You may not be a nutritionist or a dietitian, but I can guess you have an idea of what to eat, or at least you know it’s a good thing to eat real food, that has not been processed (high quality meat/seafood, vegetables (lots!!), fruit, nuts/seeds and healthy fats). Yes? Then what may be holding you back on reaching your current health goal?

Consistently I see a need with my patient population for advice on how to execute the best steps to eating well. In today’s post, I have listed some of my tips to get over this hurdle.

  1. Plan – you’ve likely seen me write this or say this, “If we fail to plan, we plan to fail.” What is your goal and what areas of your day need most attention facilitating better food choices? Evenings – perhaps eating too much in the latter half of the day? Lunch – running to wherever and eating whatever because you fight the time to even go to the bathroom? Or mornings – not fueling with a protein-rich meal before kicking off your day? Assess what can change, and think of SMALL steps that can lead to change.
  2. Meals – on average we eat the same 8-15 foods week after week. And I want to make a few points out of this tip, 1) don’t stress over eating similar things for a week straight, yet, make an effort to rotate in different foods each time you grocery shop, and 2) keep meals simple. Part of executing a plan of gaining health, needs to be easy, efficient and enjoyable. Think of meals that are based on whole food, which you enjoy, and how you can make them work for your schedule. A few examples – this summer we are traveling nearly every week until October. This itself can derail my health, but I’ve embraced the challenge. For road trips I will freeze a protein smoothie the night before, and enjoy it the following day for lunch. When my husband is traveling for work (which is also often) I know my go-to meal to make for my son and I. I pull out 2 vacuum-sealed pieces of white fish the night before I want it for dinner, and either cook it in a skillet with some coconut oil, lemon, cayenne pepper and cilantro or use my grill pan. I always have some sort of vegetable prepped in the fridge as well. I do this vegetable task while making a different meal, for example breakfast on Mondays. If the vegetable requires cooking, I will either chop some cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, Brussels sprouts, etc), onion and garlic and roast a large batch to have readily available for other meals during the week. Or when chopping my son’s afternoon snack, I also multi-task and chop some raw celery, carrot, bell pepper, etc, to have handy when I need something quick to stave off hunger while prepping a meal. And lastly, but not least, you can never go wrong making something in bulk (freezing portions for later) in a slow-cooker.
  3. Grocery list – how do you know what you need when grocery shopping? Do you stroll and decide while shopping? Do you keep a tablet in your kitchen and update it when something comes to mind? Whatever you do, practice something that is efficient. I often use my Notes on my iPhone and just note what I need for certain stores. I usually always have a running list for Costco and Trader Joe’s and as I shop I delete the item as I put in the cart. (I am known to use my list and still forget things).
  4. Snacks – unless you are very active or growing, snacks are not all that needed, especially not needed between every meal, every day. If you find you are hungry 1-3 hours after eating a meal, you need  more food at those meals, and often protein or fat is skimped. Our meals should hold us over for ~4 hours. Reducing the number of times we eat (aka not grazing every 2 hours) allows our body’s to tap into fat stores and gives our digestion a break, focusing on other needed bodily processes. One appropriate place I foresee, in general, a client needing to plan a snack, is in the afternoon when they are eating lunch around the noon hour and not getting home for dinner until 7pm or later. In this window, I advise a snack that is real food (of course) and has some protein and fat, such as nuts and a bag of raw vegetables, or deli meat (Applegate) and small serving of fruit.
  5. Hydrate – we wake up dehydrated and by the time we are thirsty any other time during the day, it is a sign of a deficit. We want to hydrate upon wakening and throughout the day. One example, which can help with meeting a hydration goal is always having a water bottle near and setting a small to-do to drink a full bottle by a certain time of the day. I like the bottles that have a straw at the top. Call me lazy, but when I don’t have to screw off the top of a bottle every time I want to drink, I end up drinking on average a lot more throughout the day.
  6. Breath – take the time to step back, take a few deep breaths every day. With this time reiterate what you want to make of the day and for your goal. Just writing your goal down, can help you stay on your game on making the right choices.
  7. Building your plate – even if you are eating low carb, for optimal health, a plate needs to be balanced. I will let the below image explain this tip.

