Dietitian Nashville

Preventing Winter Weight Gain

17 Nov
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  No Comments


First, of all I want to start off by apologizing for not posting in a long time. Free time in the 1st trimester was spent resting after work, and lately I’ve been writing at my other blog.  I’m blogging about baby over at
Baby Makes Three. If you want to see pictures from our Gender Reveal Party, check them out here.

Preventing Winter Weight Gain:
If you’re like me, the winter months may make you to want to stay inside under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa.  Now that daylight savings has hit and it gets darker earlier, I find myself coming home from work and wanting to sit on the couch with a good show/movie.  My normal (and usually easier) plan is to head to the gym for a workout class or meet a friend to go walking.  So, I completely understand how hard it is to get yourself to the gym in the winter rather than do what your body wants, which is hit the couch.  But I promise you that once you complete that workout, your body will thank you for the extra energy and the mood-lifting endorphins.

3 Tips to Prevent Weight Gain:

  1. Hit the Gym at the Right Time:  For some people, they are too exhausted after a long day at work to work out.  You know that you will not even try to force yourself to make it to the gym even though you know it will make you feel better. So, if you’re one of those people, you may benefit from an early morning workout (before you head to work). Sure, you’ll have to get up earlier, but you will get a great workout in, and you won’t feel guilty for watching your favorite TV shows after a long day on the job.  Or maybe you are someone who cannot get motivated again once you make it home from work. The best tip for you is to always keep gym clothes in your car, and make sure you head straight to the gym after work (do not go home first).  Because you know that once you make it home, you won’t be getting out in that cold weather again.  You must plan in advance to accomplish your workout goals.
  2. Get REAL FOOD Conscious: During the winter, people’s vitamin D levels drop because they are not exposed to the best source of vitamin D, which is sunlight.  This is one reason why it’s very important to get your vitamin D levels checked regularly-you probably need supplementation at least during the winter months.  Low vitamin D levels are linked to depression, and many people struggle with SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder), caused by not being exposed to as much light/sunshine.  This could lead to comfort eating during the winter blues.  Instead of turning to comfort foods turn to real foods, which will boost your mood. Foods high in omega-3 fatty acids, folate, & B12 are especially important.  These include wild salmon, walnuts, eggs, dark green leafy veggies, sunflower seeds & organic/grass-fed meat products.  When you’re focused on eating foods that grow from the earth and less processed foods, the weight will naturally come off.
  3. Don’t Go Overboard at Holiday Festivities: Some people blame the winter pounds on the holidays.  And if you’re someone that has multiple Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years parties to attend, than you definitely have to work harder at preventing the weight gain than others.  But it IS possible, and you CAN do it.  The best way to not overeat at a holiday party is to eat a healthy snack right before the party.  A handful of nuts is an easy snack to keep in your purse when you’re on the go.  The healthy fats & protein in the nuts will keep your blood sugar from dipping and will give you a sense of satiety so you’re not starving at the party.  Make sure you’re eating protein at every meal/snack to keep you feeling fuller longer.  When you’re at a party, don’t feel like you have to deprive yourself.  Enjoy the food, but just make sure you limit the items that are exceptionally high in calories/fat/sugar.  Load your plate up with veggies/fruit and protein first, then have a small portion of the higher carbohydrate items.  Remember that sugar is just as addictive as cocaine is, so the more you eat it, the more your body wants it.  Focus on your veggies & protein during the winter months, and this will help you not go back for seconds and thirds on all those holiday desserts.

Enjoy this holiday season and remember the reason for it all.  Don’t stress over the little things, because we all know what stress does to our body.  Have fun with all your loved ones, and safe travels to you all!

If you ever need help with your weight or other nutrition issues in your life, feel free to schedule a private consultation with me.

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

I Have Exciting News…

21 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  6 Comments

I’M PREGNANT!

Many of you probably know by now, but I wanted to let my blog followers know the exciting news.  Eric and I are expecting our first child March 22, 2012.  I’m 14 weeks tomorrow and am thrilled to finally be in my 2nd trimester.  We got to hear the baby’s heartbeat for the 1st time yesterday, and that sound was truly music to my ears.  My husband and I feel truly blessed for this amazing gift.  We also can’t wait to find out if it’s a boy or a girl.  The big gender reveal is October 27, so stay tuned!

Also, since this is my nutrition site, I will be blogging all things baby over at my personal blog if you want to follow our journey through pregnancy and parenthood.
Check out “Baby Makes Three.”

