xmlns:fb='http://www.facebook.com/2008/fbml' working4wellness: May 2011

Thursday, May 26, 2011


     Who says you need to have chips, crackers or pita crisps as the only thing to DIP with during the BBQ party summer season upon us!?!
What about grape tomatoes, cucumbers, carrot chips, celery, jicama, or peppers?  If you use cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus or snow peas...I would blanch them.  Why do you blanch the veggie?  It makes the vegetable slightly softer than raw, yet maintains its color, crispnesss & increases nutrient retention. 
Prompt and full chilling IMMEDIATELY after briefly cooking is KEY! (*there are a couple of 'how to blanch' website links at the end of this entry)
     I could probably do a blog entry almost every day on dip possibilities.  The options are endless. Super easy...store-bought hummus, tapenade or baba ghanoush.  http://working4wellness.blogspot.com/2010/04/baba-ghanoush-what-eggplant-dip.html
DIY- sour cream based dips, guacamole, salsa, light salad dressings-etc.

Please post links or comments to this or my FB page with your favorite dip recipes, or a crudite I haven't mentioned here. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Working4wellness/209193069113596?sk=wall
I would love to hear about them.

Wishing you well,
Traci Miller, RD, LD

*blanch recipes

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Food Diary Challenge

What is ALL?
Every morsel, drink or drop that goes into your mouth!  Did you stop by your co-workers desk with the bowl of peanut M&M's, or have samples while Costco shopping?  What about the creamer in your coffee, or when you open the freezer door for “just a few spoonfuls” of ice cream? 

Make it convenient to keep a current running list of your intake and when while also noting…
ü     How much (1/2 cup; 3 ounces etc)
ü     Your mood
ü     Your energy level
ü     How Hungry you really were at the time...

Why does it help?
It slows you down to think about what do you really need right now?
Is it food? 
OR Maybe it is really…
ü     Water
ü     Needed stress relief via a talk with a friend, a walk, meditation, or yoga

Ok...I'm ready to start...  How should I do it?

Use whatever type of food diary works for you.
I use my iphone – the FREE sparkpeople app…fitday.com is also another good, free online food journal.
You could send yourself a continuing email, use a scrap of paper, or a small notebook. 
(I also have a handy form.)
Write as you go.
Write as many details as you can... brand, which variety etc
**Don’t forget to note hunger level, mood, & energy level
Focus on portion size.
Most people underestimate how much they eat.
Have you heard the term “portion distortion”?
For example, measure how much cereal you REALLY eat and be sure to write it down.
Don't skip your indulgent days.
For example, be sure to include at least one weekend day, this is usually when our eating habits are different from the work week...or if you go to a party, you still have to write it down…It IS possible to allow some fun party food and still meet your goals.

Saturday, May 21, 2011


Hydration can be tricky and for new athletes, new conditions or if you are new to the intensity level—be very careful!
A constant supply of water in the body is essential to performance. Dehydration leads to muscle fatigue and loss of coordination. Even small amounts of water loss may hinder athletic performance.

In a dehydrated state the body is unable to cool itself efficiently, leading to heat exhaustion and possibly heat stroke. Without an adequate supply of water the body will lack energy and muscles may develop cramps. 
Know how much fluid you need to maintain your body weight
EVERYONE is different in how much they sweat, how much sodium they lose etc…The amount of water lost can often depend heavily on the elements, such as temperature, humidity etc—some sweat is sodium heavy, some is not…

Below are recommendations from authorities in Sports Medicine:

American College of Sports Medicine (1996): "It is recommended that individuals drink about 500 ml (about 17 ounces) of fluid about 2 h before exercise to promote adequate hydration and allow time for the excretion of excess ingested water. During exercise, athletes should start drinking early and at regular intervals in an attempt to consume fluids at a rate sufficient to replace all the water lost through sweating (i.e., body weight loss), or consume the maximal amount that can be tolerated."

American Dietetics Association, Dietitians of Canada, and American College of Sports Medicine(2000): "Athletes should drink enough fluid to balance their fluid losses. Two hours before exercise, 400 to 600 ml (14 to 22 oz) of fluid should be consumed, and during exercise, 150 to 350 ml (6 to 12 oz) of fluid should be consumed every 15 to 20 minutes depending on tolerance."

National Athletic Training Association (2000): "To ensure proper pre-exercise hydration, the athletes should consume approximately 500 to 600 ml (17 to 20 oz) of water or a sports drink 2 to 3 hours before exercise and 200 to 300 ml (7 to 10 oz) of water or a sports drink 10 to 20 minutes before exercise. Fluid replacement should approximate sweat and urine losses and at least maintain hydration at less than 2% bodyweight reduction. This generally requires 200 to 300 ml (7 to 10 oz) every 10 to 20 minutes."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Feel Full AND Lower Your Calories

Foods with higher water and/or fiber content have fewer calories but control appetite better, i.e., fruits, vegetables and soups are 80-95 % water whereas oils are 100% fat, 0% water.
For instance,
100 calories =          ¼ cup raisins (low water content) or
1-2/3 cups grapes (high water content).
The larger volume of grapes provides greater satiety than the dried fruit without increasing caloric intake.
Barbara Rolls, Ph.D. studies’ on hunger/satiety reveal that most people eat the same weight or volume of foods at meals. Hence, by eating nutritious foods with lower caloric value, dieters can experience a feeling of fullness and improve nutrient intake while losing weight.

