Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Persimmon Post

Until a couple years ago, I had never tried a persimmon. Today, they are one of my favorite fall fruits! Here is everything you need to know about persimmons:

image Fuyu persimmons are squattier than Hachiya persimmons and are flat on the bottom. Fuyus taste great raw, they have a sweet, cinnamon flavor
and a crunchy texture. This is my favorite type of persimmon.

Hachiya persimmons are heart-shaped. imageHachiya persimmons are ripe when they are very soft, and are great for baking! Try adding Hachiya pulp to cookies, muffins and quick breads.

Fun Persimmon Facts:

  • If you cut a persimmon length-wise, there is a star shape in the middle!
  • Persimmons are Japan’s national fruit.
  • Persimmons are a great source of fiber and Vitamin A.

Try my Fall Morning Oatmeal recipe, which is made with Fuyu persimmons!

Corporate Wellness: Why Every Company Should Have a Program

Corporate wellness is an emerging trend, and one of my primary areas of  interest.image

What is “Corporate Wellness?”

Corporate wellness is the integration of preventative health services into the workplace.  It can include health fairs with preventative medical screenings, lunch-and-learn presentations by health professionals, health coaching, and behavior change challenges.

Why the workplace?

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. According to the Texas Commissioner of State Health Services, “The link between employee wellness and the bottom line is clear and consistent. Employers who integrate wellness in their overall objectives find they experience reduced absences, better morale, reduced health risks, and reduced health-care costs.”  Employee health care costs are on the rise. Currently, employers spend an average of $5000 each year per employee on health care costs. Less than 5% of those costs go to preventative care.  Now is the time for companies to invest in a corporate wellness program for their employees.

A Few Success stories

  • Johnson & Johnson claims to have saved $38 million in health-care costs for its employees between 1995 and 1999 by promoting healthy lifestyles. Medical expenses decreased $224 per employee per year (averaged over four years), and this rate improved over time.
  • The City of Fort Worth implemented a corporate wellness program for its employees that decreased the number of employees considered “high-risk” from 56% to 22% in 3 years.  Their program offers a variety of free wellness and health-promotion services including lunch seminars, disease management programs, walking groups, and monetary incentives for participating in health screening fairs.

I recommend worksite wellness programs follow a Health at Every Size approach.

Resources:

For more information on corporate wellness, check out any of these resources:

Exclusive Interview with America’s Nutrition Expert!

image

Mitzi Dulan, RD, CSSD is a highly-regarded expert in the field of nutrition, exercise, and wellness.  She is the dietitian for the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals, and co-author of the new book The All Pro Diet  (co-authored with NFL star Tony Gonzalez). Mitzi is also a cutting-edge nutrition entrepreneur and the owner of NutritionExpert.com.

I have been getting to know Mitzi over the past couple of months as one of her Virtual Interns. I have learned a lot from Mitzi, and wanted to share some of that information with you! So, Mitzi agreed to do an exclusive interview for my blog. Enjoy!

1. Tell us a little about your nutrition philosophy.

I want people to understand that you get out what you put into your body. I encourage people to eat foods with simple ingredients that are easy to pronounce. Actually, when you eat foods that are “closer to the ground” they taste better and provide whole food energy and nutrients. I also believe food should be an enjoyable part of life and it’s okay to indulge in your favorites from time to time.

2. What is it like being the RD for the KC Chiefs and Royals? What are some of the best parts? Biggest challenges?

I have always been a huge sports fan and grew up a Chiefs and Royals fan so sometimes I do pinch myself as I am very grateful for the opportunity to work with the players. The best parts are when you help a player improve his diet and he sees results. I also enjoy going to the games. The biggest challenges are when you want to help a player lose weight to hopefully help extend their career and decrease injuries but he hasn’t yet committed to putting in the extra effort to execute.

3. What is your favorite (or most important?) part of your new image book, The All Pro Diet?

Getting people to pay attention to how they are fueling their bodies. I am an advocate of pure, real foods and avoiding artificial ingredients.  Also, one of my favorite parts about publishing a book has been to get emails from people all over the country sharing their successes with me. It is an unexplainable feeling to read those emails. Very rewarding!

4. What advice would you give to a budding young entrepreneur?

Don’t get discouraged by hearing the word “no”. In fact, the more “no’s” the better. It means you are working hard. Pick up the phone and tell people what you want. Be persistent and always do what you say you will do. Hang around positive people.

5. What are your top 3 favorite foods?

Ice cream, strawberries, good cheese!

To learn more about Mitzi, go to NutritionExpert.com. Also, be sure to check out Mitzi’s blog for the latest nutrition info and useful wellness tips at NutritionExpert.com/blog.

Hemp Protein- Should you try it?

IMG_0954Although I’m not usually an advocate of supplements, after reading the All Pro Diet by Mitzi Dulan, “America’s Nutrition Expert,” I decided to try hemp protein powder.  The All Pro Diet recommends including protein and fiber at every meal to maximize satiety.  For me, breakfast was lacking in the protein department, so I decided to give hemp protein a whirl, as it was recommended in the book.

