Tag Archives: nutritionist

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.  nutrition.gov.  website https://www.nutrition.gov/subject/shopping-cooking-meal-planning/food-shopping-and-meal-planning/build-healthy-diet-smart-shopping.  Accessed September 28, 2018

Label Claims for Conventional Foods and Dietary Supplements.  U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  website https://www.fda.gov/Food/LabelingNutrition/ucm111447.htm.  Accessed September 29, 2018

Choose MyPlate.gov.  United Stated Department of Agriculture.  website https://www.choosemyplate.gov.  Accessed September 28,

Who Is the Best Health Professional to Help with Creating New Lifestyle Habits?

With so many options for a finding a health professional to help you move towards your health goals, how do you know how to choose? Let me be clear that your medical doctor is your first partner but you only get so much in-person time there! Let your doctor help guide your decisions about what to work on; then find a health professional to find the best strategies to get it done!

First, figure out how you want to approach your goals – do you want to focus on nutrition, on activity, or on a combination of many things: sleep, stress, time management, consistency, overcoming your typical challenges? This will guide you to the best person to help you. Second – and so important – is to find someone who makes you feel comfortable. Finally, make sure they have relevant education and hands-on experience. You want to make sure it is safe before you put your trust and health in someone’s hands!


Before jumping in to the many types of health professionals you can choose from, let me start with some key differences.

Nutrition Education / Nutrition Recommendations / Medical Nutrition Therapy.

Anyone, even you, can provide nutrition education as long as you are not paid. You can look up credible guidelines (American Heart Association USDA’s Choose My Plate,  etc.) and share the information one-on-one or in a group as “nutrition education” in general terms. Now, if you decide to charge people for the education, you should probably check out the laws in your state because that changes things. In the 46 states in the U.S.A. that have license laws for nutrition , only certain professionals can (legally) make nutrition recommendations or practice Medical Nutrition Therapy. A nutrition recommendation would be giving you a meal plan or recommending a specific food change/supplement. To illustrate the difference, giving education is saying, “What we know about X is Y;” making a recommendation is saying, “If you are concerned about X, you should do Y.”  Medical Nutrition Therapy / MNT is giving recommendations about a dietary/nutrition approach for any health condition from a gluten sensitivity to heart disease or cancer. This does not involve diagnosing health conditions but it does include dietary “treatment” for health conditions.

Exercise Education / Exercise Foundation / Exercise Training.

Exercise education is like nutrition education. Anyone can speak in general terms about credible information regarding exercise and activity if not paid. An exercise foundation is getting someone started with exercise. It may be assessing you for exercise readiness, screening you to find out you should talk to your doctor first, or helping you start a beginner’s program designed by an exercise agency/trainer, such as an easy walking program. It should not make you breathless, involve lifting anything, or be hands-on exercise guidance one-on-one or in a group setting. Exercise training (personal training) is making recommendations by giving you a workout routine they designed or doing hands-on instruction and guidance (leading you through a work out).

As an aside for both of these definitions of terms: many people are more successful when given education and having a discussion with their health professional about how to apply it. Getting a recommendation is what many people think they want, only to find out those recommendations don’t stick for long. We all know that someone else telling you what to do rarely works for long… we tend to start tweaking things or just straight-up stop, right? A health professional skilled in having the conversation with people about behavior and lifestyle changes can be just as – if not more – helpful in the long-term than someone who can make recommendations.

education plus discussion

Types of Health Professionals

Certified Health Coach. If you want to focus in many areas, this is your go-to professional! Just know that there are many different types of coaching certifications with some being intensive and some being laughable – so ask questions. The more intensive certifications can require a NCCA-accredited certification/license or an associate’s degree in a health-related field as a prerequisite, followed by additional education (classes, readings, practical videos, critiqued practice of coaching skills) and a proctored exam. They can coach you in many areas of health and wellness including nutrition education, exercise education (and possibly building your exercise foundation), sleep, stress, time management, consistency, overcoming challenges, etc. They should also be skilled in motivating you to change and dispelling health myths.

