Natural Ways to Increase your Calcium

Build a strong foundation to support your body through the years with calcium.

Did you know that Fosamax, a popular drug used to increase bone mass in individuals who have been diagnosed with low bone density, has been linked to increased cardiovascular health risks?  Several studies have claimed that taking Fosamax can lead to blood clots and irregular heartbeat.  A study of 719 individuals taking the drug demonstrated an 86% increased risk of irregular heartbeat (atrial fibrillation) versus those who have never taken the drug.  Because osteoporosis can seriously decrease the quality of life and Fosamax has shown to be effective in increasing bone mass, doctor’s caution that risks need to be assessed before the drug can be prescribed.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could just pop a pill for any ailment without negative side effects and never have to eat a vegetable again? I am waiting for the study that says that french fries help you loose weight!

Because we don’t live in a perfect world we need to come up with ways we can fight the odds of losing bone mass.  Your body stops building its calcium stores by the time you reach the ripe old age of 30.  The bank account has reached its limit but you must replace what you withdraw to reap the benefits of having strong bones or your account will have a negative balance.

Whether you are a Fosamax user or not everyone can benefit from Nutritiongal’s top 7 ways to increase your bone mass.

1.) Do weight bearing exercises at least 2-3 times per week.  You don’t have to start taking protein supplements and bench pressing 200 Lbs to increase bone mass. Simple resistance training such as doing push-ups, using a kettle ball or elastic band will help. You can Google resistance exercises or check in with your personal trainer to get a fitness plan designed especially for you.  It’s never too late to start and you will be amazed at how easy it can be!

2.) Decrease caffeine intake.  Did you know that caffeine depletes your body’s calcium stores? If you take vitamins be sure to take your calcium supplements after you have had your morning dose of caffeine.  Better yet, swap out your usual caffeinated beverages for decaffeinated beverages.  If you choose to drink decaf coffee be sure to look for Swiss Water Decaf, which is decaffeinated with water rather than cancer causing nitrates, found in standard decaf coffees.

3.) Increase your intake of leafy greens and cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale and asparagus are the most popular cruciferous vegetables. Cruciferous vegetable and leafy greens are loaded with calcium and decrease acidity in the stomach.

4.) Decrease your intake of animal products such as dairy and red meat. Contrary to popular belief, high consumption of animal products results in higher acidity in the stomach. Your body must deplete its calcium stores in order to balance this acidity.  The alkalizing nature of vegetables means that your body isn’t depleting its calcium stores to balance the acid in your stomach.

5.) Eat Almonds.  Almonds are not only delicious and versatile but they are loaded with calcium and essential fats to help regulate your body’s metabolism. Cook them in couscous, or add them to cereals and yogurts. Almond butter is a wonderful spread to add to sandwiches and desserts. Make your own creamy almond milk at home or buy some at the store to add to cereals and smoothies.

6.) Sardines are your friends! Did you know that canned sardines contain 688 mg of calcium per 80g serving? That’s more than twice as much calcium as a hunk of cheese?  Not only are sardines delicious but they are also rich in Omega 3’s which are essential for heart health.  They are great in Greek salads or on toasted bruchetta.  You can get creative with this canned gem.

7.) Try Figs! Remember those dried, purplish vegetables in the snack section of your nearest grocery store? Time to stock up if you enjoy the flavor.  Just four figs contain 500 mg of calcium!  They also contain potassium which is great for maintaining sodium balance in the body.  Whether you like them dried or fresh, figs are delicious in most cereals, yogurts or just by themselves.

Check out this complete list of calcium rich goodies to add to your diet!
Schedule a free consultation for your personal nutrition plan at


Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
Find your bliss. Find your balance
Missed a Nutritiongal newsletter?  Find them all on My Nutritiongal blog.

Ban the Bloat! Healthy Gut Bacteria, All the Rage

Let probiotics work their magic on your digestive system!

Do you experience bloating, indigestion, nausea and various infections, such as yeast or diverticulitis?  You could have candida or yeast overgrowth.  This condition sometimes occurs with very high consumption of sugars and alcohols but it can also occur if you have low levels of healthy gut bacteria.

Do you ever wonder why you experience yeast infections and/or stomach issues after taking antibiotics?  Antibiotics cannot distinguish between the bad bacteria they are killing and the good bacteria in your gut. Yeast overgrowth, which causes the above conditions, occurs when there is not enough healthy bacteria to create an environment to fight these intruders off.

