by Heather on July 8, 2010

  • Are you frustrated after years of trying every diet in the book and still can’t seem to lose the weight?

  • Afraid you will have to give up all the foods you love in order to fit into a smaller dress size?

  • Are you overwhelmed by the amount of health and nutrition information available and don’t know who or what to believe?

  • Are you wondering, “what am I doing wrong?” You think you are eating healthy and exercising, but see little or no results.

  • Are calorie counting and willpower just not working for you? Are you interested in a new and different approach to weight loss? 

You no longer have to resort to willpower  and deprivation! Imagine tapping into your inner wisdom to learn how to  enjoy your meals  and drop dress sizes in the process. 

 Contact me today for your free consultation



By Katie Petroka

Nuts are loaded with essential fats, fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They are a cheap and healthy snack for on the go, sprinkling over salads, or using as your favorite nut butter.  While dietitians recommend nuts often to their patients because of all the health benefits, many fad diets have given nuts a bad rap. The common misconception is that nuts are unhealthy because of their fat content – this is way off base! In reality, nuts are rich in energy and nutrients. Nuts do contain fat, but you may be surprised to hear that it’s healthy fat! Nuts are loaded with an excellent source of unsaturated-fats that help to lower LDL also known as “bad cholesterol” and increase HDL or “good cholesterol.” Nuts are high in vitamins such as vitamin E and are a rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, fluoride and selenium.

But, before you reach for your favorite brand of nuts and start eating them by the handful, a quick word of caution! Nuts are calorically dense, so keep your portion size in check by sticking with a handful not a cup full. The healthiest nuts are not the caramelized and sugary goodness kind. Or, when they are smothered in salt causing the sodium content to skyrocket. It’s when they are…RAW! I know there is the whole health food craze of “eating raw” but the truth is, the food industry over processes food to the point that we are often eating more of the chemicals they add than the actual food itself. Eating raw is about eating the food how it was found in nature. So next time you are shopping for nuts, simply, look at the ingredients, you should see just ONE ingredient…just the nuts you are buying! As you begin to eat more natural foods like raw nuts you will start to taste the real food you are eating (what a concept!) and you may realize it tastes much better than anything that is over processed with excess unnecessary ingredients.

Here are a few of my favorite nuts that give me that quick boost of energy I need in my day.

Almonds: I’ll start with my absolute favorite nut! Almonds contain a powerhouse of health benefits and are also extremely delicious (if I do say so myself). Almonds help regulate cholesterol and are great for the heart with their protein and potassium content. The potassium in almonds also helps to regulate blood pressure. Almonds also aid in relief from respiratory disorders, anemia, diabetes, and constipation.

Unsweetened almond milk is a great alternative to skim milk. Per 1 cup serving, unsweetened almond milk has 45% of calcium VS skim milk with 30% calcium.

Cashews: Cashews are high in monounsaturated fats, fiber, and protein, making them a very filling snack. Cashews are also a very rich source of essential minerals such as manganese, potassium, copper, iron, and magnesium. Also, cashews contain an important pigment flavonoid antioxidant known as zea-xanthin. Studies have shown that this antioxidant provides protective UV ray-filtering functions and could help with age-related macular degeneration in elderly.

Walnuts: These nuts are the best source of the Omega-3 fatty acid alpha-linoleic acid (ALA). While most nuts contain monounsaturated fats, only walnuts are comprised primarily of polyunsaturated fat. Polyunsaturated fats improve blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. Eating walnuts can also improve how blood pressure reacts to stress. So sprinkle some of these Omega 3’s on your salad or oatmeal!

Peanuts: Many of us have fond childhood memories of those peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Peanuts are higher in protein than most nuts. Peanuts are also a better source of folate, which helps to build strong bones as well as protect against heart disease and cancer. The main concern when buying peanuts is usually, they contain a large amount of salt. If eating raw peanuts tastes like cardboard to you, try finding peanuts that are made with ½ the sodium content. When it comes to peanut butter, if you aren’t buying raw, look for all natural peanut butter made with just peanuts and salt. All those preservatives I was talking about before… this is where you will find them! Many popular brands of peanut butter contain partially hydrogenated oils, which is trans fat.

