As Seen On


Mind the BLTs! (The bites, licks, and tastes that make managing weight a challenge)

No, I’m not talking bacon, lettuce, tomato sandwiches—although love that kind of BLT (as a treat of course!). BLTs are nutrition speak for bites, licks and tastes. Have you ever considered calories consumed throughout the day that aren’t a part of meals you’re consuming? A little here, a little there – it can add up making it challenging to meet weight management goals. Continue reading

Enjoy the festivities. Celebrate the season. But don’t let it be a feeding frenzy!


The holidays are in full swing! For some it’s a feeding frenzy starting with Halloween and sometimes not ending until the Superbowl!

Contrary to popular belief the average person does not gain 5-10 pounds over the holidays. They may gain one or two. The problem is it may not come off after the first of the year and therefore causing weight creep. Continue reading

I love Panera! But beware the 99 cent upsell!

Panera name my pic

So I’m here at Panera Bread. Love this place. I come here fairly often to get work done. They’re really friendly (never have had a negative experience), they’ve got great food and it’s comfortable. I can hang out for hours without ever feeling unwelcome. Bonus for me, being the registered dietitian nutritionist I am I like that they’ve been posting calorie information on their menu boards for quite some time. Yes, I want to know – helps me make my best choice. Continue reading

Love Starbucks? Know before you go!

Love Starbucks? So do I, but know before you go!

Redesigned logo used from 2011-present.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What prompted this (to see the video of this blog, scroll to bottom or click here) was when a friend said “it would be interesting to do a video on what people consume at Starbucks. Sit there on a busy Saturday afternoon. I bet people don’t know what they’re consuming in terms of calories and fat and sugar”. Continue reading

Why diets don’t work (or do they?)

Why diets don’t work (or do they?)

Diets actually DO work. They (usually) help people lose weight. How many people do you know that went on the Atkins diet? Lots? They lost weight right? Did they keep it off? Likely not. Why? It’s not sustainable. But it is so easy! ALL you have to do is stop eating carbs. That’s it! But is it the baked potato that’s the bad evil creature? OR is it the company it keeps? Can’t have a baked potato without the butter, sour cream, cheese, and bacon!

Okay so the Atkins diet is passé’. Been there done that. Let’s look at a more popular diet – the Paleo diet! Why has it gotten the attention of so many people? I’ll tell you why. Before embracing the miracle, Tony J was eating crap. Fast food almost every day, beer frequently. He suddenly discovered Paleo and turned his eating habits around. Was it the Paleo diet or because he stopped eating crap?

Sports drinks—when do you need them?

Players of the Colorado State University footb...

Colorado State University football team (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sports Drinks—when do you need them?

Karin Hosenfeld—sports dietitian for the Allen Americans Professional Hockey team—and I talked about sports drinks and other liquids for hydrating. (To watch the video click here or scroll to end of blog post.)

Neily: We’re talking about hydration. It’s summer now and very, very important. But it’s important all year around. So let’s talk a little bit about hydration.
Karin: Yes. Important all year round because people walk around dehydrated most of the time. A good way to check if you are dehydrated is to check the color of your urine. If you are light, very light, pale lemonade color then you are pretty well hydrated. But if you are heading towards that dark, apple juice color, tea color, then you really need to hydrate better. Drink lots more water. And we are going to talk about that…Really important to hydrate with water most of the day. Sometimes, people can get a little bored of the water. I get that. Any kind of flavorings are good. I happen to like the Crystal Light Pure.  I know you like it too.
Neily: I do… I do. (Crystal Light Pure has no artificial colors, preservatives or sweeteners)
Karin: A lot of times, people think if they are working out that they need Gatorade or Powerade automatically.
Neily: Right…
Karin: And that is just not the case unless you are working out for more than 60 minutes at a time, vigorous activity. The American College of Sports Medicine says only then should you be reaching out for a sports drink, per se with the full calories in it.So, a better thing to go for is Propel. Say for example you are working out for 20 mins, 30 mins break up into a little sweat, then you can have something like this. There are no calories, has a little bit of electrolytes but it’s not so heavy or have as many calories as the Gatorade…
Neily: Yeah. Too often, I see people fueling with a Gatorade when they are just doing a short work out. And often times, they are working out to burn calories because they are trying to lose weight. And then they’re just putting back the calories they’ve just burned.
Karin: Or worse. It’s hot outside and people drink it all day long.
Neily: Yes..I know. I see recommendations for that…nothing against these products. They are great products for athletes and sport workouts for more than 60 minutes
Karin: Absolutely. If you are doing 30 or 45 minute workout, you are breaking up a pretty good sweat—working out a bit harder, but it’s still not 60 min, you can do something like a G2 or a Powerade Zero and those have much fewer calories. They still have the electrolytes. So, if you are sweating, you can get that back. But not the huge calorie burden of say a Gatorade or Powerade.So again, these are for 60 min or more vigorous activity. A great choice—great products for what they are for.A lot of people, these days, I have been noticing are doing these here—which is either coconut water or Vitamin Water. They do have a Vitamin Water Zero. A lot of people think, ‘I am saving the calories but I need the vitamins.’ But really, if you are eating a variety of foods, a generally healthy diet you don’t need them. And if taking vitamins, you have to watch out for that because you can have too many vitamins. So really something to be concerned with. Many of these people are doing 2 or 3 of these every day and you have to watch out that you are not getting too many of these vitamins
Neily: Right…
Karin: There’s 100% of vitamins in here for some of these. And then another one that people do a lot of lately is the coconut water.
Neily: Yes. Those have gotten really popular.
Karin: And for a sports recovery drink, there is a lot of potassium in it…it’s great for that but the sodium is not there. So if you are really breaking a sweat and you want something that has more sodium, you can really go for the Powerade or Gatorade, Powerade Zero or Gatorade 2 (G2) rather than this because it just does not have the sodium that you want (and need).
Neily: There is a great marketing program behind it. And quite honestly, so much of this is marketing…
Karin: It’s time to drink more water. Really… for the kids too, it is water. A lot of times, people give Gatorade or something like that throughout the day because it’s hot outside. But it’s 60 min of vigorous activity—then they can have some Gatorade. Usually they are getting it all day long.
Neily: Hydration is critical..
Karin: Yes. If you lose 3 to 4 percent of your body weight—which might just be several pounds depending on how much you weigh—it can decrease your performance by up to 20 percent. No athlete I know wants to decrease their performance by 20 percent. That’s huge.So we start with the water. Make sure we stay well hydrated. Check your urine and you’re good to go!
Neiy: Excellent. Great information. Again Karin Hosenfeld, sports dietitian for the Allen Americans Professional Hockey team. Thanks for watching Neily on Nutrition and we’ll see you in the next video.