Did you know that you have over 100 trillion bacteria in your gut? Of these approximately 40 species known as Lactobacillus acidophilus are the good bacteria that help your body fight infection, absorb nutrients and normalize bowel function, maintaining balance in your digestive system.  Healthy gut bacteria assists with the metabolism and synthesis of food passing through your digestive system as well as fighting harmful pathogens and bacteria such as E-coli. They are also involved with synthesis of the vitamins D and K, helping to build strong bones, teeth, hair and nails.  Sadly it is very easy to disrupt these friendly bacteria colonies. How can we ensure our gut bacteria do not get wiped out by bad diet choices, stress and or a weekend bender with your friends doing shots of tequila?

Consumption of probiotics has shown to maintain Lactobacillus acidophilus colonies.  If you make a habit of taking them daily you can prevent future digestive disasters, yeast infections can even increase your immunity!  In some cases probiotics can help decrease bad reactions to dairy in lactose intolerant individuals.

Are your probiotics giving you a bang for your buck or are you just swallowing fluff? I have tried many on the market and these are my favorite products.

Inner Health Plus – regular, lactose intolerant and eczema-specific formulas. This product is on the pricey side but is the best in the Oceania market.

Acidophilus and Bifidus 8 Billion by NOW
– this product can be found in powdered or capsule form and is reasonably priced.

Is your wallet feeling a little light to be investing in probiotics these days? You can get them into your diet with these various foods.

1.) Kombucha – fermented tea which can be found in most health food stores. Those of you who love pickles and sauerkraut will love this tea!

2.) Sauerkraut – contains wonderful healthy gut bacteria. Go for the raw fermented sauerkraut found in most health food stores.

3.) Plain natural yogurt (not diet and no sugar) – look for ones that say lactobacilis bifidus on the container, which is most effective.

Now you have the info you need to fight those nasty toxins!

Are you ready to take the plunge and transform your health?

Contact me for a free nutrition consultation!  Just go to and click on the health history form icon.


The Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
Find your bliss. Find your balance

Holiday Junk Food Survival 101

With the holidays just around the corner its no wonder we get all worked up into a frenzy trying to avoid the seemingly, inevitable holiday weight gain. We have events to go to, parties to plan and plenty of shopping to do. Who has time to think about cutting back on delicious treats? The holidays are certainly about sharing and reuniting with family and friends. It doesn’t have to be stressful saying yes to all those invitations if you can make a few simple choices that will save you a trip to the store for a larger pair of jeans in 2011.

Without further ado I present Nutritiongal’s top ten holiday junk food survival tips.

1.) Eat a small balanced meal of carbohydrates, protein and vegetables, such as a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread and a salad, before heading to a cocktail party so that you are not ravenous by the time the first set of pigs in blankets or fried calamari comes your way.

2.) Before you reach for that glass of red make sure to have a club soda/soda water so the wine doesn’t over stimulate your appetite on an empty stomach. You will also feel more hydrated when you reach for that second glass.

3.) That brings us to tip number three. Try to alternate water between alcoholic drinks (if you choose to imbibe). It may save you a headache the next day so that you have energy for that post party workout.

4.) Before you reach for that margarita or pina colada be prepared to consume between 400-800 calories/1700-3300 kilojoules. As an alternative, red wine has far less calories/kilojoules and is filled with antioxidants. If you don’t drink alcohol, cranberry juice is an excellent choice. It is rich in vitamin C and kills harmful bacteria in the urinary tract helping to prevent infections.

5.) Holiday parties are usually filled with all kinds of food. Before you dive in at the nearest table try scoping the place out. You may be pleasantly surprised by a sushi platter or some fresh fruit and vegetables. Foods like these can add balance to the more fried and sugary treats that will be readily available in most places.

6.) With the abundance of delicious food it is easy to over eat. Savor each bite of your food and chew slowly. Try putting your fork down at some points during the meal.

7.) You want to try that delicious piece of cheesecake but you are too full. Sharing is caring and that’s what the holidays are all about. Ask a friend to share. Grab an extra fork and dive in!

8.) No party is complete without music and if it’s dance music, getting out there on the floor is bound to get your heart rate up and burn some extra calories. Have fun!

9.) Do you have a finicky relative who will get offended if you do not try her fried lard dumplings in candied goat blood sauce? Say thank you and try a tiny piece.

10.) Does every party you go to seem to have dairy in every plate and you are allergic? If you can, try asking what the menu is ahead of time. There are bound to be alternatives. When all else fails tip #1 should keep your appetite at bay for most of the night.

