but they seem focused on weight loss rather than fuel for fitness. It’s frustrating.

Depends on the dietitian. Mine is amazing and covered as preventative care (zero copay) by my insurance. He specializes in working with athletes, ed folks, and special diets. He is rated as one of the best in the city to boot. Just make sure they have credentials and a good reputation.

I saw one. She seemed really strange. Had my proteins stupid low (70 g). But she helped me realize I have a body that can’t handle a lot of fat! So once I kept my fat macro under 38 g, the weight has been flying off. I did up my proteins because I was in so much pain and really hungry. I wasn’t eating enough carbs! So that was upped and man I feel a lot better. I’m glad I was open minded enough to try what she had to say.

Neutral Comments

I’ve worked with 3 different dietitians: the first gave me a standard meal plan; the second gave me a macro plan; the third and current one actually started with some simple habits and exploring the deeply rooted issues I have with food. The third time was the charm.

I did WW and lost 30 pounds. But, got stuck. I am now working with a coach at EAT TO PERFORM. I love the program. That being said I don’t know if I would go to just any RD.

In this day where you can find any information online – the good, the bad, and the fake, RDs are where I turn for a way to sort through the bs. We get free access to them, sometimes you just have to wait awhile for an appointment. And I’m seriously contemplating becoming one.

 I have had great nutritionists and bad nutritionists… for my goals. Some nutritionists (most of them) didn’t hear my goals and famished me trying to make me reach fat percentages in a short span of time, which was extremely frustrating. I wanted to be healthier, not stop living entirely.

When I had gestational diabetes I was referred to a RD. I already tracked everything I ate and worked out daily. Our conversation was eat more veggies, less bread, drink diet soda instead on coke… this is prior to her knowing or asking about my current diet. I asked her if I could show her my food journal, she looked at it, looked at me and said, “keep doing what you’re doing.” End of session.

 I honestly can’t decide how I feel about RDs. I don’t know how or if an RD is different from a nutritionist and I don’t really understand what they do. Are they covered by insurance? Are they medical professionals? I sort of view them as being on the fringes of health and medicine with a mix of voodoo nonsense and science mixed in. I prefer science and evidence-based studies, to someone telling me what I *should* be doing. I want to know why I should be doing what you’re telling me to do and how to eat. Obviously, nutrition is important. I know I’m supposed to eat fruits, veggies and real food. So what would be the point in seeing a nutritionist/RD for them to tell me to eat more fruits, veggies and real food? I’m sorry if that sounds harsh – I really don’t mean it to be, but it’s the truth from my perspective. Maybe I just don’t know enough about them.

I think RDs are vital for those that are on tricky meditation, after surgery, cancer treatment, etc. However the vast majority of people just want to lose weight and keep it off. That is less about counting calories/macros and more about teaching habits and getting to the bottom the whys (why they do what they do with food and moving forward) to develop new strategies. This can be done with a certified nutrition coach (a good one). *Just like in any field you will find people that are good/exceptional at their job and others that give that profession a bad rap – do your research and go to someone with good referrals

I think for coaching after something like weight loss surgery, it’s important. I feel like helping someone in general, it depends on their age and where they went to school… If they still live by the food pyramid and pass that shit out, then it’s useless.

 I am split down the middle as to whether or not we need them for valuable advice because I do think RD’s have the knowledge and the background/education to help, but I also think we are capable of finding most answers without them. Of course, this changes with different conditions a person might have or inherit. I’m currently in school and before starting I was really considering a local dietetics program, but decided that I’d rather go into the educational side of nutrition and health for varying reasons including having a better grasp on helping people from a different angle when it comes to healthy lifestyles.

I think you need an RD for certain medical conditions. My diet coach has a Ph.D. In sports physiology and he’s been amazing and I’ve had way more success with him then I ever had with the 3 RD’s I sought out at first. The RD’s gave me a basic AF “meal” plan, lectured me, and EVERYTHING was super restrictive. I don’t do well that way. I was honestly not excited when my son had to see a metabolic nutritionist the first time due to my experiences with an RD (he has a metabolic disease, so it’s necessary and she’s actually amazing).

Most RD I meet are locked in a cycle of standard American diet advice. The majority are stuck because of the healthcare system they work in. It’s always interesting when you meet an RD that will not follow their own advice because they know it doesn’t work for them. I’ve also met a few that actually we’re able to design a eating plan that was helpful to their client’s needs without sticking to SAD. It’s such a mixed bag and most are full of good intentions. But no one wants the liability of suggesting or prescribing food that might not work.

Honestly, I don’t think the designation is worth all much in the fitness industry. There are so many programs and certifications now. This coming from someone who went to grad school for nutrition.

 I’m currently using Macrostax. Before I started that I had an appointment with a RD. I was kind of underwhelmed. I felt like I got the “my plate” handout and nothing I didn’t already know, and no idea what to change to actually start making progress where I’d been stalling. That said I’m sure RDs have different specialty areas and the one I met with probably just wasn’t the right fit for me and what I already knew (which is prob more than your average person). The other side to this coin is there are so many people out there spewing absolute BS and I would love to see RDs out there more. There’s an RD behind Macrostax and I have been very happy with that program

Negative Comments

 I don’t really trust the recommendations of registered dieticians. There have been so many past cases of medical doctors and dieticians recommending specific diets based on assumptions with inadequate research that later turned out to be false. I absolutely believe that it’s not done intentionally or maliciously, and y’all are following your training, but I don’t really trust your training, and I don’t want to pay for a service I don’t trust, you know?

I had to see a registered dietitian when I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes. The sample meal plans were so bunk (like have milk or orange juice with each meal or do jello or 7 grapes – pure silliness for blood sugar control). It was super unhelpful and I found better info online (like carb to protein pairing and the awesomeness of fiber).

