Save the earth, oh and some calories while you are at it!

Copyright NutritionMap 2012

This month we celebrate Earth Day on Sunday, April 22, 2012.  We think about grand ways to decrease our “carbon footprint” while we are here on this planet. What often happens is we start making changes and then go right back to what we have always done.

This year consider the small changes you can make to make a huge impact.  How about changing your drink to plain old water in a reusable, eco friendly bottle.  While your at it, you will be saving loads of calories, sugar, caffeine and sodium that usually come along with what you usually have.

What permanent changes will you be making?

Pico de Gallo

copyright nutritionmap 2012

Not only do I get paid (most of the time) to talk about food all day, but thanks to food models, I get to play with it too.

When I am really lucky, patients bring me some awesome treasures from their gardens or from their favorite restaurants.  Last night a patient brought me pico de gallo which tastes awesome on, well, just about everything.  Had some this morning over cream cheese (vegan, but feel free to use the dairy variety) on top of a slice of wheat bread.

I may need to go and have some more.

Mindful Eating?

Have you ever sat down to eat, answered your telephone, hung up, only to realize that the food is gone and you can’t really recall if it was tasty or not?

Have you consumed your lunch while at your desk at work or in a home office and wonder hours later “did I eat lunch today?”

Have you ever sat down to watch a movie with a bag of potato chips and look down to find that you ate more than half the bag and the movie isn’t even over yet?

This, my friends, is what is referred to as “mindless eating” and we are all guilty of this at some point in the day if not at every moment food touches our lips.  The latest in the bag of clever tools for weight loss is “mindful eating”.  Is there really something to this?  Well actually, yes, yes there is.

Early in January 2012, NPR’s food blog “the SALT” featured an article on mindful eating titled “How to Eat Out Without Putting on the Pounds” ( that was attacked in the comments for pointing out that practicing mindful eating could actually lead to less calories consumed (especially the earlier comments when the article was first published).  The New York TImes Health Section posted a similar article about a month later (   Lets face it folks, the lower the amount of calories you take in the easier it is to lose and maintain weight loss, however weight loss is not easy, and weight maintenance can be even more difficult.    Being more mindful of what you eat will not only make you enjoy every bite, slow you down, help you learn when to put the fork down and walk away, but can help ease digestion for many of you out there.

So how do you do it?  The gist of “mindful eating” is to remove all distractions at meal times and focus on what you are about to eat.  Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Not so fast.  Try it the next time you sit down for a meal and let me know how it goes.

Happy New Year! Resolve Not to Resolve!


When I see patients for nutrition assessment and education one of the main objectives of the session involves setting realistic goals that are manageable and very specific.

This new year aim for setting the same objective. Stop making ridiculous goals that are unattainable and are doomed to make you feel like a failure by February.

Make this the year you resolve not to resolve.

Make this the year that you focus on being the kind of human being that lives and breaths every single present moment. Be the person that figures out that karma is not a vengeful force but rather a fabulous way of paying it forward with every single act of kindness whether it be holding open the door for someone to paying for someone’s lunch without them knowing it. Every moment counts and your actions reach more than you think.

Make this the year that you turn it around and stop wallowing in misfortune and learning to learn from it and make it an opportunity to turn it around. Does wallowing ever get you anywhere?

Happy new year everyone!

Being Present

I know this is nutrition blog for, but bear with me, you will see where I am going with this…

A fellow blogger ( recently posed the question “Are there words of wisdom you mentally summon when you’re in need of being lifted spiritually or emotionally?”

I was instantly brought back to a little piece of advice that I heard in yoga class many years ago that has become my mantra during meditation, prayer, or really anytime I am stressed or restless.  It was a profound, earth shattering recommendation, at least for me.  I think it was exactly what I needed to hear when life seemed to be moving at a ridiculously fast pace.  I may be quoting it wrong but here it goes:

“You are only truly alive in the present.  The past is a memory and the future, a fantasy. So be present and take in each and every “present moment.”

That’s it.  So simple isn’t it?

When it comes to changing your eating habits and living a healthier lifestyle many people skip living in the moment and move straight into their plans for the future or as I call is: the “when I lose the weight” fantasy.  I hear it all the time.  Things like:

“When I am skinny, I will treat myself to new clothes.”

“When I lose all the weight, I will change my hair.”

“I will not go shopping for swimsuits! I am not ready!”

Now I am not saying that looking to a positive future is necessarily a bad thing.  It becomes a bad thing when you put your “present moments(s)” on hold.  Each healthy choice made whether it be choosing a salad over deep fried meal or taking the stairs over the elevator should be applauded and savored in the “present moment”.  Each present moment will help you reach a goal, however each step is a necessary part of the process.

Are you guilty of the “when I lose the weight” fantasy?

Happy and Healthy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving means different things for different people.  For some, it is a day full of friends, family, food, floats, and/or football.  For others it signals the beginning of the shopping, I mean the holiday season.

Whatever it means for you and your family, the day usually centers around a carbohydrate parade of dishes from sides to desserts with the guest of honor, the turkey.  The day is a food fest with little consideration for eating healthy.

One of the things that I often hear in my office is “I will start a diet after the holidays”, or “I will start eating healthy during the new year”.  I hate being a “killjoy” but what if

    • eating healthy was part of your everyday life?
    • there wasn’t a time to be “good” or “bad”?
    • you started to realize that you have access to food no matter when you want it and no longer need to gorge yourself excessively?

What if the holidays became what they were supposed to be? A time to be thankful for all you have and the potential to become? A time to be compassionate for those that have less than you do?

If possible keep in mind:

  • Do not starve yourself all day long! Continue to follow the Nutrition Map plan and have breakfast within 1 hour after you wake up in the morning and then every 2-4 hours thereafter.
  • Make fitness part of your day.  Enjoy a morning walk, run or hike with the family or before you leave the house for family gatherings.  Schedule activities or games throughout the day that require physical movement, and no, walking from the table to the couch and back does not count.
  • If you have a juicer consider juicing for the day for breakfast, lunch or snack depending on what time you are scheduled to eat.  No juicer? Do not fear. You can make a smoothie with water or milk (or milk substitute like soy or almond), fresh or frozen fruits and toss in a few handfuls of spinach or kale.  If blended properly, you won’t even know the greens are in there.
  • At dinner time, have a plate and stick to 1 plate only.  Don’t pile the food onto your plate.  You can have more in 2-3 hours if you are hungry again.  Spread out those carbohydrates.  Your gut will thank you for not subjecting it to indigestion (reflux, “upset stomach”, food “not agreeing with you”).
  • As always: Listen to your body!  When you begin to feel full, STEP AWAY FROM THE TABLE!
  • Have plenty of fruits and vegetables:
    • Have at least 1 fruit and 1 vegetable with each meal and snack throughout the day.
    • Have at least 2 non starchy vegetables with your main Thanksgiving meal.
    • Be that guest! Bring 1-2 different fruit and/or vegetable dishes to the meal.
  • If all else fails and you overindulge remember that you can jump right back on the eating healthy wagon.


Where Diet is a Four Letter Word.