Certified Personal Trainer. For exercise, this is your go-to professional! The same agencies that certify Health Coaches may also certify Personal Trainers so the requirements for this certification are similar except that only a high school diploma and current CPR certification are required. Personal Trainers can do exercise education, foundation, and training. They will know how to work around any injuries you have; but they cannot diagnose or treat injuries (that’s medicine) or help with injury recovery (that’s physical therapy). They can lead you through workouts or design an exercise program for you to follow on your own. For nutrition, dig a little deeper into their training. Legitimately credentialed personal trainers will have some education in nutrition and they can obtain extra certifications in nutrition (quality of programs vary); however, they are limited to nutrition education.  They should also be skilled in motivating you to change and dispelling exercise myths.

Registered Dietitian / State-Licensed Nutritionist. For nutrition, this person is your go-to professional! They will have an undergraduate (or master’s) degree in health / nutrition science and have completed 1,200 hours of hands-on practical internships. They can do nutrition education, make recommendations, and provide MNT. “Registered Dietitian” and “Dietitian” are legally protected titles in most U.S. States. “Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist” is a title for those who have a license from their state’s Department of Health (same as a medical or trades license). In terms of exercise, they can provide exercise education and let you know if your “calories burned” part of the energy equation is low; but they cannot do any exercise foundation or training work with you. They should be skilled in motivating you to change and dispelling nutrition myths.

Nutritionist / Nutritionalist / Nutrition Counselor / Etc. Go make yourself a web page and business card – I’ll wait – congrats you are now a nutritionist! Would you put your health in the hands of someone simply because they have a good eye for design and a compelling way with words? Or because some new and interesting eating or exercise thing they did worked for them? Please be smarter than this. Some “schools” will give people a nutritionist title and it may mean nothing (very little training) or it may be more intensive; either way, unless they are a “licensed nutritionist” they can still only legally do nutrition education in many states. Ask questions before working with someone with this kind of title.

Mental Health Counselor. At times (lots of times), food and exercise issues are rooted in emotional and mental health. The previously listed health professionals help you with the “outside work” (doing things) and can help you work through some of the smaller internal mental challenges with creating new lifestyle habits. They can also help you identify if some more involved “inside work” (thinking things) might be helpful and refer you to a therapist. This is a great person to have on your team; just be sure to find someone state-licensed.

Where do I fit in? I’m so glad you asked!

I am a Certified Health Coach (American Council on Exercise), Registered Dietitian, and State-Licensed Dietitian/Nutritionist (Florida); but my approach is different from many other RDs.

I have had clients tell me they were not interested in working with me because I am an RD; but they gave an RD one last try. After a while, they confessed this to me that all they got before were handouts and food rules and it was not helpful. There was no flexibility; just “here, do this.” Thankfully, I do not speak about all RDs here – as practitioners, we are as different as the people you will find in any other helping field.  You will not get a handout, some food rules, and a plan from me and I will not tell you how you should go about reaching your goals. Someone else’s plan (even mine!) will not work for you for long – and it certainly does not get you near the goal of making changes stick for a lifetime.

My job as I see it is to help you examine your goals and how they fit into your lifestyle, break your food rules, and explore the many options you have to reach your goals. Then we set about finding a few small, flexible, realistic ways for you to move towards those goals. I will not tell you what you should or should not do.

Don’t enough people already try to tell you what to do?

Yours in Good Health,

-Alexia Lewis RD

This article is Part 2 of 4 in “Health versus Weight as a Focus for Wellness.”

Part 1: The Continuum of Approaches to Health: Thoughts from a Curvy and Healthy Dietitian Health Coach

Part 3: If Diets Don’t Work, How Can a Health Coach Help Me?

Part 4: What Is This No-Diet / Anti-Diet Thing Anyway?

