Monthly Archives: January 2012

Hot Study: 4 Vitamins for Brain Health

The claim: Higher blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B, vitamin C, vitamin D and vitamin E are associated with better mental functioning in the elderly, a new study has found. The research study came out of Oregon Health and Science University (where I completed my dietetic internship) with the lead author being Dr. Bowman, a researcher in neurology. The study was based on around 200 men and women all averaging the age of 87 and controlled for any confounding factors.

The researchers found that those with the highest blood levels of the four vitamins scored higher on the cognitive tests and had larger brain volumes than those with the lowest levels. Omega-3 levels were linked to better cognitive function and healthier blood vessels in the brain, but not to higher brain volume. The study assumes that this healthier source of fat may be beneficial for brain health but by different means than the four vitamins.

I believe that one of the best outcomes of the study that can support a controversial topic is how it showed that trans-fats were significantly associated with impaired mental ability and smaller brain volume. Another one in the books for those who advocate against trans-fat consumption. 

Want to keep just as sharp into your eighties? Take a bite out of these foods. 

B-Vitamins- Fortified breads and cereals, fish, beans, and lean meats.

Vitamin C- Citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and sweet potatoes

Vitamin D- Mushrooms, eggs, cold-water fatty fish such as salmon, and Vitamin-D fortified milks.

Vitamin E- Leafy green vegetable such spinach and chard, turnip greens, almonds, sunflower seeds, asparagus, bell peppers, corn, and olives

Omega-3s- Salmon, walnuts, chia and flax seeds, and sardines

Example: Healthy Brain Shake 

– 1 cup frozen strawberries

– 1/2 cup Vitamin D fortified milk or soymilk

– 1 cup spinach

– 1 clementine or splash orange juice

– 1 tablespoon chia seeds or flax

– 1 cup ice

Mix in a blender and drink. Image


Paula Deen Proves “Bacon and Butter Don’t Make Everything Better”

This morning on The Today Show, the famous Southern chef on The Food Network and unofficial Queen of Butter, Paula Deen, announced to the world that she was diagnosed with Type-2 Diabetes three years ago during a routine physical exam at the doctor’s office. This may or may not come as a shock to many people due to the type of food she is famous for.

Paula Deen states that she is doing well now with the help of exercise and medication (she is now the spokesperson for pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk) with her program “Diabetes in a New Light” that offers people to join to get diabetes friendly recipes. (In my opinion there are better resources for diabetes friendly meals and nutrition education by nutrition professionals such as myself and other registered dietitian or certified diabetes educators but she is famous so there.)

In the article I read this morning there was one quote by Deen that was especially interesting. Paula Deen was quoted to say she doesn’t eat how she cooks on her show on a daily basis and wouldn’t encourage others to either. She stated, “I have always encouraged moderation.” That statement is quite alarming to me because moderation is definitely not the theme I got from all of her TV shows. Thoughts that arise in my memory:  a hot dog prepared with butter, bacon, and canned cheese on top and sticks of butter floating in everything that was prepared.

One thing that is great about Paula Deen revealing she had type-2 diabetes is the fact that now people can see how eating is directly related to the disease and can be prevented or managed with proper diet, exercise, and medication if truly needed.

Thoughts about the celebrity chef’s diagnosis? Was it expected or a shock? Do you or anyone you know struggle with Type-2 Diabetes?

Friday Fun

Friday is the day you are at work, but all you are thinking about is the weekend and what you are going to do! What new recipe your going to make, where you want to go shopping,  or maybe what trail you want to try. My friday posts will be fun and show my personality by being either articles I like, new products, clothes, etc!

~The Food Network has a great blog on their website called Healthy Eats, where if you know @tobyamidor is a regular blogger. Today’s post is all about “diet” injections one particularly interesting is the HCG diet. Bottom line I got from the article: The HCG program forces women and men to adhere to a 500 calorie a day diet along with the hormone injections. Yes, this will make people lose extreme weight, but in the end this diet sets them up for disaster. How can anyone consistently follow a 500 calorie diet and not be hungry?That is my opinion. Do any of you know anyone on the HCG diet?