Excited Mommy-to-Be,
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

Getting Ready for Cold/Flu Season

18 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  2 Comments

via Blooming Natural Health

As most of you know, cold and flu season is just around the corner.  Unfortunately, it seems as if the “stomach bug” has already shown its face in many people’s homes.  I’m sure you’ve also seen all the signs for flu shots in your area.  While I won’t be getting a flu shot, I will be practicing preventative tips to protect myself from the flu.  Here are ways to keep your immune system strong this season:

Tips for Protecting Your Health During Cold/Flu Season:

  • Get plenty of Vitamin D: Most people are deficient in vitamin D.  Unfortunately, one wouldn’t know this unless they got their vitamin D levels tested. I know, I say this a lot, but it is extremely important to know your vitamin D levels.  I get mine checked at least twice a year.  Optimal vitamin D levels are: 55-65 ng/mL.  A deficiency of vitamin D triggers infections, autoimmune diseases (multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease), cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  Optimal vitamin D levels are known to be more effective in preventing the flu than a flu vaccine.  The best source of vitamin D: sunshine!  It’s important to get out and enjoy at least 10-15 minutes of sun per day (without sunscreen).  As winter approaches, and it becomes harder to get natural sunlight, it may be necessary to take a daily vitamin D supplement.  Many people even need a supplement during the summer; again, why it’s so important to get your levels checked! 

  • Eat Healthy: Everyone knows it’s important to eat healthy, but I think that most people underestimate the power that food has on the immune system.  If you’re eating healthy and are exposed to certain illnesses, you have a great chance of not catching it.  Foods to enjoy are:
    • Organic fruits & vegetables
    • Fermented foods such as kombucha, yogurt, etc.
    • Organic, pastured meats & eggs (including 100% grass-fed beef)
    • Healthy fats, such as coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts.
    • Avoid sugar, especially refined sugars. Sugar weakens the immune system.  If you need sweeteners, use raw honey, maple syrup, & stevia.
      • Raw honey has antibacterial, antifungal, & antiviral properties (LOCAL raw honey is best, especially for allergies)
    • 1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar per day
    • Supplements: Vitamin D (depending on your levels), probiotic, elderberry, fermented cod liver oil or another purified source of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Get plenty of sleep: 7-8 hours per night is ideal
  • Exercise: Increases your resistance to illness
  • Stay stress-free! Find ways to manage your stress to keep your immune system strong.  Try yoga, prayer, meditation, talking to a friend, whatever works for YOU.

Even if you still get sick doing all of these tips, your symptoms will be a lot milder than if you weren’t following these healthy guidelines.

Praying your family enjoys a sick-free fall and winter!
Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN,CLC

Grass-Fed Beef on Sale at Whole Foods

01 Sep
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  3 Comments

Whole Foods will have their grass-fed beef on sale tomorrow, September 2, 2011 for $4.99 per pound.  This is a good price for grass-fed beef, so make sure you don’t miss out on this deal!  Cows were meant to eat grass, not corn.  Unfortunately, most beef in the U.S. are fed corn.  Corn allows cows to get fatter faster and be ready for slaughter sooner. But there are downsides, including the fact that cows have trouble digesting corn and must be fed antibiotics to prevent them from becoming ill. What’s more, beef from corn-fed cows tends to have more fat.  Grass-fed beef also contains three to five times more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty acid that has many health benefits. The milk from grass-fed cows is also higher in many nutrients, including CLA, vitamin E, beta-carotene, and omega-3 fats.

Have fun grilling and enjoy your Labor Day weekend!

Naturally Yours,
xoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN

Nuts Over Coconuts!

17 Aug
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  2 Comments


You may be wondering what’s the deal about this big coconut rave?  Are coconuts and coconut oil really that good for you?  And how can they be healthy when they are high in saturated fat?  Well, I’m here to answer those questions for you and to let you know where you can get organic coconut oil for a great price.

Not too long ago, our society was all about the low-fat, fat-free craze.  Fat was considered the “culprit” to our diets.  Thankfully, people have realized that fat is good for our bodies, and is even necessary for proper absorption of antioxidants and other nutrients.  So let’s talk about coconut oil and why it’s so good for you.  Yes, coconut oil is high in saturated fat, but the fat in coconuts is different & unique from all other fats & contains many health benefiting properties.  In my opinion, coconut oil is a superfood.  The difference is in the fat molecule.  Fats and oils contain fatty acids.  Approximately 98 to 100% of all the fatty acids you consume are long-chain fatty acids (LCFA).  Coconut oil is composed mostly of medium-chain fatty acids (MCFA), also known as medium-chain triglycerides (MCT).  Our bodies metabolize each fatty acid differently, based on its size. MCFT do not have a negative effect on cholesterol like LCFA do, and they help to protect against heart disease.

Here are a few of the MANY benefits of coconuts & coconut oil:

  • Acts as an anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral.
  • Lowers cholesterol.
  • Provides protection from damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation form the sun.
  • Helps relieve symptoms and reduce health risks associated with diabetes.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Supports tissue healing and repair.
  • Supports and aids immune system function.
  • Increases metabolism supporting weight loss
  • Great natural skin/hair moisturizer
  • Much more!

Use coconut oil as your cooking oil of choice and/or add it in your favorite smoothies for its health benefits.  Rub it on your skin to help protect against the sun’s UV rays.

Right now Amazon has the Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 15-Ounce Tubs (Pack of 2), priced at $14.98, just $7.49 per jar. And you get free shipping.  Use the “Subscribe and Save” option to get it for this price.  Go nuts over coconuts!