I’ve only seen one so I don’t have a ton of experience, but my frustration was I paid a good amount of money to get a boilerplate plan she gave everyone, nothing personalized. Even when I told her I don’t do well on carbs and wanted to balance more towards proteins and fats (I’m insulin resistant and me + carbs just don’t work well, but I also know I need a little before I work out). She gave no options and said that this was what her clients were successful on.

I have only had interactions with a registered dietitian for my high cholesterol and possible diabetes. Unfortunately, I was just told the foods to avoid.

 I’ve only met with a dietician once. And the diet was so strict, I couldn’t maintain it.

I don’t want to pay a ton of money to be ordered around.

 I was referred to an RD when I was Dx’d with gestational diabetes. I realize it is a specialized field BUT I absolutely couldn’t follow her dietary advice. I would have ended up on insulin. Too many net carbs. T2/GD/IR is different than T1 (unless you’re a T2 burnout) and they don’t seem to get that. I did my own thing and managed my numbers quite well through to 41wks. I’d probably use one if I could pick my own vs insurance assigned.

I have seen 3 different RDs and none of them listened. All three told me to eat things I am allergic to (yes they were told in advance what my allergies are) and I also need to follow a low oxalate diet due to my body not processing things correctly which causes all sorts of mineral deposits including kidney stones.
Well all three of them told me to eat more dark leafy greens and switch to soy or nut “dairies”. All things that will put me in the hospital. As soon as they start with that shit I’m done. I can’t trust another thing that comes out of their mouths. I know I’m a difficult case that’s why I wanted to find expert help but well that’s apparently not going to work. Obviously I have to just figure it out on my own.

I was referred to an RD after I was diagnosed with celiac disease years ago. I worked with her for a while and while she helped me figure out what foods were gluten free, she also helped me make my undereating worse. After a couple of months gluten free, I started gaining weight. She had me eating 1,000 calories a day, while I continued running 3 times, 2 strength training days, 2 dance classes, 2 days running 100 flights of stairs each week plus just every day walk everywhere NYC life. I was exhausted and afraid to eat more because I didn’t want to gain weight. It was a bad experience for both my mental and physical health, and that makes me not trust RDs and not willing to pay the money to try again.

I have a very negative opinion of RDs. When I was 5 years old, I was diagnosed with hypercholesterolemia. It’s genetic (thanks Dad) and rather than immediately going on meds I was told to try diet first. So off to the RD we went. She was nice enough, but the eating plan was boiler plate. I spent the next decade on a low-fat diet, terrified of meat and fats of all kinds. I developed eating disorders I’m only now starting to get past. It was one meeting and done. No follow up, no checking in, no tailoring anything. Nutrition is such a personal thing, especially as a child, and I felt like this was just a stamp in my file to say they tried it. I know this is just one experience and not all RDs will be like this. But the issues I was left with have made me never want to try again. I would love to have somebody able to work with me and help me get past some of my food issues but this isn’t the route I would take.

 I’ve only been to one, once and I’ve never been back. She printed out a plate image off the USDA website and gave generic advice. All for $225 an hour which was really 40 minutes. I had been hoping to get guidance on how to build a meal plan and was clear in that when I made the appt so waste of money for my experience. I know there are great ones out there I just don’t know how to find one

I had a couple appointments with an RD. I felt like she didn’t really listen to me. Her recommendations were basically what I was already doing and she was spoon feeding me chapters of The 10 Principles of Intuited Eating (one chapter per appt). The book from which she was directly providing the info was $14.99 on Amazon, which is significantly less than RD appointments. The book has some good points, but most of which I already had a good grasp. I expressed concern, but felt like she wasn’t really listening, so I didn’t go back.

When I went to see one after I went to my doctor asking for a hormone panel because I have PCOS I was referred to a dietitian instead. I am a vegan and I eat very clean yet I am 230 lbs and I log my food daily and I’m still not losing weight. When I met with one, she told me I was unhealthy and told me I needed to eat meat and dairy products even though I am getting all the vitamins and protein I need. She then told me she had no idea why I wasn’t losing weight after looking at over 3 months of food logs and gave up on me. After one meeting. I never went back.

Unfortunately, I think that the idea forced upon us that from a legal standpoint, only doctors and nutritionists, or registered dietitians, can give nutrition advice, breeds the idea they are infallible. I have seen them push artificial sugars, care more for calories than vegetables and also have no idea (or maybe just not interest) in working with and for people who are athletes.

I have seen one several times for myself and my child, but they never go past the basics everyone knows. They have never asked our goals or tried to tailor instruction. I had one just show the My Fitness Pal app.

For me personally, I’m in a different situation than most people. I have my PhD in biochemistry and cell biology and have studied metabolism for years. So I know what my body needs to thrive. My problem has never been what to eat, or even how much to eat, it’s to follow it. That is on me. No one can force me to do that. I do think RDs are good for people that are not knowledgeable in what to do or how to eat. And I do think it gives a level of accountability to people when they first start a healthy eating lifestyle. But the biggest thing is people need to find a good one that will not just give a cookie cutter diet plan. The plans need to be tailored to each person, their needs, and their preferences, which from what I have heard from friends, never happens.

Every RD I have spoken to has looked at my list of food allergies and given up. “Good luck” is the only response I’ve received, which felt discouraging and dismissive each of the 3 times I saw someone. I know my allergies make things challenging, that’s why I was seeing someone who was knowledgeable, or so I thought.

I’ve seen a couple RDs and they both put me on plans that were too low calorie for me that left me constantly hungry and pushed shitty processed foods at me. I’ve steered clear of them ever since.