~If if you haven’t tried a Cutie this season, I highly suggest you do. These California Clementines are easy to peel, portable, and deliciously sweet.

Nutrition Facts: 1 Cutie= 47 calories, ~2 gm fiber, and 59% of your DRV for Vitamin C.

~Brooks running shoes are in my opinion the best out there for all types of runners/walkers. Last weekend, I got tested at Runner Revolution (in Campbell) for the best running shoes for me. I had this done prior to my last shoes but in Portland so I decided to re-test. I learned the first time that I am  a 11 1/2 in Brooks shoes and I also need special support so I do not roll my knee in. If you have not been tested and specially fitted for running shoes, I highly suggest you do!

Brooks Adrenaline is what I will be picking up this weekend. : )

~The fashion trend I am loving is colored jeans! So fun and you can wear neutrals on top and pop with a bright colored jean. The pick I want the most: Green Jeans. 

Anna Kendrick rocking green jeans. Do you like the green?

What is on your mind this Friday??

UPDATE: These are the shoes I got. I prayed for the pink ones to be the ones they ordered and that is what happened.

Tebow Time and Tasty Treats

Girls can like football and let me tell you, if there is anytime in the history of football to start watching ladies, it’s this season. Tim Tebow, Aaron Rogers, Tom Brady, Drew Brees..not only are they cute but they are also studs on the football field. Join your boyfriend or husband this weekend and see what I mean.

Why am I talking about football?

Football is not just an American past time, but it also an inspiration to all athletic people. Going back to my blog post earlier this week, the amount of motivation and dedication it takes to be an athlete is amazing. These athletes train hard, think hard on the field, and they also dum, dum, dum, FUEL their body well. I can bet you anything Tim Tebow is not eating Taco Bell every night for dinner. He most likely works with a dietitian to eat high quality protein, whole grains, healthy fats, and fruits/vegetables. To be a champion, you must eat like a champion. Take note from the pro athletes on how to eat healthy and be a champion even at the gym.

Now onto my next football related topic: Football party food!

Ladies and gentlemen, Listen!  Wings, potato chips and pizza do not have to be the go-to munchies while watching the Packers or Pats this weekend. Let me give you a few ideas.

1. Make a healthy vegetarian chili in the slow cooker. I like to use white beans, or black beans and top it off with fat-free sour cream, lime, and cilantro. See recipe below by amazing RD, Robin Miller.

2. Everyone loves a little crunch.  Serve crunchy vegetables that are high in water such as water chestnuts, celery, jicama, and carrots. Add homemade salsa, white bean hummus or guacamole as your side and no one will feel guilty for downing 30 potato chips before the first quarter is finished.

3. Instead of soda, delight your guests with natural flavored carbonated water.

In a large pitcher, muddled some mint, 1 cup raspberries, 1 cup blueberries, and 1-2 limes juiced and cut. Then add carbonated water such as Pellegrino. Mix and serve over ice to your guests! A yummy drink without a lot of calories.

4. Make skewers that are vegetarian and non-vegetarian. Marinate eggplant, chicken breast, tofu, or lean red meat such as bison and put them on skewers. Grill them outside if you live in Cali or in-doors if you live well, everywhere else. Enjoy hot. These will surely satisfy any food lover.

These are just some tips you can utilize to keep your football party low-cal and healthy.

What do you like to serve at your parties?? I would love to hear.

Most importantly, who do you think will WIN this weekend? It is hard for me to take sides because I love the Packers, Saints, Niners and Broncos.

I do take one side more out of all of them though.  TEBOW TIME!!!


New-U-Trition Cardinal Rule #1

1. Do not skip meals, or go more than 4-5 hours without eating.

I have learned this concept the hard way. In college, I would hate eating on campus and would not eat for long periods of time until I got home to make myself dinner. The interesting thing is, I never lost weight even though my calorie intake decreased and I worked out 2 hours a day.

What happens to your body when you skip meals?

