By: Jeremy Will, RD/LD
Registered Dietitian

A new trend has emerged, and it has to do with a mysterious food item known as “celery.” Celebrities are swearing by celery juice to help with many ailments including irregularity, weight loss, and even psoriasis. What is this mysterious food, and how is it doing these amazing things for people? After many sleepless nights and endless hours of research, I believe I have found the answer. Celery belongs to an ancient food group known as “vegetables”, and the “vitamins and minerals” in these vegetables apparently have many health benefits. SURPRISE!!

Ok, no more sarcasm, I promise. Celery is not a magical cure-all. It is a vegetable that is part of the most nutritious food group you can consume. There is a reason health professionals try to push vegetables down your throat: they are extremely nutrient dense while containing very little calories. It is not difficult to get the recommended amounts either.

  • The goal is 4 servings a day (1 serving sounds harder than it is).
  • ½ cup cooked = 1 serving
  • 1 cup raw = 1 serving

And yes, that includes all vegetables (celery, onions, lettuce, mushrooms). Though you want to include different varieties and colors of vegetables throughout the week, these items still contain beneficial nutrients and should be included in a healthy diet.

By: Jeremy Will, RD/LD
Registered Dietitian

Every couple of years a new diet emerges as the cure for weight loss and obesity–from Atkins, Paleo, and vegan to the now-popular Keto diet. Half of the articles you read claim it is the cure-all, while the other half assure you it is the worst thing you can do. Nutrition science is still a very young science relative to others, leading to many different opinions on the same topics. There are no “good” and “bad” diets, only what works for each individual. However, when choosing or considering a diet, there are definitely good and bad ways to approach it.

  • Do not choose an eating pattern based on someone else’s results. Everyone is unique. One person may not see the same results as another. Choose what is best for you.
  • Do your own research. “My buddy John lost 15 lbs. in 2 hours following Keto” is not research. Use government, university, and medical websites to learn the pros and cons of each diet type. You can learn a lot with a quick 10- to 15-minute search.
  • Be aware of deficiencies. Many diets eliminate one or multiple food groups leading to deficiencies. A good multi-vitamin or specific supplementation may not be a bad idea when beginning dietary changes.
  • Most importantly, be aware of what is happening on the inside when following a diet, especially extreme diets.  Weight is not the only indicator a diet is effective or not. Make sure you are having regular blood work done to monitor cholesterol, blood sugar, triglycerides, and other markers to ensure you are healthy on the inside.

By: Jeremy Will, RD/LD
Registered Dietitian

Some people respond well to written instructions and numbers. Many others respond better to visual cues and pictures. The more specific instructions are, the better results you are likely to have. If eating 63.45% of your cheeseburger and weighing out 3.86 ounces of French fries isn’t your idea of a good time, there are some general guidelines to what your plate should look like.

Although being precise with your intake will provide results, you have to crawl before you walk. Your plate should be divided into ¼ sections. Below are some helpful tips to keep in mind.

  • The first thing to address is vegetables, and they should be ½ of your plate (2 sections).
  • Think of how your protein and carbs complement your veggies, not the other way around.
  • ¼ of the plate should be your protein (lean meats, eggs, etc.).
  • ¼ of the plate should be your carbohydrates (beans, fruit, quinoa, yam, etc.
  • Fats will typically accompany a section; consider avocado or dressing on a salad, oil used to cook protein, etc.

By: Jeremy Will, RD/LD
Registered Dietitian

If you constantly beat yourself up over your eating habits and nutrition, stop! The idea that your nutrition has to be perfect to be effective is flat-out wrong. It is not an all-or-nothing scenario. The people who are successful make the right decisions most of the time, not every time. Many of us feel that if we have been eating great for 4 days, then have a burger and a beer, that our lives are over, and we failed. Not so. The mental aspect of nutrition is the challenging part.

Stay positive and understand nutrition is a continuum, not a pass or fail.

Imagine looking back at your last 10 meals. Person one eats a bad lunch and dinner but gets back on track the following day. Another slips up at lunch but lets it run through the next couple of days. A simple way of looking at this is like a test score. Person one ate well 8/10 meals or 80% of the time. Person two let it slide multiple days and maybe ate 5/10 meals well (50%). Neither are perfect, but wouldn’t you prefer an 80% on a test over a 50%? Approach your eating habits like this.

Strive to do your best but don’t expect to be perfect, and you will certainly see a difference.

By: Jeremy Will, RD/LD
Registered Dietitian

The 2-week meal plan to start off the new year is ready to go and waiting in my office for you! There is some simple prep involved, but that will be true for any plan that is balanced and can be maintained long-term. It will only take a few minutes to go over so no need to even schedule an appointment. Stop by and grab a copy today or tomorrow so you are ready to start this Monday.