References & Resources:

Health Coach Certification, American Council on Exercise: https://www.acefitness.org/fitness-certifications/health-coach-certification/default.aspx

ACSM Certified Personal Trainer, American College of Sports Medicine: https://certification.acsm.org/acsm-certified-personal-trainer

5 Steps to Become a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics: http://www.eatrightpro.org/resource/career/become-an-rdn-or-dtr/high-school-students/5-steps-to-become-a-registered-dietitian-nutritionist


The Vegan Experiment – Day Four: All Protein Powder is Not Created Equal

I made two breakfasts on Day Four. It is rare that I make something that is inedible. Even my most crazy flavor combinations result in edible, even if unusual, dishes. This was not the case on this day. I had to toss my first breakfast. It was truly that bad. Most protein powders that I’ve used have anywhere from 16-22 grams of protein in a scoop. Since plants do not contain as much protein as the other foods used to make protein powders (whey, soy, etc.), the amount of powder that has to be used to get to 21 grams of protein is huge. It completely overpowered my usually-delicious pumpkin pie oatmeal. I couldn’t eat it. I almost forced myself since I dread throwing away food; but I just couldn’t make myself eat it.

So, here we go – food pictures!

Breakfast #1: Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal – adapted from Clean Eating Magazine. I’m sharing the recipe because if you make this with vanilla whey protein powder, it is very yummy!

First, start your oatmeal on the stove by boiling 2 parts water, adding 1 part whole oats (example: 2/3 cup water and 1/3 cup oats), and then simmering until the desired consitency. While simmering, mix one scoop protein powder with a tiny bit of water and stir into a paste. You can see the plant protein powder took up half the bowl!

Nearly half a bowl-full of plant protein powder to get 21 grams of protein
Nearly half a bowl-full of plant protein powder to get 21 grams of protein

Next take the same measuring cup you just used for measuring your oatmeal and water, and fill it half with pumpkin puree (no salt) and half with sliced almonds. If you use the same measuring cup, then you can easily adjust this recipe for any amount of oatmeal without having to do any food math!

Pumpkin puree and sliced almonds
Pumpkin puree and sliced almonds

Once the oats are cooked, simply add them to the bowl with the protein powder and stir in the pumpkin and almonds. Top this with a dash of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Breakfast #2:  Kashi Heart to Heart Honey Toasted Oats cereal with almond milk, sliced almonds, and raisins. Coffee with almond milk and splenda. Thank you to Jason McDonald for commenting on my blog post to add nuts to cereal because it made me realize I can add some protein and fun to a basic cereal!

Pumped up cereal
Pumped up cereal

Post-workout Snack: Smoothie made with banana, pineapple, peanut butter, and flaxseed. Blend with as much ice and water as it takes to get the volume and consistency that you like.

Smoothie in progress
Smoothie in progress
Smoothie completed!
Smoothie completed!

Lunch: Hummus wrap (homemade with chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, curry powder, and salt) with lettuce, tomato, and cucumber served with pretzel sticks.

The insides of the hummus wrap
The insides of the hummus wrap

Snack #2: almonds

Dinner: Whole wheat spaghetti with homemade sauce of onions, tomatoes, garlic, silken tofu, marinara sauce, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and fresh basil served with sandwich thin garlic toast (olive oil, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning). For this, I first sauted the onions then added the chopped garlic and chopped tomatoes and let those cook just a little. Then I added the marinara sauce and tofu and cooked to heat through. Last step was seasoning with the spices. It looks a little weird as a sauce due to how the tofu stirred in to the sauce in a chunky way. If I make this again, I’ll blend the sauce as a last step to make it smooth. Regardless of what it looked like, it was good! I think this was extra yummy due to the organic onions and basil from the university’s garden!

Pretty tomatoes, onions, and garlic
Pretty tomatoes, onions, and garlic
Vegan spaghetti
Vegan spaghetti

One victory for today is the realization that my usual urge to (over)-snack on the days that I work from home is greatly diminished following this plan. That’s usually a huge struggle for me and I give in to the temptation to graze all day even thought I’m not hungry. Today, I had that urge for a minute and I was able to overcome it. Overall, I’m feeling good and strong; still gassy but my body is (finally!) adjusting to the extra fiber it’s starting to get a little better! My energy levels are normal for me and I can still think clearly and have strength for
yoga class.