So easily, I can extend this list, but use this as a start and let me know if you need support along the way.

Cheers to you and good health,


The Perfect Meal Plan

If you had to guess what’s in the perfect meal plan, what would you throw out there?

Berries? Berries are probably good as they are loaded with antioxidants, nutrients, sweetness (!!), fiber and serve as a fabulous source of carbohydrate.

Protein, something like wild salmon or grass-fed beef? Each offer the good omega 3 fatty acids, which are essential for our health, immunity, lower elevated triglycerides, assist joint pain caused from arthritis, fight cardiovascular disease and combat inflammation. 

Tea! Surely tea. Research suggests that tea can aid in cancer prevention, increase endurance in exercise, helps us hydrate, serving up water with a delicate flavor, increase mood, concentration and potentially help with weight loss.

Superfoods?? Something like cocoa nibs. Offering a nice dose of fiber, healthy fat (stearic acid), antioxidants, and who would have thunk cocoa has over 300 healthy compounds? The best thing is, when we eat chocolate, cocoa or cocoa nibs, we can gain satisfaction from the flavor without it having to be a Snickers bar. Perhaps throwing some in a smoothie can be a home-run.

Non-starchy vegetables? For example, leafy greens, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, snow peas, zucchini, mushrooms! Getting the most nutrients per calorie, these foods rank top of the list. Furthermore, non-starchy vegetables can be eaten in large amounts without sacrificing waistlines nor create blood sugar swings.  They are low in carbohydrates, high in nutrition and have been associated with preventing many diseases, including cancer.

If you would have answered the question of “what is included in the perfect meal plan” with any of the above, I wouldn’t say you are wrong. But can I fully agree?

A perfect meal plan is unique to each person. For what works for one individual doesn’t always work for the next person. Some folk may need a diet higher in fat (maybe around 40%), or a diet focused on high protein (35%). No doubt, a diet high (200+ grams) in carbohydrates is likely rare.

Overall, a diet focused on whole, real food will be consistent from one person to the next. Some people may do best on 3 meals a day, some people may do better with only eating in a window of 10 hours (intermittent fasting), while some people may do best with snacks.

As a Registered Dietitian I don’t provide blanket meal plans based on someone’s height and weight. I individualize their meals based on their needs, health goals, taste and digestion. If you are eating a certain way, or consistently eating the same foods and not moving towards your current health goal, think about not only the ingredients you can change but the amounts, timing of day you eat and number of times you eat.

Education is motivation, invest in your health today and appreciate the journey of attaining wellness.

Cheers to you and good health,


What’s Your Goal

What’s your New Year’s Resolution? Don’t have one? No worries; I am not sure I like them anyway. Surely they are motivating (initially), but seeking a better self shouldn’t be captivated only one time a year. Nonetheless, let’s get healthier before we get caught up in what others are doing since January 1.

My first question is – what do you want to be different from this winter to the next? More energy, a different dress size, a faster paced mile, more reps on your weight lifting routine? What in your health could be better?

Whatever your goal is, write it down. One effective place to write your goal is getting a dry erase marker and writing the goal on your bathroom mirror.

Next think why it’s important. This WHY is so crucial. It’s going to be your ongoing motivation.

Now go back and look at what your goal is and assess whether it’s intimidating to initiate or easy enough to start NOW. If you can’t do something for your goal today, break that goal down to something smaller, with a lesser barrier of entry to begin.

Next, draft a plan to reach this small milestone within the week, and in the next week, reassess your goal and set your standards higher to inch closer to the main objective.

Overall, it’s hard to know where we are headed if we don’t know what we are truly trying to go after.

If you need any help, feel free to email me at [email protected],com. As well, I have also added another service which includes assessing a 3-5 day food log, where I provide insight and tactics of what someone needs to do reach a set goal. Sometimes accountability is all you need! Let me be your coach this month. I promise to play nice.

Cheers to you and good health,