Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Should I go Gluten-Free? Is it Healthy???

This video goes through the common misconceptions about a gluten-free diet, and what I recommend you do if you have to go gluten-free. If you are interested in learning more about your diet, you can email me at work: to set up an appointment. Most insurance companies reimburse 100% for nutrition counseling (preventative healthcare!).

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Looking for a sweet creamy treat? Try my Choco PB Banana Smoothie!

Below is a recipe for something I make quite often as a dessert. It's creamy, tastes indulgent, and is actually pretty healthy- what a winning combination!


¾ c unsweetened chocolate almond milk (can sub regular or soy milk)
2 tbsp PB2 (available at Whole Foods and Giant... Wegman's has Betty Lou's brand which is similar...)

½ frozen banana

2 tsp honey or agave (optional- can use stevia too)

½ c ice cubes


Put all ingredients in a blender (I like the Magic Bullet) and pulse until smooth. Enjoy! Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition Content Per serving w/ agave (analyzed using DietMaster Pro): 177 calories, 4 g fat, 35 g carb, 6 g protein

Picture Source: Bell Plantation website:

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Which to Eat First: The Chicken or the Egg?

After all of the Easter egg hunts coming this weekend, I’m sure many people will have leftover hard boiled eggs and are curious as to how many hard-boiled eggs they can safely eat. Eggs have confused people for decades, since the research and recommendations waver back and forth as to if they are healthy or not. Much of the controversy stems from the fact that they are high in cholesterol, which was previously thought to raise blood cholesterol levels. However, over the past decade, more research has come out showing that dietary cholesterol doesn’t seem to be much of a concern when it comes to the risk for heart disease; saturated fat and components in foods that are high in saturated fat, seem to be the stronger link. The thing is, most foods that are high in saturated fat are also high in cholesterol, so they typically go hand in hand. Cholesterol is only found in animals, and typically fatty animal products tend to have higher levels of cholesterol. However, foods like shrimp, which are virtually fat-free are high in cholesterol… which is okay! 

So, the question remains, how many eggs can one eat in a week? The American Heart Association now says it is okay to eat one egg per day, so seven per week. I am okay with people eating eggs, as long as the eggs are a way to consume lots of vegetables, and not served with bacon, butter, and lots of cheese. One large egg has 70 calories; an egg white has about 16, and is mostly pure protein.  So, I often recommend for my weight loss clients to eat one egg with two or three egg whites with TONS of vegetables as a meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner). Quiches and egg, bacon, cheese croissants are not the recommended ways to get in eggs since they are loaded with saturated fats and other unhealthy components (not to mention calorie dense!).

Eggs are actually quite nutritious and the yolk is one of the most antioxidant and nutrient dense foods that exists. The yolk is full of omega-3’s, Vitamin E, choline, biotin, Vitamin B12, phosphorus, Vitamin A, and Vitamin D. Eggs are especially high in choline, which is essential for fetal development, but also important in brain (i.e.: memory) and liver health.  In addition to being a great source of all of these vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, one egg contains about 7 grams of high quality protein, which can help prevent muscle breakdown associated with aging. Furthermore, a new study which followed the dietary habits of men in Finland found that men who ate 4 eggs/week (on average) had a 37% lower risk of developing Type II Diabetes over the 19 year follow-up period compared to men that only ate 1 egg/week (on average). More eggs did not translate to a lower risk.

My recommendations:  Feel free to eat your eggs with lots of veggies! Just be aware that when you eat out at a restaurant and order an omelet, it will typically be three eggs (210 calories) with added butter/oil and salt (another 100 calories)… and most likely cheese, which will contribute at least another 100 calories and more sodium and saturated fat. That doesn’t even include the processed fatty meats or hash browns that many people get with their omelets. And Don't even get me started on hollandaise sauce! So, best to eat your eggs at home or eat hard boiled eggs as a daytime snack. Try to buy eggs off of a farm or pasture-raised eggs if you can find them, or if not, stick to organic, which allow more free roam for the chickens and typically the yolks will be more packed with nutrients due to their healthier feed (compared to conventional eggs). To answer my question above, I feel that both eggs and chicken are healthy sources of protein. The egg has a greater diversity of nutrients and fits into a ovo-vegetarian meal plan, so I would choose 1-2 eggs plus egg whites as a meal option over chicken.

4. Jyrki K Virtanen et al. Egg consumption and risk of incident type 2 diabetes in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition., March 2015 DOI: 10.3945/%u200Bajcn.114.104109
5. Picture Souce: Yelp Review, Eggs Benedict at Nudy's Cafe in Wayne, PA: