Let’s Talk New Year’s Resolutions

Do you have one? I have a few in mind, and while my yearly goals do not always last the 12 months, they are still good to have.

Come 2013 I will be embarking on an auto-immune diet protocol during my January Paleo Infused Nutrition Pledge. I am doing this because it will be a good challenge that will bottom-line improve my health. Most recently my thyroid has been showing some variation (signs of hashimoto’s) and ensuring my gut integrity is optimal for my well-being and defense in thyroid problems.

If I suggested this resolution to be last year or the year before, I would have set myself up for failure. It will (hopefully) work for me for this year coming, because I have a clear understanding of what I need to do, and my food intake is already rather restrictive, and more than half way in meeting the auto-immune protocol guidelines.

Overall though, the Paleo Infused Nutrition Pledge is not about restriction. It is a Pledge you come up with that aims to improve your health. You make a commitment/goal to yourself and to me your dietitian. And through the 4 week Pledge I help you stay on-top of your health game and propose some guidelines of being your healthiest you. So if you are interested, just let me know. It’s nothing to be scared of, it’s an opportunity to learn a whole new way of looking at food. Best part, you don’t have to spend time commuting to appointments, etc. The Pledge is an online private forum, where you have a dietitian, me, at your fingertips for questions and/or to voice your successes and struggles. Who wants to join?!

If you want something more hands out, I can also offer a Clean Eating Bootcamp developed by myself and an excellent Personal Trainer, Becky Schlageter, here in Chicago. Our Bootcamp is composed of 6 sessions, giving the client personal attention to their diet and fitness program. This Bootcamp will start the second Monday of every month. Who wants to join?

As a health professional, I make it my duty to create programs that are appealing, yet attainable for consumers. If neither of the above attract you, let me know what does. Nonetheless, aim to be your best person this year. Because you deserve good health, and the quality of life that goes with it.

Cheers to you and good health,.

Happy Holidays,

Kel

A Few Gifts For Christmas

I adore gifts that involve health and this December I have come up with the following ideas to assist with your seasonal shopping.

SERVICES

Nutrition Counseling – It would be (silly) hard not to list the idea of buying a voucher for a loved one to visit with a dietitian, such as myself. Depending on their current health status, anyone can benefit from conversing with an RD about getting the most out of their nutrition and understand what diet is best for their health goals. In the least, treat yourself. Your health should be a priority and no one is a better advocate than yourself in taking charge of your quality of life. Along with one-on-one counseling, I host a 4 week Pledge (via a private Facebook forum) and coach you along the 28 days to reach a set health goal and learn clean eating techniques, as well as, work with a local personal trainer conducting a Clean Eating Bootcamp, which will launch the second Monday in January!

Spa – give the gift of relaxation with a spa package. This is a perfect service around the holidays when everything is hustle-bustle.

Fitness Programs – give the gift of fitness. If in Chicago, I recommend Fit Girl Studio‘s monthly package of unlimited classes. They have everything from Barre to spinning. Throughout the month you can mix up the routine and stay inspired to keep on coming back for more. If you do the Paleo Infused Pledge, you get a massive discount. As well, I am affiliated with a great personal trainer in Chicago, who I can connect you with at a discounted price. Email me with interest. Other options include packages for yoga, pilates, Crossfit or barre classes. I am huge fan of barre. You work muscles you didn’t know you had and leave the classes feeling accomplished.

FOOD ITEMS

I love gourmet food, especially those hard to find gems that are clean of unneeded preservatives and flavor enhancers. Below are some of my top picks.

Hemp Seed – looking to increase your protein and fiber intake? This may be your go-to ingredient. It’s nutty delicious flavor marries well with salads, soups, smoothies and more. I often eat 3-4 T of Hemp Seed Hearts with some almond milk or coconut milk in the morning.

Organic Coconut Oil – use in place of butter and olive oil, adding an extra dose of nutrition to your meals. Learn more about the benefits of coconut oil here.

Dark Chocolate – Lindt dark chocolate 85% and above is one of few commercially found chocolates that does NOT contain soy lecithin (which is a huge plus!). Buy one for mom and one for yourself!

Bars – I do not want to categorize this gift as “granola bars” because my recommended bars lack grains and are gluten free. So therefore, we will stick with bars. However, with many of my clients who need something on the go, or have in the gym bag for a time of need, I recommend a few bars including Lara BarsKind bars, and Zing bars. As a health professional I am able to sell Zing bars at a discounted rate, compared to retail. If interested, feel free to email me ([email protected]).

