Spring Cleaning?

pantryIt is that time of year…again. While you are cleaning out your closets and garage, do not forget the pantry. Be sure to dig in the back and check the expiration dates.  You will be surprised what could be hiding in the back corner from 2005.

Here is a handy list of staples to keep on hand for a variety of healthy meals:

  • Brown rice
  • Whole wheat bread
  • Quinoa
  • Pita chips/whole wheat crackers
  • Canned vegetables (low sodium)
  • Broth of your choice
  • Lentils
  • Beans (dry or canned)
  • Oatmeal
  • Nuts
  • Canned tuna (packed in water)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cereal (low in sugar/high in fiber)

More recipes coming soon that will show you how to mix and match the staples above for yummy meals in a snap…


WEEK ONE: Water, Water Everywhere

(Note: This is the second post in a series. Click for previous post And the Journey Begins….again)

Here we go with week one. I know what you are thinking. Why start something on a Thursday? Shouldn’t you start on Monday or on January 1st since this will be a year long adventure? My responses are also questions. How many lasting changes were accomplished by starting “on Monday”? How many New Year’s Resolutions have survived 52 weeks? Why not strike while the iron is hot? There is no time like the present. Seize the Day! Insert favorite quote here ____. Why wait for some arbitrary date?  Let’s get started now.

WaterWEEK ONE of my 52 small changes is to drink more water. I wasn’t surprised to read this. This bit of health wisdom is everywhere. It is actually the healthy habit I have to hardest time implementing. I found it much easier to switch to whole grains, use plain greek yogurt rather than sour cream, and substitute spaghetti squash for pasta noodles. I am not a person who drinks a lot of any liquid. My family may have to hold me down and force me to finish my 64 ounces each day, but I am on the path to a happier, healthier me. Cheers!

Visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics website for their recommendation on water intake. http://www.eatright.org/Public/content.aspx?id=6442462188

And the journey begins……again.

It has been a while since I have posted. I am going to try and do better I promise. I originally started my “healthy lifestyle” in July 2009.  The reason I put healthy lifestyle in quotes is because the not so supportive group of people in my life would always put air quotes around it when discussing my new healthy habits. In any event, that is a story for another post.

I began my initial journey when I was knocking on 200 pounds’ door. I made the decision to make a change. I started small by just cutting out soda.  Once I had that down, I started researching healthy eating. I switched from white bread to whole grain, starting cooking more, and found a workout video that I actually enjoyed. On my own, without the aid of the latest fad diet, I managed to lose 40 pounds by January 2011. I maintained my weight loss for about eight months before I allowed the stress of work, school and family to take over. My weight has slowly crept up this past year. Now, it is time for a lasting lifestyle change.

52 small changes

I discovered 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You by Brett Blumenthal inadvertently through one of my favorite bloggers, Corinne Dobbas, MS RD, who posted a review about another interesting book – Coach Yourself Thin. Amazon was nice enough to suggest 52 Small Changes when I added Coach Yourself Thin to my shopping cart.

To get to the actual point of this post, 52 Small Changes: One Year to a Happier, Healthier You gives you the tools you need to make one small change a week over a year’s time. I know from experience that this strategy works. No need for one huge drastic change. History shows us that extreme changes are short-lived. We must resist that need for instant gratification. We didn’t get here overnight. The trip back is just as long. Conquering each small change will feed our need for success, for reassurance. The sum of these tiny steps will equal a happier, healthier person. As I read the book and implement these changes, I will chronicle my journey on this site. My hope is to inspire people to join me on this journey, to encourage each other along the way, and most of all, to make a lasting change.

Here we go!

Seven Foods You Think Are Healthy But Aren’t | PBS NewsHour

I wanted to share this link with you. Certainly, food for thought. No pun intended.

Seven Foods You Think Are Healthy But Aren’t | PBS NewsHour.

As a side note, please take the comments with a grain of salt. Ms. Warner has clearly done her research. However, the background, education and experience of individuals posting comments are unknown.

Would love to hear your take on this article.  Please feel free to comment.