Even if you don’t follow the above tips and overindulge tomorrow is another day to start fresh with clean and healthy foods. Life is about balance and wouldn’t it be boring if you never ate a piece of cake or a french fry again?

The Power of Omega 3’s Nutritiongal Volume 20

When I first heard that fish oil supplements helped reduce bad cholesterol I thought that was pretty cool and it has since become common knowledge.  Then I heard  more and more good things about this powerful supplement that I could hardly believe, such as countless instances of  fish oil tablets not only reducing cholesterol but also improving brain functioning and decreasing inflammation.  Along with these stories is some sound science to back it up.

How can fish oil help you?  Isn’t flax seed oil just as good as fish oil?  Can everyone benefit from omega 3’s.  I will let you be the judge after the facts are presented.  Check out Nutritiongal’s top 8 reasons to include fish oil supplements to your daily vitamin regime.

1.) Reduces cholesterol –  Fish oil supplements are made of long chain unsaturated fatty acids that help reduce bad cholesterol (LDL).  The long chain fatty acids clean out the plaque in your arteries like Drano by flushing them out as they flow through the cardiovascular system.  Fish oil increases your HDL.  HDL levels below 40 mg/dL result in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. If your levels of HDL are 60 mg/dL or above your risk is lowered.

2.) Essential for healthy body functions – fish oil Supplements contain EFA’s or essential fatty acids that are required by the the body to function optimally.  EFA’s are composed of omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids. Since they cannot be synthesized by the body they must be ingested through diet. Because of the vast availability of processed foods the average person is getting more than they need of omega 6’s but deficient in omega 3’s or EFA’s (essential fatty acids).  The optimal ratio of omega 3 to omega 6 should be between 1:1 and 4:1 but is 10:1 or higher in many cases.

3.) Fish Oil is better than Flax Oil because it contains (Eicosapentaenoic acid) EPA and (Docosahexaenoic acid) DHA, which as substances naturally found in 8% of the human brain.  Flax oil contains ALA, which is converted to EPA/DHA in the body. The good thing about consuming ALA is that your body will not create more EPA/DHA than it needs. Fish oil is best because you get EPA/DHA right away without any conversion, however if you are vegan, flax oil is the best bet.  The body needs dietary ALA in addition to EPH/DHA as part of a balanced diet so keep that in mind when choosing your oils.  Flax seed oil should be kept in the refrigerator and cannot be used in cooking because the heat will damage the oil and generate free radicals.

4.) Makes your skin beautiful – Omega 3’s maintain the membrane structure of your skin cells and make sure nutrients enter the cells.  It is know as the anti-aging supplement.

5.) Reduces inflammation – As mentioned, fish oil contains EPA. The body uses EPA to create many hormone like substances that reduce inflammation in the body.  Consumption of Omega 3s has been known to reduce symptoms of arthritis, PMS and depression.

6.) Assists with brain functioning –  A few years back there was a mine explosion in West Virginia, USA where only one of 12 miners, Randal McLoy, survived. When he was found he was in a coma due to carbon monoxide poisoning.  The carbon monoxide had stripped his bran cells of their protective myelin sheath and he was feared to be brain damaged.  His doctor was inspired to try omega 3 fish oil supplementation at several times the recommended, daily dose.  Following this high supplementation Randy McLoy awoke from his coma with full mental capacity!  For the full story please see below.

7.) Improves eye health –  According to various studies, supplementation of fish oil helps reduce dry eye syndrome and decreases your risk of getting macular degeneration (diabetes induced blindness).  They also help drainage of intraocular fluid in the eye , decreasing the risk of glaucoma.

8.) Increase libido – EPA/DHA increases the body’s levels of dopamine, which is a feel good neurotransmitter, which increases feelings of desire and overall blood flow.

Be sure to look for mercury tested EPA/DHA fish oil that is cold pressed and contains no other additives.  For most adults the recommended daily dose is about 300-500 mg per day of EPA and DHA combined, plus an additional 800 to 1100 mg of ALA.

While eating fish can be as beneficial as taking fish oil supplements be sure to avoid fish with higher levels of mercury whenever you can.  For a list of high mercury containing fish check out the link  below :


The Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
Find your bliss. Find your balance

“Fire the diet police and take back your health!”

Visit and fill out a health questionnaire for a free consultation today!