Good nutrition is the most important thing you can do for yourself so why not start now?

The plan includes recipes and portion sizes, and some examples are:

Breakfast
1 heaping cup fruit salad
1 serving breakfast bake

Lunch
Chopped Thai salad
with 3 oz. ground chicken (prepared w/ cooking spray, no oil)

Dinner
Chicken fajita salad
(2 oz. chicken, ¼ avocado)

Shouldn’t 2019 be all about committing to yourself?

By: Jeremy Will, RD/LD
Registered Dietitian

I’m sure all of us had (and will have) some delicious food and drink this holiday season, finishing up with New Year’s celebrations. Following the holidays, I will have a 2-week meal plan that will serve as a type of “detox” or “cleanse.”

It will include lots of salads, fruits, and veggies; it will begin Monday, January 7th. The plan and recipes will be available next week, so please come and see me by Friday, January 4th so you have adequate time to plan and be ready for the start date. Hope you had a great Christmas and a good New Year’s coming up!

By: Jeremy Will, RD/LD
Registered Dietitian

Surprise surprise…Christmas and New Year’s is right around the corner, and here comes your dietitian trying to ruin it like always. “Don’t arrive hungry to a holiday party.” “Deny leftovers from hosts.” Blah blah blah.

Hopefully, this tip is a little more fun since it involves alcohol! Booze is the quintessential “empty calorie.” It adds calories to your diet but nothing else (except maybe a nice buzz). You have your usual low-calorie suspects like vodka soda or a whiskey diet. If these are your go-to cocktails, stick with them. If you’re looking for something a little fancier, here are some recipes to help you forget all about my healthy eating rules (even though you shouldn’t!).

Hot Cranberry Mule
(can also make chilled)

Soothing Sangria

The Resolution
(#18 on the list)

By: Jeremy Will, RD/LD
Registered Dietitian

Will you be naughty or nice?

Don’t arrive hungry. If you plan on arriving a couple hours before the meal is served, eat your regular breakfast and lunch or eat a small meal before arriving. This can help control urges to snack and overeat.

Don’t avoid the healthy stuff. Just because you are adding some unhealthy foods to your plate doesn’t mean you have to eliminate the good things. Remember the veggies, fruits, and lean proteins.

Watch the festive drinks. Whether its eggnog, fancy hot chocolate, or a special cocktail, stick to your usual choice then finish the night with something special.

*Starbucks holiday drinks such as the Caramel Brulee Latte, Peppermint Mocha, and Eggnog Latte come in around 450 calories and over 50 grams of sugar each grande size.

Deny leftovers. Politely decline any leftovers–especially desserts–that a host may offer as you leave. On the opposite side, if hosting, try and offer up leftovers to limit what you keep.

Don’t deprive yourself. Holidays are a time to enjoy good food and family. Keep up the workouts and healthy choices but enjoy the meals and a couple treats while at events and remember…

By: Jeremy Will, RD/LD
Registered Dietitian

You are out to eat and nailed it! You ignored the double cheeseburger with fries and went with the foods recommended. The chicken dish, the vegetables, the leaner turkey burger with a side salad. What lurks hidden could be causing more damage than you know. Additions used to flavor and cook foods can provide extra calories that may be curbing your health goals, especially when eating out.

Many foods such as proteins and vegetables are prepared with butter and oils. Sandwiches are topped with mayo, BBQ sauce, and ketchup. Pastas may use alfredo or a red sauce. All these additions can add hundreds of calories to your otherwise healthy choices if not considered. This is not to say they should be avoided, but you should be taking them into account.

Item                      Typical Serving

Ketchup                   3-4 Tbsp. = 15-20 grams sugar

BBQ                            2-3 Tbsp. = 24 grams sugar

Dressings                4 Tbsp. = 24 grams fat

Alfredo Sauce        4 Tbsp = 11 grams fat

Pasta Sauce             ½ cup = 9 grams sugar

Condiments

These items do not have to be off limits, just make sure to control portion size. Additionally, many brands now offer low-sugar or reduced-fat alternatives.

 

By: Jeremy Will, RD/LD
Registered Dietitian

A well-planned grocery list is an underappreciated component of healthy eating. It is common to visit the grocery store and wander, grabbing anything that looks good. Many times, what looks good may not be the best choice for your health. Creating a specific grocery list is very important when starting or sticking to a healthy diet.

Here is a quick guide to successful shopping:

  • Plan a specific day and time each week you will grocery shop and prepare meals.
  • Select recipes for the week and plan breakfast/lunch/dinner/snacks.
  • Compose a physical list (on your phone, paper, etc.) based on your recipes and meal plan.
  • Grocery shop. If it isn’t on the list, it doesn’t go in the cart.
  • Do not shop hungry. Binge shopping and buying bad items usually increase when hungry.