Grassfed Meat/Cheese – high quality protein sourced from grassfed animals is one of the best fuel sources we have. I love US Wellness Meats and their broad offerings including sugar free, nitrate free bacon.

Looking for more food ideas? Feel free to review my collected list on Amazon by clicking here.

BOOKS 

There are a number of great books out there right now and a few of my favorite include: Wheat BellyPrimal Body, Primal MindEat Fat, Lose Fat, Practical PaleoGood Calories, Bad Calories and a few more.

A few fellow dietitian friends have also recently published some interesting eBooks including:

GADGETS

I am afraid this list could go on forever, but beyond the iPhone and accessories, these items are appealing:

FitBit Aria Scale – Aria is a high performance scale, tracking weight, body mass index (BMI) and % body fat over time. After easy, wireless set-up, your Fitbit aria scale taps into your home wireless network and uploads your information automatically to fitbit.com each time you step on the scale. Automatically recognizes up to 8 different people in your home, sending their info to separate accounts at fitbit.com.

FitBit One & Zip trackers – track your movement with this little device.

Nike + Sports Watch and GPS – Tap the screen to mark laps and activate the backlight during your run, and personalize the data that you want to see during your run. For direct connect, USB contacts are built into the watch strapjust plug the watch directly into a USB port on your computer to upload run data and recharge the battery.

Camelbak Water Bottle – I love my camelbak water bottle, and the lid/straw helps me stay hydrated. When you see me, I am sure you will see me with my Camelbak.

There are numerous fun gadgets on the market right now. Everything from sound-proofed headphones to high-tech shoes. If I come across anything that I think is a must-have for the holidays, I will update this post. Until then, please let me know what you are eyeing for the holidays.

Enjoy the season, and try to stop and smell the pine once in awhile.

Cheers to you and good health,

Kel

Top 10 Reasons to See a Paleo Registered Dietitian

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics posted an article, “Top 10 Reasons to Visit an RD,” and it inspired me to repost similar content but outline why a Paleo Registered Dietitian can suit your needs.

A trusted health care professional can serve as an integral liaison in helping you make change for a healthy lifestyle. See how consulting with a Paleo RD can benefit you.

  1. Diabetes: You have prediabetes or any other form of diabetes – T1, T2, Gestational and you want to gain control. A Paleo RD can change your life and your relationship with food by teaching you holistic, real-food approaches in eating a nutrient-dense diet, low to moderate carbohydrates and avoiding pro-inflammatory foods to help you best control your blood sugars.
  2. Community: Your community has high levels of obesity. A Paleo RD can work with local leaders, including doing presentations to schools, teachers and parents, to create wellness programs that promote healthy eating, sourcing high quality food locally and physical, natural movement for everyone.
  3. Media: You are a marketing manager for a food company/restaurant and know consumers’ preference for good-tasting food that is healthy. A Paleo RD can make the connection and work with your media campaign to develop new messages that will be successful in the marketplace.
  4. Performance: You want to improve your performance in sports. A Paleo RD can transition you to be fat-adapted, enhancing your ability to perform longer and better. Whether you’re running a marathon, skiing or jogging with your dog, you deserve to properly fuel your body with the right foods at the right amounts.
  5. Special Diets: More than 15 million people in the US have a food allergy and this does not even address food sensitivities  A Paleo RD dietitian will work with you to develop an eating plan for your new needs and even help uncover food sensitivities.
  6. Family Nutrition: A Paleo RD an help you take care of your family, from parents growing older and at risk for Alzheimer’s  dementia,  etc, to newborns and eventually starting on solids. A Paleo RD who has special culinary skills can teach you how to cook in a simple, convenient way as well as educate you on what foods to choose.
  7. Food Relationships: Perhaps you or your teenager has issues with food and eating healthfully. A Paleo RD can address the impact certain anti-nutrients have on our mental health. Please note if a condition such as anorexia, etc, can be addressed by a Paleo RD, yet, a RD who specializes in eating disorders should be your first attempt. I will plug the book Primal Body, Primal Mind as a go-to resource as well.
  8. Locavore: Your community wants more local foods to be available. A Paleo RD can inform you of some great options in how to connect with a nearby farmer, as well as, provide advice on how to grow your own produce or herbs.
  9. Time: You and your husband/wife have just started a family, perhaps you have moved, started a new job or hobby and time is just not there. A Paleo RD can help you get through and not put your health in the back burner
  10. Supplements: While all health professionals can agree, food first is the best approach in getting your needed nutrient intake, however, a Paleo RD can help you source the best needed supplements or food substitutes. Perhaps liver and onions are a thing of the past, but the nutritional bang for your buck you can get with this ancestral meal or a homemade bone broth may need to be revisited.
Regardless of the niche a health professional has, everyone needs some sort of coaching. From a personal trainer, to a running coach, a business mentor, to a Registered Dietitian. Treat yourself and see what a coach can offer you.
Cheers to you and good health,
Kelly