My totally honest opinion-I am an RN and have gotten better advice from non-RDs. RD training is antiquated, many push the same ADA, AHA diets that are showing to not work (I.e. low fat). I saw an RD when I was pregnant for gestational diabetes. It was the worst thing I could have done and in hindsight, knowing what I know now, I would not do it again. I was shamed and told I wasn’t eating enough carbs and was hurting my baby. I followed their recommendations to a T-kept a daily food journal with carbs. I gained 40 lbs and my blood sugar was worse and ended up on meds. The best person I saw was trained in functional nutrition. He was going to sit for RD boards, but he customized and worked with me as individual and didn’t blame me when things didn’t work. We just changed courses and tried something until it worked.

 I went to see a RD once and was told that my food is fine and balanced and that was pretty much it even though I asked about eating for fat loss I was told maybe my body likes this weight and was sent on my way. I never went back.

 Rd only know what they are taught, most of it is false info bought and paid for.

I’ve been to 4 RDs. NOT ONE could tell me about PCOS, high testosterone or Metformin. Every single one said, “I don’t believe in Metformin for anything except diabetes.”

 I’ve been to 2. One wanted me to eat real food, which I already did but wouldn’t give me any guidance in amounts. The second one lowered me to 1100-1200 calories a day, only green veggies, minimal carbs. I was already working out 6 days a week, she told me to add an extra 150 mins cardio a week on top of 6 hours I was already in the gym. I did see results and then stalled to which she lowered my calories again and suggested fasting. I was exhausted and starving ALL the time. I loved her don’t get me wrong but not sure 1200 calories is sustainable long term.

 I have had terrible experiences with RDs. In general, it’s that even five years ago I was getting the advice to eat a bagel with no butter or cream cheese for breakfast (for example) and do like 60-70 percent carbs, 20 percent protein and as little fat as possible. My fitness coaches have me on a 40/30/30 plan which is much easier to follow and seems to work. I am thrilled with the idea that RDs are out there who are open to change but just have not personally met one who is.

Nope. I do not agree with the pyramid with cereal and grain at the bottom.

I honestly have never used a RD, but I have had several friends who had. There was nothing positive said. They said they never really learned anything. They were just told to cut calories very low and received lectures. Very restrictive type eating and told certain foods were 100% off limits. Never explained proper combinations ie protein/carb/fat, just calorie intake.

When my husband was in end stage renal failure and starting hemodialysis we had a RD stop by the hospital room and go over his diet and tell him all the things he couldn’t eat or had to restrict, hand us a bunch of papers for detail and ask us if we had any questions. That lasted 10-15 mins.

I’ve been to two RD’s. One pushed a strict vegan lifestyle. She had great ideas for whole food subs for meat, but I had/have no desire to be vegan and to fit her plan it was all or nothing. The other preached that only the quantity of calories mattered, not the quality. With both I could not get the scale to move and I felt like garbage more often than not. We worked with an RD when I was caregiving for my mother in law as well. She mostly gave us “eat this, not that” pamphlets and minimally answered questions. I was very disappointed with all of them and honestly haven’t taken most seriously since.

Hubs saw a RD for diabetic nutrition and the advice was not good. Eat whatever and take metformin.

 I’ve had 5 try to help me lose weight. 3 flat-out quit on me because my body doesn’t lose weight easily/at all and they thought I was cheating on the plans we had set up. 2 I had to stop seeing because after 6 months of only losing 7 pounds and then the scale going up again, my mental stability couldn’t handle it anymore.

I saw one for a while and she did nothing for me. I am now on a program with a great “coach” who has done more for me than anything else I’ve ever tried.

I saw one that was a total waste of my time and money! I have a severe intolerance to salicylates… and week after week I was lectured that I wasn’t eating enough green vegetables and I needed to eat more fruit and to cut out sugar! It was either dump her sorry ass or get really really sick…. so her ass got dumped!

 I got sick many years ago with a rare disease (Porphyria). I lost a lot of weight due to not being able to eat, spent two months in the hospital, had to relearn how to walk, etc.. After the hospital, I started gaining weight. 50 pounds one month, then another 20, then another 20; I went from 135 to 215 in a very short time. My doctor sent me to a dietitian who had me keep food diaries. Then she told me I was lying, that I couldn’t gain weight with what I was eating! Turns out that my medications had a lot to do with my weight gain. I will never forget her calling me a liar.

Image of one slice of pie in pie tin.

Occupational Freedom and Opportunity Act (HB1193) in Florida

Florida just updated the Dietetics and Nutrition Practice Law to add another exception to the need to be a licensed nutritionist. I know some RDs who are upset about this. We have been cautioned to “share and compromise” or else we will “lose it all.”

Ummm. WTF?

Legally allowing others to be able to help people get well with nutrition is something that we should be celebrating. RDs do not own the rights to nutrition practice.

It’s not pie.

Sharing this so-very-needed work does not take anything away from the RD. There is no shortage of people who need help with nutrition.

Image of one slice of pie in pie tin.

I am one of a small contingent of RDs who welcome the inclusion of other experts into this realm. Old-school RDs cling to the idea of ONLY RDs being “the food experts” and work behind the scenes to write letters to politicians and work with lobbyists.

How’s that working out for you RDs?

I say – who cares if the law allows everyone talk and provide guidance on nutrition? RDs should welcome this friendly competition and focus on building relationships for collaboration and strengthening our marketing to showcase the things that make RDs different.

Notice the word: different. Not the word: better.

The one place that RDs level of education and internship and experience IS a necessary thing is in the hospital and medical clinics. Tube feedings, parental nutrition, kidney dialysis, healing burn victims and pressure ulcers – These things needs more than a nutrition certification. This is the medical life-and-death level of nutrition care.

I don’t think anyone is saying that a CrossFit coach should be the one calculating your parental nutrition needs. Pretty sure hospitals aren’t going to start hiring them. This will regulate itself.

So now let’s shift our focus to the new paragraph added to the Florida Statutes.