Tips on keeping motivation high – Interview with Jill Weisenberger, MS, RD, CDE

Diabetes Wt Loss week by week - jill pic of book

Jill Weisenberger – author of  Diabetes Weight Loss: Week by Week: A Safe, Effective Method for Losing Weight and Improving Your Health in conjunction with the American Diabetes Association – talks to Neily on Nutrition about keeping motivation with diabetes and/or weight management. Jill is a registered dietitian and a certified diabetes educator. (To watch interview on YouTube, scroll to the bottom.)

Neily: So, what are some of the challenges? There is a lot of great information in the book (Diabetes Weight Loss Week by Week) but what are the take home messages that you would like people to know?
Jill: Diabetes Weight loss Week by Week’ is a very practical book. It is not a prescriptive diet so it will work with anybody using strategies: skills, strategies, planning – not will power. Will power never works for more than a short period of time. One of the things that I have right at the outset of the book is for preparing to be successful.  So you know how people when they start on a plan are very very motivated? Motivation is up there but it doesn’t stay. Very normal for motivation to wax and wane.So, one of the things I suggest is while you are very motivated, gather what I call a motivation kit. Get a box or notebook and put everything in there that motivates you. Because when your motivation is high, you put things in there and when your motivation is down, you can go back to it. So maybe it is magazine articles, maybe it is photographs, affirmations, a list of the reasons that you want to lose weight, a list of the benefits that you will get by losing weight and controlling blood glucose. All those things, keep them all in one spot where it is easy to reach because you want to add to it often and you want to go and get motivation from it often.
Neily: Great idea! A motivation box. Excellent. That’s a great idea not just for anyone with diabetes but for weight loss in general!
Jill: Yes
Neily: Thanks. This is Neily on Nutrition and Jill’s book Diabetes Weight Loss: Week by Week: A Safe, Effective Method for Losing Weight and Improving Your Health.

Swimsuit season is just around the corner! 6 small steps to get you ready.

By Ashley Harvill, Dietetic Student

It’s that time—warm air, backyard barbecues and getting the swimming pool ready. It’s difficult to avoid the taunting images on magazine covers and department store commercials. This year, instead of hiding in cover-ups or avoiding outdoor parties, here are small, easy changes that can get you one step closer to being swimsuit ready.

  • Eat a good breakfast. Eating a nutritionally balanced breakfast of lean protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats is a fantastic way to start your day. By not skipping breakfast, you can control weight more and have better performance throughout the day. Another benefit—you will be less ravenous at lunch because you are not working on an empty stomach. This will save calories in the long run and your stomach will thank you for not overindulging.

  • Exercise. This one word carries so much weight! You don’t need to live at the gym to get ready to fit into that swimsuit or shorts and tank top. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (5 days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (3 days per week). Saying “NO” to one television show and taking a walk outside or playing with your kids at the park will not only burn calories but will boost mood and give you the opportunity to spend quality time with loved ones.