When Scales Lie – Why weight isn’t an accurate measure of how slim you are – Nutritiongal Volume 16

While working out is beneficial to your overall well-being and waistline, the scales can sometimes be deceiving. Exercising builds muscle and muscle weighs more than fat. Did you know that muscle also grows faster than fat? Eventually as you keep up your new found love for exercise the increased muscle mass will speed up your metabolism and the fat will burn away. What do you do in the meantime when you’re not getting the results you’re looking for? When you’re trying to drop those last few pounds on the scale it may be wiser measure your progress by how your clothes fit or calculating your body fat percentage rather than holding out for that magic number on the scale.

Many companies that are geared towards modeling or entertainment are encouraging their employees to maintain or attain a particular weight. At times there may be less tolerance for those who deviate from the industry standards. Some are encouraged to diet and exercise while others are threatened with termination. One such controversy is occurring with the popular restaurant chain, “Hooters” where they have given one employee with a perfectly normal weight of 132 pounds at 5’8” an ultimatum to lose weight. How much is too much when “weight” is the sole measure by which many of these individuals are evaluated? If you took a tally of different people’s heights and weights and compared them to pictures it would surprise you to see that some people weigh a lot more or less than they appear. Does weight really matter? The numbers are not always accurate. When dedicated employees get to a gym to maintain their jobs what happens if more muscle is built and the ideal “weight” is not achieved? Will they get fired for being fit?–video

Let’s look at some facts of what building muscle does for the body and why tossing the scale into the closet for a few weeks may not be such a bad idea:

1.) Since muscle grows faster than fat the initial weight gain on the scale is most likely the result of increased lean muscle mass in the body, rather than fat.

2.) Muscle weighs more than fat and is more compact. The scale may be creeping up but if you clothes are looser then you know you’re on the right track

3.) Weight gain from exercise is temporary at best. Once your body adjusts to a routine your weight will adjust, unless you’re overcompensating for your workouts with too many extra calories.

4.) Increased muscle mass = increased metabolism which means weight loss is just around the corner.

Lace up your sneakers and take a vacation from the weight roller coaster. Fitness and fabulousness are right around the corner!


The Nutritiongal – AADP Certified Health Coach
Find your bliss. Find your balance

“Fire the diet police and take back your health!”

Visit and fill out a health questionnaire for a free consultation today!

Your daily weigh in could be sabotaging your workouts.

Could your “Virtuous” Diet be Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Goals?- Nutritiongal Newsletter Volume 15

It’s a quiet afternoon at work as you reach for your gluten free, fat free, nondairy, hypoallergenic snack and slowly sip your herbal tea. Your coworkers are celebrating a birthday and you virtuously refuse a red velvet chocolate frosting covered cupcake because it is too “fattening” or “unhealthy” or “filled with too much processed sugar and food coloring”.

Your friends invite you to dinner but you decline because it’s Mexican food and there’s too much cheese, calories and fat in the food and you can’t drink the margaritas (not even the virgin ones!) that night because you are trying to cut carbs. Yet the scale still doesn’t budge. You see your friends laughing and having a good time enjoying the occasional slice of pizza or buttery croissant in their skinny jeans while you suffer in silence eating your dissatisfying fresh organic fruit salad with fat free yogurt with just a half a teaspoon of honey.

Hold the celery sticks with fat free cream cheese and take a chill pill! We are all guilty of this crime to some extent. There is something to be said about eating healthy but when it comes to doing things supposedly right, why do we have to take it to extremes?

Last week I decided to eat clean for three days to cleanse my system of the french fries, milk chocolate, wine, pizza….. I could go on. And I found myself reaching for the ice cream and before I knew it I had devoured ice cream on a dairy free day without realizing it! What was my body telling me? Perhaps at that particular moment in time “dairy free” wasn’t the way to go. Winter is coming where I live and adding some extra fat is not a bad idea. Yes ice cream is not the healthiest food on the planet but I can think of a few worse things. Why do we have taste buds? We are meant to enjoy our food. Yes healthy food is delicious and enjoyable, especially when we learn to eat it on a regular basis since our palate changes – for the better, in order to enable you to enjoy the simplest most natural food there is and feel satisfied. Nothing replaces natural, whole, unprocessed food as the winner in the Nutrition Competition, if ever there was one but, that does not mean that fries are off limit for life.

Are you cheating yourself of enjoyment for the sake of your health? Nutrition is just as much about what you put into your mouth as it is about what you put in your life. Spending time with friends or indulging on a delicious desert never contributed to a demise in anyone’s health. No one is telling you that you can’t have what you want. You can eat oats, carob and tofu till you’re blue in the face but eventually the pendulum will swing the other way so that your body can attain balance.