DISCLAIMER. I’m an RD, not a lawyer. This is conversational and one person’s interpretation of the law. It is NOT meant to be legal guidance and you should NOT do anything without consulting with your own lawyer or based off your own interpretation and judgment.

It says: 468.505 Exemptions; exceptions.

(1) Nothing in this part may be construed as prohibiting or restricting the practice, services, or activities of:

(n) Any person who provides information, wellness recommendations, or advice concerning nutrition, or who markets food, food materials, or dietary supplements for remuneration, if such person does not provide such services to a person under the direct care and supervision of a medical doctor for a disease or medical condition requiring nutrition intervention, not including obesity or weight loss, and does not represent himself or herself as a dietitian, licensed dietitian, registered dietitian, nutritionist, licensed nutritionist, nutrition counselor, or licensed nutrition counselor, or use any word, letter, symbol, or insignia indicating or implying that he or she is a dietitian, nutritionist, or nutrition counselor.

Let’s break this down.

This is an exemptions paragraph. That means that people described in the paragraph are free to provide services or activities without being a licensed dietitian/nutritionist by the State of Florida.

Se let’s see who can do what under this new exemption paragraph.

The first part states that this exemption is for people who give nutrition information, advice, or wellness recommendations OR for people who sell food or dietary supplements for money.

Ah but there’s a caveat. The word “if” provides some limitations.

You can do this IF the person you are giving this info or advice to is not seeing a medical doctor for a disease or medical condition that requires nutrition intervention. Oh – but we aren’t counting obesity or weight loss as a disease or condition.

So, first, let’s define nutrition intervention. Oh. Whoops. It is not defined under the statute.

Okay so, let’s think about this. I would wager that most Floridians are seeing a medical doctor for a disease or medical condition that would benefit from nutrition intervention. We have to exclude weight management so think about the big ones: pre-diabetes, diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. These are diseases so if someone is seeing a doctor for these – even annually – they are under a doctor’s care and supervision.

So, I would expect to see a yes/no question asked by people who want to offer services and activities under this exemption. If someone check yes, they have a disease and they see a doctor, then the person cannot practice under this exemption. If they check no, then they are a generally healthy person who would benefit from help with nutrition. Great! Let’s get them to work with whoever they feel comfortable with to improve their nutrition!

And there’s one last part to this exemption, hang on!

Finally, if you aren’t licensed, don’t act like you are or make people think you are. This statute just claimed the title of nutritionist and nutrition counselor for the licensed professionals. If you are not licensed, you may still call yourself a nutrition coach or nutrionalist (who ever came up with that crazy word? LOL).

TLDR: you can now offer services and activities to people who are generally healthy and not under a doctor’s care as long as you are careful about how you represent yourself.

This is pretty awesome. Yes, I say this as a registered dietitian and licensed dietitian/nutritionist.

People – if you don’t have medical conditions, then please…

Go see your CrossFit coach for your macros diet…

Go see your stay-at-home mom starting her business to learn about planning healthy meals for your family,…

And go see your holistic nutrition coach to learn about an organic, clean diet.

If that’s your thing, go learn about it.

And I want to end this by pointing out when it’s a good idea to see that licensed nutritionist.

It all hinges on that medical condition/disease thing. That is important. I’ve witnessed a dietary supplement seller in a gym tell a woman that his company’s shakes are totally okay and would be great for her husband who is under-going chemotherapy. That’s a problem. Even the general “eat more veggies!” mantra can be dangerous advice to someone whose kidneys are failing. And that low-carb/keto diet that we all loved (until the pandemic – anyone have yeast and flour yet?) may put a person with diabetes on insulin into the hospital.

Most of the time, nutrition advice is harmless for the majority. But there are times when it should be given by someone who understands the intricacies of medical diseases and nutritional biochemistry and health. This, my RD friends, is where you fit in.

There is enough pie for everyone.


FL FL State Statutes definitions for dietetics and nutrition practice.

FL State Statutes on exemptions and exceptions to licensed dietetics and nutrition practice

Overview of bill:

Language of bill:

Are Kodiak Cups Good For A Quick Breakfast?

So, first, thank you to Kodiak Cakes for the RD Kit containing free products. I have been wanting to sample Kodiak cakes. As a regular macro-tracker, the higher amount of protein in Kodiak products intrigued me. I jumped at the chance when I found out they offered an RD Kit with some samples. I received four products in my kit. Two were grab-and-go (Kodiak Cups) and two flour mixes (Flapjack and Waffle Mixes).

To be transparent, there are no strings attached to the kit. The company shares these kits with RDs in the hopes that we will like their products and share our preference with our clients. You can see on my disclosure page that I give honest reviews of products and would never let receiving a free product or training influence my review.

I tried the Kodiak oatmeal first and was happy to see they sent my favorite flavor: maple and brown sugar.

In terms of ease of breakfast, this is a big winner. I used my electric tea kettle to heat water, added, and let it sit covered for the recommended two minutes. You can also add water and microwave. It does not get any easier than that.

On the positive side, the oatmeal has a good flavor, a good consistency, no aftertaste, and a nice ingredients list. I was concerned about the very small portion and it only has about half of the calories of my typical breakfast. This little cup of oatmeal kept me full until lunchtime which surprised me.

If you take a look at the nutrition facts, I’m sure you can figure out that the staying power was due to the carbohydrates and protein. I personally would like to see a little more fiber in an oatmeal product, but the small amount of fiber is most likely due to the small serving size.

When it comes to grains, always look for a product that lists the first ingredient as whole grain – which this one does. The protein was increased in this product by adding pea and milk proteins. I’m not one who is afraid of long complicated words on an ingredients list but this one keeps it very simple and I’m sure many “clean eaters” would give this product a thumbs up.

Overall thoughts?

Two Forks up! This is delicious, filling, and heart healthy.