References

Sildorf SM, er al. Remission without insulin therapy on gluten-free diet in a 6-year old boy with type 1 diabetes mellitus. BMJ Case Rep. June 21, 2012.

Jonsson, T, et al. Beneficial effects os a Paleolithic diet on cardiovascular risk factors in type 2 diabetes: a randomized cross-over pilot study. Cardiovasc. Diabetol. 2009; 8: 35.

Cordain L. The Nutritional Characteristics of a Contemporary Diet Based Upon Paleolithic Food GroupsJANA. 2002; 5(3): 15-24.

Wolf, R. The Paleo Solution – The Original Human Diet. 2010.

Rosebud O. Robertsa, Lewis A. Roberts, Yonas E. Geda, Ruth H. Cha, V. Shane Pankratz, Helen M. O’Connor, David S. Knopman and Ronald C. Petersen, Relative Intake of Macronutrients Impacts Risk of Mild Cognitive Impairment or Dementia, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2012 

Wangen W. Healthier Without Wheat – A New Understanding of Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease, and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance. 2009.

The “Modified” 100 Workout

There was an image floating around on Facebook that caught my eye, which also inspired me to do. It was called the 100 workout. Doesn’t the words itself sound interesting? Well I did the workout and it was fun and tough. However, I was wondering where the push-ups where? Therefore, I did a little modification, enabling me to do the original workout, as well as, my modified version in the same week, targeting varying body parts.

This is what I came up with:

100 Jumping Jacks

90 Pilate Hundreds

80 Lunges

70 (Split the 70 between 35 push-ups and 35 Leg Extensions)

60 Jumping Jacks

50 Pilates Hundreds

40 Lunges

30 (Split push-ups and Leg Extensions)

20 Jumping Jacks

10 Minutes of biking

An Image of Health

I will never forget when my good friend’s mom approached me (two plus years ago) at her wedding shower and said, “Kelly you are just the image of health.”

Me, in my mind thinking, “really, do you know what my A1C looks like?!” But instead, replied to such a compliment with pleasure. It was really nice and has clearly stuck with me over the years.

So what do I think? Am I an image of health?? First begs the question, what is health?

  • I am an ideal body weight, even though I wrestle with 5 or so pounds year-round.
  • I work out a fair bit, but not too much. Maybe a pilates, spinning or yoga class a week. A session on the stair-climber with weight lighting, more weight lifting and walking (of course). I LOVE walking when time allows.
  • I do not drink my calories. My liquids usually include tea, water, more tea, long blacks (but trying to cut back because I want better sleep) and occasional diet cola. Oh, a fair share of red wine too. Can you blame me?
  • I avoid grains like the plague.
  • I try to not take life too seriously.
  • I skip legumes in my diet, well except a bluemoon craving for peanut butter.
  • I motivate others to be an advocate for their health.
  • I believe in taking risks.
  • I seek adventure (I am wearing the blue helmet).

And as far as diabetes goes:

  • I visit my Endo 3-4 times a year, as well as my dentist, ophthalmologist, optometrist and Women’s Health doc,
  • I use an insulin pump, but I do not change the infusion set every 3 days as I should. I likely change it when I get an alarm telling me the volume of insulin is low.
  • I have no idea when the last time was I changed my lancet.
  • Yet, I do test my blood sugar 6-10 times a day. Have you seen my fingers?
  • But that A1C, which is supposed to be 6 or below, is an ongoing battle, or can I say, experiment.

