The Best App for Calorie Counting

The Best App for Calorie Counting

With hundreds of calorie counting apps to choose from, it easy to get overwhelmed or waste your time on ones that aren’t very useful.  I know you’ve been there.  Either it’s confusing to use, the data is wrong, or you are distracted by ads.  I have used so many different calorie counting apps over the years with my clients and have never been 100% satisfied.  That is until I discovered Nutritionix Track.  I have started using this app with my clients and so far they and I love it.  

Here is what we love about it:

  • Easy and attractive dashboard and diary
  • Multiple ways to add your daily food: upload a picture, search in the database, add your own foods, scan the package barcode, or use the “freeform box.” 
  • It offers a unique feature that I have not seen anywhere else.  The “freeform” option allows you to say your diary and using advanced technology it accurately determines what you ate.  Just takes a minute to log all your food!  (Watch the video below to see how it works.)
  • If you are trying to NOT think about calories, the picture option is a great way to log your food without worrying about the nutrition.
  • You can add your own recipes.
  • It tracks your weight, fluid intake, and exercise.
  • You can link it with popular fitness trackers, like Fitbit and HealthKit.
  • Shows macro and micronutrients.
  • No ads.
  • You can connect your diary with your dietitian (me!) and I can view your foods from my computer. 

One of my clients said, “My favorite feature is the Freeform box.  It’s so much easier to log my food rather than type it out.”

Have you ever had a financial goal, like pay off your car or save for your vacation?  I bet the first thing you did was figure out how much money you needed to save and then made a plan to save that money.  Part of that plan probably included making a budget.  What does that have to do with nutrition?  Everything!  If you have a health goal, you have to know how to get there.  And what you put in your mouth will move you towards or away from that goal.  That is why I recommend calorie counting, especially with the Nutritionix app. 

Watch the video to see it in action.

For more apps that I recommend, check out my FREE Guide: 25 Best Apps for Optimal Health

Click here to download

Sleep your Way to Weight Loss

Did you know that lack of sleep may be the missing key to your weight loss results?  Let me explain why the right amount of sleep is essential for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Why is sleep important?

It refreshes us physically, emotionally, and mentally.  It gives our bodies time to repair and grow and our minds time to relax and renew. 

What happens when we don’t get enough sleep?

When we are sleep deprived on a short-time basis, it negatively affects our mood, concentration, performance, and metabolism.  On a long-term basis, it can contribute to obesity, insulin resistance, heart disease, comprimised immunity, and decreased quality of life. 

What does a good night’s rest look like?

Our bodies cycle through different types of sleep, called REM and non-REM sleep.  About 25% of our sleeping hours are spent in REM sleep, which is an active sleep.  Our eyes dart back and forth and we dream.  The remaining 75% of the time we are in non-REM sleep, which is restorative, relaxing, and restful.  In addition, our body naturally follows a rhythm of energy and sleepiness throughout the day.  From around midnight to 7 AM and 1-4 PM our body becomes sleepy.  (This can vary person to person depending on your schedule and genes.)  But in general, we follow a rhythm throughout the day.  Knowing yours can help with maximizing your energy levels throughout the day.

How does sleep affect my weight?

  • Sleep deprivation may cause the obesity gene to “turn on.”
  • Being overweight may lead to sleep problems which then promotes additional obesity.
  • Not getting enough sleep may increase appetite and cravings, especially for carbohydrates.
  • Some studies show people ate up to 500 extra calories a day when they didn’t get enough sleep.
  • Sleep deprivation can impair glucose tolerance and increase secretions of cortisol, thus increasing our risk for diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

What may interfere with my sleep?

  • Caffeine
  • Nicotine
  • Alcohol
  • Depression
  • Nighttime exercise
  • Large meals
  • Chronic pain
  • Certain medications
  • Poor sleep environment

What can I do to get enough sleep?

The first thing is to rearrange your schedule so you allow for 7-9 hours of sleep.  Next, turn off the tv and computer 1 hour before bed.  Ensure your room is dark and at a comfortable temperature.  Try to go to bed at the same time each night to develop a good routine that is predictable for your body.  Do something relaxing before bed, such as stretching, yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.  Last, see your doctor if things interfere with your sleep such as insomnia, medications, shift-work, or snoring.

So tell me, what do you do to ensure a good night’s rest?  Do you get enough sleep?  Why or why not?

For help improving your health, click here to become a new client.

Note: I used the following article in preparing this blog post: “The Link Between Sleep and Weight Gain — Research Shows Poor Sleep Quality Raises Obesity and Chronic Disease Risk,” By Nancy L. Kondracki, MS, RD, LDN, Today’s Dietitian, Vol. 14 No. 6 P. 48.  It can be accessed here: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/060112p48.shtml

How does exercise affect your motivation to eat well?

