Meet Kay at Dawson’s Market

Meet Kay at the Dawson’s Market

Healthy Life Tour and Tasting Series

Thursday July 24, 2014, 6 – 8 pm


Sumptuous, Healthy Summer Fruit Pairings

Take a tour of Dawson’s Market in Rockville Maryland. Discover sumptuous, healthy fruit pairings that you can savor all summer.  $5 for fruit and wine tasting

Join us for this special July event.  Kay Loughrey, behavior & lifestyle coach and nutritionist, will be your guide.

Tour and Tasting

  • Join a small group tour. Get to know what’s special about Dawson’s Market
  • Make stops at key market locations and find ingredients for featured foods.
  • Discover what makes specially selected foods our nutrition rock stars.
  • Enjoy a delicious tasting at the end of the tour.


For more information go to:


Call Dawson’s and sign up for the tour: 240-428-1386.
Get your questions answered: Book your 30 minute Lifestyle Transformation session with Kay today: (301) 869-1787.

Wellness Minute – Is Perfectionism Keeping You from Your Sweet Life

How does perfectionism keep us from living our Sweet Life?

This wellness minute explains!

Easy Healthy Recipe for Rhubarb Crisp


Easy Healthy Recipe

Tart and Sweet Dessert

Here is an easy healthy recipe for Rhubarb Crisp that reminds me of spring when I was a kid. My mom used to make Rhubarb pie every year, one of my favorites.  These days I make rhubarb crisp or compote for a sweet dessert.  It is an easy healthy recipe that contains fewer calories and much less saturated fat than rhubarb pie.

Rhubarb is in season April through June, easily grows in backyards, and often can be bought at farmer’s markets.  Ruby red stalks yield the best flavor (the leaves are toxic and should not be eaten).

Rhubarb is 95 percent water.  Nutritionally speaking, this tart fruit is low in calories, contains some vitamin C and calcium and is a fair source of fiber. Because of its tart flavor, some people mix rhubarb with strawberries and reduce the amount of sugar needed for a sweet dessert.

Food means much so more to most people than just nutrition.  Food also is about enjoying family favorites, memories, and sensory pleasure.  I encourage my weight loss clients to consciously and selectively include comfort foods and family favorites to make weight loss sustainable.  Rhubarb Summer Crisp is just such a comfort food dessert that can easily fit into a weight loss as a treat.

Rhubarb Crisp recipe

6 Servings


4 cups rhubarb stalks, washed

2 Tablespoons sugar, white

½ cup whole wheat flour

¼ cup rolled oats

½ cup brown sugar or honey

2 Tablespoons soft margarine or butter, softened

½ teaspoon salt (optional)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon vanilla


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Trim top and bottom of stalks, cut into 1-2 inch chunks.

Coat with white sugar.

Lightly mix remaining ingredients.  Spread this mixture over rhubarb in baking pan.  Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbly.

Nutrition (per serving):

Calories 183

Carbohydrates:      35 grams

Fat:                           4 grams

Protein:                    3 grams

Sodium:                    205 mg

Sugar:                       23 grams


Check out two other rhubarb recipes from the University of Maine.

Cheryl, one of my weight loss clients, has transformed her life.  Now she evaluates what to eat instead of the usual grab and go eating.  She says that she stops, looks, and then chooses what to eat.  What’s so different about how Cheryl decides what to eat?  Now, she is making conscious food choices as part of a new, positive lifestyle. This new lifestyle is giving Cheryl a big energy boost.

As part of Cheryl’s new life, she puts some foods in a “special” category.  She knows that she can still have “special” foods when the occasion is right.  A sweet dessert like the easy healthy recipe for Rhubarb Summer Crisp is one of the foods that Cheryl might choose as a special occasion treat.

You may also want to check out my Easy Healthy Recipes for fruit desserts from a recent post.

I’d love, love, love you to try out this dish and let me know what you think!

What summer foods will you choose for a special occasion treat while working toward your healthy lifestyle goals?

Yours in joy and health,



Kay Loughrey, RD, LDN, MPH

The Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Kay Loughrey

Easy Healthy Recipe Breakfast Treat


Easy Healthy Recipe for Blueberry Sweet Potato Pancakes

Here’s a scrumptious and easy healthy recipe that I made last weekend that still makes my mouth water. This delicious recipe is fully flavor-packed and won’t weigh you down like the usual high calorie pancake loaded with fat and sugar. Blueberries will be in season soon making it a perfect time to make this easy healthy recipe for Blueberry Sweet Potato Pancakes next weekend for your family or breakfast guests.

What makes this easy healthy recipe so healthy? Sweet potatoes are a great source of vitamin A as betacarotene, potassium, vitamin C and fiber. Blueberries are good sources of fiber and vitamin C and phytonutrients.  Find out more about what these fruits and vegetables have to offer.

Special treats are fundamental to weight loss you can sustain.  There’s no need to feel deprived when there are delectable choices like Blueberry Sweet Potato Pancakes that you can fit into your calorie budget.

Recipe Tip:

Feel free to use your favorite pancake recipe and make these substitutions.  Make with:

Mostly whole wheat flour ( 1 part white and 2 parts whole wheat)

Canola oil

Substitute 1 cup of sweet potatoes for 1 cup of liquid

1 cup of blueberries

Add cinnamon and vanilla (1/4 tsp each)

Blueberry Sweet Potato Pancakes Recipe

Serves 6


¼ cup white unbleached flour

½ cup whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt (optional)

1 Tablespoon sugar (optional)

¼ tsp cinnamon

1 egg, whole (2 egg whites can be substituted)

1 cup milk, 1%

1 Tablespoon canola oil

1 cup mashed sweet potatoes

¼ teaspoon vanilla

1 cup blueberries

2 Tablespoons canola oil (for cooking pancakes)


Combine first 6 dry ingredients in a mixing bowl. Separately combine last 6 liquid ingredients in separate bowl. Gently stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients leaving lumps. Add one teaspoon canola oil per pancake and heat skillet to medium-high. Cook pancakes on cast iron skillet (to increase iron content).

Serving Suggestions: 

Top pancake with 2 Tablespoons 1% vanilla yogurt per serving and a fresh strawberry (included in nutrient profile).

Mash 1 ½ cup fresh washed strawberries with ½ cup 1% vanilla yogurt. Use 2 Tablespoons per pancake.

Nutrient Profile:

Per serving—

Calories: 188

Carbohydrates: 33 gm

Fat 9 gm

Protein 6 gm

Sodium 171 mg

Sugar 11 gm

With a recipe like this one, you can kiss boring diet food goodbye. Calories are what count for weight loss, so you’ll want to eat a portion that fits within your calorie needs for the day.

Cori had been on many diets. She felt so bored with diet foods that she said she couldn’t eat another salad. We talked about her favorite foods. She mentioned how she used to love pancakes but hadn’t eaten them in years.  Together we figured out a way for her to lose weight and enjoy pancakes once a month. Cori feels great and she’s lost weight. She succeeded by changing her lifestyle instead of going on a temporary diet.

What are your questions about losing weight? Comment below and I’ll be happy to answer your question.

We love it when you comment on our blog posts. Leave a comment and we will respond.  Consider this your invitation to become an active part of the Sweet Life Wellness community!

Yours in Joy and Health,



Kay Loughrey, RDN, LDN, MPH

Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Kay Loughrey

The Environment and GMOs


Environmental Bio-Diversity & GMO Labeling

Protecting the bio-diversity of our environment and consumer choice are good reasons to support mandatory labeling of GMO foods. Why?

Consumers have a right to know what’s in their food and how these foods are grown.

Corporate control over seed production may limit bio-diversity and consumer choice in the marketplace.

Crop diversity allows for greater variation in quality, color, shape, and flavor of foods.

The threat GMO’s pose to our health and the environment is currently unproven. Still, we should monitor its effect on both. After all, we’ve only fairly recently discovered many of the beneficial effects of bacteria on the human biome and detrimental effects of the antibiotics.

The concern over GMO foods is growing. In 2013, a total of 54 bills were introduced in 26 states calling for GMO food labeling according to the Center for Food Safety. So far the states of Connecticut and Maine have passed GMO food labeling laws.

The food industry has tried to halt state mandatory GMO labeling. The food industry introduced a bill this spring that would give authority to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which favors voluntary GMO labeling (April 9, 2014 article in Politico by Jenny Hopkinson).

If you are concerned about finding non-GMO sources of foods, consult the Non-GMO Project that offers “North America’s only third party verification for non-GMO food and products.”

One way to assure that you select non-GMO food is to buy organic.  Organic foods are now widely available at most supermarkets.

There may be a only small difference in productivity between conventionally grown and organic crops.  Author, Marion Nestle examined the issue of whether organic farming results in lower crop yields in her book, What to Eat.  She concluded that overall, organic farmers are almost as productive and use energy more efficiently. Nestle noted that, “The productivity issue seems settled. There is a difference but it is small.”

Interested in your food and the environment? Check out my recent White Paper, “Environmentally Sound Lifestyle Choices: Healthy Ways to Go Green AND Lose Weight.” Send your email request to

What is your opinion of whether GMO foods should be labelled?

Yours in joy and health,



Kay Loughrey, LDN, RD, MPH

Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Kay Loughrey

Earth Day 2014


Earth Day

Choices for a Healthy Body and Planet

Ready for environmentally friendly lifestyle choices that are good for your body and the planet?

Astonishingly, food systems account for nearly 30 percent of global warming from greenhouse gas emissions generated by consumer economies in industrialized countries.

Making environmentally friendly and healthy lifestyle choices, especially food substitutions, can make as much difference in your carbon footprint as driving a super-efficient hybrid car.