Many people think that if they skip meals they are saving on calories leading to greater weight loss. Whether you like it or not, this is not true. The act of skipping meals decreases the metabolism and leads to overeating.

Your body is like a campfire. If you keep feeding it wood every few hours it will have a nice, burning fire but if don’t feed it wood, it slowly burns out until there is no more fire. When you don’t eat frequently throughout the day or if you consistently eat a very low calorie diet (less than 1200 calories for women and 1500 calories for men) your body thinks it is in starvation mode and slows down your metabolism because it thinks it is in a famine. Also, consistently having a very low calorie diet breaks down muscle to use as energy, and a decreased muscle mass equals decreased metabolism. You also are eventually more likely to gain weight because when you are starving you body tells you to eat sugary foods because it wants instant glucose.

Have you ever gone to long without eating and find that all you want to gorge on at home is bread, crackers, or left-over cookies?? That is your body wanting  instant glucose and this causes you to binge. I am guilty of this on occasions, and understand it is a huge problem for those that live a busy lifestyle.


1. Plan ahead. When at the store, think about what you want for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Buy things you can make at home in batches and then save in the refrigerator for multiple uses. Good ideas? Chili, soup, bean and veggie salads, etc.

2. Keep two pieces of fruit/vegetables and a source of portable protein in your bag for in-between meals or meal replacements. Good Ideas? Bananas, apples, pears, with 1/2 cup nuts. Carrots and Hummus. Dried fruit and nut bars.

3. Set times to eat on your calendar if you are one of THOSE people. You know who you are so I won’t explain.

4. Go to grocery stores for a quick lunch versus fast food. Here you can buy a piece of fruit and a salad from the salad bar versus a burrito bowl at Chipotle.

I want to let any other suggestions on how to keep yourself from skipping meals up to you! Any easy lunch/dinner ideas? Quick breakfast recipes?

P.S. CONGRATS SAN JOSE! Women’s Health and Men’s Health Magazine named San Jose #2 and #4 most healthy city in the United States for women and men respectively.


Motivation is the Moto

I hope everyone is having a great start to their New Year.

Each year millions of people make New Years resolutions, which usually end before the next holiday weekend. I am not talking about Easter, I am referring to Martin Luther King Jr Day. Which is January 16th for all of you who do not get the day off.

New Years resolutions are essentially goals when it comes to diet and fitness and when completing a goal, it is crucial to have M.O.T.I.V.A.T.I.O.N.

Everyone has a different motivation(s). Motivation is what drives someone to wake up in the morning at 4:45 am to get that run in before they have to go work for 12 hours (aka my twin sister), or what makes you say no to the bread basket at the dinner table out with friends (major motivation). These actions don’t just happen subconsciously-they take effort.

What motivates me is the feeling I get for being healthy. The feeling of accomplishment and raging endorphins after running a 6 mile run on Saturday morning, or spin/cardio conditioning on a rough Monday. The feeling I get for eating a beautiful salad versus a burger (amazing and no guilt).

Motivation is a really interesting subject especially if you ask people what motivates them. A friend of mine is so driven to be a successful business man. What motivates him? Being able to buy a extremely expensive and fast car and feel the need for speed driving it. What motivated me to write this blog and business as a dietitian? I want to be able to say I was a dietitian that made a difference and (secretly, I have a serious obsession with wanting to be a dietitian on the Today show).

I would love to ask all of you, what motivates you when it comes to eating healthy, exercising, or any other goal you are trying to accomplish? What motivates U to be a New-U?

Photo from one of my sisters run, this helps her keep motivated when climbing 1,000 feet on her 10 mile run (true story, she did that this weekend).

New Blog to Help You Find a “New-U”

I want to welcome all my friends to my site that  (will be under major construction the next month) but essentially shows my vision and services.

New-U-trition will show my idea of what living a healthy lifestyle is and be a resource for those wanting to learn about any aspect of nutrition.

As time goes on I would love to get ideas from you all on what you would like to know about but hopefully you will get inspired by the new recipes, research, discussion pieces, and quick tips I post.

Are you ready to follow me and find the the “New-U”?