How does exercise affect your motivation to eat well?

Some days you want to eat well and some days you don’t. Have you ever noticed if your exercise affects how you eat? A research article published in the May 2019 edition of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics looks at this very question.

After surveying 1600 women between the ages of 40-50, the following obeservations were made:

  • Those who exercised with the main motivation to lose weight, were less likely to eat intuitively, less likely to listen to their body’s feelings of hunger and satiety, more likely to restrict their food choices based on a specific diet, and more likely to eat for emotional reasons instead of physical reasons.
  • Those who exercised because of intrinsic motivation (health, enjoyment, improvement of mood, and pleasure) were more likely to eat intuitively, listen to their body’s signals of hunger and fullness, not restrict their eating to a certain diet, and eat for physical reasons instead of emotional ones.
Exercise for fun, not for weight loss!

This study illustrates that if you can focus on exercise for the positive benefits it brings to your life, instead of weight control or improving your appearance, you may be more likely to eat intuitively. And why is that important? Because intuitive eating has been linked to the following benefits according to other research:

  • Improved well-being and mood
  • Greater body acceptance and appreciation
  • Higher self esteem
  • Greater satisfaction with life
  • Lower body mass index

Aren’t those amazing benefits? I think so too. If you need help learning how to eat intuitively, trust your body, and exercise for the right reasons, click here to fill out a request to become a client.

How to Boost your Immunity (the REAL Way)

Of course, everyone is anxious about getting sick right now, thanks to the coronavirus.  My clients have started asking me what they can do to keep their immune system in top shape.   Your immune system is an amazing and complex microorganism-fighting machine.  It defends your body from harmful virus and bacteria that enter your body through mouth or nose.  Because it is so complex and involves other systems in your body, there is no guaranteed way to ensure that some microorganisms won’t get past your defenses and cause a cold, virus, or infection.  However, you certainly can do some basic things every day to give it the best shot possible.  There is no magic bullet on this list (sorry).  There is no strange concoction of herbs and fruits mixed together in a drink (thank goodness).  Or no pill you can take (save your money for more exciting things). It’s the basic (sometimes boring) things that will give us the best chances:

  • Get enough sleep.  Your body cannot fight off sickness if it is tired and weak.  Make sleep a top priority.  The recommendation is 7-9 hours of sleep per night.  (To learn more about sleep, attend my Masters Group class on May 12th or May 14th: The Healing Power of Sleep).
  • Take a multivitamin as “insurance” if you eat very few fruits and vegetables.  Don’t waste your money on super- or mega-vitamins.  The extra vitamins and minerals don’t provide extra benefits.  A simple, multi-vitamin and mineral supplement is all you need.  Make sure it is certified by an independent lab or you might be wasting your money.  (If you need a good one, I offer Opurity vitamins in my office.)
  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating and preparing food.
  • Eat yogurt with live and active cultures daily.  The probiotics in yogurt feed your immune system.
  • Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables per day.  Make sure to get a variety of colors to ensure you are eating a wide range of immune-boosting nutrients.
  • Reduce stress by taking on less projects and tasks, deep breathing, yoga, tai chi, meditation, or prayer.  (I’ll be teaching about this at Masters Group on July 12th and July 14th: Implementing Mindfulness into your Busy Life.)
  • Eat protein with each meal to meet your minimum recommendation of 0.35 grams x your body weight.  Protein is found in dairy foods, meat, seafood, nuts, beans, and tofu.
  • Don’t age.  (I had to throw this one in there.)  The older you get, the weaker your immune system becomes.  There is nothing we can do about that, though.

By following these steps as best as you can, you’ll be well on your way to keeping your immune system performing at its best. 

If you’ve got nutrition concerns or questions, apply to become a client with one of our highly knowledgeable dietitians here.

Pros and Cons of Grocery Pick-up

If you haven’t tried grocery pick up yet, you may be wondering if it’s worth it.  I tried it for my first time a few years ago, right after I had my 5th daughter.  I’ve been hooked since.  (Despite the “cons.”)  I love the convenience and time-saving.  But don’t let me my experience influence you.  If you’ve known me for a while, you know that there is no one right way to be healthy.  I’ll give you the pros and cons of both so you can decide for yourself.

First, if you’ve never tried it, I want to explain how it works. 

  1. Sign up on the app or the website.
  2. Search for the items you need and add them to your virtual grocery cart.
  3. When you’re all done, “check out” and pay with your credit card.
  4. The next day (or later that day), you will get a text when your order is ready.
  5. If any item was not available, via the app or an email you will be notified if is was left off or substituted.
  6. Head to the grocery store and follow the signs to grocery pick up. 
  7. Call the number on the sign and let them know you have arrived.  (Some apps allow you to check-in instead of call.)
  8. Wait for the friendly staff to bring you your groceries and load them up.
  9. Voila! You are done!

