Category Archives: Nutrition Info

Your Child’s Weight: Helping Without Harming (Book Review)

childs-weightEvery parent and dietitian should read Ellyn Satter’s Your Child’s Weight: Helping Without Harming.  Ellyn Satter is a registered dietitian and family therapist, and is considered to be the leading expert on feeding and raising healthy kids.

In the book, Satter refutes the idea that parents must force their children to eat less and exercise more to lose weight.  In the long run, this technique backfires, as children become preoccupied with food and turned off to physical activity.  Rather, Ellyn coaches parents to feed well, parent well, and allow children to grow up to get the bodies that are right for them.

For a summary of the books main points, read on, or click here for a PDF summary from Satter herself.

Feed well.

Feeding embodies your entire relationship with your child.  Feeding your child is nurturing your child, and it should be about providing, not restricting.  Restricting hurts both emotionally and physically, and in the long run it will make your child fatter, not thinner.

To feed well, start by having regular family meals.  Family meals are more important than most people realize.  Not only do family meals teach kids how to eat well, they also provide kids with reliable social and emotional support.  Children who have regular family meals do better in school, have better mental health, and display better social skills.  Make family meals rewarding for everyone by following these tips:

  • Prepare and serve food that you enjoy.  It doesn’t all have to be healthy.  Find a balance.
  • Put 4-5 foods on the table and let everyone pick and choose what they want.
  • Teach and expect your children to behave nicely.
  • Understand enough about children’s normal eating behavior to feel successful with feeding.
  • Follow Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility (below).

Follow Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility.

Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility states that:

  • Parents are responsible for the what, when and where of feeding.
  • Children are responsible for the how much and whether of eating.

In other words, if parents do a good job with feeding, they can relax and trust their child to do a good job with eating.

Parent’s feeding jobs:

  • Choose and prepare the food.
  • Provide regular meals and snacks.
  • Make eating times pleasant.
  • Show children what they have to learn about food and mealtime behavior.
  • Do not let children graze for food or beverages between meal and snack times.
  • Let children grow up to get the bodies that are right for them.

Children’s Eating Jobs:

  • Children will eat (although sometimes erratically, this is normal).
  • They will eat the amount they need.
  • They will eat an increasing variety of food.
  • They will grow predictabily.
  • They will learn to behave well at the table.
  • Gradually, during school age and teen years, your child will learn to manage the what, when and where of feeding for himself.  Slowly dole out responsibilities as they demonstrate responsibility to handle them.

Parent well: physical activity.

Ellyn Satter also promotes a division of responsibility with physical activity:

  • The parent is responsible for providing structure, safety and opportunities to move.
  • The child is responsible for deciding how much and whether to move.

In other words, if parents will provide fun and safe opportunities for physical activity, the child will take care of the rest.  Children are naturally inclined to move and find joy in active play.

Parents jobs:

  • Provide safe places for activity that the child enjoys.
  • Find fun and rewarding family activities.
  • Provide opportunities to experiment with group activities such as sports.
  • Set limits on TV but not on reading, writing, artwork or other sedentary activities.
  • Remove the TV and computer from the child’s bedroom.
  • Make children responsible for dealing with their own boredom.

Children’s jobs:

  • Children will be active.  Each child is more or less active depending on natural inclinations.
  • Each child is more or less skilled, graceful, energetic or aggressive, depending on natural inclinations.
  • Children’s physical capabilities will grow and develop.
  • Children will experiment with activities that are in concert with their growth and development.
  • Children with find activities that are right for them.

Know how to read your child’s growth chart.

Children grow predictably, usually along a similar path on a growth chart.  According to Satter, it doesn’t matter if the child is at the 5th percentile or the 95th percentile, as long as he/she is tracking along the growth chart.  There is only an issue if a child’s weight is accelerating or decelerating, and rapidly crossing growth chart lines.  (Slow and gradual change across the percentiles is typically normal.)

If a child’s weight is rapidly accelerating or decelerating, Ellyn asks, “What is undermining this child’s natural ability to grow in a way that is right for him/her?”