Hemp protein, as the name suggests, comes from the hemp plant. It is high in fiber and protein, and also is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. So, the nutritional breakdown is pretty impressive. I picked some up at Trader Joe’s for $9.99 for 1 pound.  It is brownish-green in color. 

I tried it out by adding it to my morning oatmeal. It added a slightly earthy flavor to the oatmeal, and turned it a slightly darker color, but otherwise didn’t seem to affect the texture or flavor.  I’m not sure how it affects my satiety levels yet.

Has anyone else ever tried hemp protein? How do you use it?

How to Eat Healthy with No Time and No Money

Before I gave a series of lectures for the employees at Holt of California, I asked what they considered to be the major barriers to eating healthfully.  Their response: not enough time and not enough money!  As an over-worked, unpaid dietetic intern, I was experiencing those challenges as well.  However, my personal commitment to healthy eating forced me to come up with some solutions. Here are some of my tips for eating healthfully with no time and no money:

1. Drimageink tap water! Forget sodas, bottled water and other expensive drinks. Tap water is free!  Not only that, tap water water is 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!

2. Plan ahead, and buy in bulk at the grocery store. A weekly trip to Costco, Walmart or Sam’s Club rather than several trips to a nearby store saves you both time and money.  Stock up on healthy, low cost staples like oatmeal, brown rice, dried beans and canned goods.P1010008

3. Buy seasonal, locally grown fruits and vegetables from the   farmers market. Think the farmers market is too expensive?  Think again! See my Top 5 Secrets to Scoring Great Deals at the Farmer’s Market blog by clicking here.

4. Make a healthy dinner in bulk 1 night per week. Cooking in large quantities saves you time and money.  Plus, leftovers = healthy meals all week long! So pick a night (mine is Sunday), find some large pots and pans and get cooking!

5. Pack a lunch. This doesn’t take too much time, and it certainly saves money.  Consider the following:

  • Peanut butter and jelly on whole wheat bread image
    • $0.60, 3 minutes to prepare
  • 1 locally grown apple
    • $0.30, 0 minutes to prepare
  • Chopped cucumber
    • $0.50, 2 minutes to prepare
  • 1 container of fat-free yogurt
    • $0.60, 0 minutes to prepare
  • Total= $2.00, 5 minutes to prepare

Outgrew PB&J in the 4th grade?  How about dinner leftovers, bean dip + baked pita chips, or salad wraps?  I like to portion out my meals in plastic containers for the entire week on Sunday so I can grab it and go.

6. Choose healthier convenience foods. If you really get stuck and you’ve got to grab something quick, you can still make a healthy choice! If it’s a packaged food: read the label.  Look for something low in saturated fat with a short ingredient list.  Eating out? Check out http://healthydiningfinder.com/ to find some healthier options nearby.

What are your tips for eating healthfully with limited time and a limited budget?

The All-Pro Diet

image

Mitzi Dulan, Registered Dietitian and owner of NutritionExpert.com has teamed up with NFL tight end Tony Gonzalez to write The All-Pro Diet, just released in stores this week. This isn’t your average muscle-man diet book promoting an 80% protein-based diet… this diet is actually based on sound nutrition principles that anyone can apply to improve performance and live a healthier life.

Here are some tips you’ll find in the book:

1. Eat at least one plant based meal per day.

2. Read food labels and look for foods with ingredients that are easy to pronounce with short ingredient lists or single ingredients.

3. Eat more whole grains, fruits and vegetables

4. Stop eating when satisfied

According to Gonzalez, this diet helped him take his game to the next level, and as a result, he broke two NFL records for most touchdowns and receptions by any tight end in NFL history.

To purchase the book on Amazon: click here.

Top 5 Secrets to Scoring Great Deals at the Farmers Market

Find out how I got 30 lbs of peaches for $4 today....

Find out how I got 30 lbs of peaches (and one plum) for $4 today....

The farmer’s market can be a great place to get deals on fresh produce, if you know a few tricks! Here are my top 5 tips to scoring great deals at the farmers market:

5. Find the biggest market in your area: It’s the laws of capitalism: more vendors means more competition, which equals better prices! Find a farmer’s market near you at http://www.localharvest.org/.

4. Shop around: Take some time to browse around for the best deals. Chances are, many vendors are selling similar items.

3. Buy in bulk: You might be able to get a better deal if you buy more! Many items freeze well if you can’t eat them all. For tips on how to freeze fruits and vegetables, click here.

2. Become a regular: Pick out your favorite farm vendors and visit their stand regularly. Once they start to recognize you, they might just throw in little extras for you. One of my favorite farm vendors gives me entire bags of produce free of charge.

And the number one trick to getting great deals at the farmers market…

1. Go when the market is about to close: When it’s time to pack up and go home, many farmers slash produce prices so they don’t return home with excess inventory that they must pack, unload, and unpack all over again. This is my best tip, and how I got 30 lbs of peaches for $4 today!

Me with one of my bargain peaches from the Sacramento Farmers Market

Me with one of my bargain peaches from the Sacramento Farmers Market