Thankfully for a paleo-like diet, I know what I need to do to keep a stable blood sugar. Instead of consuming grains, legumes, corn, soy, vegetable oils and dairy, I resort to high quality meats, eggs, nuts, fish, vegetables, olive oil, butter, coconut, fruit, potatoes (sweet) and white rice. The latter gives me such amazing energy and when I am diligent with my food choices, I feel great.

So going back to question, “Am I an image of health?”

Yes. Yes I am and you can be too. I am nutrient seeker, I am happy, I work hard on my diet and well-being, I count my blessings and I am passionate about helping others optimize their food choices.

Put your best foot forward today by taking care of yourself. If you need any help, that is what I am here for.

Cheers to you and good health,
Kel

Tying in Health When Traveling

This month was uber fun, yet, I have sat on an airplane more than I have laid in my own bed. With late dinners and early mornings I bank on my diet to pull me through these busy events.

I take my hat off to anyone who is a consultant and is always on the road. It is tough – routines are forgotten, meals are unplanned, and sleep…good luck. Yet, I have some go-to habits that help keep me sane including clean eating.

1. Food

You don’t always know what you are going to eat or when. If I didn’t pack my go-to travel foods, I would go on famished or even drowning myself in whatever I could get my hands on.

I always carry food on my trips, well at least all the types of food I can travel with from state to state in Australia (here you are not allowed to take fruits, vegs, meats and many other quarantined items from one state to another). While traveling I am constantly bouncing from one meeting to the next. What could be a fast food drive through, I turn into a quick stop at a park (if I am lucky) and eat something I have on hand. My travel foods include: hard boiled eggs, canned tuna in olive oil (100% olive oil), macadamia nuts, and dark chocolate. All these foods are good, nutrient-dense and satisfying. Since I can’t take vegetables from one state to another, I may pick up a salad and dress it with my tuna and hard boiled egg. If my flight is bright an early, I will again often source a hard boiled egg or two.

2. Fitness

Regardless of where I am traveling and for how long, I have a workout outfit, comfy shoes to swap out my heels for to get in a quick walk, goggles and a swimsuit. The best way to get to know a city is on foot. When a day of meetings wrap-up, I will throw on some joggers and get in some fitness before the sun goes down.

3. Fasting

If there are no good food options and my blood sugars are pleasing, I will partake in an intermittent fast. I may also do a fast when my meals are too plentiful, for example last week I was at a conference and there was a buffet breakfast, morning and arvo tea (which means coffee, tea and food), lunch and then a dinner. Grains avoided or not, I still overate and an intermittent fast gets me back on track. I usually only fast for about 14-16 hours, eating dinner then again the following day around 11am.

4. Water bottle

Staying hydrated is key. I take an empty water bottle through the security at the airport and top it off right away and continue to do so throughout the trip.

5. Sleep

It is not always a good nights sleep in a new place and new bed, but I take some decaf tea with me, along with some magnesium supplements to help wind down. I also make the bedroom as dark as I can (block the clock) and turn the thermostat on the cold side.

6. Me time

Travel can be lonely but also an awesome opportunity for some personal time. When on the road set aside time to just relax and digest any stress going on in your life. Depending on where I am, I like popping downstairs to the hotel bar and getting a nice glass of red  and get comfortable in my room by reading or catching some cable (we don’t have cable; crazy? Yes).

These are just a few things I have adapted in the last year and will continue to strive for optimal health, diet and fitness when wining and dining.

Cheers to you and good health!

Food Log – I Have Not Forgotten About You

Happy New Year. I do not know about you, but I have been feeling a little fluffy since the holidays. I did not go too far off the paleo diet but I certainly had too many bites of food on too many occasions. That is okay because I am back on the horse and motivated to eat right and feel good.

Breakfast: 10AM
I woke up around 7:30AM and told myself, “You are not getting out of bed,” and slept another good hour or so.
2 free range, omega 3 eggs
Sauteed mushrooms

11:30AM – Prahran Market
Sampled some preservative free sausages (oh they are so good)
Had an organic long black
Samples some spicy and garlic olives
A fresh date

Exercise: 1PM 
bike ride to the coast (9 miles total), a few plyorometric drills

Snack: 3PM
I threw some almonds in a food processor with some macadamia nut oil and himilayian sea salt
6-8 prunes

Exercise: 4:30PM
30 min run through the local park

Dinner: 6PM
Grilled seafood salad (prawns, calamari, white fish and greens)