Usually, Ellyn finds that the cause is restrained feeding, poor feeding practices or stress.  Forcing food, restricting food, or allowing children to graze all day can all cause weight issues.  The solution?  Follow the division of responsibility, and the growth pattern will begin to track appropriately.

Allow children to grow up to get the bodies that are right for them.

Satter recommends that you let go of any agenda that you (or your child’s doctor) may have regarding your child’s size or shape.  Feed well, parent well and help your children to feel good about themselves at any size.

Questions?  Comments?  Let me know what you think.

How to Snack at the Office

Top-12-Best-Healthy-SnacksSnacking can help you stay energized and prevent overeating at your next meal.  But chips, candy and soda contain “empty calories,” meaning short-lasting energy and virtually no nutritional value.  Here are some healthy snack ideas to fuel your workday.

Fruits and vegetables: Hands down, the healthiest snack choice you can make is fresh fruits or vegetables. Try keeping a fruit bowl at your desk, or bringing fresh vegetable sticks to munch on.  If you are trying to lose weight, consider limiting snacks to only fresh fruits and vegetables to cut calories.

Dried fruit is less nutritious than fresh fruit, but a much healthier snack than candy.  The fiber in dried fruit helps to slow the absorption of sugar, making you less likely to have an energy spike and crash compared to eating candy.  Stay away from fruit juice, which has lots of sugar but no fiber.

Nuts: People often fear nuts because of their high calorie content, but a recent study published in the Obesity journal found that people who eat nuts at least two times per week were 31% less likely to gain weight than were participants who never or almost never ate nuts.  Grab a small handful of nuts for a mid-afternoon snack, or spread 2 Tablespoons of nut butter on apple slices or celery sticks.  Choose nuts or nut butters without added oil, sugar or salt.

Light microwave popcorn: Did you know that popcorn is considered a whole grain?  Whole grains are more nutritious than refined grains (such as white rice and white bread), because fewer nutrients are stripped away during manufacturing.   Three cups of light popcorn contain only 100 calories, making popcorn a light, yet voluminous snack.  Microwave popcorn packets fit conveniently into your desk drawer.  Just don’t overcook it in the microwave, unless you really want to tick off your coworkers!

A hard-boiled egg: Eggs have gotten a bad reputation in the past for their cholesterol content, but more recent research suggests that the amount of cholesterol consumed from food is not linked to heart disease.  Plus, eggs are an excellent source of important nutrients, including high-quality protein, selenium and choline.  Studies have found that people with a high choline intake have lower levels of inflammation.  This is a good thing, because chronic inflammation has been linked to a number of diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.

Most health groups in the US suggest that up to one egg yolk a day and unlimited egg whites will not increase the risk of heart disease, even for people who are watching their cholesterol.  Hard-boiled eggs and other protein-rich foods should not be kept at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.

Your food choices have a significant impact on your health and wellbeing.  The time spent preparing healthy snacks for work will pay off with improved energy and health.

This article was originally written for Comstock’s Magazine, the premier monthly business publication in California’s Capital Region.

Pick Holiday Food that Won’t Pack on the Pounds

ImageNavigating the food choices at holiday parties can be a challenge for nutrition-conscious people.  Here are a few general strategies and specific ideas to enjoy a healthy holiday.

Don’t arrive hungry.

Although it can be tempting to skimp on breakfast and lunch to “save up your calories” for a party, this strategy almost always backfires.  Eat balanced meals and avoid arriving hungry, or you risk overindulging in high-calorie party foods.

Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are packed with nutrition, but low in calories.  When you fill up on fruits and vegetables, it’s easier to moderate the amount of higher-calorie foods you eat.  This is a good habit to adopt not only around the holidays, but year-round for good health.

Choose wisely.

Not all holiday foods are created equal.  Here are some common holiday foods and better choices to avoid packing on the pounds.