Put natural peanut butter on a banana for a great protein potassium combo or go for that classic PB&J.

So remember, nuts are a great source of unsaturated fat for our bodies. But leave the nuts solo, they taste just as good and will provide your body with the nutrients it needs!


By Katie Patroka BS – Nutrition intern

It’s that time of year again when we trade heavy coats and chunky sweaters for shorts and maybe a swimsuit! Most women, no matter what size they may be, have moments of anxiety, when exposing so much skin. Even cover girls may feel a sense of self-doubt when exposing their un-photo shopped body to the world.

The rush of constant advertisements for summer weight loss pills, diets, and workouts to make your body “bikini ready” creates a false belief that a perfect body can come from external sources. Here is what the diet industry doesn’t want you to know:  being “bikini ready” is a state of mind that has very little to do with your actual body size, and everything to do with self -confidence.

Don’t’ get me wrong, eating healthy and exercising can definitely aid in that confidence. But at the end of the day, it is how we view ourselves that gives us the motivation to walk proudly with our own unique body. We can do a thousand crunches a day or only eat salads for weeks, but that won’t matter unless we accept, respect and love our body.

We are our own toughest critics and will quickly harp on our perceived imperfections. Without realizing it, we allow our mood, friends, family, culture, and the media to drive our own body image. It is easy to get wrapped up in comparing ourselves to actresses and models.  It’s hard, but try to remember actresses get paid for looking a certain way and have a lot of disposable income to spend on personal trainers and chefs. And cover models are not even real, but air- brushed versions of a real women.

I know I have judged myself too harshly too many times. And it wasn’t until I started loving who I am and my own particular body that I felt comfortable and more importantly HAPPY in my own skin.

           Already appreciate and respect your body but still need a self-confidence boost? Here are a few bathing suit tips to help you find a suit you will feel proud to wear.

  • When shopping for a bathing suit, choose a style that fits YOUR body type. Bathing suits come in all shapes and sizes including cup size and many stores will allow you to buy different sizes for your top and bottom.
  • Purchase a bathing suit that is YOU. Some bathing suits can be very conservative while others can be on the wild side. You may think you want that bedazzled bikini but will you be comfortable when chasing your kids along the beach or swimming in a pool? Playing it safe can be a lot more attractive than being a little too risqué.
  • Choose a bathing suit that will make you feel good all the time. In other words don’t buy a suit that is too small and tell yourself you will lose weight by summer. Nor do you want to select one that is falling down and may fall off when jumping in the pool. Buy one that allows you to be a real woman in it and still have room to indulge in a few piña coladas or swim in the ocean.
  • Accessorize! Buying a cute cover up, sunglasses, hat, and sandals will make your outfit more complete. Instead of hiding behind an oversized t-shirt, buy a pretty sarong that will make you feel beautiful and confident.
  • Personal care can help you feel comfortable in your own skin too. Exfoliate and moisturize before soaking in the sun. Pampering yourself with a pedicure, faux tan (spray tan or lotion…no tanning booths!), or waxing will make you feel better about shedding those clothes.

Summer time is a chance to relax and enjoy the weather with your loved ones. This is your opportunity to embrace your body and walk proudly. We are each a beautiful individual, lumps and bumps and all. If you see yourself as beautiful the rest of the world will too!





If you are like most of my clients, then you probably think that if you just knew what to eat or what not to eat you would be able to lose weight. Or, you might know everything there is to know about losing weight and eating healthy, but you still have trouble getting the scale to budge in your favor. Well, no worries, because there are no food rules in the 5 things you can change today to help you achieve your weight loss goals. (Hint: it doesn’t mean changing your diet!). Many of these ideas start in your mind, but impact your waistline in the long run.

Use a smaller plate and only go back for a second helping of vegetables.

Did you know that our portions and our plate sizes have increased along with our waistlines? If you took a modern day dinner plate and tried to place it into a cupboard built in the early 1900’s, you wouldn’t be able to close the cabinet door. That’s because our plates have gotten 30% larger since the 1960’s. Thirty percent may not sound like a big difference, but if you typically consume 1800 calories each day, 30% more would be 2340 calories. That extra 500 calories each day can lead to a pound of weight gain each week. Since typically our eyes are bigger than our tummies, try filling a 9-inch plate and see if you are satisfied with what should be a normal portion versus our now 11-inch plate. If you are still hungry, go for asecond  helping of vegetables.