Pros:

  • Helps you stick to a budget.  I find that I don’t make impulse buys because I have my list and just order what is on my list.
  • You can look through your fridge, pantry, and freezer as you’re making the list so you can see exactly what you need.
  • The apps or websites save your favorite items and prompt you to buy them.  It helps you to not forget your essentials.
  • It saves time waiting in line or wading through crowds. 
  • You can add to your online cart all throughout the week.
  • Other family members can get on the app or website and add to the list as needed.
  • You can do it anytime of the day: in bed, while waiting in line somewhere, at the doctor’s office, etc.
  • If you don’t like grocery shopping with your kids (or spouse!), you don’t have to.

Cons:

  • You may forget certain items that you would have remembered if you had walked the aisles of the grocery store.  (I inevitably already have a new list started before I even go to pick up my items because I forgot something!)
  • You are less likely to try new foods and see new items in the store.
  • You may get stuck in a rut of ordering the same things.  (Last summer I realized I had forgotten all about the summer produce because I was so used to my winter list.)
  • You won’t see any special deals or sales the store is offering.
  • Some stores charge extra money for the groceries or a pick up fee when ordering online.
  • Some moms/dads/grandparents like shopping with kids/teens as a learning experience.  You miss out on that when doing online shopping. 

As you can see, there is about an equal amount of pros/cons.  If you’re wondering what I do, as a mom and dietitian, I do grocery pick up about every 6 days.  And about once per month I try to go in person to see what foods I may have forgotten about and give my kids a chance to come and learn about shopping.

Now, you may be wondering about grocery delivery…. I haven’t tried that yet, but I’m sure it’s great.  If you have tried delivery, please share your experience.

PLUS, if you need help deciding what to put into your cart, please join me for my next monthly Masters Support Group where we are doing part 2 of my Virtual Grocery Store. We meet on March 10th @ noon or March 12th @ 5:30 PM. Reserve your spot by emailing kelli.worley@intentionaleating.net.

AND, if you’ve got shopping down, but need help deciding what to cook and prepare, check out my EatLove meal plans where you will get menus, grocery lists, and recipes in your inbox every week made just for you.

Easy, Healthy Weeknight Dinner: Sheet Pan Potatoes, Sausage, and Vegetables

Easy, Healthy Weeknight Dinner: Sheet Pan Potatoes, Sausage, and Vegetables

Here is one my family’s new favorite dinners: Potatoes, Sausage, and Vegetables roasted on a sheet pan. 

Why I love it:

  • Versatile
  • One dish meal
  • Can use leftovers
  • Inexpensive
  • Super tasty!
  • Everyone loves it (one of the few meals we all love)

Here’s how to do it:

Wash and cut into bite-size pieces your favorite potatoes and vegetables (white potatoes, sweet potatoes, new potatoes, green peppers, red peppers, broccoli, asparagus, onions, etc.). Toss the potatoes and vegetables with olive oil in a large bowl.  Spray a sheet pan with non-stick spray.  Spread vegetables and potatoes evenly on the pan.  Sprinkle your favorite seasonings on top: kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc. Dice your favorite sausage (deer sausage, chicken sausage, pork sausage, etc.) into bite-size pieces and sprinkle over the vegetables.  Roast in the oven at 425 degrees until the potatoes are soft.  Serve with fruit and a glass of milk on the side.   Yum!

Please share: What’s your favorite easy dinner?

You can eat what you love and still be healthy!

You can eat what you love and still be healthy!

“This is my mom and she loves chocolate”

A few months ago I was outside with my 2 youngest daughters and we started talking to someone walking by.  My little ones were probably enthralled with the person’s dog.  But anyway, out of the blue, my 3-year-old said, “This is my mom and she loves chocolate.”  I started laughing at the randomness of this comment and have thought a lot about it since. Yes, both statements are true.  I am her mom and I do love chocolate. 

Why do I bring this up?  Because I think many people have the misconception that my being a dietitian means that I don’t eat sweets and only eat healthy foods.  Some people think my kids never eat junk food and we must not have any candy or chips in my house.  This is not true!  I want to write about this today so you can see that I am just like you…I love chocolate and my husband loves chips.  I have kids that love junk food and candy (and they like some vegetables and nutritious foods too). I crave desserts just like you and want chocolate when I’m stressed out.  At various times in my life I have worried about my weight and health and been on both sides of the dieting spectrum.  I know what it’s like to hate your body and I know what it’s like to love your body.  And not only have I been through it, I’ve seen hundreds of my clients go through it as well.