Drinks:

  • Instead of egg nog (350 calories), choose sugar-free hot chocolate (25 calories).  Packets of sugar-free or “diet” hot chocolate are available at most grocery stores.  Skip the whipped cream though, or you’ll add 150 calories.
  • Instead of mixed drinks (250+ calories), choose light beer, red wine or champagne (100 calories).  Keep in mind that alcohol lowers your inhibitions, making moderation at dinner more challenging.  After 0-2 alcoholic drinks, switch to calorie-free beverages.

Appetizers:

  • Instead of crab cakes (400 calories), choose shrimp cocktail (150 calories).  In general, appetizers that are fried soak up a lot of oil, and calories along with it.  Stick to appetizers that are steamed, baked, grilled or fresh.
  • Instead of chips and dip (290 calories), choose vegetables and hummus (75 calories).  Salsa is another excellent low-calorie dip choice.

Dinner:

  • Instead of prime rib (600 calories), choose grilled salmon, beef tenderloin, or roasted turkey breast without the skin (180 calories).  The proper serving size for meat is 4 oz, or about the size of the palm of your hand (fingers not included!)
  • Instead of traditionally prepared stuffing or mashed potatoes (300+ calories), find recipes with lighter versions online (150 calories).  Hidden ingredients like butter and turkey drippings add unnecessary calories.

Dessert:

  • Instead of pecan pie or cheesecake (600 calories), choose pumpkin pie and leave off the crust (150 calories).   Another good strategy is to share your favorite dessert with a friend.

The holidays are a time for celebration, so plan to enjoy small amounts of your favorite holiday foods.  Balance them out with a few of these healthful strategies, and you can relax and enjoy the holidays without worrying about packing on the pounds.

This article was originally written for Comstock’s Magazine, the premier monthly business publication in California’s Capital Region.

Better Health in Your Own Backyard

Anyone who has ever eaten a freshly picked fruit or vegetable will agree: there is nothing as satisfying or delicious as garden-fresh produce. And with spring finally here, there’s no better time to start a vegetable garden so that you too can enjoy the fruits of this season’s bounty.  To learn how to pick, plant, and prosper from your very own vegetable garden, just follow the tips below.

Step 1: Choose plants for your climate.  When deciding which produce to plant, consider what foods will thrive in your climate. Most seed packets state the climate the plant prefers, so pay close attention. Generally, plants prefer to grow in warm, moist soil with plenty of water. In California, however, water is a scarce commodity, so plants that require little water are an ideal choice. Onions, lettuce, potatoes, or even apple and orange trees are tasty examples that grow well in a variety of soils and climates. If you don’t have the space or desired climate for an outdoor garden, you can always opt for an indoor garden. Smaller plants such as tomatoes, peppers, and herbs, are wonderful low maintenance, indoor options. Just remember to place them in a well-lit area and water them a couple times a week.

Step 2: Prep your planting site. To begin, start by picking a planting site. This site should be in a well-drained and level area that receives a large amount of sunlight on a daily basis. Next, it’s important to ensure that you have nutrient-rich soil in order to grow a healthy and successful garden. Start by clearing your planting site of all weeds, sod, and debris. The size of the area that you clear will depend upon the amount of space your garden needs. Once this is done, you’ll need to loosen the soil to aerate it so that oxygen can reach the plant’s roots more readily. This is also a good time to incorporate compost or fertilizer into the soil to add more nutrients. If your soil is beyond repair, considering building raised beds or opt for a hanging garden.

Step 3: Plant your garden.  When all of the prep work is completed, you can finally plant your garden. Most seeds have planting instructions on the back of the packet, but if not, plant your seeds 1/4-1/2 inches in the ground leaving a 1-2 inches in between.  For larger plants that have already started growing, place them in a deep enough hole to cover the starter soil. Cover all holes with fresh soil and water liberally to initiate nutrient uptake in the roots. Then, wait for your plants to grow and in a few months you’ll be able to enjoy the fruits (and veggies) of your labor.

Gardening Tools

Here’s a list of five essential tools any gardener should have.