7 Healthy Ways to Go Green

  1. Eat more wholesome plant foods.  How?
  • Double the amount of low-calorie fruits and vegetables you eat (unless you already eat way more than most Americans).
  • Eat less red meat from cattle, sheep, and goats and get more protein from plant sources.  Choose meatless protein foods like legumes.
  • Eat whole grains instead of refined grains.
  1. Buy organic foods to avoid unnecessary or harmful pesticides and antibiotics.
  1. Reduce waste.  Buy what you’ll eat and eat what you buy.  Buy fewer packaged foods. Recycle.
  1. Store foods in an energy efficient refrigerator.
  1. Lose weight and save money.  Buy and eat less if you need to lose weight. Burn off more calories with physical activity.
  1. Walk or bicycle everywhere you can.
  1. Consolidate shopping trips

Note that according to Earth Day organizers, transportation is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas emissions worldwide with 3/4 of these emissions coming from road vehicles.

Making these 7 key lifestyle changes is a win for you, your family, and the environment.

You may also want to check out my easy healthy recipes for plant foods like Roasted Brussels Sprouts from a recent blog post.

For more tips, visit our home page and sign up to receive our weekly tips and monthly newsletter about how to make your life delicious, healthy, and vital.

If you’re ready to change painful habits and make lifestyle changes, call me and we can see if one of my customized programs may be a fit for you.  Call 301-869-1787 today.

Yours in joy and health,



Kay Loughrey, RD, LDN

Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Kay Loughrey

Easy Healthy Recipe Roasted Brussels Sprouts


Easy Healthy Recipe

Crunchy and Sweet

You may love this easy healthy recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts even if they aren’t your favorite vegetable. Believe it or not Brussels Sprouts can have a slightly sweet flavor if cooked the right way. When you try this easy healthy recipe, you’ll not only eat a vegetable that is showing up on restaurant menus, you’ll enjoy a nutrition super food.

Brussels Sprouts, as  part of the cruciferous family, contain key health protective phytonutrients.  Brussels Sprouts have dithiolthiones and betacarotene (converts to vitamin A) for starters. These phytonutrients may help maintain a healthy immune function and prevent cancer by detoxifying undesirable compounds and neutralizing free radicals. The lutein and zeaxanthin in Brussels Sprouts also may help with eye health. What else do Brussels Sprouts have to offer other than bearing the name of a famous city? Brussels Sprouts also offer vitamins, C, K, and fiber among other vitamins and minerals.

Easy Healthy Recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts

4 Servings, 1 cup each


  1.  Brussels Sprouts, 4 cups
  2. Olive oil, 1 Tablespoon
  3. Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Wash and cut the ends off Brussels Sprouts.
  3. Cut each Brussels Sprout in half.
  4. Plunge Brussels Sprouts into boiling water for 30 seconds.  Rinse under cold water, drain, and pat dry.
  5. Toss Brussels Sprouts with olive oil.
  6. Add salt and pepper.
  7. Place on a roasting pan or jelly roll pan.
  8. Bake in oven for 10 minutes, turning once then serve.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts give color to any meal and go well paired with plant dishes like quinoa and lentils, grilled salmon, duck, or lamb.

My dad loved the Roasted Brussel Sprouts I made for him along with Four Spiced Salmon from Mark Bittman’s cookbook, The Minimalist Cooks at Home.

Check out our other simple plant based recipes from recent blog posts.

For more tips, visit our home page and sign up to receive weekly tips and our monthly newsletter.

Other April blog post topics:

Environment 10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Environment and Why Go NGMO

April Newsletter:

Plant Sources of Calcium that May Surprise You


Roberta Larson Duyff, American Dietetic Association, Complete Food & Nutrition Guide, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey, 2012.

We love it when you comment on our blog posts.  Leave a comment and we will respond. Consider this your invitation to become an active part of the Sweet Life Wellness community!

Yours in Joy and Health,



Kay Loughrey, RDN, LDN, MPH

Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Kay Loughrey

Environment and Food Tips to Protect the Planet


Environment and Healthy Living

What’s In What’s Out

We’re celebrating Earth Day (April 22) all month by dedicating our April blog posts and Newsletter to the environment and ways to protect it. Let’s kick off the series with 7 Food Tips on What’s in and What’s Out to Protect the Environment.

What’s In                                                                            What’s Out

Black Bean Burgers (plant protein, fiber)                             Big Macs

Quinoa (plant protein, iron, magnesium)                             White Rice

Buy what you’ll eat (reduce food waste)                              Buying in Bulk

Canola Oil (omega 3 fatty acids)                                            Lard, trans fats

Food made by nature (super foods)                                      Processed Foods (manufactured)

Food made at home (less waste)                                           Eating Out

Organic foods (kinder to environment)                                 GMOs

Eating more plant based foods and fewer animal products is one way  you can easily help protect the environment, eat healthier, and reduce your daily calories (think smaller portion sizes).  The current methods for raising certain livestock, ruminant animals (cows, lamb, and goats), significantly contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.

Packaging and processing food along with food waste, transportation, and non-energy efficient refrigeration are key contributors in the food supply to greenhouse gas emissions.

A word of caution. Eating a more plant based diet is healthier but doesn’t automatically mean weight loss.  For weight loss the number of calories you eat and burn off through exercise is still what counts.  Case in point, I was heavier than ever when I was a vegetarian!

Try out the Healthy Black Bean Salad Recipe that’s one of our simple plant based easy health recipes from our blog posts.

For more tips, go to our home page and sign up to receive more weekly tips.

Look out for our other blog posts this month on:

Environment 10 Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Easy Healthy Recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Environment and Why Go NGMO


Plant Sources of Calcium that May Surprise You

We love it when you comment on our blog posts!  Leave a comment and we will respond.  Consider this your invitation to become an active part of the Sweet Life Wellness community!

Yours in Joy and Health,



Kay Loughrey, RDN, LDN, MPH

Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Kay Loughrey

Why am I so Tired All the Time


Why am I so Tired

How to Reclaim Your Vital Self

Do you keep asking yourself, why am I so tired? Feeling exhausted can become a way of life.

Where does daily exhaustion start? Let’s dig a little deeper than just blaming it on stress. Could you be a people pleaser?  Maybe you’re so busy taking care of everyone else that there’s no time for you.

Do your needs usually fall to the bottom of your “To Do” list? If this sounds like you, it’s time to make yourself a priority. Lack of self-care may cause exhaustion and may jeopardize your future, health, career, and relationships.

Instead, invigorate yourself, feel younger, and have the energy to do things you haven’t done in years, including having the oomph to take care of those you love. And wouldn’t it be lovely to have the zest to dance the night away in that gorgeous outfit of yours?

Try these 7 highly effective energy boosters. Then you’ll never again have to wonder why you are so tired. Put these energy boosting tips into action and enjoy the vitality you deserve.

Get Enough Sleep:  If you wake up exhausted it may be time to develop better sleep habits so you’ll wake up refreshed. Good sleep habits are simple. Try going to bed at the same time most evenings and avoid screen time for an hour before you go to bed.  Find out more about the effects of sleep deprivation from a previous blog post.
Get More Physical Activity:  Regular physical activity can make you feel alive.  Cardio exercise can re-invigorate you, lift your mood, and give you more stamina.
Drink Enough Fluids:  Drinking too few fluids is a common reason for fatigue.  Dehydration can easily be remedied with the simple act of drinking more water and other low-calorie fluids.  Check out my newsletter article on staying hydrated.
Eat Foods for Energy:  Having the right balance of nutrients at meals and meal spacing can keep you from feeling tired.  Too little protein at meals can make you hungry and tired a couple of hours after a meal.
Get More Vitamins and Minerals:  Many individuals, including persons trying to lose weight may be lacking key vitamins or minerals.  Taking a multi-vitamin and mineral tablet daily can keep you going instead of feeling tired from key nutrients you may be missing.
Calm Your Mind:  If you feel frazzled and stressed much of the time, find 5-15 minutes each day to calm your mind.  Keep stress in check so it doesn’t accumulate during the work week.
Relax and Have fun:  Take time to unwind on the weekends and start the week feeling like a new person.

Medical conditions like diabetes also can cause fatigue.  Check with a medical professional if fatigue persists after making these 7 simple and easy lifestyle changes.

Stan is one of my many clients who often asked himself, “Why am I so tired.” He woke up exhausted each morning and then couldn’t muster the energy for regular exercise before work.  He decided to take action and start better sleep habits.  He turned off the TV before falling asleep instead of drowsing off with the din of television in the background.  Now he wakes up refreshed and has the energy for morning exercise.

If you you crave food and are always hungry, sign up on the homepage to receive my Always Hungry? consumer guide.  You’ll also receive weekly tips from my blog post and a monthly newsletter with tiny lifestyle changes that will jump start your deliciously sweet and vital life.

Yours in joy and health,



Kay Loughrey, LDN, RD, MPH

Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Kay Loughrey

Protein Foods that Fight Hunger


Protein Foods and Weight Loss

Most Americans eat plenty of high protein foods. Still, if you’re on a weight loss program you may not be getting enough protein foods to stave off hunger between meals. For example, when breakfast is lacking protein foods, you may feel famished by mid-morning. If this sounds like you, there’s a solution. You can either have a high protein snack or change your meals.

What can you do to get enough protein while losing weight? Here are some quick and easy healthy recipe ideas for adding protein to meals and snacks.

Try out these choices:


  • Mexican breakfast of 1/2 cup low or non-fat “refried” beans with one egg and a whole wheat tortilla
  •  Cup of non-fat or low-fat milk or soy milk
  •  Scandinavian breakfast of 2 ounces pickled herring and a mini- whole wheat bagel


  • Cup of French green lentils and quinoa salad with greens
  • One or two Middle Eastern Falafels or a cup of Moroccan Spiced Chickpea Soup with a toasted whole wheat pita pocket
  • Two – three ounce Mediterranean grilled chicken kabob with 1/2 cup whole grain rice



  • Cup Edamame, unsalted
  • Greek yogurt, non-fat or 1%, small container
  • one quarter cup Hummus with half of whole wheat toasted pita

Try out some of these high protein foods and let us know how it goes with keeping your hunger at bay between meals.