Next, I tried the flapjacks in the Kodiak Cup. This serving size made my eyes much happier as it filled up more of the container. It smells amazing and has a good crumb; but I do recommend a spoon instead of a fork as it ends up getting very crumbly as it is eaten. Per my husband, this tastes like smushed up pancakes and it is true the finished product was a little bit dense.

This is also lower calorie for a breakfast for me, so I added some butter, which made it taste even better. If you’re looking to add calories. you could also add some syrup (but it totally isn’t needed) or top it with an egg.

Nutritionally my one concern was the high amount of saturated fat and this is due to the use of palm oil.

So let’s talk about that for a minute. In the big picture of a day’s eating, 4.5 grams of saturated fat at breakfast is not going to put you over any recommendations. The recommendations are to keep saturated fats to anywhere between 7% – 10% of total calories. What concerns me about the saturated fat makes up more than half of the total fats in the product.

Wait a minute… let’s think about this a little more and take a look at the ingredients. I will first say that nothing in the ingredients list concerns me in any way. I’m investigating why there’s such a high ratio of saturated fat to total fat in the product. It is because they use palm and palm kernel oil, which are both saturated fats. My guess is this is to prevent the product from going bad too quickly. Unsaturated fats are less stable and will go rancid more quickly, so I am guessing that they balanced out the need for shelf stability with the desire for a nice nutrition profile.

Big picture – 4.5 grams of saturated fat at one meal is not going to put anyone over the recommendations; but it is something to be aware of if you are watching your saturated fats for heart health.

I would also like to see just a little bit more protein in this product to give it a little more staying power.

Overall thoughts?

One Fork up! This is also delicious but it’s just a little less filling and has a little too much saturated fat for my preference. However… if you compare this to traditional pancakes you’re going to find that this has a nicer nutrition profile.

This RD says Kodiak Cups are dietitian approved for a filling, nutritious breakfast. Give these a try and let me know what you think!

What To Expect on a Grocery Store Tour

Are you curious about what actually happens on an interactive grocery store tour? Many people are unsure what to expect if they tour a grocery store with a nutritionist. Wonder no more – here is what you can expect on a grocery store tour with N.E.W. Motivation Coaching.

what to expect grocery tour blog imageA grocery store is an excellent resource for learning about food and food marketing in general, discovering which foods and products will work best for you and your family, and getting answers to your health and food questions.

In short, it is the best place to learn which foods can help you with your food goals because you have direct access to all the foods!

Expect a Mini Nutrition Education Class

Spend the first 15-20 minutes in a mini-class where you will learn the big-picture guidelines about the nutrition or health topic, how to read food labels, and what to look for on food packaging. You also get recommendations from 1-3 different agencies that make dietary recommendations so you can decide which guidelines fit your goals and food preferences the best.

Examples of tour topics include:

  • Heart Healthy Proteins
  • Healthy Grab-and-Go Grocery Store Meals
  • Fat, Sugar, and Salt
  • Keto Dieting – All about Dietary Fats
  • Low Carb Diets – Focus on Healthy Proteins & Fats

Expect to Walk the Store

This is where the fun really begins! After the mini nutrition education class, you will put Food-Label-Detectiveon your (imaginary) detective hat, go into the store, and put our hands on food packages. You get to put what you just learned into action to make better-for-you food choices.

You can go to the foods and brands you typically choose to take a good look at the packaging and compare it to other options. While brands may be recommended by your nutritionist based on your food preferences, budget, and health goals, you will not get any blanket brand recommendations during these tours. No kickbacks or bias here!

You will check out the package claims, nutrition facts, and ingredients to ensure the foods you choose fit into your food guidelines, you may learn about some hard-to-pronounce ingredients including what they are made of and how safe – or not – they are, and you may pick up some new tricks and tips to get the most out of your food choices. You also learn a little about how grocery store layout and food packaging can affect your buying choices without you even realizing it.

Expect Each Tour to be Different

Each tour has a focus but your questions determine where we go in the store and which foods we investigate.

Aisle by aisle, the nutritionist will help you make better food choices by pointing out marketing strategies and misleading packaging, showing you resources in the store that you probably haven’t ever noticed, introducing new foods and ingredients, and answering your food and nutrition questions.

Expect to Get Goodies

You always receive recipes related to the tour topic. You may also get samples of foods or coupons or other goodies like fabric grocery bags or shopping lists.

Expect to Become Empowered about Food

By the end of the tour, the confusion and anxiety around which foods to put in your grocery cart with will have been whisked away by the experience and insight you gained from having a dietitian at your side in the store.

You+RDYou will walk away empowered knowing you can choose healthier-for-you foods on your very next shopping trip. After this fun and interactive experience, you will be so much closer to knowing exactly how use food and nutrition to reach your health goals. You will also be well prepared to handle life’s curveballs because you know how to critically evaluate food packaging – instead of just getting brand recommendations. You will now have the skills to change your food choices as your health, needs and schedule changes.

In short, you will become an bonafide food label detective.

This is a guest blog by Vanessa Tarbell, University of North Florida Undergraduate Nutrition Student. 

5 Reasons to Go On a Grocery Store Tour

Do you dread going to the grocery store? Are you overwhelmed and confused with all the food choices you have? Do you wish you had a nutritionist by your side to help you to fill your up cart healthfully?

Grocery shopping should be a fun and easy task to check off your to-do list. And it can be when you become a savvy shopper and know how to make better, healthier choices!

Let’s review the 5 reasons you should join a grocery store tour!


#1: Don’t get tricked by the food packaging

Did you know that a food manufacturer can label food as having ZERO TRANS FAT even if there IS trans fat in the food? It’s true!

Just because a package claims to be fat-free or sugar-free doesn’t mean that the claim is true or that the food is healthy for you. This applies even if the food is in a green package misleading-food-packagingwith the word “Natural” in big type on the front of the package and there are pictures of farms or hearts on it.