  1. A gardening spade and shovel are a definite must for gardening. A good quality shovel allows you to move soil quickly, while a spade ensures perfect sized holes for all your fruits and vegetables.
  2. If you’ve ever tried gardening, but forgot to remove the weeds first, then you know how indispensable a weeding tool is. Weeds are devious creatures that work to destroy your garden by choking out the plants you’re trying to grow, so it is of utmost importance that you remove as many of them as you can. Don’t forget to remove the small pieces, too. Weeds multiply quickly, so even the smallest piece can cause damage.
  3. A wheelbarrow is another handy tool to have while gardening. It saves your back the trouble of carrying heavy bags of soil around and helps to organize your mess.
  4. While plants thrive in ample amounts of sunlight, too much can be harmful to us. A sun hat is highly recommended to wear while gardening. Protecting your face from the sun’s intense rays will stave off future headaches and allow you to enjoy the beauties of your garden.
  5. Kneeling to plant and care for your garden can take a toll on your knees. Invest in a padded knee mat for a much more enjoyable gardening experience.

For tasty recipes ideas that use common vegetable garden items, check out these links:

Written with assistance from nutrition intern, Natasha Fowler.

EurAsian Secrets to a Healthy Lifestyle

How do individuals living in Asian and European countries manage to remain slim and healthy without sacrificing great-tasting foods? The secret is… they don’t diet. Instead, they embrace food as fuel and eat real, whole foods that are packed with nutrients. Here are some key tips from both cultures to help you live a little healthier:

Shop at a local market. In Europe and Asia, most grocery shopping is done at a local market. Because the produce varies with each season, shopping at markets are a surefire way to get fresh fruits and vegetables that contain the maximum amount of nutrients and are loaded with flavor.

Get real! European and Asian cultures emphasize eating “real” or “whole” food; that is, food in its natural form. By eating more whole foods, you eliminate the chemicals that are added during processing and retain the food’s original vitamins and minerals.

Eat fish. Fish and seafood are staples in European and Asian cuisine.  Both are great sources of lean protein and Omega-3 fatty acids, which promote heart and overall health. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least 2 servings of fish each week. Just swap fish for red meat or poultry at your next meal, and you’ll be halfway there.

Ditch the sugary drinks. Sugary drinks play a miniscule role in the European and Asian diet and often replaced with water, tea, or wine. According to the Boston Public Health Commission, swapping sugary drinks for one of these substitutes can also help you shed about 25 pounds in one year.

Spice up your life! Herbs and spices are used abundantly in European and Asian cuisine. Herbs such as basil, parsley, and cilantro are packed with vitamins and antioxidants that help fight cancer, jumpstart your metabolism, and add flavor to any dish. Ginger, chili peppers, and lemon grass are delicious spices with an Asian flare. They also contain chemicals that fight cancer, boost the immune system and reduce inflammation.

By following these tips, you can ditch the dieting and finally reap the benefits of a healthy and delicious lifestyle.

Written with assistance from Natasha Fowler, Nutrition Intern.

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Easy Tips for a Healthy Spring Break

Great news! Spring has sprung, and with it comes the ever-coveted Spring Break for many students (and adults, if they are lucky!). Finally, after months of suffering through the blisteringly cold winter weather, the chance to take a vacation and soak up the sun has arrived. Sometimes, it can be all too easy to overindulge during this time off. Here are some easy tips to eat right and remain active while enjoying your Spring Break.

Packing for the Trip

Most diet busters occur before the trip even begins, as most people don’t think to pack healthy snacks to eat while on vacation. Packing your own snacks is a great way to avoid filling up on fast food while traveling. Just remember to pick foods that will last a while and are easy to eat. Granola bars, cheese sticks, apples, and oatmeal are perfect snacks for traveling. They are easy to store and contain tons of nutrients that will give the energy you to need to enjoy your trip.

Don’t forget to pack your walking shoes and workout gear, too. With less time spent working, vacations provide the perfect opportunity to fit in quick exercise sessions. If you’re crunched for time, just pack a couple resistance bands or a few workout DVD’s. Most hotels have DVD players that’ll allow you to get fit in the comfort of your room.