My client Candace complained about being hungry between breakfast and lunch. She usually ate oatmeal with a small amount of low-fat milk and coffee for breakfast. We talked about how her breakfast lacked enough protein. Once she added protein foods to her breakfast, she no longer yearned for a snack before lunch. Then she began making progress on her weight loss.

Always hungry?  Sign up on our home page to receive my “Always Hungry” consumer guide and you’ll also receive our weekly tips and monthly newsletter filled with tips to change those painful habits and your lifestyle so you can feel better and do things you haven’t done in years.

Yours in joy and health,



Kay Loughrey, LDN, RD, MPH

Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Kay Loughrey








Recipe Sources: 

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Recipe for Turkey and Black Bean Chili with Sweet Potatoes as posted in the Washington

Moroccan Spice Chickpea Soup Courtesy of Dave Lieberman as posted at

Salad Nicoise Recipe as posted at

Healthy Snacks


Healthy Snacks without Overeating

Healthy snacks can contribute to your weight loss success.  What a great way to prevent diet cheating!  Check out my top 3 tips for healthy snacks that will help keep you on track to meet your weight loss goals.

1.        Conscious snacking

Plan ahead of time to make sure you have the ingredients on hand to enjoy the tastes you love and nutrients you may otherwise miss.  Stave off hunger and eat healthy snacks mindfully for greater pleasure without loads of calories.

2.       Keep portions in check

Plan on a snack of 150-170 calories to avoid going beyond your daily calorie goal for weight loss.

3.       Prevent hunger with healthy snacks

Stop grazing before dinner by eating a light snack 2 hours before your meal.  Healthy snacks filled with protein and fiber are good for staving off hunger.

Choose from these 10 healthy snack ideas:

  • Taste of Italy: Buffalo mozzarella (1 slice) with sliced fresh tomato and basil drizzled with 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Festive Black Bean Salad: Black bean, corn, and tomato salad (1/2 cup) with a crisped tortilla
  • Mediterranean Delight:Hummus (3 Tablespoons) with whole wheat pita bread (½ toasted)
  • Peanut Butter Comfort: Peanut butter (1 tablespoon) on celery, apply, small banana, or ½ whole wheat bread thin or mini bagel
  • Greek Treat: Low-fat or non-fat Greek yogurt (Small container) with a pear or fresh fruit salad (½ cup
  • Milk and Honey: l % or non-fat milk (½) with a honey graham cracker
  • Vegetarian Soup: White bean vegetable soup (1 cup broth based)
  • Kettle Corn Treat: Kettle corn popcorn (100 calorie bag) and string cheese (1)
  • Mini-salad Combo:  A hard boiled egg or tuna (1 ounce) over salad  greens (washed and rinsed) with 1 tsp each olive oil and vinegar and whole wheat bread thin
  • Almond Afternoon: Almonds (1 ounce)

Healthy Black Bean Salad Recipe


1 15 ounce can black beans, rinsed

1 15 ounce can corn kernels, rinsed

I pint of cherry tomatoes, washed

1 Tablesspoon cilantro, finely chopped

1 Tablespoon lime juice

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


Mix ingredients and chill in refrigerator for 1 hour.  Serve at room temperature.

Georgette often snacked all afternoon on candy. This habit kept her from losing weight.  We put our heads together and now she’s consciously planning an afternoon snack that will keep her going.  Now she’s making progress to reaching her weight loss goal.

Interested in healthy recipes for desserts?  Check out my Easy Healthy Recipes for Fruit Desserts blog post.

Want more tips on habit change and weight loss?  Sign-up on the home page and receive my latest weekly weight loss tips and my monthly newsletter.

Yours in joy and health,



Kay Loughrey, LDN, RD, MPH

Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Kay Loughrey

Sugar Substitutes Surprise in Taste Test


Sugar Substitutes a Viable Alternative?

I’m no lover of sugar substitutes. But a recent news item in the Washington Post caught my eye. The article reported on research that associated sugar (the amount in 2 cans of soda) with an increased risk for cardiac events. This news caused me to re-evaluate whether sugar substitutes may be a viable alternative to sugar.

The Sugar Substitutes Experiment

My husband and I conducted a blind test of 5 sweeteners including 4 sugar substitutes and sugar.  My husband took the role of scientific investigator, and I became the human subject.  I rated 5 cups of sweetened water without knowing what kind of sweetener they contained.

Four sugar substitutes tested were:

Aspartame, Giant brand



Sweet n’ Low

The rating scale for these sweeteners was:

  1.  Excellent   2.  Good   3.  Acceptable   4. Unacceptable   5. Extremely unacceptable

My beliefs going into the experiment were that sugar substitutes have an unpleasant taste and that the flavor of table sugar is superior. The results totally surprised me, and were opposite of what I predicted.

Test Results:

The sweeteners that got the best rating as excellent were:

  • Aspartame
  • Splenda

One sweetener received a rating of good:

  • Sweet n’ Low

Sugar as a sweetener was rated as acceptable.  Stevia, was the only sweetener that was ranked as unacceptable because of an after taste.

How odd.  It turned my prediction upside down that sugar would have the best taste rating along with Stevia, a natural sweetener.  Remember I had predicted that all sugar substitutes would be unacceptable in terms of taste.

Sugar contributes about 15 calories a teaspoon whereas these other sugar substitutes have almost no calories. My new conclusion is sugar substitutes can offer a tasty alternative to table sugar and are viable for weight loss when daily calorie intake is reduced.   Although low-calorie sugar substitutes are considered safe, they are not intended for infants and young children.

Wondering about sugar addiction? Check out our blog post on food addiction.

Jean had hit a weight plateau and was looking for a way to lose weight again. She started using a sugar substitute instead of sugar in her coffee. This step cut her calories by more than 100 calories a day and gradually she began losing weight again. Jean made a tiny change that helped her achieve her weight loss goals.

Yours in Joy and Health,



Kay Loughrey, LDN, RDN, MPH

Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Kay Loughrey

Easy Healthy Recipe for Farro with Shallots and Basil


Easy Healthy Recipe that Helps You Slim Down

With this blog post, I’m offering you another easy healthy recipe that has become one of my favorites. This recipe for Farro with Shallots and Basil is filling without being loaded with calories. Filling foods like Farro can make the difference when your goal is to lose weight without going hungry.

I developed this easy healthy recipe with farro while travelling. We wanted to keep it simple, yet have tasty, home cooked food. We eat mostly whole grains and love their nutty taste. So it was a real find when we discovered a package of farro, a pearled whole grain wheat from Italy, at the local market on Harbour Island, a tiny island in the Bahamas where we visited this winter.

Whole grain side dishes like farro can be a good source of both fiber and flavor when prepared the right way. Farro, a cousin of modern wheat, is a pleasure to eat because of its nutty flavor and chewy texture. Adding shallots and basil both work magic for adding flavor.

My husband loves this dish and was thrilled when I made it again this weekend.

Recipe: Farro with Shallots and Basil 

Makes 10 one-half cup servings


1 cup uncooked Farro whole grain wheat

1 ½ cup small green lentils, already cooked (Trader Joes)

4 shallots, finely diced

2 carrots, finely diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup spring peas

4 Tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped



  1. Pour 1 cup farro into 4 cups boiling water and cook at a rolling boil for 40 minutes.  Drain and let cool.
  2. Sautee shallots in 1 tablespoon of oil, until browned, about 8 minutes.
  3. Add carrots and continue to cook until softened, another 5 minutes.
  4. Mix farro, lentils, shallots, and carrots, then add remaining tablespoon olive oil.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Add cooked green peas and basil, mix and serve.  Then serve.


Nutrition Profile:

Farro is high in fiber and protein and low in fat and calories making it a delicious and healthy choice.

Each ½ cup serving contains:

141 calories, 5.5 grams fiber, 23 grams carbohydrates, 3.3 grams fat


Surprising Fact About Farro

According to a brief “Ingredient of the Month” article about Farro from Clemson University, Farro originated in Egypt. Ancient Roman legions reportedly carried farro with them during their occupation of Egypt because of its superb nutrition value.

This farro recipe can be served warm as a side dish or at room temperature as a salad.

For Jim, one of my clients, feeling hungry after dinner often led to snacking on sweets or chips. We talked about how eating filling foods and staying hydrated would eliminate these cravings.  Then he was able to stay on track and reach his weight loss goal of losing 25 pounds.

Eating foods you love that aren’t loaded with calories can contribute to living your sweet life and dropping those extra pounds for good.

You may also want to check out my Easy Healthy Recipes for fruit desserts from a recent post.

I’d love, love, love you to try out this dish and let me know what you think!

Yours in joy and health,


Kay Loughrey, RD, LDN

The Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Your Positive Healthy Life Starts Now

Your Positive Healthy Life for 2014

The good news is that your positive healthy life starts now.  I have 2 slots available for my 3-5-2 Blueprint to Your Sweet Life program that will bring you the confidence, clarity, and direction to achieve a positive, healthy life and weight loss.

I work with people who are serious about getting real solutions and are ready to make changes they can sustain.  Are you seriously ready ?  Find out whether  you have a mindset for successfully changing your lifestyle by watching my mindset video.

Here’s what 2 of my clients said about working with me:

“Kay’s common sense approach and easy to use software allowed me to make better choices immediately.  By combining personal access to Kay with easy to use remote tools I had all the information I need to go from a size 38 to my normal size 34 jeans in 8 weeks. I feel great!” Paul, Poolsville, MD

“Thanks for teaching me how to eat healthier. I am always surprised that this learning experience still impacts my decisions when I grocery shop and prepare to eat.” Jim, Gaithersburg, MD.