Breathe between each bite.
I know this may sound obvious, but you would be surprised how quickly the average busy person can consume a meal these days. Our lives are crazy and sometimes eating can seem like one more item on our “to do” list. Unfortunately, our brain has not caught up with our eating speed. It takes a full 20 minutes  to register the “full” signal from your belly. By consciously taking a full breath between each bite, we can slow down the whole meal and avoid overeating. Boost your mindfulness even more by eating only while sitting down so you can truly savor each bite!

Eat every few hours.
Have you ever wondered why eating every few hours helps you lose weight? The reason is simple: you avoid becoming ravenous.   When you are overly hungry it is impossible to eat mindfully, and therefore you can easily consume too many calories in a short amount of time. When you eat more calories than your body needs in one time your body will not be able to use all those calories right away, so they are stored in the form of fat for later use. The problem is most of us never need to use them later and they add to our overall body weight. Eating more frequently can help you avoid the “I’m so hungry I could eat my arm” syndrome.

Start your meal off with a large glass of water.
This concept comes down to simple volume. By drinking a full glass of water before you start eating, you can make your stomach feel fuller so you eat less. Another trick is starting your meal with some fruit, a small salad or a cup of broth-based soup as you will be less likely to eat your entire entree when you already have some food in your belly and have begun to feel satisfied.

Keep a food journal or dairy.
By keeping a food journal, you are essentially forcing yourself to be more mindful of what you put into your body. If you know you have to write it down, it forces you to think about what you are eating and why while also helping you see patterns to recognize what triggers you to choose less healthy food or what causes you to overeat. Once you see a pattern, you can work on correcting it. You might, for instance, see that on the days you skip breakfast but down a 20-ounce coffee you tend to crave more sugar at lunch or feel too sluggish to exercise after work. Next time you are tempted to skip breakfast you’ll be armed with a valid argument to grab a bowl of cereal with some fruit instead.

These weight loss tricks can easily be implemented into your lifestyle without feeling deprived or like you are “dieting.” Try them out today!


Motivation Monday: Your Guide to Eating Out

by Heather on April 15, 2013

By Katie Petroka

We all know that cooking ourselves is a much healthier way to eat, but, occasionally who doesn’t love to go out to dinner? No preparation, no washing the dishes, and you can sit and relax. What’s better than that? Whether it’s Italian, Mexican, Japanese, or good ol’ American food, there are various ways to order wisely. Here are just a few helpful hints on how to eat out healthier while still enjoying your meal.

Dressing on the side please! When ordering a salad, take control of the situation and ask for the dressing on the side to ensure the exact amount you want on your salad. How often have you ordered a salad only to have it arrive at your table drenched in dressing. Not only is it a soggy, unappealing mess, but now that healthy salad you ordered has a few extra hundred calories added.

When dining at an Asian restaurant, particularly Japanese and Thai restaurants, the menu is filled with lots of healthy options consisting of fish, vegetables, and grains. But when ordering sushi or a stir-fry, ask for brown rice instead of white rice. Brown rice contains more fiber than white rice and has nutrients like magnesium, manganese and zinc. Call the restaurant beforehand to make sure they offer brown rice. Unfortunately, some Asian restaurants do not offer the more nutrient dense brown rice. When this happens I find another restaurant!

Dining at a Mexican restaurant can be a challenge when trying to maintain a healthy diet. It is easy to get caught up in the sugary margaritas and nachos. A nice treat when you really want to splurge! There are some better choices though if you want to keep your calories in check. Who doesn’t love guacamole? Guacamole is made from avocados, which is a form of good fat. And salsa just contains lots of veggies! Just try to eat the chips, salsa, and gauc combo in moderation. I know from personal experience it takes a lot of self-control to stop eating that goodness. When ordering your main dish, ask to skip the sour cream and instead top your burrito, quesadilla, or taco with some fresh salsa.