During the Trip

Instead of that bus tour, why not try a walking or bicycle tour of the city?  This is a great way to explore and see sights up close.  Another idea is to plan a little adventure into your trip, such as a hike, swim, rafting, or other excursion. If neither of these options will work for you, you can always hit the hotel gym and work out there.

Vacations are synonymous with eating out, and by default eating too much. Restaurant portion sizes are usually more than twice the recommended serving size, so split your meal in half and share with a friend. This will save you calories, money, and help you to fully enjoy your trip.

After the Trip (aka. Damage Control)

Vacations are a time to relax and let loose. If, however, you overindulged a little too much during your time off, don’t fret. Just continue your healthy eating habits once you return. Incorporate more fruits and veggies into your meals to replenish your body with the nutrients you may have omitted during vacation. Drink plenty of water and start a workout routine. Most importantly, know that it’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while. Hard work deserves a reward, and with these tips you can relax and enjoy a healthy and fun-filled spring break.

Written with assistance from nutrition intern Natasha Fowler.

100 Nutrition Tips

Today, I have reached a blogging landmark: my 100th post!  In honor of this occasion, I have decided to share with you 100 nutrition tips. Each tip is from one of my previous posts, starting with my very first post and working up to today.  Each tip’s number links back to the original post.  If you see a tip you like and want to read more, just click on the number.  Enjoy!

1. For a quick and easy way to get in a serving of veggies: microwave fresh spinach.

2. If you need nutrition advice, seek out a Registered Dietitian.

3. Try searching for healthy recipes on Allrecipes.com.

4. Exercise might not help you lose weight, but it is a key component of weight maintenance after weight loss.

5. Shop at the farmer’s market.  For a great deal, go when the market is about to close.

6. Add diced vegetables (like eggplant, carrots, onions, mushrooms, or spinach) to pasta sauce for a nutritional boost!  Simmer until veggies are soft.

7. If you are looking to build muscle or improve athletic performance, following sound nutrition principles is more important than eating gobs of protein.

8. Try a recipe from the Skinny Chef!

9. Want to eat healthy on a budget?  Start by drinking tap water!  Not only is tap water free, it is also better for the environment and contains cavity-preventing fluoride.  Staying hydrated prevents dehydration headaches (the cause of 70% of all headaches), keeps you from overeating and keeps skin healthy.  So save the money you would have spent on other beverages, and use it to buy healthier food!

10. The key to many great recipes is the spices!  Try cooking dishes that feature spices like curry, cumin or cinnamon.

11. Save extra virgin olive oil for salads, sauces and garnishes. Regular and light olive oil is better for cooking, as their smoke points are above 400 degrees.

12. If you are fortunate enough to have a Trader Joe’s nearby, shop there.

13. Eat fish.  It’s a great source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids and lean protein.

14. Keep healthy staples on hand to whip up a quick meal in case of emergencies.

15. Americans need to cut down on the amount of added sugars we eat, high fructose corn syrup and other forms alike.

16. If you need to boost your protein intake at a meal or snack, you might consider trying hemp protein powder, which is also a good source of fiber and omega-3 fatty acids.

17. Eat foods with simple ingredients that are easy to pronounce.

18. Current research shows that every $1 spent on a corporate wellness program saves employers an average of $6 in health care costs and regained productivity.

19. Vitamin supplements are no excuse for a poor diet! Vitamins contain large amounts of relatively few nutrients, most of which will leave our bodies unabsorbed.

20. Eat oatmeal.  Try quick-cooking oats for convenience without compromising nutrition.

21. Try a persimmon this fall!  Persimmons are a great source of fiber and Vitamin A.

22. Whole grains have been shown to reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, diabetes, eye degeneration, obesity, and cancer, to name a few. But which grains are really whole? Some food manufacturers are out to trick you, so read your labels carefully.

23. Make exercise fun so you will want to do it!

24. Use MyPyramid.gov (now ChooseMyPlate.gov) to calculate your personal calorie and food group requirements.

25. Use MyFoodapedia on ChooseMyPlate.gov to quickly find out the nutrition facts of any food.

26. Use the Menu Planner on ChooseMyPlate.gov to determine: How healthy is your diet?  Find out which food groups you’re lacking, and plan a menu for the day that will meet all your needs.