Eating more of the nonstarchy fruits/vegetables, nonfat milk and broth type soups will increase the volume but have much lower calories.
On the opposite end…crackers, chips, chocolate, cookies, candy, butter and other fats are high calorie and low volume (higher calories per ounce of volume).

Fiber should be AT LEAST 25 grams –and up to 38 grams per day.

Water 9-13 cups per day (lower end for women).

NOTE!  If you are not used to eating a high fiber diet, you need to add it in slowly to reduce gastric distress.   Your body will become accustomed to it.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Incredible Edible Egg

Incredible Edible Egg

Dear egg…how I love thee, …let me count the ways!
I wanted to remind everyone how easy it is to mix up a high protein meal with good carbs.  Egg whites or egg substitute scrambled up and tossed on top of a whole wheat English muffin (or any other whole grain carb) are a simple way to fill a healthy plate!  The possibilities are endless. 
¼ cup of egg whites has 7 grams of protein to which you can easily scramble
(pick one or many):
  • Fresh spinach, sprinkle of feta cheese & tomatos-My FAV!
  • peppers
  • salsa
  • veggies,  (what about sliced carrots & dill?)
  • Mushrooms & pearl onions
  • low fat cheese & basil
  • turkey bacon
  • black beans (also a carb)
  • chopped up veggie burger
  • cooked chicken

Monday, May 16, 2011

Power of Peanut Butter

I wonder how many times I have mentioned the word peanut butter as a Dietitian in speaking and writing?!  
Nut & seed butters are just plain good for you, oh yea, and are YUMMY!

Tonight, I made my son a peanut butter sandwich for his lunch tomorrow.
You say, Traci...that is NOTHING new.  
Yet, have you seen a 
PBBBB (Peanut Butter & Banana on a Bratwurst Bun)

...can you say that fast 3 times?

Peanut butter (or any nut butter) is a great and inexpensive way to nourish, satisfy and power your day!  The $ cost of 200 calories of peanut butter is far less than 200 calories from an energy bar!  The good ol’ PBJ (peanut butter and jelly sandwich) on whole grain bread with a glass of low fat milk is an awesome way to fuel your body with heart healthy protein, mono and polyunsaturated fats, and good carbohydrates (carbs from whole grain bread).  Buy the all natural nut butters to maximize the healthy fats.  When you bring the jar home, store it upside down and the oil will slowly distribute through!

Remember fueling is EASY, AFFORDABLE (and YUMMY!)

Sunday, May 15, 2011


     Here's a quick note to all those increasing intensity in their workouts during this gorgeous weather...........
It may seem obvious, there are many BOOKS written on it.  My favorite is Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook 4th edition.
So, needless to say...I could go on and on concerning this subject.  
     IN A NUTSHELL- it depends on what time of day and what you can tolerate.  If you haven't eaten in a couple of hours, a quick 100-150 kcal of carbohydrate 30-60 minutes before you exercise will improve your performance during your workout.  (Even 15 minutes before will work, if you can tolerate it.)  A natural sports snack like a granola bar or a banana.
     A good RECOVERY (post exercise) drink within 30 min is low fat chocolate milk, YES I SAID IT, chocolate milk.  Seriously, multiple studies have shown that it has just the right balance of carbohydrate, protein and fat to help speed recovery.  A delightful way to help your muscles jump right back in the next day.  You don't need all those expensive store bought fancy drinks &/or mixes.
p.s. almond or soy flavored milks will also work...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Building Block #1- Feed the Fire with Carbohydrates

The base of a diet is carbohydrates. Not donuts, white bread and frosted flakes...
BUT...Whole grain Carbohydrates ARE the primary fuel for muscles during exercise- especially racing or high intensity work outs. Your goal should be 50-65% carbohydrate to support your training.

Fat burns in a fire of carbohydrate—YES carbohydrates are NEEDED to burn fat efficiently. Healthier choices for carbohydrates are: whole grain breads, pasta, brown rice, cereals, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, potatoes, corn, beans, and low fat dairy products.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Building Blocks- Power your Tower

Let’s say nutrition counts for 7 out of the 10 building blocks towards reaching your fitness goals.  
My son loved building blocks (and knocking them down) when he was younger.  We tear down our muscles each time we work out.  Proteins (and the amino acids that make them up) help to rebuild the muscles to power your tower of fitness. Yet,  if you have too much protein in relation to carbohydrate, your body won’t be able to store glycogen for endurance events.
Balancing the building blocks of nutrition:  carbohydrates, protein, fat and fluid in a way that best fuels your training is key to your success!

Balance is key to Power Your Tower of Fitness!

Go Gluten Free?

Awesome, (albeit it is a bit long), basic article on Gluten Free
  • IF YOU SUSPECT you have a sensitivity to gluten, BEFORE you start eliminating it from your diet, it might be safest to get tested for Celiac Disease... if you start limiting prior to testing, it may skew the results
  • EVEN THOUGH  you may test negative, you may still have an intolerance
  • ELIMINATE gluten sources for at least a week and see if there are any changes in how your body feels or performs
  • IF YOU DON'T NOTICE any changes or improvements, then there is no reason to go Gluten Free! it is only a health benefit to those with an intolerance

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Follow me on Facebook!

Hi friends
I have started a Working4Wellness Facebook page
please become a FAN, share with your friends, and see quick notes
...for longer discussions, I will link back to this blog!