In case you are wondering, I did live the vegan lifestyle for five days in a row. I’m just not the fastest blogger. It’s something I’m working on.

Nutrition information: 1415 calories, 235 grams carbohydrates, 46 grams fiber, 395 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 0 cholesterol, 55 grams protein, and 1360 milligrams sodium. For the daily values, my numbers were 54% calcium, 77% iron, 30% vitamin D, 36% zinc, and 250% vitamin B12.

Once again, all images are my personal pictures. You may use them as long as you credit me (my name and a link back to my Web site).

Roasted Spicy Chickpeas

Vegan Experiment – Day Two: Ranch Dressing!

Today, I realized that there is more to think about when following a vegan lifestyle than just meat and dairy foods. I have to admit to an unintentional slip today – ranch dressing! But I’ll get to that as I go through my meals in pictures.

Breakfast: Kashi Cinnamon Harvest cereal with almond milk, coffee with almond milk and splenda.

An easy vegan breakfast
An easy vegan breakfast

Snack: Roasted spicy chickpeas.

Roasted Spicy Chickpeas
Roasted Spicy Chickpeas

This was a time-consuming recipe; but I’m working on stretching my food dollars so it was worth the effort. I started with a bag of dried garbanzo beans (chickpeas) and soaked and cooked them one day. The next day, I tossed the half of the cooked beans with a tablespoon of canola oil, a pinch of salt, and a fair amount of paprika, cumin, and a touch of cayenne pepper. Then I cooked them in the oven at 400 degrees for about an hour on a baking sheet lined with tin foil and sprayed with canola oil cooking spray. Cook the beans in one layer because the goal is to dry them out until they are a crispy crunchy treat. If you don’t cook them long enough, they will be mealy. I know this from my first attempt at this recipe! Per 1/2-cup serving: 135 calories and 7 grams of protein.

Post-workout snack: granny smith apple courtesy of my gym’s member appreciation day offerings.

Lunch: Last night’s dinner leftovers: Quinoa with red/green bell peppers, red onions, garlic, pineapple, sliced almonds, and a dash of sriracha sauce served with a side of roasted vegetables (beets, carrots, onions) seasoned with canola oil, garlic powder, oregano, and red pepper flakes.

Quinoa bowl and roasted garden vegetables
Quinoa bowl and roasted garden vegetables

Snack: Sweet Peanut Butter Smoothie!

I typically make my smoothies with either milk, yogurt, or almond milk depending on what I have on hand and how much protein and calories I would like to have. This time, I used water and ice instead of a milk or yogurt. I blended banana, pineapple chunks, and peanut butter with water and ice (adjusting to fill my cup and be the consistency and I wanted).

Snack: Celery and snap peas.

This is where I inadvertenly fell off the vegan wagon. I had an evening meeting to attend. The good news is that I brought the snacks and so could bring vegan alternatives. One thing I brought was a veggie tray with ranch dressing. I grabbed a celery stick and dipped it in the ranch dressing and as I was chewing, it hit me that the dressing was probably not vegan! I checked and I was correct – buttermilk is the second ingredient. This made me realize that there are more foods to limit that I realized. I wanted the convenience of the pre-made veggie tray… If only the grocery stores packaged veggie trays with hummus instead of dressing.

Dinner: Portobella mushroom sandwiches (mushroom, lettuce, avocado, mustard on sandwich thin) and Alexia sweet potato fries with ketchup.

Portobella sandwich with sweet potato fries
Portobella sandwich with sweet potato fries

When making the Portobello sandwich, I was reaching for the mayonnaise when I realized that was also not vegan! This is more difficult than a vegetarian diet.

So, how am I feeling? Gassy! There is so much fiber in my diet now!

Otherwise, I’m feeling good and have energy for working out. I’m getting plenty of carbohydrates and calories; but I am still lacking in protein. I love how incredibly low my saturated fat, cholesterol, and sodium intake is following a vegan diet. Even with my one unintentional slip, I’m still going strong and feeling good about sticking with this challenge!