I don’t care if you are the most disciplined person on the planet. “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Sir Isaac Newton. Cells, chemical reactions, relationships, countries, planets, the universe…. everything is continually changing by little actions and reactions that are balanced by the swinging pendulum of life. Up and down, left and right, backwards and forwards, in and out… I could go on and on. I am not saying it’s healthy to eat an entire bag of potato chips. What I am saying is that a little indulgence never hurt anyone.

Finding one’s balance is key. Have you found yours?


The Nutritiongal
Find your bliss. Find your balance

“I am currently enrolled at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition and will graduate as a certified health counselor in 2010. Fire the diet police and take back your health!”

Visit and fill out a health questionnaire for a free consultation today!

Missed a Nutritiongal newsletter? Find them all on My Nutritiongal blog.

Five Simple Ways to Drop 2-5 Lbs in two weeks! Nutritiongal Newsletter Volume 14

Hello Everyone!

For those of who you want to tweak things a bit or have a special event coming up I am happy to present 5 simple ways to drop 2-5 Lbs in two weeks. You can do one or all of these things and see some results.  This is not something that should be done forever because the body is smart and it catches on fast.  These are just short term steps that are great for when you just need to jump start the metabolism.  Just like varying your work-out routine, the body needs the same as well when it comes to what you eat.  If you can recite your daily menu from start to finish without even thinking then it may be time for a tweak.  Variety is the spice of life and why not get your metabolism humming like it used to when you were 17?

Those of you who want to gain weight I have some tips for you too so read on.  You may like what I have to say 🙂

Without further ado, check out my little tips below, along with the explanations as to why they work and see for yourself. You might be amazed at what you discover!

1.) Cut down or abstain from alcohol for 8-14 days – This is a controversial topic.  Many of you may or may not agree with drinking in moderation.  My answer is that it really depends on who you are. If you have been sober for “X” amount of years then this tip is N/A.  If you tend to party it up every weekend then this tip could be helpful.  Whether or not you choose to imbibe is up to you.  Alcohol in moderation has been shown to help decrease your cholesterol, however, not drinking at all is excellent as well.  Like I said before, it really depends on who you are.  If you drink then please enjoy and if you do not then more power to you.

Cutting down on alcohol means no more than 3-4 drinks per week or abstaining entirely for the 8-14 days.  You will see results since the liver tends to expand and hold extra weight if it has to work harder when you drink.  Alcohol is burnt in the body before fat is burnt, and hence it slows down your metabolism.   Moderation is key. If the liver isn’t working so hard on cleaning your body from alcohol consumption it will freed-up to work on burning fat and that is exactly what happens when you take a break from the bottle. You may even build some muscle!

I enjoy a glass of wine or cosmo every now and then and it can be fun to get tipsy but if you want to drop some extra weight this is the easiest way to do so.  When you go back to your acoholic consumption you will feel tipsy faster from cutting down as your tolerance will have decreased. This means you will be drinking less and even saving money – More money to buy shoes or a sexy outfit 🙂 Sounds like a win win situation, right?

Pros and cons to alcohol consumption are below :

2.) Eliminate white bread – White bread lacks fiber and B vitamins. You will be amazed how how much more satisfied and fuller you will feel after making the switch to whole wheat, spelt, oat or any other type of whole grain variety.  I am not saying that you should never eat white bread again but why not try it and see how you feel.  I still enjoy French baguettes and croissants in moderation.  How boring would that be if you never ate white bread again?  Yawn. Just check out the vitamin-rich, fiber laden stuff and see if it works for you.

3.) Add leafy greens to at least two meals per day – Yes folks it is true!  Leafy greens are not only vitamin rich, but they also help speed up your metabolism.  The fiber in the leafy greens helps make the digestive process more efficient and everything runs like a well-oiled machine.  The fiber makes you feel full at each meal as well.  Add the leafy greens in addition to what you are eating. You may be eating more but feeling fuller and more satisfied after every meal and less likely to have that midnight snack before bed.

