I know everyone is concerned with making sure they don’t get the Coronavirus. And some people are worried about getting it from their food at the grocery store (or take-out). I’m here to teach how to properly clean your groceries to reduce your risk of getting any kind of germ from the store. (All of this is backed by the latest research, by the way.)
To wash your fruits and vegetables, rub them under running water in the sink. The action of rubbing is what removes dirt, bacteria, and viruses from the skin. Do the same for fruits and vegetables that you don’t eat the skin (watermelon, cantaloupe, carrots, etc.). For small fruits, like berries, wash them under running water in a colander or you can submerge in water and swish them around. This is also a good technique for leafy greens. After submerging in water and shaking, rinse them off.
Do not use soap to wash your fruits and vegetables. Using soap is not necessary to clean your produce and the residue may even upset your stomach.
You will not get sick from eating fruits and vegetables and so they do not need to be “sanitized.” The COVID-19 virus is not transferred from food. Let’s just say that somehow some virus got on your fruit from someone else in the grocery store (which probably won’t happen). There will not be enough of the virus on your fruit to make you sick. The virus is spread by close contact with infected people.
Bottom-line: The absolute best prevention is to wash your fruits and vegetables with running water while rubbing them with your hands to wipe off any dirt and germs.
As for your other groceries, there is no need to wipe down these foods, even if you are immune-comprised. Again, the virus does not live on these items and even if it did, there is not enough to infect you. If you insist on being 100% sure, then leave them in the garage or outside (if they are non-perishable) for 24 hrs. Research has found that heat and humidity kill the virus.
Bottom-line, please don’t stress about your food and waste your time on sanitizing with bleach solutions. The best thing you can do is wash your hands. There is no better way to keep you healthy than to wash your hands after coming home from the grocery store, after putting your groceries away, before preparing food, and before eating.
I hope you are all enduring this pandemic well. I want to remind you that I and my other dietitians are here for you. To schedule your telehealth session from the comfort of your own home or office, please click here. We are here to help you navigate your new normal and how to adapt your eating and exercise routines.
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.
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
Sign up on the app or the website.
Search for the items you need and add them to
your virtual grocery cart.
When you’re all done, “check out” and pay with
your credit card.
The next day (or later that day), you will get a
text when your order is ready.
If any item was not available, via the app or an
email you will be notified if is was left off or substituted.
Head to the grocery store and follow the signs
to grocery pick up.
Call the number on the sign and let them know
you have arrived. (Some apps allow you
to check-in instead of call.)
Wait for the friendly staff to bring you your
groceries and load them up.
Voila! You are done!
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.
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
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
If you need help deciding what to put into your cart, please join me for my next Custom Jumpstart program.
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
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:
I create a meal plan for you based on your health goals and enter it into EatLove.
I personalize your plan taking into account food allergies, health conditions, and how many people you want to cook for.
The system finds meals that match your meal plan’s criteria.
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.
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.
The other day someone asked me about Citric Acid and if it is harmful. She is trying to eliminate harmful foods from her and her family’s diet. In just a few short paragraphs, I will answer that for her and you.
Citric acid is weak tricarboxylic acid found in citrus
fruits. The highest food sources are
lemons and limes. Although you won’t
find citric acid listed in any database or calorie counting app, citrus fruits
have been tested in labs to determine amounts.
You can find citric acid added to foods as a preservative. It has a sour and acidic taste. It is commonly used when canning tomatoes and in products that you add to fresh fruit to prevent it from turning brown. I have some in my cupboard for science experiments and home-made bath bombs!
Citric acid is perfectly safe. Your body breaks it down and excretes it
through your urine. In fact, it may even
be helpful in preventing calcium oxalate kidney stones. Studies show that citric acid can prevent the
stones from forming. Studies are mixed
on whether drinking lemon or lime juice can treat current kidney stones. But if stones are a concern for you, it
certainly won’t hurt.
Bottom-line, there is no need to worry about citric acid in
your food. There are more important
things to think about…like what’s for dinner?
Please share: are
there any food additives that you are concerned about and you want me write a
blog post about?
One of the quotes I love to share with my clients is:
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”
No matter what kind of goal you have: financial, health, dream vacation, etc., it begins with a single step. A baby step, as I like to call it. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when we look at the big picture: pay off the car, lose 100 lbs, or go on a cruise. I’ve noticed for some people it seems so daunting that they don’t even try. That’s when it’s time to break it down into manageable steps.
First, take out a big sheet of clean, white paper (or your favorite color) and jot down all the steps you need to take to reach your goal. Second, choose the very first step that must be done. Third, do it! The first step doesn’t have to be big. The best part of taking a step is that you are moving towards your goal, which helps build your confidence. Then the next day, take another step, and the next day another one, and another one until you’ve done it!