Naturally Yours,
xoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN, CLC

 


Easy Recipe: Kale Chips

30 Jun
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  6 Comments


Have you been hearing a lot more about kale lately and wondered what’s so great about it?  Well, kale is a true superfood.  The most nutrient dense foods are vegetables, not whole grains like some people think.  Kale is packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes and many other nutrients that are important for optimal health. Here are a few other nutrition facts about kale:

  • Kale eases lung congestion and is beneficial to the stomach, liver and immune system.
  • It contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect the eyes from macular degeneration.
  • It also contains indole-3-carbinol, which may protect against colon cancer.
  • Kale is an excellent source of calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and chlorophyll.

Kale chips are a staple in our house.  They are extremely easy to make and a delicious side to your dinner.  If you don’t love them the first time (like my husband), keep trying because they will grow on you.  I absolutely love them!  Here is the recipe I use:

Kale Chips:

Ingredients:
1-2 bunches of kale
Olive oil
Sea Salt (to taste)
Cumin

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Wash kale and remove from stalk, leaving the greens in large pieces.
3. Put the kale pieces in a bowl, and drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the kale. Stir it together so the olive oil lightly coats all the pieces.
4. Lay the kale out on a baking sheet and sprinkle with cumin & sea salt. Bake for 5 min or until kale starts to turn a bit brown. Keep an eye on the kale; it can burn quickly. Turn the kale over and bake with the other side up.
5. Remove, serve, & enjoy!

An even greater way to enjoy kale’s benefits is to eat it raw.  Here are 2 smoothie recipes that are delicious and include kale:
Kale Smoothie
Nutrient Packed Smoothie Recipe

Naturally Yours,
xoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN

Kale Breakfast Smoothie

25 May
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  2 Comments

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.”  You’ve heard this phrase countless times in your life.  Honestly, I think all meals are important and should be used to maximize your health.  But what you eat for breakfast truly does affect your hunger and choices for the rest of your day.  For most people, when they eat a healthy and satiating breakfast, they tend to choose healthy foods the rest of the day.  Here is the recipe for a Kale Smoothie that I make frequently for breakfast or after a workout.

Kale Smoothie:
2 servings

Ingredients:
2-4 kale leaves
1 cup water or milk of choice (coconut milk, raw milk, almond milk, etc)
Frozen strawberries
Frozen blueberries
1/2-1 scoop good quality protein powder (Optional)
1-2 tsp. chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
1 Tbsp. unrefined organic coconut oil

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in blender. Enjoy!

*Any frozen fruit can be used in this recipe. If you want to mask the green color of the smoothie for your kids (or husband), then add more blueberries.

Here is a simpler Kale Smoothie recipe:


Ingredients:
1 large ripe banana
2-4 kale leaves
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup milk (raw milk, coconut, or almond)

Directions:
Mix all ingredients in blender. Enjoy!

Are You Stressed?

12 Apr
by Kristen, posted in Blog   |  4 Comments

Image Credit

STRESS. Seeing that word even makes me feel the effect of it, and I cringe.  Sometimes I get so angry at stress because I feel as if it is controlling me, and I don’t know how to let it go.  What makes me even more frustrated is when I don’t feel like I’m stressed, but internally I am and my body gets hit with the repercussions of it.  Do you ever feel that way? You tell yourself over and over again, “I’m not stressed.  I’m fine.  Everything is good.”  Yet, deep down, you know something is going on because you’re not sleeping well, you’re moody, or your body is holding onto that extra weight even though you’ve tried so hard to be extra healthy.

Well, I’m just going to be honest with you.  I don’t have it all together, and I’m not going to pretend like I do.  Who really does?  I’ve been extremely stressed lately.  There is a lot on my plate at the moment, and I just can’t seem to find time to get it all done.  What I’m learning is that while all the good things in our lives are wonderful, too much of anything can be bad.  You’re probably thinking, “She’s just now learning this?” :)   I feel like this is something that some of us will always battle…the challenge of simplifying our lives when the world around us tells us the complete opposite.  Even though we justify our activities/commitments because they are “good,” it’s imperative for our health and our sanity to practice the magic word, “no.”

Maybe these harmful effects of stress will motivate you to find ways to de-stress:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Weight gain
  • Acne or other dermatological issues
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Cancer
  • Insomnia
  • Back/neck problems
  • Heart disease
  • Stomach ulcers
  • Migraines
  • Fertility problems
  • Diabetes
  • Hair loss
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Chronic inflammation
  • And More!

How do I deal with stress?  As I said earlier, I’m slowly learning how to say, “no.”  I also spend much time in prayer and meditation.  Getting at least 7-8 hours of sleep per night is another goal of mine.  Finally, bikram yoga has been great in helping me de-stress.  A study performed by Boston researchers concluded that people who practice yoga 3 times a week report better mood and lower anxiety compared with people who walked the same amount of time.  Of course, ANY exercise is beneficial to help you beat stress.

What about YOU? What are some things that you can cut out so that you’ll be less stressed?  And what methods do you use to de-stress?

Naturally Yours,
xoxoxo
Kristen M. Pardue, RD, LDN