27. Read my blog.  Sometimes I give away free stuff!

28. Participate in nutrition blogs.  Leave comments and ask questions.

29. Harvard’s Healthy Eating Pyramid is a great alternative to the USDA’s version, and it may be less influenced by the meat and dairy industry.

30. Mitzi Dulan’s blog is another great resource for nutrition information.  She inspired me to start my blog!

31. Research suggests that nitrites from processed meats may increase your risk of gastric cancer.  However, a diet rich in antioxidants from fruits and vegetables may ameliorate this risk.  So, eat your fruits and veggies, and limit processed meats.

32. Want to consume diet that’s good for you and for the environment?  Eat like the Swedes, and try out these green tips, including: Eat less meat and poultry, and choose local grass-fed livestock when possible.

33. Do you really need 3 daily servings of dairy?  In truth, the research is controversial.

34. Americans spend a lower percentage of income on food than any other nation.  As a result, our food system has shifted to low-quality, calorie-dense foods.  Invest in your health by purchasing quality food.

35. Cooking food in the microwave is easy, healthy, environmentally-friendly and delicious!  Try cooking any of these 10 healthy foods in the microwave from my most popular blog post yet.

36. Want to live to be 100?  Watch the video on this post, and learn the secrets of centenarians around the globe.  Summed up, these secrets are: move, eat wisely, know your purpose, reflect and connect.

37. The Mediterranean and Asian diets are two of the healthiest diets worldwide.  Compared to people with typical “Western” lifestyles, people with Mediterranean or Asian lifestyles tend to live longer, healthier lives.  Try MediterrAsian.com for some healthy and delicious recipes from these regions.

38. Want to make a ridiculously healthy meal in just 2 minutes?  Try cooking salmon on a George Foreman grill!

39. The average American consumes double the recommended upper limit of sodium.  Excess sodium in your diet can contribute to high blood pressure. Cut some sodium out of your diet with the tips in this video, including: bring pepper the pepper mill to the table to spice up your food, but leave the salt shaker in the kitchen.

40. Want your kids to be served healthier foods at school?  Visit Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution to learn how you can help.

41. Want to eat healthy but only have 5 minutes?  Try one of these heart-healthy meals in 5 minutes or less.

42. Public health is working to create a healthier nation in 1 generation.  Get involved.

43. Did you know that 1 serving of strawberries has even more vitamin C than an orange?  It’s true! Strawberries pack a powerful nutrition punch… and for only 43 calories per serving.

44. According to this young activist, if just one person stopped eating fast food for just 2 weeks he or she would protect 285.4 square feet of rain forest from being cut down to graze cattle.

45. The American Heart Association recommends eating fish twice per week.  Try this Sicilian Swordfish Recipe from Felicia McClinton, author of mediterraneanrecipes.org.

46. Edamame (soybeans) are a nutritious superfood rich in fiber, antioxidants, omega-3s and plant-based protein.  Give them a try with this recipe for Beef and Edamame Stir Fry.

47. Check out 25 Healthy Meals in 20 Minutes or Less for quick and easy meals during the week.

48. The key to losing weight is to eat more low calorie-density foods such as fruits and veggies. By eating foods with higher water content, you’ll feel fuller quicker and longer.

49. Limit the amount of sugar that you consume by eating fresh, whole foods, drinking plenty of water, and keeping an out for sugar pseudonyms. Some common examples are fructose, dextrose, and corn syrup.

50. These tasty personal pizzas are a wonderful addition to your summer grilling repertoire.

51. Don’t let your salad become a caloric catastrophe! Lighten up on the dressing, go easy on the cheese, and pile on the fruits, veggies, and lean protein.

52. To avoid the “afternoon slump,” follow these 4 tips: eat a light lunch, snack 1-2 times a day, take a physical activity break, and sleep well the night before.