You’ll find as you take baby steps day after day, your
confidence will improve, your overwhelm will decrease, and you will feel
Please share: what baby step are you going to take today? Comment below or on my Facebook page.
I know you’ve felt it before…you dread getting up in the
morning and dragging through one more day.
Burn out is real. And it can take
a toll on your health: it is associated with heart disease, insomnia, obesity,
and anxiety. Can you relate? If so, check out this infographic from
If you recognize any of the symptoms of burnout listed on the graphic, I encourage you to download the Happify app. It’s a great tool to improving your mental health—which then trickles down to physical health. And then, talk to me. Let’s figure out how we can change your diet and exercise routine to alleviate any symptoms you are experiencing.
Please share, what are the signals and signs when you are feeling burnout?
Do you have a go-to food or activity that numbs you out after a long day or an emotional event? C’mon, be honest: is it scrolling through Facebook, playing a game on your phone, or grabbing a bag of chips? If you’re an emotional eater, then you can relate. What are those foods you gravitate towards when you want to feel better? Chocolate? Ice cream? Bread? If you know what I’m talking about, chances are you also feel guilty about eating these foods. Well, I want to take that guilt away and instead teach you what these foods are telling you.
Your body has an amazing and insightful secret to share
When you reach for food and you are not physically hungry, it’s telling you “Something’s wrong!” It’s shouting at you to stop and listen.
It’s so common to plow through your day without ever
stopping to listen to your body and see what it needs. So, when you are craving food, think of it as
a red flag. Your body is saying, “Did
you forget about me? Something is wrong
and I want you to fix it.”
Next time you find yourself reaching for your go-to food,
notice is for what it is (a cry for help) and take these steps:
Do a head to toe scan to find any areas of pain or discomfort. Do you have a headache? Are your feet hurting? If so, do what you can to alleviate the pain or discomfort.
If you find no obvious pain or discomfort, examine your feelings. What are you feeling? What triggered those feelings? Did you have an upsetting interaction with a co-worker? Are your kids stressing you out? Are you mad at your best friend? Once you find the source, do what you can to fix it (that doesn’t involve food).
This is a learning process. It’s important to be patient
and compassionate with yourself as you learn to work through difficult emotions
and events. But you can do it! I’ve seen others learn how and I know you can
If you need help applying these steps, check out my programs to see which one might be a good fit for you.
In the meantime,
please share: what are your go-to foods and why?
know this is a personal question, but how do you feel about your body? What do you think when you look in the
mirror? Are your thoughts positive or
negative? What do you think when you see
models and celebrities? Do you envy
their slender bodies or do you think that you would not want to work as hard as they do to maintain that shape? How do
you feel about your relationship with food? Is food the enemy? Take a few minutes to think about these
questions, or better yet, discuss with a friend or write them in your journal.
about these questions can be eye-opening for some or painful for others. I bring this up because my goal for all my
patients is to accept their bodies where they are. Next time you are in a crowd of people,
notice the vast difference in our bodies.
No one person is the same and that’s what makes us unique. Life would be
boring if we were all the same height, weight, and shape.
you think that everything you see in magazines and TV is real? You would be surprised how some of what we
see is not real. Illusions are created
by the power of technology in the hands of the beauty industry who wants us to
believe that we are not good enough as we are (so we will spend money on their
beauty products). This illusion of
beauty and “perfect” bodies are all around us. So much that we don’t know what
reality is anymore. Want to know what reality is? Go to the mall or other public place and
people-watch. Reality is every day
people in all shapes, sizes, and colors; real people with real struggles and
real lives. In my Stop the Food Fight
class I’ll be showing you a few pictures of air brushed celebrities that will
surprise you. I know we can’t change the
media and beauty industry, but we can change ourselves. We can remind ourselves and teach our
daughters and sons that what we see in the media is not always real. Beauty has nothing to do with your weight or
body fat percent. It’s all about what
kind of person you are.
hope is that you can get to the point where food is not the enemy and your body
is not the enemy. You can do that by
what I call, “Stopping the Food Fight.”
That means you learn to accept the diversity of our body shapes, just as
you accept the diversity of nature. And
second you learn to nourish your bodies by honoring your hunger and fullness.
How do you do that, you may wonder?
Keep a food log of when you eat and WHY you eat. Notice how the foods make you feel.
Consciously observe the people around you and say positive things about their
bodies (not out loud!) and your body (you can say them out loud!). This is a gradual process that I love to take
my clients through.
If you need more help with this and want to discuss this with like-minded individuals, join me for my June Master’s Group where we are learning to “Stop the Food Fight.”
In the meantime, please share: how do you feel about your body?