I’m sure these slots will fill quickly.   Call now to see if you qualify.

(301) 869-1787.

Yours in Joy and Health,


Kay Loughrey, LDN, RDN, MPH

Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Kay Loughrey

Wellness Minute – Are You a Yo-Yo Dieter

What is Yo-Yo dieting and how do you stop it?

This wellness minute explains!


Healthy Weight Loss and Sugar

Sliced Whole Fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth

Sliced whole fruit to satisfy your sweet tooth

Healthy Weight Loss and Overcoming Sugar Addiction

Healthy weight loss often tops the list of New Year’s resolutions. Coupled with that, many of us feel like recovering sugar addicts because of all the sugary desserts we ate from Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day.

Does healthy weight loss for 2014 mean overcoming a sugar addiction?

Not exactly. There are some similarities between food and other addictive substances. Yet, there’s little research on humans and food addiction and the results of these studies are conflicting. Still, it’s safe to say that we eat way too much sugar. Desserts loaded with sugar, also called grain based desserts, top the list of Calorie Sources among Americans Aged 2 and older.

Taste ranks number one when Americans decide what to eat. Our taste preference for sweetness begins in the womb with amniotic fluid. Breast milk also tastes sweet. For most people, our taste preferences are learned beginning in our early years. What has been learned though, can be changed.

The idea of food or sugar addiction seems compelling. There’s a question though about whether it is empowering as a concept. Does this concept really help? For example, does feeling like a food or sugar addict empower you to action or does it make you feel helpless? Here’s a thought.  It could be that going “Cold Turkey” by eliminating sugar entirely could eventually lead to cheating, binge eating, and weight gain.

How can you retrain your taste buds? Try gradually reducing the amount of sugar you eat. When cutting back on sugar, you re-sensitize your taste buds so it takes less to satisfy your sweet tooth.  Here are my tips on how to eat less sugar.

5 Ways to Eat Less Sugar

  1.  Desserts:  Choose a small bite sized 100 calorie dessert instead of a full sized portion.  Make dessert like a piece of cake or pie a special food to have once a week.
  2. Whole Fruit:  Eat whole fruit slices for snacks, on top of cereal, or for dessert.  Try fruit puree on top of pancakes instead of syrup.
  3. Spice it up:  Add sweet spices to a range of foods.  In the morning, add a sweet spice to your morning brew or cinnamon to your oatmeal. In the evening add a little vanilla to your tomato sauce or grated fresh ginger to your veggies.
  4. Drinks:  Avoid sugary soft drinks and beverages.
  5. Cravings: Avoid cravings for sweets by eating regular protein containing meals and snacks every 3-4 hours.

For other ideas browse our Easy Healthy Recipes for Fruit Desserts blog post for ways to eat less sugar and satisfy your sweet tooth.

Janice had a real problem with sugar.  As she lost weight, she restricted sugar from her diet.  Some weeks she cheated though with sweet desserts, often regaining weight.  After losing 20 pounds, she could no longer sustain her sugar restriction.  Eventually she regained all the weight she’d lost and more.

I had a similar pattern myself, before I discovered how to lose weight and make it stick.  I used to binge on sweets, promising myself that tomorrow I’d go on a diet.  Now, I have a piece of chocolate a day with lunch and a cookie with milk in the afternoon.  My sweet cravings are satisfied. And my weight no longer fluctuates.

If you have a success story, please tell us this:  How have you cut the amount of sugar from your diet to help you lose weight?

Happy New Year!

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, RDN, LDN, MPH

The Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Wellness Minute – Success Mindset for the New Year

What you do and what you achieve are enough!

This may be why those New Year’s Resolutions haven’t been working for you, try a new mindset instead!

Easy Healthy Recipes for Fruit Desserts

Easy Healthy Recipe for Winter Crisp

Easy Healthy Recipe for Winter Crisp

Easy Healthy Recipes that Help You Slim Down

It’s a big relief to find easy healthy recipes for fruit desserts when you’re trying to lose weight. Desserts can pose a special challenge if you’re trying to slim down because they’re usually tasty, yet loaded with calories. After doing some research, I found several appealing easy healthy recipes for fruit desserts that are simple to prepare and will appeal to guests who appreciate lighter fare.

My husband wanted me to make him a dessert with apples. I looked at recipes for apple tarts, French apple tatin, and apple dumplings. Then I decided against these artery clogging recipes that required a stick or two of butter. Instead, I opted for a recipe for Winter Crisp that is loaded with fruit and a naturally good flavor. This easy healthy recipe is an old favorite of ours.

Winter Crisp Recipe



½ cup sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel

5 cups unpeeled, sliced apples

1 cup cranberries



2/3 cup rolled oats

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup whole wheat flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

3 tablespoons butter or soft margarine, melted



Filling—In a medium bowl combine sugar, flour, and lemon peel; mix well. Add apples and cranberries; stir to mix.  Spoon into a 6-cup baking dish.

Topping—In a small bowl combine oats, brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Add melted butter or margarine; stir to mix.  Sprinkle topping over filling.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 40-50 minutes or until filling is bubbly and top is brown. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source:  Down Home Healthy, National Institutes of Health


Baked Apples

One more fruit dessert recipe that’s a staple in our household is baked apples. Check out this recipe for Baked Apple Simplicity on one of our prior blog posts.


Fruit Skewers with Yogurt Dip


1 cup strawberries, rinsed, stems removed, cut in half

1 cup fresh pineapple, diced

1/3 cup blackberries

1 tangerine, peeled, cut into 8 segments

8 6-inch wooden skewers



1 cup strawberries

¼ cup fat-free plain yogurt

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon honey



  1.  Thread two strawberry halves, two pineapple chunks, two blackberries, and one tangerine segment on each skewer.
  2. To prepare the dip, puree strawberries in a blender or food processor.  Add yogurt, vanilla, and honey, and mix well.
  3. Serve two skewers with yogurt dip on the side.

Source:  Deliciously Healthy Family Meals, Keep the beat recipes, National Institutes of Health


Other Easy Healthy Recipes for Fruit Desserts

All of these fruit desserts can be made in just minutes.  Wash or rinse fruits with water as a first step. Then all you do is:

  • Thinly slice pears.  Drizzle with melted semi-sweet or bittersweet dark chocolate.
  • Drizzle a small amount of balsamic glaze on top of fresh strawberry halves.
  • Prepare a simple fruit salad, for example, sliced mangos topped with fresh raspberries.
  • Cut the rind off of oranges and cut into slices.  Dust with powdered sugar and ground cinnamon.
  • Grill fruit like pineapple on a gas grill and brush with a simple syrup flavored with mint, lemon or ginger.


I adapted most of these easy healthy recipes for fruit desserts from a favorite recipe book, Entertaining 1-2-3 by Rozanne Gold. All recipes have only 3 ingredients. Really. She promises that they can be made in 10 minutes. The last of these recipe ideas comes from The Minimalist Cooks at Home by Mark Bittman.

For one of my clients, Jill, desserts were her downfall. Once she discovered fruit desserts to satisfy her sweet tooth, she was able to stay on track and reach her weight loss goal of losing 20 pounds.

Please let me know what you think of these recipe ideas by making a comment.   Better yet, suggest one of your own.

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, RD, LDN

The Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Vegetable Recipe that Plays to Your Sweet Tooth

Tri-Colored Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze

Tri-Colored Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze

Tri-Color Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze

Foodies love a vegetable recipe that’s high on taste. My husband, Jacob, who is definitely a foodie, created this recipe and served it up last night much to my delight. He discovered a new way to satisfying my sweet tooth with this delectable vegetable recipe using a balsamic glaze. Numerous brands now carry a balsamic glaze, so check them out at your grocer to find one that had good natural ingredients and a flavor you know you will love!

This is a recipe that’s perfect for food lovers who want to slim down.  PLUS, you can make it in just a few minutes.  The cooking time is ten minutes and the recipe requires only a small amount of chopping.  AND the results are good enough to serve to dinner guests!

Who says vegetables can’t taste fabulous?

Recipe for Tri-Color Vegetables with Balsamic Glaze


Cauliflower, ¼ head (wash and cut into 1” chunks)

Broccolini, one bundle

Carrots, 4 slender, tops removed

Olive oil, 1 tablespoon

Salt, ½ teaspoon

Balsamic Glaze, 2 teaspoons or to taste



Wash vegetables.

Cut cauliflower into 1” chunks.

Cut broccolini bundle in half. Cut thick stems in half lengthwise.

Peel carrots, if desired and cut in half.

Combine vegetables and place in steamer; steam for 8 minutes.

Heat sauté pan with olive oil. Add vegetables then salt.

Sauté vegetables for 1-2 minutes.

Drizzle vegetables with Balsamic glaze.

Optional:  add fresh tarragon, basil, or fennel.


The Low Down on Balsamic Glaze

The beauty of the Balsamic glaze used in this vegetable recipe is that it also can be added to a variety of foods such as salads, meats, and cheeses.  This glaze is made up of sweetened balsamic vinegar and is low in calories, and contains no fat or sodium.  We love the zip it adds to salads when we drizzle it over salad as a dressing.

One of my clients, Bob, thought that all vegetables were tasteless and boring.  Then he discovered that there is more to vegetables than pulling a bag of frozen mixed vegetables out of the freezer and putting them in a steamer.  After a little experimentation, he discovered that he really likes vegetables.  He no longer sticks up his nose at the very thought of them.

Other Vegetable Recipes

Still looking for Holiday vegetable recipes?  Then check out this recipe for Beets with Orange Sauce.

Want more vegetable recipes?  Check out our Blog Post about Power vegetables that has a tasty recipe for Roasted Root Vegetables.  On a cold night try out our Three-Bean Chili Recipe to stay warm.