53. Weddings are loaded with sinfully delicious temptations. To avoid overindulging: don’t arrive hungry, limit your alcohol intake, split a piece of cake, and live it up on the dance floor.

54. “Those who take medicine and neglect their diet waste the skill of the physician” ~ Chinese Proverb

55. Increasing the amount of fruits and veggies in your diet can help protect against cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. Because they are mostly water, these foods will help fill you up and for fewer calories.

56. When packing your child’s lunch, try low-fat yogurt, peanut butter, and small hand-sized foods, like baby carrots or grapes. Don’t be afraid to get creative and cut their sandwiches into funky shapes or use colorful containers. The more fun you make their lunch, the more likely they are to eat it.

57. Eating healthy whole foods will save you time and money.

58. Traditional Eggplant Parmesan tastes sooo good, but is loaded with fat and calories. Luckily this healthy remake retains all of the flavor with just 1/6 of the calories of the original version.

59. Sweeten your oatmeal with loads of colorful fruit for a nutrient-rich breakfast  that gives you the energy to kick start your day.

60. Forget dieting. Just follow these eight guidelines and you’ll be trim, slim, and DIET FREE. Drink water. Include breakfast. Eat often. Tame your sweet tooth. Find and know the difference between good and bad fats. Replace processed foods with whole foods. Eat until you’re no longer hungry, not until you’re full. Exercise every day.

61. To avoid unhealthy choices during the mid-week time crunch, set aside one day each week to plan and cook healthy meals. Make a double-batch of your favorite recipes and freeze some for later.

62. “Persistence, not perfection, is the key to success.”

63. This salad recipe is a great go-to for leftovers. Pile on all your favorite toppings and you won’t even need any dressing.

64. An easy way to embark upon your weight loss journey is to in to incorporate fresh produce and exercise into your daily routine. Focusing on the positive aspects of your weight loss journey, such as increased energy and boosted mood, will motivate you to continue and give you the confidence to over any obstacles along the way.

65. Don’t fixate on your weight or jean size, just embrace self-acceptance, physical activity, and normalized eating to achieve and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

66. Following guidelines such as eating real foods 75% of the time, choosing high-quality carbs, and adding “super mood” foods (leafy greens, nuts and legumes, berries, etc.) to your diet is a simple way to “eat your way to happiness.”

67. Incorporate some of the lesser known veggies, such as turnips, parsnips, and winter squash, into your next holiday meal to add a festive flare.

68. Hate messing around attempting to cut up a squash?  Try this tip: Cook the whole squash in the oven for at least an hour before even attempting to mutilate it! Afterwards, the squash cuts like butter, and you can scoop out the insides and use them how you like.

69. To maintain a balanced diet throughout the holiday season, begin every meal with a vegetable dish, such as soup, salad, or veggie medley. As a reminder to eat healthfully during the holidays, use fresh fruits and veggies as centerpieces at meals.

70. Fast food industries take advantage of the addictive nature of sugar, fat, and sodium in order to get us to consume more. To break this addiction, seek whole foods, be mindful of serving size, and monitor what is actually in your food.

71. There’s nothing like these warm, hearty roasted veggie recipes. Just toss with herbs and spices, pop in the oven, and enjoy!

72. This quick money-saving granola recipe is great as a yogurt-topper paired with fruit and honey.

73. To avoid weight gain while on a cruise or other vacation, stock your room with healthy snacks like fruits and granola bars and limit yourself to one desert a day. If the temptations are too strong to resist, make a trip to the on-board gym or participate in one the daily physical activities.

74. Try this hearty family favorite for dinner this week. It’s sure to please everyone’s palate.

75. To help fight or prevent breast cancer, eat a diet rich in colorful fruits and veggies. (The richer the color, the better.) Also, add cancer fighting phytochemicals to your meals with different herbs and spices.

76. Add more nutrients to your diet by eating a more colorful diet. This will help cut out calories and trim you down one plateful at a time.

77. To save time throughout the week, cook a couple meals on Sunday and heat them up whenever you’re hungry. Try this delicious French Spring Soup or Moroccan Chicken. Just swap olive oil for butter and white meat for dark and you’ll have quick go-to meals all week long.