I am here to share with you today, that you can break through whatever bad eating habits you have, poor body image, dieting scars, etc.  You can find the middle ground between health and “eating whatever you want.”  I’ve done it, my clients are doing it, and you can too.  It feels so amazing to feel comfortable in your own skin, to eat nutritious foods most of the time, and include the sweets/treats/junk foods a little of the time.  It’s so rewarding to go to the doctor and get a good report on blood work, realizing that you can do it!  You don’t have to be in the gym for 2 hours every day (but it’s OK if you like that) and eat only chicken breast and broccoli (it’s OK if you like that too).  There is way more to life than just that!  We can love chocolate (or French fries, or chips, or anything else) and still feel good in our bodies, be healthy, and live well.  

Will you give me a chance to show you that eating what you love AND meeting your health goals is possible for you too?  Simply comment on this post and I will put you on my waiting list for new clients. 

Healthy, Easy, Personalized Meal Plans Done-for-you

Healthy, Easy, Personalized Meal Plans Done-for-you

Today I couldn’t believe it when I looked at the calendar and realized my kids go back to school in 3 weeks!  Sadly (if you go by school schedules) the summer is almost over. 

How do you feel about that news?  How is your summer going?  Are you staying on track with your eating plans and exercise?  I know it can be hard when you feel pulled in different directions AND it’s so hot you don’t even want to turn on your oven.

The reason I’m bringing this up is I don’t want you to have regrets in the fall. Come September, I hear it all the time, “I wish I would have done better on my vacation.  I wish I had taken the time to meal prep.  Now I feel like I’m starting all over.” 

The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way!  You CAN stay on track this summer without working too hard.  When September comes you can seamlessly transition into the holiday season without “starting over” or “getting back on track.”  I want to tell you how. 

I have a menu service that is different than any other because this menu is not generic. Let me tell you how it works:

  1. I create a meal plan for you based on your health goals and enter it into EatLove.
  2. I personalize your plan taking into account food allergies, health conditions, and how many people you want to cook for.
  3. The system finds meals that match your meal plan’s criteria.
  4. You get an email invitation to log on and view your meal plan. You’ll see breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks that fit into your meal plan and support you in your health goals. 
  5. You schedule your meal plan, print your grocery list, and head to the store.  You’ll have thousands of recipes at your fingertips that meet your unique nutrition needs. 

Having a plan is the key to having not only a fun summer, but a successful summer.  Click on this link and let’s get you started with your meal plan for approximately $10 per month until the end of 2019.  The regular cost is $30 per month, but I’m going to give it to you for one payment of $49 TOTAL until December 31, 2019.  I want you to end this year feeling better than you ever have.  You’ll save more than 66%!

Click here to get your very own personalized meal plan.  As soon as you do, I will contact you via email to get you set up for success. 

Tip for Eating Out While Dieting

Tip for Eating Out While Dieting

Do you feel like it’s impossible to eat out and still stick to your diet? I know many of my clients do.  (And remember when I say DIET, I don’t mean some crazy, fad diet.  I’m just referring to the way you eat.)

I’m going to share a simple trick with you for staying on track while eating out.  Because after all, who doesn’t like to eat out?  Especially during the summer!

In your mind, divide your plate in half.  Order a meal where half of your plate is fruit or vegetables.  Then imagine a quarter of your plate.  Order meat or protein that will fill a quarter of your plate. Last, imagine the 4th quarter of your plate and order a starch (bread, tortilla, pasta, rice, potato, etc.) that will fill the remaining quarter of your plate. 

Obviously, most restaurant meals will not naturally fit this plate.  Just do your best to tweak your meal into this plate idea by sharing a meal or taking some home for the next day.

If you need more ideas for staying on track, join me at my next Master’s Group class.  You can attend your first month for free. Send me an email to be put on the invite list @ kelli.worley@intentionaleating.net.

Please share: What’s your favorite meal when eating out?

Websites for healthy, nutritious and easy recipes

I don’t know about you, but I am easily overwhelmed by the amount of recipes on the internet.  Really, I have a love-hate relationship with recipe searches.  I LOVE being able to find any recipe I can think of and many that I never thought of.  I HATE that there are so many options and I have no idea which version of the recipe is going to taste the best.  That’s why I have stopped doing general recipe searches and now just go straight to my go-to sources.  It frees up my time by not scrolling through 20 versions of Asian Chicken, for example, and makes me feel so much more confident when I have a website or two that I can trust.  I wanted to share one of those sources with you today:

www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov

These are the reasons I love this website:

  • You can search by ingredient
  • You can search by food group or type of dish
  • You can save recipes into your “cookbook”
  • You can view recipe books
  • You can print your recipe book
  • You can view recipe demos
  • You can refine your search by cost, cuisine, diet, and cooking method

With all of these options, what’s not to love about USDA’s What’s Cooking? Best of all, is it saves me time by going to only one place when I’m making my weekly menu.

If you want more tips, please subscribe to my newsletter by clicking here

Please share: what is your favorite website for recipes?