It is a journey…


In a previous post, I referenced my weight loss journey. It is just that – a journey. Each day, I am one step closer to health than I was the day before. My journey is ongoing. I will share my experiences, successes, and even my failures with you. I will share the practical side of health and nutrition. Hopefully, my experience may help someone in their pursuit of health.

Any major life change is a journey. We do not just wake up one day with a college degree and our dream job. There is no magic pill to give us the perfect spouse and three wonderful children. We embarked on a journey for those life changes whether we realized it or not.

If we are overweight or unhealthy, it did not happen in a matter of weeks, or days, or months. It too was a journey. A journey we may not have realized between the stress at work, the 2 for $10 pizza deals, and the all-you-can-eat buffet for Aunt Sue’s 50th birthday. No single factor lead us on this journey. There are a multitude of complicated contributors to our unhealthy status. So why would there be one simple solution? I have some bad news – there is no magic pill, no revolutionary exercise, and no specific diet that will take us from unhealthy to healthy in 6 weeks or less and not for 3 easy payments of $39.95 either.

Now for the good news, it is very possible to achieve health. The best part is that you can actually enjoy your journey as I have. It does not have to be all grilled chicken breast and sit-ups. You can enjoy new tastes and new cuisine. Enjoy your new found energy. Enjoy sharing your new experiences. The path has been paved for your journey to health.  All you have to do is take one step at a time.

“Nothing before, nothing behind; the steps of faith fall on the seeming void and find the rock beneath”

John Greenleaf Whittier

Challenge: Choose one unhealthy habit to change. For example, my first change was eliminating soft drinks. Tackle one change at a time….baby steps.  You can do it!

What are we teaching our kids about food?

As an RD-to-be, school nutrition is one of my many areas of interest. I wanted to share this video with you all.

English: USDA MyPlate nutritional guide icon
English: USDA MyPlate nutritional guide icon (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a side note, this video is a few years old.  We no longer have the Food Pyramid. It is now MyPlate. See http://www.choosemyplate.gov . Which is better and solves some of the confusion created from the MyPyramid model.

Believe it or not, many school districts in my area count the tomato sauce on a slice of pizza as a serving of vegetables. So, seriously? What are we teaching our kids about food?

I would love to hear your thoughts.

You CAN teach an old taste bud new tricks!

dog sticking his tongue out at you

I’m sure at some point you have heard that your taste buds will change. Sounds crazy I know, but it is so true.
Before I started my weight loss journey (notice how I call it a journey…..that’s a whole other blog topic….coming soon), I was the world’s pickiest eater. No really. I have the trophy on my shelf. Other than fast food, there was a handful of “regular” food I would eat. Honestly, the list of what I did like was much, much shorter than the list of the foods I didn’t like.
Growing up, I could have lived off of peanut butter sandwiches, mashed potatoes, and corn. I dipped my potato chips in ketchup and would dip my Fritos in mayo. Hmmm, sounds kind of gross now. I had a soda to drink at every meal and with snacks. Green beans were the veggie of choice to go with my breaded country fried steak… with gravy (duh).
My journey started slow. First, I eliminated soda. That was difficult, but once I had that down I moved to trying a few other veggies. I never liked yogurt, so it took trying 4 or 5 different brands and 3 or 4 different flavors before I found one I could eat. Then there was cottage cheese. Yuck! Good source of protein…big deal. It looks like it should been thrown out with the other spoiled foods. My solution? I put it in a blender with a little bit of ranch powder mix and used it to dip my now favorite raw veggies (broccoli, sugar snap peas, baby carrots and celery). Now, I can make a gourmet meal from ground turkey and spaghetti squash. The list of what I don’t like has withered away.
I guess the moral of my ramble is that baby steps prevail. I just slowly (without giving up) kept trying healthier foods in various ways until I discovered new things I actually liked. Now, my taste buds LOVE all my healthy creations. Things that would make me say….”Ewww gross!”….are now the first things in my fridge and pantry.
So try it, you might find a new trick that you like.

The place for practical views on health and nutrition