Yours in joy and health,


Kay Loughrey, LDN, RD, MPH

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Recipe courtesy of Jacob Opper

Holiday Fat – Keep it Away and Still Enjoy the Foods You Love!

There are several small changes you can make this holiday season to prevent holiday fat without depriving yourself of the foods you love! This Wellness Minute helps you understand how!

Wellness Minute – Achieve Weight Loss Success in Just 10 Minutes a Day

10 Minute Weight Loss Success? Sounds unbelievable right? Well it isn’t when you understand that weight loss success is a mindset, a lifestyle choice, and can be done with small changes and in small chunks of time. Watch and learn as I explain.

Easy Healthy Recipe for a Sweet Thanksgiving

Easy Healthy Recipe for Sweet Potatoes

Easy Healthy Recipe for Sweet Potatoes

Easy Healthy Recipe for Maple Sweet Potatoes

If you’ve already stressed about preparing Thanksgiving dinner, we can help.  Here is a simple recipe for a sweet potato side dish that can mean less time in the kitchen and more time to celebrate with family and be thankful for what has gone well this year.  This easy healthy recipe also is easy on the pocketbook.

Sweet potatoes are a welcome part of the traditional holiday fare.   Yet they are too often laden with gooey marshmallows, fat, and calories.  Naturally sweet and filled with nutrients, why spoil a good thing with all the extra calories, sugar, and fat?  Instead consider this recipe that satisfies your taste buds while you slim down.

Check out this easy healthy recipe for Maple Sweet Potatoes:

Maple Sweet Potatoes

Makes 4 Servings


4 Sweet potatoes

4 Tablespoons of yogurt, non-fat

2 Tablespoons of maple syrup

2 Tablespoons of orange juice

Wash and prick potatoes.  Then microwave for 3 – 4 minutes until soft and easily pierced with a knife.

Scoop out the pulp in a medium bowl.  Mash the pulp and stir in the yogurt, maple syrup, and orange juice.  Transfer to a microwave safe serving bowl.  Microwave for 1-2 minutes to heat through. Then serve.

This recipe comes from the USDA SNAP Education recipe collection.

My client Penny wanted to get ready for Thanksgiving without gaining weight.  She knows her husband will be making his special cookies.   She’s decided ahead of time what she’ll do to avoid going overboard with the cookies so she can keep her weight loss goals on track.

What’s your plan?  If you still need a game plan for enjoying Thanksgiving this year without weight gain, check out my Thanksgiving video blog.  Get my 5 favorite tips for making the most of this Thanksgiving without feeling stuffed.

Want more delicious and inexpensive recipes?  Check out the recipes at the SNAP Education connection.

Stay in touch with us by signing up for my monthly newsletter on our home page at:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey

Kay Loughrey, RD, LDN

The Sweet Life Nutritionist and Behavioral Coach

Enjoy Thanksgiving Favorites without Weight Gain

Healthy choices can include your holiday favorites…without wrecking all of your weight loss success! Watch and I’ll show you!

Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes Awareness Month

Diabetes Awareness Month and Your Wake-Up Call

If your doctor has begun to talk with you about your blood sugar or glucose levels, you’re not alone.  With Diabetes on the rise , doctors are paying closer attention than ever to blood glucose levels.  It’s easy to rationalize when you’re told that your blood sugar is just a bit high.  You might tell yourself that your doctor doesn’t seem overly concerned.   Yet, your body is giving you a wake-up call when your blood glucose levels are above normal.   The big surge in diabetes, makes it timely to get the facts about this issue and so we’re highlighting Diabetes Awareness Month in this week’s blog post.

The most common form of diabetes–Type 2 is almost always associated with carrying excess weight.  If you’ve gained weight and your doctor has talked with you about elevated blood sugar, you are at a pivotal time in your life.   Life is both posing a challenge and giving you an opportunity.  Losing weight and getting physically active have never been more timely to prevent getting diabetes.

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Even if you don’t have Diabetes, you will want to know more about diabetes and here’s why.  According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA):

  • Nearly 26 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes.
  • Another 79 million Americans have pre-diabetes and are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes
  • One-third of American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take steps to Stop Diabetes
  • Two out of three people with diabetes die from heart disease or stroke.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults.

Achieving a Healthy Weight

When it comes to your personal goals, consider that the consequences of being at an unhealthy weight go far beyond looking good and fitting into your clothes.  It is important to keep in mind that Diabetes is a preventable disease that you can typically avoid with a healthy lifestyle that includes losing even a modest amount of weight loss.  Your risk factors will continue to improve as you continue to make progress toward achieving a healthy weight.

Eating Healthy

Eating the right things takes a little planning and a bit of trial and error. Here are 3 important qualities of a diet that will aide in living healthy lifestyle.  The healthy diet that is a good fit for you should:

  1. Work with your schedule and your food likes;
  2. Have the right amount of calories to help keep your weight on track; and
  3. Be made up of foods that will help your blood glucose, blood pressure, and cholesterol numbers.

Want to know more about what to eat for a healthy diet?  Check out our blog post on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans for more about eating healthy.

Getting Active

Since it is National Diabetes Month, there are a handful of charitable events happening all over the nation to bring awareness and help to this cause. The ADA is currently sponsoring the Step Out and Walk 5K which is a walk or run to fight the prevalence of Diabetes. Our intern, Caylee, is attending this walk in the heart of Denver on Saturday to support her local community, as well as, get a little physical activity during her weekend. If you haven’t participated in charitable walks in your community, it is a great way to get involved and get moving!

Want to get more physical activity but don’t know how?  Visit our blog post on how to get started with physical activity.

My client Sharon  discovered she had pre-diabetes when she first came to see me.  She weighed 175 pounds.  After losing her first 10 pounds, just 6 percent of her body weight, her blood glucose lab values improved.

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey
Kay Loughrey, LDN, RD, MPH

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided content for this blog post.

Lose Weight, Make Money, Be Healthy

Think you don’t have the money or time to lose weight? Kay Loughrey’s latest Wellness Minute video explains how!

Spirit of Halloween Weight Loss

Spirit of Halloween

Spirit of Halloween

Easy Ways to Stay Healthy and Lose Weight on Halloween


Ever bought candy for Halloween or other occasions for the kids, and then ended up eating most of it yourself?  Instead of sabotaging yourself during this sugarcoated holiday, get prepared ahead of time. This way you’ll have a game plan for staying on track and enjoying the fun and spirit of Halloween.

While kiddos of the world are out collecting sweets from neighbors, it may be time to take a second look at the Halloween routine you’ve created over the years.

What do you usually do?  I love donning a costume for some fun at a Halloween party.   Caylee gets warmed by the fireplace, puts on a scary movie, and waits for the doorbell… all the while being tempted by the candy bowl.   Her plan is to give all of the candy away by the end of the night to avoid eating more than her share.

How can you change up your Halloween routine this year?


The spirit of Halloween lasts for weeks, as does the temptation for sugary snacks. Here are some simple ways to get ahead of the curve and then fall into the seasonal spirit of Halloween, while at the same time, having a healthy holiday.

  1. Buy a small eating pumpkin.
    Skin, slice and roast your pumpkin and season it to taste.Then toss the slices in fresh, light vinaigrette, feta cheese, pine nuts, and arugula or spinach. This is a light and healthy way to enjoy your pumpkin this season.
  2. Swap out the milk chocolate for dark chocolate.
    On this dark, sugar filled holiday night, the cravings may creep up on you. As shown by new research, the effects of dark chocolate are quite beneficial. Dark chocolate contains certain nutrients such as antioxidants that can help in your body’s defenses, while also, sweetening up your day.  If you’re a chocolate lover, decide ahead of time that you’ll have a piece or two of dark chocolate, appreciating it mindfully in a stress free environment.
  3. Avoid spiking your sugar intake.
    The candy bowls are out! Overeating sugar can clearly contribute to weight gain, and disrupt functions that keep your body healthy. For one, too much sugar can suppress your immune system. With fall coinciding with flu season, this is not the time of year to jeopardize your health. Also, too much of sugar can lead to the fluctuation of energy levels. If this stays a habit, it can lead to elevated LDL cholesterol levels and lower HDL cholesterol levels.

It pays to be choosy about what kind of sweets to eat without turning sweets into forbidden foods.  Depriving yourself of favorite foods entirely can backfire and cause cheating.

Instead, if you like sweets, you’ll want to enjoy a small amount mindfully with a pleasure that doesn’t lead to overeating.  Find out more about mindful eating by reading our Mindful Eating Decisions blog post.


Satisfy your desire for comfort food with some Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup.

On a cold Halloween night, fill up on a healthy bowl of chicken noodle soup. Since this is a broth-based meal, you will have no problem staying full on chicken and veggies for the night.

  • Ingredients: chicken, poultry seasoning, thyme, celery, egg noodles, carrot, green onions, parsley, chicken-flavored bouillon granules, pepper, and bay leaf.
  • Directions: In a large pot over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Cook onion and celery in oil until just tender, 5 minutes. Pour in chicken and vegetable broths and stir in chicken, noodles, carrots, basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes before serving.

The big secret is to prepare ahead of Halloween night to make tiny behavior changes that add up to weight loss.

One of my weight loss clients, Greg is losing weight consistently and has made many tiny changes in his diet.  He uses an app to record his food and has developed a habit of planning ahead.  His favorite candy is Twizzlers.  He eats a couple of Twizzlers when he craves sweets.  His trick is that he’s asked his wife to keep the Twizzlers stashed away so they’re hidden, and he has to ask for them.

Help yourself stay on track by liking and exploring our Facebook page.

Kay Loughrey


Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, LDN, RD, MPH

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided draft content for this blog post.