On a grocery tour, you can grab your go-to foods and take a good look at the packaging. Learning to understand and use the nutrition label, ingredients listings, and health claims on packaging will help you make informed food choices.

Food producers can make health claims about certain nutrients (such as fiber, fats, and sodium) and while these claims must be based on scientific studies and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, that doesn’t mean the food is a good choice overall. That “heart-health approved” food may be low in sodium to earn that claim… but it still may be high in sugar and not so heart-healthy after all.

A grocery tour can show you how to dig deeper into the packaging and compare products with a nutritionist at your side. You will leave confident that you can choose the healthiest foods for you and your family

#2. Learn about food processing, food marketing, and how food impacts your health and weight

How do they make chickens lay eggs with omega-3 fats in them?

How in the world do they add fiber to yogurt?

What is the difference between Sugar In the Raw, Table Sugar, Stevia, and Splenda – and which one is the best choice for your health concerns and preferences?

How do they make FairLife Milk have more 50% more protein and 50% less sugar than traditional milk?

almonds-and-milkWhat actually happens if antibiotics end up in dairy milk when it’s being transported?

And… how many almonds are really in that glass of almond milk you drink?

A dietitian is your go-to for this kind of information. You will learn not only about how food impacts your health, but how it is produced, changed, fortified, stripped, shipped, and marketed with the hopes of grabbing your food dollars.

#3. Navigate the grocery store like a pro

When you first enter your grocery store you are greeted by all the bargain bins and the smell of freshly baked bread, or maybe fried chicken.

Deals! Deliciousness! Let us in!!

Grocery stores are doing this on purpose with the hopes that you will make more impulse buys while in the store. Those bargain bins at the door entice you to not miss a good deal – even if it isn’t something on your list.

Those delicious smells are there to turn on your appetite.

Have you noticed the music yet? Listen next time you go… it’s there to make the experience more relaxing in hopes you will slow down and stay longer.

The store’s layout is also designed to increase your impulse purchases.

  • cerealThe aisles are long and sometimes hard to maneuver. Ever run your cart into a bin in the aisle with a sale item?
  • The end caps are also a main driver for impulse shopping as they are prime real estate and food manufacturers pay a hefty fee to have their items placed there.
  • Even the real estate on the shelves is “for sale” to food manufacturers. Why do you think the brightly colored sugary children’s cereals are at their eye level?
  • How much space a product gets on the shelves? You guessed it. Paid for. Notice a pattern yet?
  • Products are displayed beautifully, shelves are fully stocked, and there are big, bold numbers on those bargain priced sales signs at the top saying “buy me!” Sometimes these items are not a bargain, so go for it! But sometimes they are just new or seasonal items.

You may have heard that you should shop the perimeter and outside areas of the grocery store. Well, sure but you may be missing out.

Healthy foods are hidden in some inside aisles if you know where to look and how to read the packaging. Grocery stores group like items together to help make your buying decision easier. So check out the aisles! Frozen, canned, boxed, or dried – look for fruits and vegetables, nuts, beans, whole grains, herbs, spices, shelf stable meats, dairy foods, and those wonderful bulk bins – they are all waiting for you to find them in the middle of the store.

#4. Make better-for-you food decisions with a nutritionist

Aisle by aisle, a licensed nutritionist will help you make healthier food choices by showing you how to read labels, introducing new ingredients, answering your food and nutrition questions, and providing grocery shopping and meal planning tips and tricks.

grocery-tour-exampleIf you have been wondering about that new cold brew coffee or the pre-made overnight oats or egg cups, a grocery tour is a great chance to figure out if those products are worth a try.

Or if you know that there is too much salt in the soup that has been your go-to for lunches, you can compare different brands and types of soups with a nutritionist pointing out how to choose the best option for your health concerns – or budget!

You will walk away empowered to choose the best brands and foods to use nutrition to reach your health goals.

#5. It’s fun!

Grocery tours give you a chance to get together with a few friends – or make new friends – in a hands-on practical way. The goal is to raise your awareness of healthful food choices and teach you how to eat more healthfully.

Grocery-Tour-Got-QuestionsGrocery tours are interactive – each one is different! Your questions guide what the tour covers so you can be sure to get what you need from the tour.

Who knows? You may even discover new foods and try something that you have never had before!

Ready To Go?

If you’re convinced that you need to hop on board for a grocery store tour then come out and join N.E.W. Motivation Coaching!

Our tours are focused on making the healthy choice the easy choice – while still helping you put delicious food on your table. One of our coaches will lead the tour and be available to answer any questions as well as give you tips and suggestions – and some recipes!

A grocery store tour can be one of the best learning experiences you can have to understand and improve your nutrition to reach your goals and live a healthy lifestyle.

Check our Calendar of Events or follow our FaceBook page for information or go to Eventbrite to register for our next tour. Next up is Heart Healthy Proteins on October 23 at 9:00 and 10:30 or on October 27 at 9:00 at the Nocatee Town Center Publix.

This is a guest blog by Vanessa Tarbell, University of North Florida Undergraduate Nutrition Student. 


Building a Healthy Diet with Smart Shopping.  website  Accessed September 28, 2018

Label Claims for Conventional Foods and Dietary Supplements.  U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  website  Accessed September 29, 2018

Choose  United Stated Department of Agriculture.  website  Accessed September 28,

Butternut Squash Agnolotti

This is a #HelloFresh meal delivery review of the Butternut Squash Agnolotti with Kale in a Sage Brown Butter Sauce. HelloFresh provided a Meal Delivery Box containing three meals to me free of charge. This post is therefore #sponsored. As always, all opinions in my reviews are mine and I if love it or hate it, I’ll let you know.