4.) Cut down or abstain from coffee for a week– I hate this one because I love love love coffee! The thing about coffee is that it raises your insulin levels, and thus your blood sugar, causing the body to store fat.  It can also make people feel more hungry and eat more calories during the day.  It really depends on what your experience with caffeine has been but why not try it and see how you go. You don’t have to go through the messy withdrawal symptoms of curbing your daily coffee intake if you substitute with black tea.   The caffeine in tea is different from the caffeine in coffee so it actually will stimulate you with a slower, steadier hum rather than the fast jolt followed by the crash from consuming coffee.  Umm I am actually buzzing on caffeine as I write this. I didn’t say forgo coffee forever.  Life is short and we are allowed to enjoy the little things in life.  Ah the french press! (by the way, the below article, although perhaps a bit extreme is definitely food for thought)

5.) Cut down or eliminate soda (both diet and regular) and substitute with water or club soda with lemon or lime –  You may not believe this but all soda, especially diet, is the enemy to your body.   Regular soda contains tons of sugar that the body processes very quickly because simple carbohydrates are broken down too fast. Once they are broken down, your insulin levels go up and your body stores the excess sugar as fat.

Diet soda is the devil. Not only does it cause bloating and increased acidity in the body, resulting in the break down of calcium stores to balance out this acidity, but some research has linked it to tooth decay as well as cancer.  If this doesn’t make you think twice about drinking diet soda, it actually makes you hungrier so you eat more and gain weight in the process. This is because the sugary taste causes the body to release insulin because it thinks there is sugar to break down.  Since there is no sugar to process the body needs calories to outweigh the skewed balance of no sugar but high insulin, resulting in eating to compensate for the lack of calories.

Remember for the majority of the time that humans have existed on the planet there was no aspartame, splenda or any of that other crap. We have not yet evolved to process these poisons and that is exactly what they are, poison.  If you do nothing else on this list, cutting soda will save you from disease and even make you a bit slimmer.  Now doesn’t a simple tweak like that seem worth it?   On a personal note I used to down a 20 oz diet cherry Pepsi every single day and when I cut it out I lost 2 Lbs without even trying.

Weight Gain

OK now for those of you who want to gain some weight – organic milk and bananas will do the trick.  Why organic milk?  I don’t know about you but I don’t want antibiotics or bovine growth hormones swimming around in my system and mucking up my liver.  I need that for when I drink my wine 🙂  I am serious.

This doesn’t mean that milk and bananas make you fat. It just means that if you are a little vitamin deficient and maybe need some extra sturdiness in your frame then you will be benefiting from the potassium in the bananas, and the calcium and protein from the milk.  For those of you who are lactose intolerant  I have a wonderful recipe for almond milk that I just made today. It is so rich and creamy as well as filled with wonderful healthy fats.  Please see below.  It will knock your socks off! Why not make a regular milk or almond milk shake with bananas and have that as a snack?

My second tip is to refer to option #1 and include weigh-bearing exercise. You will build muscles a lot faster if you take some time off from imbibing.

Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions or comments regarding this newsletter.

Happy slimming or bulking – whichever floats your boat  😉

Stay sexy!


The Nutritiongal
Find your bliss. Find your balance

“I am currently enrolled at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition and will graduate as a certified health counselor in 2010. Fire the diet police and take back your health!”

Visit and fill out a health questionnaire for a free consultation today!

Missed a Nutritiongal newsletter?  Find them all on My Nutritiongal blog.

The Glycemic Concept Revisited – Meal Makeovers *** Nutritiongal Newsletter Volume 12

Hello Everyone! Welcome of Volume 12 of Nutritiongal’s Newsletter! I think it’s safe to say that we are familiar with the terms “low carb” and “high carb”. We see them on food packaging, television commercials and magazine ads, to name a few. But what exactly do the terms “low carb” and “high carb entail? Are we meant to forgo pizza, pasta and pancakes so we can fit in our skinny jeans for eternity? We are supposedly told that bananas have tons of carbs but I don’t remember hearing anyone getting diabetes from eating nature’s candy. (I eat one every day!) When it comes to eating smart why does everything have to be complicated?

Forget the carbs and lets get down to the science of it. The concepts behind your food that determine how satisfied and nourished you can be after a meal are both the glycemic load and glycemic index. Glycemic index measures the breakdown of food into sugar. The higher the glycemic index, the more sugar the food contains and, thus, the more sugar is broken down into your bloodstream. Foods with a high glycemic index are theoretically broken down faster than foods with a lower glycemic index. The glycemic index, however, can be misleading. When you compare the glycemic index of a sweet potato to a refined hamburger bun on the chart from the link below they are very similar. However the sweet potato contains more fiber and vitamins and thus its glycemic load is much lower. Sweet potatoes are broken down much slower in the body, having a negligible effect on your blood sugar unlike a hamburger bun that can induce a sugar slump. This concept is called the glycemic load, which is the measure of how the food is broken down in the body. Glycemic load trumps Glycemic index. Let’s have a look at the chart of different foods with their glycemic loads and glycemic indexes below. If you are going to pay attention to anything on this chart, the glycemic load is the most important.