Healthy Weight Loss Can Change Your Life

jeans won't zip

Healthy Weight Loss from a Lifestyle Makeover


Healthy weight loss may be the furthest thing from your mind.  It may  just be that your pants are getting a bit tight, and you’re looking for a solution other than buying larger clothes.  Maybe you’re also challenged to find a diet that works for your lifestyle.  The same thing used to happen to me.  My own lifestyle makeover for healthy weight loss came after years of dieting.  Let me save you time and effort.

Most diets out there are simply unsustainable.  This conclusion about dieting comes from watching colleagues struggle, my own experience, and working with dozens of clients. Take the Paleo diet for example. When Caylee, our social media intern, tried this diet, it had some benefits.  But she couldn’t afford the costs or to keep up the strict food eliminations that it required.

Our biggest insight from personal experience is consistent with the research. Study after study has proven that “yo-yo” dieters gain instead of losing weight in the long-run. These are dieters who tend to lose weight over and over with dieting yet can’t sustain weight loss.


It’s been heart breaking to watch family, friends, and co-workers over the years try each diet craze.  After an initial weight loss, they became heavier than ever.  I followed the same pattern for years until I made a discovery.

I adopted a new mindset.  This new mindset of thinking long-term led me to create a new lifestyle.  Then I lost the extra weight and kept it off while enjoying life’s simple pleasures.  No giving up chocolate for me!  Yet, my diet is now much healthier.

Dieting has a negative connotation for many of us simply because it hasn’t worked. Our conclusion is that diet is an essential part of our behavior and our lives. A healthy long-term diet needs to be a sustainable part of day-to-day life for achieving a lasting and healthy weight loss.


You may want to start by taking a look at your previous successes and failures. Really think about your past and note what did and didn’t work. If you have a bullet point list of your strengths and weaknesses you are less likely to fall into diet failure and regain the weight you’ve lost. After all, you know yourself better than anyone else. Be realistic and honest with yourself.


Simple changes over time are your best means of winning at weight loss.  With drastic change, you are more likely to give up on the idea of losing weight.  You are going to feel extreme lethargy and fatigue if you decrease you caloric intake drastically to obtain quick weight loss. This condition isn’t one that you can live with day to day.

For example, evaluate what you ate and drank each day this week.  Use pen and paper or an app like MyNetDiary to record everything consumed.  You’ll likely be surprised and gain clarity from reviewing the food journal.  Then decide on one thing to do differently, and make one change next week that you can sustain.  Once mastered, you can always add new goals that will help you lose more weight.

One of my current clients, Diane, took a good look at her food journal.  Diane discovered that she often ate 2-3 portions of dessert a day.  Then, she made a goal to cut back to one serving of dessert instead.  She lost 1.5 pounds this week from making this simple change.

Diane knows about sustainability.  She has lost more than 40 pounds that she has kept off for several years. This sustained weight loss has changed Diane’s life.  She feels more accomplished and confident because of her weight loss. As an executive, she also believes that she looks more professional.

Check out our blog post on Food Journals to find out how they can help fuel your weight loss success.


What is healthy weight loss?  Even if you can lose as little as 5-10% of your body weight, you’ll lower your risk of diseases like diabetes.  You can reach a healthy weight by reaching a normal weight range based on your body mass index or BMI.  Use the BMI calculator at the Slim Down and Win web site to find a healthy weight range for you.

Remember, discovering how to change your lifestyle for weight loss and to change your life is a process.

Help yourself stay motivated by liking and exploring our Facebook page.

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, LDN, RD, MPH

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided draft content for this blog post.

Foods for Weight Loss at Harvest Time


Harvest Roasted Vegetables Food for Weight Loss

Fall Foods for Weight Loss

Last weekend, I exhibited at our local Oktoberfest.  Before the crowds arrived, I visited some of the other exhibitors.  I stopped at a display of cookware and began talking with Sarah.  She shared some of the unique features of the versatile bake ware she was selling. Then she spoke about her recent diet disappointment.  She was so exasperated.

Sarah had lost 50 pounds on the Ideal Protein Diet.  Then she ran out of money to buy the products.  She not only regained the 50 pounds she’d lost, but gained 20 more.  How heartbreaking! The bottom line is Sarah gained a net total of 20 pounds on the Ideal Protein Diet.

So, let’s look at building a healthy relationship with food this fall, so you can lose the extra weight and keep it off instead of having another round of disappointments with the latest fad diet.

Starting at your very first breath you begin to formulate a relationship with food, and as you grow that relationship gets more intricate and complex.

As an adolescent and teenager what you ate may not have been of much concern. But the day eventually came when your metabolism slowed and the value of your diet became of extreme importance.

With your weight loss being one of your top priorities, you are beginning to understand the importance of what you eat and how certain foods affect your body.


There is endless information out there on what is good for you and what isn’t. This immense amount of info may make you feel overwhelmed. One thing that is certain and well-known is that fruits and vegetables are good for you. What isn’t as commonly known is every food has a different macro and micro-nutrient composition. So which foods are full of what?


You may find it surprising which foods are nutritional powers houses and which are not as beneficial as perceived. Below is a list of 7 Power Vegetables and their attributes that you may find useful in super-charging your weight loss now as the weather turns cooler.


-          High in vitamins A, B-complex, and C

-          Root is high in carbohydrate


-          High in calcium

-          High in vitamin C


-          Low in sodium and high in potassium

-          High in carbohydrate


-          Contains lutein and zeaxanthi for eye health

-          Contains  calcium, iron, vitamins A and C, and chlorophyll


-          High in antioxidants

-          Contain anti-allergy, antiviral and antihistamine properties

Sweet Potatoes

-          High in carotenoids

-          Contain calcium and thiamine

-          High in vitamins A and C


-          High in lycopene, flavonoids and other phytochemicals

-          Contain A and B-complex vitamins, potassium and phosphorus

Interested in other super foods?  Check out our Super Foods blog post.


Here’s a super easy way to use the beets, onions, and sweet potatoes from our Power Vegetables list and combine them with other fall root vegetables for a hearty tasting side dish.

Yield: 4 Servings (1 cup each)


4 medium-sized root vegetables (variety of potatoes, rutabagas, turnips, parsnips, beets, sweet potatoes, ect.)

2 chopped carrots

1 medium chopped onion

¼ cup olive or canola oil

3 tablespoons parmesean cheese

3 sprigs fresh rosemary

Your favorite spices for seasoning


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (we use 400 F for better browning)
  2. Cut vegetables into large chunks
  3. Place in medium bowl and pour oil over top.  Add seasonings and parmesan and mix well.
  4. Spread an even layer on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 1 hour or until tender.  Check a few vegetables to see if tender.

Adapted from Montana State University Extension Nutrition Education Program.

By choosing the right weight loss program you will begin to understand which foods you should be eating. On top of this, you will continue your nutritional education and cultivate a stronger awareness of your relationship with food.

Remember, learning what to eat is a process. Help yourself stay motivated by liking and exploring our Facebook page.

Kay Loughrey






Yours in Joy and Health,
Kay Loughrey, RD
The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.



Maintain Your Weight Loss Goals During Fall Sports Season

Good nutrition and fall sports

Healthy Food Choices at Sport Events

The leaves are changing, your switching out those swimsuits and shorts for jeans and boots and gearing up to cheer on your favorite team(s) right?!

Gathering with friends to watch Fall Sports Events on TV brings its own unique type of food and beverages, which may make you feel like you see your weight loss goals and success train derailing up ahead.

Stay calm…and believe me when I say you can enjoy this season and stay on track!

Food in Situations You Organize and Those You Don’t

Preparation is key to staying on track whether you’re hosting your own gathering or going to someone else’s.

At your own gatherings, it’s your party so you create the menu!  Add veggies, fruits and whole foods as much as possible.  Offer a veggie platter instead of nachos and high calorie finger foods, or fruit kabobs instead of cookies with healthy dips for both.  Make it colorful, festive and fun for everyone.  For more hearty events, a steamy pot of chili is always good, can be served in decorative paper bowls for easy clean up and everyone will love it!  A great chili I recommend is:

 ‘Three Bean Chili with Chunky Tomatoes’…spice is nice, especially on a chilly night!

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes


2Tbsp canola oil

1 cup onion, coarsely chopped

½ cup celery, rinsed and chopped

1 cup green bell pepper, rinsed and diced

1 can (15 ½ oz) low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 ½ oz) low-sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 ½ oz) low-sodium pinto beans, drained and rinsed

2 cans (14 ½ oz each) no-salt-added diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp chili powder

Cooking instructions:

  1. In an 8-quart soup or pasta pot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking.  Add onion.  Cook and stir until onion starts to soften, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add celery and green pepper.  Cook and stir another 5 minutes, until all vegetables soften.
  3. Add drained and rinsed beans to pot
  4. Stir in tomatoes, cumin and chili powder
  5. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10-20 minutes to blend flavors.
  6. Serve immediately

Tip:Delicious with rice or a side of cornbread

Note: If you can’t find beans labeled “low-sodium” compare the Nutrition Facts panel to find the beans with the lowest amount of sodium.  Rinsing can help further reduce the sodium level.

Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: 2 cups of chili
Each serving provides:
calories 443
total fat 8 g
saturated fat 0 g
cholesterol 0 mg
sodium 331 mg
total fiber 16 g
protein 22 g
carbohydrates 73 g
potassium 1,411 mgd

From:  Keep the Beat, Deliciously Healthy Dinners, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute.

It’s a little trickier when attending a gathering someone else is hosting.  You can still enjoy those foods you love!  One option is to use a smaller plate to reduce portion size.  Another is to just sample all of the dishes rather than having a full serving…it’s amazing how satisfied you can get by just a sample of everything you want to try and you may finds new foods you like in the process!

Beverages…Prepare with Hydration

You can also still enjoy those alcoholic beverages!

Keep in mind they are high in calories, so limit yourself to 1 – 2 drinks total to cut calories down.  To stay hydrated, drink one glass of water for every alcoholic beverage you drink.