78. Swapping evaporated skim milk and cornstarch for heavy cream is a great alternative that make these recipes healthy and delicious.

79. Try out a free smart phone app to help keep you on the right path to a healthy lifestyle. LoseIt, Fooducate, iMap my Fitness, and Restaurant Nutrition all make my Top 5 List.

80. Getting your children to eat their veggies is as easy as saying “Cheese.” Studies show that when children see their parents smiling and enjoying a new food, kids are more inclined to try the food themselves.

81. Looking to make mealtime fun? Try preparing and eating meals together throughout the week. Remember to be a role model to your children and demonstrate healthy eating habits to them. Studies show that kids are more likely to follow your advice if they see you doing the same.

82. Support First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move initiative to end childhood obesity by: eating healthy meals regularly and as a family, pledging to get active by taking the President’s Challenge, or joining a Let’s Move Meetup in your city

83. Following a Mediterranean diet is a great way to incorporate fresh, seasonal produce, lean protein, and good fats into your daily routine.

84. Although counting calories is a tried and proven way to lose weight, swapping fresh fruit and veggies for processed snacks is an even simpler way to slim down without too much effort.

85. With only ¼ of the calories, spaghetti squash is an amazing alternative to regular pasta.  Just slice it in half, scoop out the seeds, and cook cut-side down in the microwave for 6-7 minutes. Top with your favorite pasta sauce, and Bon Appetite!

86. The Food Pyramid has been replaced with MyPlate. This dietary guideline chart shows you an easier to eat the recommended amount of each food group by dividing the plate according the suggested serving sizes.

87. Add spelt to your next meal for an exotic source of protein and vitamins. Also, try Swiss Oatmeal. This cold variation of the traditional breakfast staple will cool you down and give you lasting energy.

88. Is the Food Pyramid too confusing to understand? Try out We Can ®!’s GO, SLOW, and WHOA system. GO ahead and eat whole foods such as fruits veggies, and nuts. SLOW down with refined grains, frozen yogurt, and fruit juices. And say WHOA to soda, fried foods, and other products with added fats and sugar.

89. Change your grilling routine by adding fruits and vegetables to your repertoire.

90. Does your worksite need a wellness program?  This Texas corporation has instilled a new wellness program that includes a healthy option café, onsite gym, and cash incentive to employees that agree to improve their health.

91. Try cooking this Moroccan Chicken recipe in a slow cooker for a spicy and comforting home-cooked meal.

92. Ask the management at your office to help post fliers to show support for your office walking club. Don’t be afraid to engage in some friendly competition and remember to include prizes. There’s nothing like a little incentive to get people moving.

93. Instead of prepackaged deli meats, which contain a high amount of sodium, cook your own bird and use it in sandwiches for the rest of week.

94. Grill, microwave, or sauté veggies and fish for a healthy and delicious dish that will be ready in less than 5 minutes.

95. Studies show that sleeping 7-9 hours a night will help you eat less because sleep regulates the body’s levels of ghrelin and leptin, two hormones that are responsible for hunger and appetite.

96. Pregnant women should consume an additional 300 calories a day, not nearly enough to be considered “eating for two”, to support healthy fetal development during pregnancy. Ideally, these extra calories should be packed with vitamins and minerals to increase the child’s nutrient intake.

97. The Super Bowl doesn’t always have to result in a super-sized caloric intake. Healthy alternatives to game day favorites, such as chips and chili, include a veggie platter with hummus or fruit dip, air popped popcorn trail mix, and ground turkey or white meat chicken chili.

98. Eating a diet rich in whole foods, foods as close to their natural state as possible, will help ensure a nutrient packed diet.

99. Coconuts may not be a cure-all, but they do have some nutritional benefits when consumed in moderation.  For example, coconuts are an excellent source of selenium, a compound proven to decrease the risk of cancer.

100. Read Nicole Geurin, RD blog for hundreds of expert health and nutrition tips!