From breakfast to dinner your meals can be both varied and belly friendly. You can pair high glycemic index foods with low glycemic index foods to lessen the glycemic load of the meal. Let’s take a look at some standard high glycemic load (high blood sugar-inducing meals) and then zap their load!.

1.) White Pasta Marinara

Makeover – Whole Wheat Pasta Marinara with Mixed Vegetables

2.) Cheese Pizza

Makeover – Whole Wheat Pizza with Mixed Vegetables and Fresh Mozzarella

3.) Pancakes with Syrup & Butter

Makeover – Buckwheat or Whole Wheat Pancakes with Mixed Berries and a tbsp of Honey & Butter

4.) Toast with Jam & Butter

Makeover – Whole Grain Toast with Peanut or Almond Butter & Sliced Banana

See? You can have your carbs and eat them too 🙂 Enjoy!

— Sincerely,

The Nutritiongal

Find your bliss. Find your balance

“I am currently enrolled at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition and will graduate as a certified health counselor in 2010. Fire the diet police and take back your health!” Visit and fill out a health questionnaire for a free consultation today! Missed a Nutritiongal newsletter?

A Cheater’s Guide to Detox – Nutritiongal Newsletter Volume 11

Hello Everyone and welcome to Volume 11 of Nutritiongal’s Newsletter!

Ok I know what you were thinking when you read this title. I said I wouldn’t but I couldn’t NOT say something when the word DETOX is everywhere. There’s the lemon detox, the horrible cayenne pepper starvation one that Angelina Jolie passed out trying to do, some kind of juice fast and then there’s colon cleansing (you could just eat Taco Bell).  I’m kidding!

All kidding aside I haven’t even scratched the surface of all the detox “diets” out there.  What does one do for some good old fashioned cleansing without the starvation and discomfort?  After careful consideration I decided that I would present a detox for the everyday, busy person who doesn’t have time to sit at home for 2 weeks while their body detoxes.  Let’s get real here, we need to be able to function in every day life, unless we have taken a sabbatical at an ashram in India.  I would like to do that some day by the way.  Anyone care to join?  I have a dear friend coming with me in two years 🙂

Anyway the last time I skipped a meal was in 1999 when I needed surgery so instead of starving how about some nutritionally sound whole food packed with vitamins and minerals and a plan to stay hydrated.  Thus I present “THE CHEATER’S DETOX DIET”.

Duration : 3 days
Foods to Eliminate : Meat, Milk, Cheese, Wheat, Coffee, Alcohol, Sugar, Soda (Pop for you Midwesterners)
Foods to Incorporate : Fish, Eggs, Legumes (beans), Nuts, Nut Butters, Brown Rice, Quinoa, Spelt, Millet, Almond Milk, Rice Milk, All Veggies and Fruits, Honey (all sweeteners that aren’t sugar, high fructose corn syrup or sugar substitutes) and Yogurt

This is pretty much a 3 day elimination diet to tune your digestive system.  You’re adding whole foods and tons of fiber in order to reset everything – like the internet modem when it gets all jammed. Sometimes you need to unplug for 5 minutes and hit the reset button and everything runs great.  Shazam!

I did this for three days and I can say I feel pretty refreshed.  I have included some sample menus for you to try.  Feel free to e-mail if you have questions.  It’s just for three days.  I did this Sun-Tue because I had drinks on Wednesday night with my friends.  I found the no sugar to be a challenge but when I was eating a lot of fruit and adding honey to my tea I found I wasn’t craving sweets.  On a side note please eat until you are satisfied.  If you still feel hungry then feel free to add more food.  When you are hungry eat and when you are not then don’t etc… I just thought I would mention it.  Portion sizes are for your individual needs, metabolism, lifestyles and activity levels.