Also remember, the more water you drink the more full you will feel!  So infuse it with fruit, get creative with it and drink as much as you want!

Enjoy with Minor Changes

Remember, just because you are making lifestyle changes to create a healthier future doesn’t mean that you sit on the sidelines of the upcoming seasonal festivities!   Choose which minor changes will work best for you, party prepared, and enjoy the upcoming sports season knowing you’re focused on a happier, healthier you!

Selecting the right weight loss program now can help you select the right minor changes to make and stay ahead of the season!  Be sure to stay inspired to stay on track by liking us on Facebook!

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.




Simple Foods for Weight Loss that Elevate Your Life

Fresh produce from an outdoor market in France

Savor Simple Foods for Weight Loss

It’s so easy to eat well when you surround yourself with luscious and simple foods for weight loss.  It was our pleasure to partake of wholesome foods these past two weeks while my husband and I were in the south of France.  We stayed on the Cote d’Azur and enjoyed the relaxed and quiet city of Menton, tucked in between Monaco and the border with Italy.  Our hillside apartment overlooked the cobalt blue Mediterranean.

We ate out once a day and then prepared our other meals at home.  Almost daily we walked to the farmer’s market in Menton at Les Halles in the old town for produce, bread, and cheese.   Fall mushrooms, tomatoes, pears and figs were in plentiful supply.  We cooked simply.  I added a handful of chanterelle mushrooms to an omelet accompanied by a green salad topped with sliced fresh figs for a quick supper one evening.  We were happy to have a meal at home after a day of climbing to the ruins of the chateau in the old part of Nice.

All that we experienced during our trip reinforced my view that, “When you savor wholesome, simple and delectable foods, you elevate everything in your life including yourself.”  Many of these foods are packed with supernutrients that we discussed in our Stay Healthy at Any Age blog post on August 15.

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, LDN, RD, MPH

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Meal Planning

Meal Planning

Meal Planning to Slim Down

With the common goal to lose weight and be healthier, you are making a commitment to yourself to make the necessary efforts and do what it takes to get to this goal. Achieving your goals successfully is not simple, but it is very possible. When it comes to your weight loss desires, meal planning and preparing your own foods are two of the most important things you can do.

Meal planning is a very individualized tool that takes some trial and error. You first must figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. For example, what day of the week is most flexible for you to do your grocery shopping? Food preferences and culinary skills also come into play with meal planning. To ensure success when making a meal plan there are a couple of things you can do to keep you on track.

Make a list of your favorite meals you like to prepare. Then categorize this list into entrees, sides, beverages, and desserts (optional). The next step is to make a grocery list. Being prepared when you go shopping will not only save you time, but also money. According to Ellie Krieger, RD, host of Healthy Appetite on the Food Network and author of The Food You Crave, “I love the ‘cook once, eat twice’ strategy.” This is when you buy foods that you can prepare in bulk and then store in separate containers to be eaten at your convenience throughout the week. For example, grill 4 chicken breasts, leave then whole or slice them. Eat what you need for that night and store the rest for tomorrow’s lunch. Another good example of this food preparation technique is to blanch a bunch of broccoli, cut it into bite size pieces, and then store it in single serving containers such as zip lock bags.

Again, find out what works best for you. Analyze which meals are most convenient for you to make. What foods are you willing to eat consistently? This is your life. Do what is necessary to achieve your successes and make a commitment to yourself and to your health.

Preparing ahead, including meal planning has made all the difference with Susan one of my star clients.  She plans meals ahead of time, packs a lunch to work, and carries snacks with her, a winning combination that has allowed her to lose more than 40 pounds.  She is well on her way to a healthy weight.

For more information on timing your nutrition to meet your weight loss goals, you will want to start by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.


Diet and Exercise for Weight Loss

Timing Diet and Exercise for Weight Loss

Timing Diet and Exercise for Weight Loss

Diet and Exercise the Ultimate Partners

When physical activity becomes a part of your routine, you may wonder about the relationship between diet and exercise.  You’ll reach your goal of achieving a healthy weight more successfully  by complementing these two important aspects of your life.

One thing to be aware of is the timing of nutrition to your exercise. It is very important to feed your body the right nutrients daily, especially if you are increasing physical activity. When it comes to diet, you can eat at certain times to help your body run efficiently.

Pre-workout ideas:

There are a couple of things to keep in mind about what foods to eat before you work out. First, it’s best to eat 1-3 hours before a workout.  Do not eat right before you are physically active because then your body is digesting food while trying to fuel your working muscles.

It’s best to stick with food that your body digests comfortably.  Some examples are:

-Whole  wheat toast with almond butter and half a banana

-Greek yogurt with blueberries and chia seeds

-Two handfuls of dried cranberries and a hand full of almonds

Post-workout recovery ideas:

Just as it is important to have fuel ready for your body to use, it is also important to restore your body’s storage tanks with post-workout fuels. After participating in physical activity, your muscle glycogen stores are decreased. To replenish the lost nutrients you should eat within 15-20 minutes of working out with food that are a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein. Here are some good examples:

-A smoothie with low fat or fat free milk, strawberries and half a banana

-Brown rice and grilled chicken breast

-Quinoa and ground turkey

Some chronic dieters who come to see me, workout and avoid almost all carbs (carbohydrates).  Not only do they end up fatigued after exercise, they aren’t losing weight because their bodies don’t have the proper fuel. Avoiding this pitfall can be the first step to successfully losing weight.

For more information on timing your nutrition to meet your weight loss goals, you will want to start by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.


How to Stick to a Diet

Ideas for how to stick to a diet

Ideas for sticking to a diet

How to Stick to a Diet and Slim Down

When it comes to lifestyle behaviors, especially weight loss, it’s important to be realistic and honest. As many of us know, changing habits doesn’t happen overnight.  So, how do you stick to a diet?

There are a couple of strategies that will help you stay on track and that lead to successful weight loss.

First and foremost keep things simple.  Eat foods that are colorful and consume a diet with plenty of variety and freshness.

Secondly, monitor your progress toward your goals and give yourself credit along the way. For every accomplishment you make to improve your diet, be proud of yourself. Nobody is perfect and eliminating foods you enjoy isn’t usually going to be a successful approach to a healthy diet. Stay away from the idea of good foods and bad foods. Instead know which foods to limit and which foods to expand on. It may help to create an “OK-to eat” eating plan for those guilty pleasures we all have.

Along with this, make sure you are eating smaller portions. If you’re hitting a weight plateau, trying weighing and measuring foods to double check your gauge of portions sizes.

Also take your time when eating. If you eat in a hurry you miss your body’s natural signals to your brain that will tell you when you are full. Finally eat breakfast every morning to kick-start your metabolism, and avoid eating late at night.

Monitoring what you eat and your physical activity each week has been shown to work.  Using an app makes it much easier so you don’t have to manually count calories or food groups.  It can be done in a few minutes a day with a little practice.

Weight loss and diets are not as simple as eating perfectly. There is no one size fits all meal plan. To achieve your weight loss goals, you have to be aware of what works for you and what doesn’t.

One of my clients, John, likes the Lose It app to record his behaviors.  He’s made much more progress in losing weight since using this app consistently to record his food and activity.

For more ideas on strategies for successful weight loss, you will want to start by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.


Stay Healthy at Any Age

Variety in food colors and textures

Colors and Textures of Healthy Eating

Stay Healthy with Super Nutrients

Our bodies and their systems change each day, and most of us want to stay healthy along the way.  Life brings plenty of events and environmental factors that seem to dictate our health. Yet, those of us who create healthy habits will likely feel better today and aide in preventing and delaying the onset of diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes, and heart disease.

Getting a variety of nutrients from different sources of foods will help you to maintain your health and your weight as time continues to turn. Here are specific super nutrients that you should add to your diet and why. As you get older these nutrients become even more important.

  • Folic acid: Helps prevent anemia
  • Vitamin B12: Helps the process of making red blood cells, DNA, and maintaining healthy nerve function
  • Calcium: Helps build and maintain strong bones
  • Potassium: Helps vital cell function and can help reduce high blood pressure and the risk of kidney stones
  • Magnesium: Helps around 300 different physiological processes
  • Fiber: Helps promote healthy digestion by moving foods through the digestive tract
  • Omega-3s: Helps lower triglyceride levels and risk of abnormal heart rhythm
  • Vitamin D: Helps the body absorb calcium, maintain bone density, prevent osteoporosis, protect against chronic disease such as cancer, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis
  • Water: Considered one of the most important things to consume considering its essential role in daily function. With age, sense of thirst may decline and some medicines cause dehydration

Specific habits usually begin in childhood, and they tend to become engrained routines. This definitely goes for our food preferences and diet. With that, it is easy to miss certain nutrients if you are eating the same thing day in and day out. Here are some suggestions for incorporating new super foods and habits to help you obtain the right nutrients that your body needs.

  • Eat as many colors as you can. Foods from a multitude of colors have different nutrients
  • Eat foods with a variety of textures. From whole grains, to bananas, to cooked legumes, the different nutrients are plentiful
  • Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day (more if physically active)
  • Include 2-4 servings of products such as milk, yogurt, or cheese a day
  • Drink 5-8 glasses of fluids every day especially water; use a water bottle with measurements on it

One of my clients, Carl, grew up in a household where his mother hated to cook.  His habit of eating fast foods began early, and now in his 40s, he is trying new foods for the first time that bring him super nutrients and enable him to reach his weight loss goals.

For more information about nutrients, you will want to start by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.


Stress Eating

Letting Go of Stress

Letting Go of Stress

Tame Your Stress Eating Triggers

Food is a critical part of our lives. Much of our daily lives revolve around what and when we eat. In today’s society our many of our favorite food sources are abundant and dense in calories. Coincidently, we also live in a stressful culture of fast-paced productivity. These two traits of today go hand in hand when it comes to analysis of lifestyle behaviors, more specifically, eating habits. Stress eating is, in many ways, a means of coping with life’s obstacles.