Ever been to a steakhouse and order fish thinking it is the healthier option compared to that New York strip? Well it is, but don’t drown that fresh flavor in butter. Ask if the chef could cook your fish in olive oil and lemon instead of butter. Believe me, your body, and taste buds will thank you.

When ordering a sandwich at a deli or café, ask for whole wheat bread or a whole-wheat wrap instead of white bread or a bagel. Switching from white bread to whole wheat bread can lower risk of heart disease by 20 percent. Whole wheat bread contains about 5 times more fiber than white bread. Instead of smearing mayonnaise on that whole wheat bread try mustard or hummus for a new spin on an old favorite!

Perhaps you and a friend are out to dinner but don’t want to overeat. Since portion sizes are so large these days, split an entrée and an appetizer. Or, ask the server to bring half of a portion and put the other half right in to a “to go” box that way you can enjoy a pre-made meal the next day! When we are talking and having a good time sometimes we don’t notice that we have eaten our whole plate in a few minutes! This is a little trick to keep the meal smaller while still enjoying dinner.

Ciao fat! If you’re dining at an Italian restaurant (my absolute favorite) order a pasta dish with vegetables and a light sauce like olive oil and garlic. (Have you noticed I am obsessed with olive oil? Because it’s amazing!) You could also choose a pasta dish with a marinara sauce (just tomatoes, basil, and herbs) instead of heavy cream sauces such as alfredo, fettuccine, or carbonara sauce made with eggs, cream, and cheese. Pasta is delicious but when topped with cream sauces it becomes more of a stomachache than molto delizioso.

Breakfast is great. It can also be salty, sweet, and tremendously heavy! After I eat at my favorite breakfast spot, I usually want to go home, put on sweats, and take a nap! To avoid this food coma, replace your order of French toast or those double-stacked pancakes with an omelette with vegetables, whole-wheat toast, and a side of fruit. Omelettes are a great source of protein to help keep you feeling satisfied longer and with this order you get all of the food groups in one sitting!

These are just a few tips to ensure a healthy eating out experience. Do not worry about friends, family, or waiters judging you for requesting healthier options. At the end of the day it is your body and you need to make the best decisions for you. Eating out is fun and can be healthy as long as you make the right choices!





Motivation Monday: Find an activity that you enjoy!

April 8, 2013

As we enter the Spring season, finally, you may find yourself beginning to consider losing weight for the summer. You might think that my busiest time of year is January when everyone has a new set of resolutions, but actually, I get most of my new clients during the spring season. By April, most people [...]

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Motivation Monday! Is Self Sabotage Keeping you from Losing Weight?

March 25, 2013

In this article by Michelle Lewis, we can begin to recognize our pattern of self sabotage and after we recognize it we have the power to change it. Changing your thoughts can have a big impact on helping you to achieve your goals! breaking-the-weigh-loss-cycle-of-self-sabotage What are your triggers for self sabotage? It can be helpful [...]

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Finding Ways to Stay Active During Your Day:

March 18, 2013

By Katie Petroka BS – Nutrition Student We’ve all been there, extremely busy with barely any time to exercise.  You may be surprised to learn that much of that  “busy” time is spent sitting. According to the Mayo Clinic, too much sitting can increase your risk of death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Well, fear [...]

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Motivation Monday – A Positive Attitude can make all the Difference!

March 11, 2013

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, either way, you are right.”  - Henry Ford Click on the link above to get a dose of motivation. This guy shows the incredibly power of having a good attitude! If you take just a little bit of this Guy’s mental “can do” attitude you will [...]

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Motivational Monday: Choose a Power Word!

March 4, 2013

By Katie Petroka – soon to be graduate student – studying nutrition Have you ever really wanted something but felt it was completely unattainable? Goals: from toning up for bikini season, to getting your dream job, to eating more vegetables… are important to us. No matter how small a goal may seem, a positive outlook [...]

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I Feel Pretty in my New Dress from eShakti!

March 1, 2013

I was recently offered a free dress from eShakti, and of course, who would turn down a free dress. eShakti is different. They are an online, custom dress maker offering sizes from 0 to 36W. If you are a standard size, they offer traditional standard sizing. If however, you are not a traditional size, you [...]

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