  • Eliminate one or two sugar filled drinks. If you survive off Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper or Red Bull and water intake is seriously lacking, try to replace 1-2 soft drinks/energy drinks with an 8 ounce glass of water. Take baby steps to cutting back on the sugar and adding water. Start off by replacing a full sugar drink with a diet drink for two weeks. Then, replace the diet drink with crystal light or tea for two weeks. Lastly, try drinking just water. You should notice weight loss just by cutting out sodas.
  • Add more fruits and vegetables. Add a serving of fruits or vegetables at every meal and eat these first. Be realistic too. If you hate asparagus, don’t make yourself eat it. Eat something you like and periodically re-introduce it to your palate by cooking it different ways. Hopefully, your taste buds will adjust and you will love something you thought you hated.
  • Take the stairs. Oh the dreaded stairs! We all know that taking the elevator is the easy way and you might need to get to your office faster; however, take a couple of minutes to get in the extra exercise. If feeling extra ambitious, walk up every other step to make your muscles work just a bit more. You can also use this time to clear your head and take a little break from all the hustle and bustle in the office.
  • Create a food journal. This is a fantastic way to track what you eat, how much and how often. If you are tech savvy, use a website or application on your smart phone to track your food. This can really put into perspective how many calories you take in.

By incorporating these 6 steps hopefully you’ll be more confident

removing your swimsuit cover-up!

Annoying Advertisements

It’s the type of advertising I’m beginning to see more of and it really annoys me.  I’m reading the paper and turn the page—yes I’m one of a dying breed I know, but I just love a quiet morning with my cup of coffee and the Dallas Morning News, what can I say?

What so innocently looks like another article, upon closer look clearly is not.  The typeface is slightly different.  “World’s Most Perfect Food Stuns Diabetes Researchers in Landmark Trial.”  Yeah, whatever.  Look closely at the top: “paid advertisement”.  Do people really fall for this stuff?  They must because it’s a half page ad in the front section of the DMN—certainly not cheap.

Red flags for me—some subtle, some not so subtle:

  • FREE 30-day supply (but they don’t tell you that a 3-month supply needs to be ordered in order to get that.  At least that’s what it looks like on their website.  I wanted to verify so called the toll-free number—and did several times just to be sure I heard correctly—“Thank you for calling Coldwell Banker Mortgage”.  Oh my.  Someone needs to work on their proofreading.)
  • Throughout the article you never see the full names of “quoted” people, just “Dan” from Laguna Beach or Sandra D. or Christine B.  Certainly they could find someone who would disclose their real name?
  • Use of the word “diabetic” when referring to someone with diabetes.  Okay I don’t have any objection to someone referring to themselves that way.  I do however object to someone in the healthcare field referring to “diabetics”.  It’s just not politically correct. (I’ll blog about that some other time.)   So if this company knew better, their infomercial would sound more believable not using that terminology.  Granted someone that may be influenced into buying this product probably would have no idea.
  • Reference to research that is never cited.  C’mon now.  What’s up with that?

There were a few more things that bugged me, but I want to write about a similar “ad” which annoyed me even more.  “Type II Diabetes…Do You Really Have To ‘Just Live With It?’”.  This was actually a full page but nowhere did it say “paid advertisement”.  Perhaps it didn’t have to because it’s supposed to be obvious?  I don’t know, but it had that similar article type writing to it complete with the “Dallas, Texas Staff Writer” author at the beginning.

This was actually rather comical to me for a number of reasons.  First of all, here is an ad by a supposed “expert” in diabetes yet refers to it incorrectly as Type II diabetes versus the correct type 2 diabetes.  So your average layperson may not know the difference, but clearly an expert in the field should.  Does he not know that the name officially changed well over a decade ago?  Obviously not.  For shame, for shame.  What else:

  • Have you ever noticed how certain doctors always have to use the title “Dr.”?  I rarely see a Medical Doctor state their name as:  Dr. Ben Wellness, MD (it’s often just Ben Wellness, MD)  But I seem to frequently see…Dr. Ben Wellness, DC (that’s just to make sure you know that the “D” stands for Doctor).
  • The use of SO MANY CAPITAL LETTERS and exclamations to MAKE A POINT!  “You need to know how SERIOUS this is!”  “NOTHING could be further from the truth!”  “Do some type II diabetics NEED medications to survive?”  “You’ll need a consultation with an EXPERIENCED doctor.” (You get my point.)
  • Act now because the doctor is VERY busy and ONLY accepting a few patients.  He doesn’t accept everyone so just MAYBE you’ll be one of the LUCKY ones he accepts!  (Aren’t you special?)

Goodness.  Obviously these products are selling.  How else could such expensive ads show up week after week.  People are buying and what a shame.  What a waste of money.

So what do you think of these ads?  Have you seen them?  Do they bug you as much as they do me?

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