Decoding Popular Diets: The Mediterranean Diet

Decoding Popular Diets: The Mediterranean Diet

If you're looking for a diet that's been extensively studied with scientific evidence to back its heart-healthy claims, the Mediterranean diet is for you.  The lifestyle approach to healthy eating may help prevent chronic disease while boosting heart + brain health, and with the plant-centric focus, weight management goals will likely fall into place (although a little extra effort may be required).  Want to learn more about the Mediterranean diet and what practicing it looks like?  Keep reading!   

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Decoding Popular Diets: Gluten-Free

Decoding Popular Diets: Gluten-Free

Looking for a hot topic to discuss at your next dinner party?  Try mentioning the word "gluten."  While relatively unknown just a few years ago, gluten has entered the spotlight -  well, at least in terms of awareness!  In reality, gluten has exited the picture, with product development and marketing efforts aimed at removing gluten from foods that commonly contain it and highlighting foods that are newly + naturally void of the ingredient.  So, is it time for you to cut ties with gluten, too?  And what does a diet sans gluten even look like?  Let's discuss.

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Decoding Popular Diets: The Paleo Diet

Decoding Popular Diets: The Paleo Diet

Last year, during my semi-annual teeth cleaning, my dentist asked my opinion on the Paleo Diet.  Mouth agape, I provided a brief and likely unintelligible response referencing the benefits of prioritizing whole foods and the potential risks of eliminating entire food groups.  Next visit, I'll simply direct him to this analysis, which will hopefully clear up any questions that you (and my dentist) have regarding the Paleo Diet. 

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Decoding Popular Diets: An Overview

Decoding Popular Diets: An Overview

I love talking about food - from kale salads to peanut butter pie and from #trending superfoods to the staples of grandma's kitchen pantry.  So, when I meet new people and they discover I'm a dietitian, I genuinely welcome the flood of questions that I usually receive.  Often they've read or heard of a bite (ha!) of nutrition news and want my take on its validity.  Sometimes there's merely a whisper of hope that it's true (does drinking red wine match the benefits of working out?) and other times there's real interest in pursuing the plan (will removing dairy from my diet improve my digestion?).  The most frequent topics posed, however, include overall diet approaches such as going gluten-free or adopting the paleo diet, which leads me to the beginning of an exciting new series!

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Creating healthy eating habits: The effect of cues + environment

Creating healthy eating habits: The effect of cues + environment

Understanding what's healthy differs from actually choosing healthy options.  Obvious, right?  For example, I know the health benefits of red wine come from 5 ounces per day for a women, but I may still have 2+ glasses on a Friday night.   A pint of ice cream is meant to be 4 servings (!) but suddenly it's gone in one sitting.  So how can we better align our nutrition knowledge (and goals!) with our nutrition actions?  Read on to find out!  

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Spotlight: The powerful punch of pistachios

Spotlight: The powerful punch of pistachios

When I was a kid, pistachios were my mom's go-to snack.  Our pantry was always stocked with at least one bag of the nuts (shells included), and she'd make the healthy choice to eat pistachios over foods that I, as a child, thought looked more appetizing.  Now as a mama myself, I realize that the lack of appeal to me was likely part of her plan (forking over half your meal or snack is a very real part of the parenting gig!).  Either way, she was onto something.  Pistachios offer a wealth of nutrition, and they check all the boxes for an ideal snack.  So let's break it down.

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Reassessing resolutions: Progress, trends + accountability

Reassessing resolutions: Progress, trends + accountability

Have you heard that it takes at least three weeks to create a new habit?  Experience tells me it takes a bit longer to automate those actions, but if you've stuck with your 2017 resolutions through this point (3 weeks into January!), you're certainly on the right track!  More often, the end of January hits, resolutions aren't realized, and it's a return to status quo. Sweeping declarations seem particularly challenging to uphold - "I'm giving up sugar, gluten, fats, alcohol, caffeine, [insert vice here]," or "I'm going to start working out 7 days a week."  [Side note: I haven't heard of anyone vowing to give up vegetables, but I imagine that sweeping declaration would pose fewer problems.  Also, please never vow to give up vegetables!]  If the final week of January looks less promising for your health than you'd hoped, it's time to reassess those resolutions and make simple adjustments to better align your daily decisions with your long term goals.  

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Traveling light: Staying healthy on the go

Traveling light: Staying healthy on the go

I recently traveled abroad, and I'd love to say that I returned feeling rejuvenated, but honestly I returned feeling pretty exhausted.  Travel (and especially travel while pregnant!) can be tiring, and despite my nutrition knowledge and experience, I still dealt with jet lag, tempting treats (read: unhealthy eats), dehydration, and puffy everything (face, fingers, feet, belly).  Learn from my mistakes and adopt these travel tricks that I failed to follow!  

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Reset + Re-energize for the New Year

Reset + Re-energize for the New Year

I come from a pretty health-conscious family.  We like to stay active, we eat salads with most of our dinners, and we primarily drink water, occasionally the bubbly variety.  When we played a game of children's charades over the holidays, my 4-year old niece picked the word "tree."  With a big smile on her face, she declared, "I definitely know what to do for this one!"  And then she did tree pose.  It was genius, hilarious, and a perfect example of how we prioritize wellness in our family.  So much so that even the little ones catch onto it.  But we still indulged over the holidays, and as a pregnant mama, I am ready to reset and re-energize.  Here's what I plan to do to prioritize my health as we enter the new year.

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Savoring the Flavors of the Season

Savoring the Flavors of the Season

'Palate' is defined as "a person's appreciation of taste and flavor, especially when sophisticated and discriminating."  The vision behind Palate Theory is to encourage the appreciation of high quality and delicious foods within a lifestyle of healthy eating.  That means you eat the foods that you enjoy eating while maintaining or reaching your ideal weight, optimizing your nutrient intake, and feeling energized and encouraged while doing so.  As the end of the year approaches, it's easy to slip into an attitude of indulging now and skimping later.  Within the Palate Theory model, you can savor the flavors of the season without requiring a strict calorie deficit later.  Make your resolution for the new year to skip diving in and out of dieting and to instead make healthy eating habits a key piece of your lifestyle.  Here are a few tips + incentives to get a head start on your health goals for the new year! 

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Maximizing holiday health + festive fun

Maximizing holiday health + festive fun

Festivities abound this time of year, which can mean more socializing, more cocktails, more dinner parties....more, more + more!  But it also leaves time for less sleep, less exercise, less self-care.  You can still enter into the new year happy and healthy without skipping out on all of the holiday fun.  Explore these trusted tips along with a variety of educational + entertaining nutrition reads that will help you make the most of the season!

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