Okay, first, do you love every single word in the recipe name? OMG yes! Butternut is a good friend of mine and a long-time Thanksgiving meal staple growing up. If you don’t know agnolotti, it is a type of ravioli – ravioli and I also go way back thanks to Chef Boyardee and this great restaurant in Brooklyn that I believe was called Cinzino’s (or something like that…). Then add kale (yes, how cliché, an RD who loves kale, I know), and brown butter sauce – heaven!!! Yes, please, get in my belly! Um, so it is safe to say I was just a bit excited going into this recipe.

The flavors of the pine nuts and butternut squash is what took this dish over the top for me. I love pine nuts but they are so expensive, even when bought in bulk so you can just get a small portion! All the pine nuts were used in the recipe but there was a fair amount of leftover kale, which was sliced into thin strips making it quick to cook and got rid of the thicker stems that can be so fibrous and chewy. I’m a fan of leftover ingredients and this kale was an addition to the next day’s salad.


I did make one mistake (as usual!) since I was multi-tasking with filming and taking pictures while I cooked. I added the whole 1-cup of reserved pasta water to the sauce when the recipe clearly says to start by adding 1/4 cup and add more as needed. Whoops! No harm, no foul as I just cooked the sauce down longer to evaporate some of the extra water (and left some liquid behind in the pan when serving…).

Nutritionally, one serving has 640 calories, 15 grams of saturated fats, 59 carbs, 9 grams of fiber, and 24 grams of protein.

What would I change? 

Since I’m currently typically eating five times a day (yep!), this dish is simply too much food/calories for one meal for me. This meal would fit nicely into many people’s meal plans with a satisfying number of calories and fairly balanced nutrition – or it could be split into two servings (bonus – no cooking the second night!) and served with a veggie side to get more bites per meal.

What did I love? 

This is one of HelloFresh’s 20-Minute Meals and it is such an easy recipe to make! The only chopping is to slice a shallot and mince garlic. That’s it! Chopping and prep work is the worst part of cooking to me so this is a big check in the win column for this recipe.

Lessons Learned?

Read the directions. Then read the directions. Then read them again.

HelloFresh provided a Meal Delivery Box containing three meals to me free of charge. This post is therefore #sponsored. As always, all opinions in my reviews are mine and I if love it or hate it, I’ll let you know.


A Gift: Enjoy the Holidays without Sabotaging Your Health

I am beyond excited to announce a gift to you from me and N.E.W. Motivation Coaching. Because I am so unhappy with the Diet Culture / Weight Loss wheels turning as we come to the end of another year, I am giving away – yes free – both a video course and a booklet this year. 


Unfortunately, December is a month when many feel overwhelmed with stress and give up on their health goals believing they will return to healthy habits in January when they make their resolutions.

There is some good in this actually.

If you look at the research on willpower, it indicates that people are not as successful at white-knuckling it / sucking it up / using their willpower to [insert goal here: stick to their meal plan, exercise daily, go to sleep on time, etc] when they are either stressed or depressed.

The trick is to manage the stress or depression first and then re-focus on health goals. If you are stressed in December, then relaxing on your health goals may be 100% appropriate. 

Giving up entirely to eat like a jerk and couch surf for 4-6 weeks, however, can result in a pretty big back-slide on health complete with weight gain and loss of cardiovascular endurance and muscle mass/strength! Oh, and an increase in blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugars, and those other health concerns that are totally impacted by your daily food and activity choices.

So, what do we do?

I’ve got an idea: Find a way to both enjoy the holidays and keep some focus on your health goals. It is so very possible to do with a few tricks & tips up your sleeve!


The free course gives you 5 realistic tips to coast through the holidays while staying true to your health – and weight – goals as well as 3 worksheets and a health coach walks you through making your personal strategy in the videos so you can enjoy the holidays without sabotaging your health!

You also get tips for making traditional holiday foods healthier AND a list of which herbs and spices pair best with which foods so you can reduce fat and sodium without sacrificing flavor.

This course is designed for:

Dieters who are tired of the repeated cycles of weight loss and regain who want to find peace with food, activity, and themselves so they can improve health and weight

Adults with – or at risk for – chronic lifestyle diseases who want to find realistic and enjoyable ways to approach lifestyle changes so they can reduce their risk for chronic diseases and live a healthier life.

People who are confused or overwhelmed with all the conflicting rules and information about nutrition and exercise who want to sort it out so they can find a lasting, realistic plan that works in their unique lives.


I offered this information last year as an in-person class and just didn’t get to share it with enough people! So this year we are giving it away in order to get this good info into the hands of more people who need this type of support and guidance during the season.

Check it out – try some tips before the next big holiday meal in just a few short weeks – and share this with anyone you think may benefit from it! There is no limit on how many freebies we give away so share it as much as you would like to!

Here is the link text:

So you know, this is only 50% of the tips we share in our Love Yourself Healthy Plan. We will be sharing more on that soon!

Yes, you can eat the pecan pie AND be healthy.

Abracadabra – you’re thin!

I have to share that I’m feeling kind of sad, angry, and disillusioned. It’s that time of year, I know. That time where every crazy idea about weight loss and getting ripped invades every media outlet in our lives.

I should be used to it; but I’m not.

It makes me sad because of all the bullshit out there.

Just this week, I’ve seen very disturbing ads. Disturbing on one hand because they are utter ridiculousness. Disturbing on the other hand because of people’s reactions to them… or should I say blind faith in them being their magic bullet for weight loss. Oh, yeah, without having to do anything except buy and use this magical new product.

Have you seen the ad for lycra pants with some magical compound woven into the fabric that is absorbed by your skin and melts fat away yet?


I mean really – think for a moment and tell me if you believe this? If this were true, everyone would know about this magical potion that melts body fat – no work required, just rub it on and abracadabra – you’re thin!

I also just saw and ad for exercises no one over 40 should do because hormones.

What the bloody hell?