Nutrition information: 1360 calories, 204 grams carbohydrates, 43 grams fiber, 35 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 0 trans fat, 0 cholesterol, 43 grams protein, and 725 milligrams sodium. For the daily values, my numbers were 60% calcium, 63% iron, 25% vitamin D, 8% zinc, and 0 vitamin B12.

All images are personal photographs. You may use them as long as you credit me (my name and a link back to my Web site).

Woman with basket of fruits, vegetables, and bread

The Vegan Experiment

The gauntlet has been thrown down and I said, “Challenge accepted!” The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has issued a challenge to dietetics professionals to live a vegan lifestyle for five days.

I am not doing this for the Vitamix blender that is the prize in this contest (although I would gladly accept it). I am doing this because I believe that a vegetarian or vegan diet can be just as healthful and complete as a diet that includes animal products. In my work as a wellness dietitian at a university, I always make my cooking demonstrations vegetarian, and vegan when possible, to show the community that vegetarian/vegan meals can be yummy and satisfying. I decided I would “walk my talk” for five days.

I mean, anyone can do anything for a mere five days, right?

Let’s start with the basics: what is veganism?

There are many levels of vegetarianism. I think the definition that many people think of for a vegetarian is a person who eats no meats. However, some vegetarians still include fish (pescatarians) and some still include dairy and/or eggs (lacto/ovo-vegetarians). If carnivores (meat-eaters) on one very end of the scale, then vegans are at the other end. Vegans do not eat any animal products – meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs, cheese, or butter. As a friend pointed out on my Facebook page, vegans may even decide not to eat honey since animals make honey.

For more information, see the Academy’s Web site, which includes a link to a PDF document that is their position on vegetarian diets. There is a wealth of information in the position paper.

Personally, I could easily become a pescatarian. For my health, since I have heart disease, I would choose to include fish due to the nice heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids in some fish. But cutting out cheese and milk? I think I could live on tomatoes and cheese alone… so this will present a challenge.

Finally, since I am a registered dietitian, I am concerned about the nutritional quality of my vegan choices. I will have to do some planning. There are two things that I will be thinking about when I follow a vegan diet. One is to make sure I am combining foods in a way that makes complete proteins and the other is to get all the important nutrients about which vegans must be concerned (see the link to the Academy’s Web site above). Some nutrients are found mostly in animal products so vegans must have the knowledge to plan meals that include these nutrients.

I also personally tend to eat as clean as I can, so I doubt I will be including the packaged vegan alternatives. I have to look at the food labels; but the way I remember it, these products have a long list of ingredients that are not whole foods or natural flavors or preservatives. This is a personal choice; not a part of veganism.

I am beginning my planning this week. So far, I think I will try silken tofu as a scrambled egg replacement and I just bought a few bags of dry beans to play with. I would love any ideas so please post your comments and tell me about your favorite vegan recipes.

Wish me luck!

(Note: Free images from http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/)


And We’re Live!

Welcome! Today is the day I officially launch my Web site.

To celebrate the occasion, I have just posted a cooking demonstration showing you how to make “mom’s homemade salsa” which makes a great snack or can be used in other recipes. You can find the video on my “Cooking Videos” page or on my YouTube page which is linked from the “Follow Me On…” page.

Please help me spread the word by sharing my site with others. I welcome all feedback so let me know if I help you with “nutrition made easy.”


Ready to cook!
Ready to cook!
Quinoa Loaded Bowl

Thoughts on Dieting and a Quinoa Recipe

One Pea on a Fork
One Pea on a Fork

I believe we should all eat when we are hungry.

I interned and now work part-time with a private practice that specializes in eating disorders. We all have that voice inside our heads that sends us positive and negative messages about our bodies, our food intake, our ability to control these things. Eating disorders, like any psychological illnesses, are normal thought patterns taken to the extreme. Those with eating disorders battle with that voice in their heads and that voice begins to win.

I have also worked briefly at a bariatric surgeon’s office who specialized in lapband surgery. I had ethical issues with his post-surgery diet so it wasn’t a good fit. In the time I worked there, however, I saw another form of disordered eating in both the pre- and post-surgery patients.