Day #1


Oats with Rice Milk, Almonds and Banana


Spelt bread with Organic Peanut Butter (cashew, almond or macadamia butter for those of you who are allergic to peanuts)  If you can’t  have any nuts then try this with hummus instead.
Salad with Vinaigrette


Baked Salmon in olive oil and balsamic
Baked Sweet Potato
Steamed Vegetables sprinkled with sea salt
Mixed Greens with Vinaigrette

Day # 2


Greek Yogurt with Fresh Fruit and Granola


Quinoa with cannelloni beans and taziki (Greek yogurt mixed with Cucumber and lemon juice)
Mixed greens with vinaigrette


Vegetarian Fried Rice – Brown rice cooked with eggs, veggies, onions, garlic and soy sauce

Day #3


Leftover brown rice mixed with raisins, honey and oats (add 1 tablespoon of oats to 1/4 cup of water and bring to a boil.  Add one cup of leftover brown rice, a dash of raisins and 1 tbsp of  honey for a surprisingly delicious brown rice makeover)


Rice, spelt or gluten free pasta with marinara sauce, steamed veggies and salad with vinaigrette


Lentil Veggie Burger with French Mustard
Spelt Bun
Steamed Veggies with Sea Salt
Mixed greens with Vinaigrette

Snacks and misc drinks

Water with lemon, all teas, dark chocolate, rice crackers, yogurt, trail mix, almonds, dried apples (these are really great when you want to eat candy), all fruit and veggies

Try it for yourself instead of doing something more drastic. You will get the wonderful cleansing effects of this semi-elimination diet without the starvation and a vitamin-packed punch.

For those of you who know me one strange effect of this “detox” is that I can no longer tolerate coffee.  Perhaps that will change in the long term but I been drinking coffee excessively for 14 years and haven’t had a cup in days.  Strange, isn’t it?

If you’re looking for more ideas as to what to cook on this detox feel free to contact me.


The Nutritiongal
Find your bliss. Find your balance

“I am currently enrolled at the Integrative Institute of Nutrition and will graduate as a certified health counselor in 2010. Fire the diet police and take back your health!”

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Keeping it Real During the Holidays : Nutritiongal Volume 9

Happy Holidays Everyone and welcome to Nutritiongal’s Holiday Survival Newsletter, Volume 9.   The cycle of cocktail parties, treats and holiday shopping has been ongoing for quite some time and I don’t know about you but I’m exhausted! What are you doing to keep yourself from falling down the rabbit hole of holiday stress, illness and that extra 5 pounds that creeps up by Jan 1st?  Do you really want your New Years resolution to revolve around guilt-ridden workouts and a tasteless, fat-free life?  If not then read on to Nutritiongal’s 6 steps to weathering the holiday cycle in tact.

1.) Evening Cocktail Party?  No problem!  Eat a protein, veggie and whole grain packed meal, such as a turkey and swiss on whole wheat sandwich with greens or some hummus, pita and veggies before going.  That way you won’t be tempted to make fried clams and pigs in a blanket your main meal.

2.) Drink invitation every night of the week?  Worried about having a hangover even before New Years?  No problem!  Sip water in between drinks to slow down the effects of alcohol.  Drinking water or club soda in between drinks also lessens your chance of getting a hangover the next day. Did you know that the symptoms of getting a hangover are the same as when you are dying of dehydration?  Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! – Hey if you don’t want to drink you can always order a virgin bloody mary or club soda and cranberry. They are absolutely delicious and bartenders tend to do a good job of making them.

3.) Sick and tired of being sick and tired?  Take a holiday disco nap.  Getting just 20 min of shut-eye can rejuvenate you better than longer naps, which tend to disrupt the natural sleep cycle when it’s time to go to bed.

4.) Ready to punch that annoying holiday shopper that just grabbed the last Nintendo Playstation?  Take 10 deep breaths.  Going to jail for assaulting a fellow shopper is much more expensive than an IOU gift or an envelope full of money so your kiddie/friend/boyfriend can buy their own.

5.) Got no time to work-out/exercise?  No problem!  Just go shopping!  Walking at a moderately brisk pace burns approximately 230-300 calories per hour.  You can get your shopping done and stay fit at the same time!!  Got all your Christmas shopping done?  No problem!  How about cleaning to get ready for that holiday party?  You will burn from 140-200 calories per hour!

6.) Want to eat every Christmas/Hanukah/Kwanza cookie in sight?  Rather than turn dessert into the enemy, treat yourself with one or two cookies whenever you want them.  Studies show that people who treat themselves every now and again are less apt to binge later and more likely to maintain their weight.  Life is too short to forgo sweets. Got lots of leftover cookies/desserts?  Take them to work to share with your fellow coworkers if you are tired of looking at them.

That’s all for now folks!

Eat drink and be merry!


The Nutritiongal

Find your bliss. Find your balance

Visit and fill out a health questionnaire for a free consultation today!