I couldn’t watch it all but this charlatan has a whopping 4 studies he is using to back up his claim that women over 40 shouldn’t do cardio because it messes up their hormones (again, what the bloody hell?). Oh and I guess cardiovascular health is not as important as your weight even though heart disease remains the #1 killer in the USA?

Ummm. Okay, let’s move on ignoring this major fact.

The next part was that this guy can show you the 12-minute exercise plan that will keep you burning fat and calories for hours after you exercise (spoiler: pretty much all exercise has this impact – Learn more about EPOC.)

Damn you science.

Yes, hormones are a big part of weight loss and metabolism. But the detox metabolism tea or the 12-minutes of exercise a day aren’t going to fix them or abracadabra – we’d all be thin!

But the worst part for me is the comments. This is what makes me angry.

It’s not what I’d expect of people crying BULLSHIT! No, it’s the vulnerable and hopeless pouring out their health problems in a comment and asking if the program will work for them.

People peddling this bullshit to these people should be ashamed of themselves. 


Of course, we also have had the supplements and pills around for decades now. Someone is still making money off them (off of you?) or they wouldn’t still be peddling this particular type of snake-oil.

The claim, as always, is just take these pills, no exercise or food changes required and abracadabra – you’re thin!

At least the shakes let you know you have to give up eating twice a day and instead drink their miracle shakes.

Listen, there is some evidence (as in research, not testimonials) for pills and supplements for weight loss but the fine print is usually along the lines of people losing an extra few pounds (not a lot of weight) when they also exercise and/or change their food. It’s not just the pills, people. And there’s not a big difference in weight lost with the pills.

Do you know what you are risking for that extra 5 pounds off loss with a pill or supplement?

Well, if it’s an over the counter supplement, just liver failure or death because these are not regulated.

If it’s a prescribed medication, then it’s just insomnia, damage to liver or heart valves, increased blood pressure, seizures, and diarrhea – fun!

But hey – 5 more pounds! Woo!

Learn more about weight loss prescriptions and supplements and the difference in how these come to market.

At least with the shakes you know you are going to be starving yourself – no matter how “filling” the shakes claim to be, it’s not food and there is no chewing.

But sure, take in a mere 700-1000 calories a day and you will lose weight… and stall out your metabolism so when you stop the shakes (because come on it is not a life-time plan), all that weight you re-gain is going to be fat instead of muscle now because you have wrecked your metabolism.

They should put that in the ads too #truthinadvertising.


Actually, one of my favorite studies on an MLM shake product was provided by a seller and touted as proof that their shakes are different. The punchline? After actually reading the journal article, it turns out they gauged their weight loss shakes a success because the shake users regained less weight after one year than other dieters.

WTH? Regained less weight.

Right. Not actually losing weight… but regaining less weight back. Wow.

This all makes me disillusioned because here I am – hello – peddling health and weight loss through exercise and nutrition changes along with lifestyle management for stress and sleep.

Yawn. Boring.

And what? I expect people to do some work?

Yes. Work smarter, not harder; but work nonetheless.

At any rate, these are some random thoughts from a dietitian health coach as the money-making season begins for weight loss.

I have no real point today.

I’ll sit by and bite my tongue… and hope that someday we can see behind the abracadabra curtain and believe that common sense is sexy again.

Recipe: Coco-Choco-Chia Pudding (Gluten-Free!)

We are so excited about publishing our first Celiac Disease ebook that we are sharing gluten-free recipes in advance of our gluten-free focused special deals for October! First up is a coconut, chocolate, chia seed pudding. So much yes!

This is one of three gluten-free, treats (snacks or desserts) we are showcasing at our next Make & Take Meal Prep Workshop but we love it so much we are sharing it with you here too. By the way, this recipe is also dairy-free and vegan! And yes, it can be all these things and still delicious!


If you want to also learn to make Peach (or Pineapple!) Cheesecake and the Peanut Pecan Dream, we invite you to join us at the October 13, 2017 workshop (or see Upcoming Events to find the next workshop!) where you get to make three gluten-free, healthy, and delicious desserts – that can also fit in as a great afternoon snack – and take four meal-prepped treats home with you.  You will get the recipes and learn about what makes these treats a healthier option and what’s really going on with sugar and your health.

Yes, I said healthy AND delicious. I mean, where else can you get 10 grams of fiber, 20% of the Daily Value (%DV) for Vitamin D, and 50% of the DV for calcium in a dessert!?? This is one treat you can feel good about giving your little ones (or enjoying for yourself!) because this sugar comes with some solid nutrition as well!

Without further ado – here is the recipe! Click for printer-friendly PDF!

Coco-Choco-Chia Pudding

A Mason Jar Meal-Prep Workshop Recipe by Alexia Lewis RD / N.E.W. Motivation Coaching

Makes 1 serving


 1                        Mason Jar, 1-cup size

3/4 cup           Almond milk, dark chocolate

2 Tbsp             Chia seeds

1 packet          Alternative sweetener

1 Tbsp             Coconut, shredded, no sugar added

1 pinch            Salt

2 Tbsp             Coconut whipped topping


1.      Measure all ingredients except coconut whipped topping into blender

2.     Blend for 30 seconds

3.     Pour mixture into mason jar

4.     Top with whipped topping

5.     Close jar tightly and store in refrigerator until ready to eat (up to 3-5 days)


250 calories, 14 g fat (5 g saturated fat, 0 trans fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 275 mg sodium, 30 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 5 g protein plus 50% DV calcium and 20% DV Vitamin D


This will have a slightly “gritty” texture due to grinding the chia seeds, you can skip grinding (and skip alternative sweetener) but you should refrigerate 2 days before serving or pudding will be much more liquid. 

Reduce added sugar/carbohydrates by using unsweetened almond milk plus 1 scoop chocolate protein powder.