Snack: 8:30PM
1 oz of leftover beef
Salsa and homemade guacamole


Dear Food Log – 12/12/11

Today, Monday, I ate:

Gym: 6AM, stairclimber, abs, push-ups

Breakfast: 7:20AM
2 poached eggs
Mushrooms and herbs
1 large strawberry, sliced
Water
Fish oil
Probiotics

Lunch: 2PM
Leftover fish taco meat and vegetables
Water

At work today we had a guest speaker discussing how to make the most of our lives. It was an interesting talk and motivational. I have been brewing up some NYE resolutions but have not necessarily thought of my goals for 2012. Have you? I know I have traveling in mind, health as a focus, maybe write a book, continue on blogging and more. I would love to hear what you all are pondering. Have any suggestions or ideas? Please share.

Walk: 5PM, walk home from work – 4.5 miles

Dinner: 7:30PM
Saganaki
Raw beef with truffle oil, rocket, parmesan cheese and potato
Water
Sauv Blanc

 

Merry Fitness

If you fall within the average American, there is a good chance that the holiday parties are not favoring your waistline. However, do not fret. Come the night before Christmas, reward yourself or your partner something for fitness..

Fitness Gift Ideas:

  • Bike
  • Running Watch
  • Vibrams
  • Kettlebell
  • Garmin watch – tracks distance, elevation, calories burned and heart rate
  • Books – on running, yoga, Paleo, the list goes on…
  • Water bottle – I like the ones with a straw. It makes me drink more water throughout the day.
  • Workout clothse – feeling good in the outfit you are sweating can make you want to push harder and last longer.
  • Sunglasses – polarized on both sides, protecting your eyes from the sun and water reflection
  • Tent – who said camping is for kids??
  • Yoga mat
  • Bosu ball

Food Gift Ideas:

  • Tea
  • Tea pot
  • Fruit deliveries – delivered monthly to your door step
  • Juicer
  • Food processor to make your own nutbutter, baby food, almond milk…
  • Fair trade coffee
  • Vouchers to awesome and wholesome food places, i.e. Chipotle, Mad Mex, Trader Joes, etc

Misc. Health Gift Ideas:

  • Bio-dynamic grocery bags
  • Fitness calendar
  • Gym membership
  • Running socks
  • iPhone apps to rev you up for workouts and health goals
  • Body lotions made of natural, glutenfree ingredients
  • Gym bag
  • Exercise package or running bib
  • Cooking classes

And the list goes on. What is your favorite health gift/reward?

Cheers to you and good health!

Is This a Bad Joke

Diabetes.

Diabetes is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of frequent urination, increased thirst and increased hunger as defined by wikipedia.

However, if this disease only set me up to have a bathroom pass everywhere I go with a tall glass of water and a bag of food, it would be a breeze.

Today I am frustrated. Is frustrated the right word? My blood sugars will not go down and when they are slightly close to a goal blood sugar reading, I get hungry…but forget hunger, I want good blood sugars, I want to hang out with friends and not feel anxious of where my blood sugars are, I do not want to be afraid to eat carbohydrates, I want to have focus to read a book and gosh darnit I want to sleep. And I think my fiance does too.

I have been sketching everything down like a mad scientist – what time I am eating, what my blood sugar is, what am I eating, am I stressed, am I hydrated, when did I exercise, should I exercise, should I not exercise (that can sometimes cause blood sugars to go up), do I have ketones, did my food get cross-contaminated with gluten (gluten spikes my blood sugar among other things), how is my insulin pump, is the insulin absorbing right, do I have my insulin pump site in scar tissue…..I could go mad and I might, but…

I choose to carry on. I choose to hold my head high, stay positive, not hold back, look for areas I can improve and accept that diabetes is a disease.

Diabetes is a disease. And when it is out of control I cannot make it my fault.

So this diabetes micro-management is not a bad joke, I cannot walk away from it. I shall make every mischief or challenge an opportunity and reach out to any readers that have diabetes or family/friends of someone who has diabetes and let you know that diabetes will take a ride of its’ own sometimes and you cannot get depressed and think it is your fault.

Stay positive, seek your doctor’s advise as needed and go back to basics when those blood sugars do not want to fall. Test often, drink water always, change insulin injection sites and strive for optimism and not perfection.

“Nature, time and patience are three great physicians.” – H.G. Bohn

Cheers to you and good health.