Both of these populations had lost touch with or flat out ignored their body’s hunger and satiety cues and I, in no way, endorse this.

If you are hungry, eat. If you are not hungry, don’t eat.

Yes, that is simplistic and much easier said than done; but that’s the premise for a healthy relationship with food.

I  also do not believe in “dieting” per se. The research shows time and time again that dieting does not work. No matter the method (low carb, low fat, high protein, shakes, meal plans, or simple calorie restriction), the weight comes off (duh), the dieting stops, and the weight comes back on. The diet mentality is not effective.

One can go “off” a diet and therein lies the problem.

I’ll step off my soapbox now to share a recipe and picture. I’m working on my food photography skills. Here is a version of a recipe I found in Clean Eating Magazine.

Quinoa Bowl: 1/2 cup quinoa, 1/2 cup rinsed black beans, 7 grape tomatoes halved, chopped red onion to taste, 1/4 avocado chopped, red wine vinegar to taste, lime juice, and cilantro. YUM!

Nutrition Info: 335 kcal, 56g CHO, 9 g fat, 13g protein.

Quinoa Loaded Bowl
Quinoa Loaded Bowl

Original publication date July 29, 2012 at http://newmotivationcoaching.blogspot.com.Images from personal photographs and http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images

A Healthy Plate from ChooseMyPlate.gov

Fill Your Plate with Color for National Nutrition Month

A Healthy Plate from ChooseMyPlate.gov
A Healthy Plate from ChooseMyPlate.gov

March is National Nutrition Month and what better way to celebrate than with a plateful of colors?

The Academy of Nurtition and Dietetics’s (formerly theAmerican Dietetic Association) theme for the 2011 National Nutrition Month is “eat right with color” to emphasize the importance of choosing a variety of foods to promote optimal health. Since different colors of food contain different types of nutrients, incorporating a variety colors provides a wide range of nutrients that our bodies need to function at their best.

Other guidelines for healthy eating include:

Enjoy 2-3 servings of fruit every day. These provide many vitamins and minerals in the form of phytochemicals along with fiber. Eat the skins when you can! Fresh fruits make a great snack food, frozen fruits add thickness to homemade smoothies, and fruits can be pureed to use in place of fats in baking.

Sneak in 5-7 servings of vegetables every day. It’s important to eat vegetables from all five categories – dark green, orange/deep yellow, starchy, legumes (peas and beans), and others such as onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, okra, green beans, and cucumbers. Vegetables provide many nutrients and fiber. Pile vegetables on sandwiches, add to sauces and frozen entrees, and puree to add to soups. Just be sure to not add on calorie-laden sauces!

Aim for making half of your grain selections whole. Whole grains provide fiber and carbohydrates necessary for energy and brain power. Replace processed, refined, white products with whole grain products when choosing rice, pasta, and bread. Not all brands taste the same, so don’t give up if you don’t like the first one you try.

Lean meats and dairy are good choices for protein. Proteins are the building blocks of our bodies; they are the basis for our enzymes and hormones and build muscle that enables us to move. Proteins are typically high in fat. The healthiest options are to choose lean cuts of meat, to remove visible fat and grease when cooking, and to look for low-fat or non-fat dairy products.

Last but not least are the fats. Fats are a major component of our cell membranes, they provide padding for our internal organs, and they help with absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins. Just be sure to choose the healthier mono- and poly-unsaturated fats found in avocado, almonds, walnuts, fatty fish, and canola, safflower, or olive oils.

Fill your plate with a variety of colors while following the above guidelines and you are taking a big step towards good health.

By the way… March 9th is Registered Dietitian Day. Have you hugged your RD lately?

Original publication date: March 2, 2011 at http://newmotivationcoaching.blogspot.com.

Image from: Choosemyplate.gov.

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Allow Me To Introduce Myself

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This is me! Hello!

My name is Alexia Lewis and I am a Registered and Licensed Dietitian.

To learn more about me and what I hope to accomplish with this Web site, please take a look at the “About Me” page, the “Media” page, and read some of my posts.

I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing and sharing my ideas about nutrition!