According to a study done by the University of California, “It appears the obesity epidemic may be exacerbated by the preponderance of chronic stress, unsuccessful attempts at food restriction, and their independent and possibly synergistic effects on increasing the reward value of highly palatable food.” Repeated stimulation of the reward behavior pathway in your brain may lead to compulsive overeating tendencies in stressful situations that poses a challenge to successful weight loss.

With such a close relationship between stress and food, it is important to be aware of what circumstances cause stress in your life. With being mindful of your personal stressors you will be prepared to manage the way you react to them more effectively. Stress management is a huge factor in the world of wellness and successful weight loss. In conjunction with knowing your negative stressors, be aware of the things in your life that act as stress relievers that can help you slim down.

There are many activities in which you can participate and practice daily to help increase your overall wellness and your ability to cope with stress. Take a look at your life. What makes your happy? What relaxes you? What can you make more time for? The reality is that stress throughout life is natural and unavoidable. When you find yourself stressed, your reaction is entirely up to you.

What is your favorite way to relieve stress?  Service to others may be an option for stress relief or perhaps a cherished activity.  One of my clients Pam, made art a focus in her life, an activity that was both absorbing and stress relieving.  When she began feeling stressed Pam knew it was time to head to the art studio instead of the pantry.

For more information about stress induced eating and how to manage your stress, you will want to start by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.



Weight Loss Success Strategies

Weight Loss Success

Weight Loss Success

Simple Weight Loss Success Strategies

We all have goals and desires, but being successful in achieving them can be difficult. Those of us who wish to lose weight know that there are several obstacles that can present themselves. Luckily, there are certain weight loss success strategies that you can adopt to help make you slim down for good.

The environment in which you surround yourself plays a large role in the success of your weight loss goals. Depending on your community, your home life, and your workplace, your health decisions may be affected both positively and negatively. It is important to be aware of how your behavior may change depending on where you are. Being mindful of your surroundings will help to give you more control over your actions.

Be aware that we live in a society where there are a lot of foods that are high in fat, added sugar, and overall calories. These convenience foods often cost less than healthier choices like fruits and vegetables. Making the healthy choice can sometimes be a large obstacle.  Congruently, being physically active can be a challenge in a world where there are many tools and devices that make it easy to be inactive.

Look at yourself as an individual. What are some of the negative stressors in your life? Many people eat when they are bored, sad, angry, or stressed, even when they are not hungry. Although you may not be able to control all the factors that lead to overweight, making small changes to your diet and physical activity may improve your overall health.

Take action when it comes to your desires. It is easy to sit around hoping and wishing for something, but this kind of behavior will not get you anywhere. We all have to start somewhere. The USDA offers some awesome tools to help you get an idea of where you are in terms of health risk and diet knowledge.

The Mayo Clinic sums up successful weight loss in 6 steps:

  1. Make a commitment
  2. Find your inner motivation
  3. Set realistic goals
  4. Enjoy healthier foods
  5. Get active and stay active
  6. Change your perspective

Making change sometimes may seem hard and we are all walking different paths. But as it is, you must accept where you are and then accept the challenge to change. Your success is determined by you and only you.

One of my clients Dan grew up on fast foods.  He recently made a commitment to himself to lose weight.  Now he’s trying new foods he’s never tasted before and discovering what he likes to eat outside of the fast food category.

For more ways to lose weight successfully, you will want to start by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,


Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.


Super Salads

Super Salad

Super Salad

Power Up with Super Salads

Vegetables are the nutritional powerhouses of our diets. They are one of the few foods that you can eat more of, while still staying on track with your weight loss goals. With that, salads are a fantastic means of boosting your nutritional status. When it comes to preparing your salad, it is easy to get into the routine of making the same thing over and over again. Whether you want to make a salad the main dish of a meal, or just a side, make super salads by adding a diverse combination of new non-traditional ingredients.The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers a plethora of ingredients to add to your salad concoctions. They say, “Mix and match ingredients by choosing one or more foods from each column below. Consider flavor, texture and color. Add a light salad dressing and enjoy”. Here are the basic 7 kinds of foods to add that will make a wide variety of super salads.

Step 1: Leafy Greens

• Arugula

• Bibb lettuce

• Green or Red leaf lettuce

• Mixed greens

• Romaine

• Spinach

Step 2: Vegetables

• Artichoke hearts

• Beets

• Bell pepper

• Broccoli

• Carrots

• Corn

• Cucumbers

• Onion (red or sweet)

• Peas

• Tomatoes

Step 3: Fruits

• Dried fruits

• Apple

• Blueberries

• Grapes

• Mandarin oranges

• Pear

• Strawberries

Step 4: Beans

• Black beans

• Chickpeas

• Edamame

• Kidney beans

• Navy beans

Step 5: Extras

• Nuts (small amount)

• Croutons

• Olives

• Sunflower seeds

Step 6: Protein

• Beef

• Chicken

• Hard-cooked egg

• Salmon

• Shrimp

• Tofu

• Tuna

• Turkey

Step 7: Dressing

• Low-fat dressing, Light, Reduced-fat

• Home-made dressing

• Balsamic and olive oil

Salads can be the perfect tool to help you reach your weight loss goals if you do them right. These are salads that are high in nutrients and are low or moderate in calories.  Avoiding high fat and calorie foods like cheese, bacon, and lots of regular dressing to stay on track with your weight loss goals.  Make your foods your own with a little love and personalization.

One of my exceptional clients, Sandra starts her dinner meal with salad.  She chooses salad to begin her meal with a filling food that helps her prevent overeating and stay on track with her weight loss goals.

For more ways to make your diet, including salads, something special, you will want to start by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.


Food Journals

Food Journal for Weight Loss

Food Journal for Weight Loss

Food Journals a Proven Weight Loss Strategy

Achieving successful weight loss is a matter of making small, sustainable changes in your lifestyle. As many of us know from trial and error, this is much easier said than done. Weight loss is a process and it takes meaningful effort. Fortunately, there are certain tools that can help you reach your personal success. One of these resources is the food journal. Food journals have been proven to help you lose more weight and maintain healthy choice. Why is this?

For one, writing down what you eat and drink helps you not only monitor what you consume, but also give you a frame of reference for what works and what doesn’t work. Along with this, the physical action to writing down your diet helps you to truly understand your personal dietary habits.  Using a food journal or food diary will help to keep you from skipping meals and tend to decrease the frequency of eating out.

While the benefits are plentiful, it may seem like a tedious task to log your diet, day-in and day-out. The reality is, if you want to reach your weight loss goals, the more you put in, the more you will get out. Not only that, once you get the hang of it, keeping a food journal quickly becomes routine, and something that can be done in a few minutes a day.  I can tell you from personal experience that keeping a food diary can be easy and doesn’t have to be a burden..  If working on a food journal sounds like a good means of weight management for you, WebMD has these tips on how to get started with a food diary.

1. Know Your Reasons

2. Choose Your Format

3. Decide How Often to Update

4. Decide How Detailed You Want to Be

5. Be Accurate About Portion Sizes

6. Include the ‘Extras’ that Add Up

7. Beware of Common Obstacles

8. Review What You Wrote

As you continue on your path to successful weight loss, it is important to remember that you are doing this to help create the best you that you can be. Be honest with yourself as you strive for healthier you.

There are many food journal apps on the market from which to choose and most of them are a free way to monitor your weight loss progress.

One of my star clients Jan lost 20 pounds in part by keeping a food and exercise diary using the MyNetDiary app as a way to keep her on track.

If you are looking for more resources on how to reach your weight loss goals, you will want to start by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.


Energy Boosting Foods and Activities


Couple bicycling

Couple bicycling

Avoid  Afternoon Blahs with these Energy Boosting Foods and More

We have all been there when three o’clock rolls around, your body becomes lethargic, your mind slows down, and your eyes get heavy. Running out of energy is never a good feeling. There are many reasons as to why our energy levels fail, and most of them have to do with lifestyle. Whether it is a lack of sleep, unhealthy food choices, or inactivity, there are several healthy options to increase your overall energy by choosing energy boosting foods and activities.

Eating five or six small meals a day can help your blood-sugar level and give you the constant fuel you need. Along with this, the type of foods that you consume can have a large impact on the way your body uses energy. For example, the natural sugar and fiber found in fruit can help to give you’re a quick energy boost and help to maintain your blood sugar levels. On top of this, eating whole grains, plenty of vegetables, lean meats, and a small amount of nuts can ensure that you are getting an array of protein, carbs, vitamins, and minerals that are necessary for your body to function properly. Drinking a lot of water and drinks with little added sugar can help to deliver those nutrients to where they need to go in your body.

When it comes to other healthy behaviors, getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep routinely will keep you rested and alert for the following day. The impact of a good night’s sleep can sometimes be underestimated. Along with this, do not forget about the importance of physical activity and its effects on energy level. Running, walking, stretching, and other activities that help raise your heart rate with in turn help release hormones like endorphins, which help boost energy even hours later. Depending on where you are in your weight loss journey, there is always room for improvement.

Jan, one of my star clients, has tons more energy now that she’s cycling 40 minutes a day and no longer sitting most of the time.

For more ideas of how to boost your overall energy and well-being, you’ll want to begin by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,


Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.


Fourth of July Nutrition

Red Watermelon for the Fourth of July

Fourth of July Watermelon

Fourth of July Slim Down Tips

With this being the week of Independence Day, as a  nation we love to celebrate. The Fourth consists of social gatherings, picnics, BBQs, desserts, and occasionally some alcohol. In regard to your weight loss goals, being prepared is the key to staying on track during the Fourth of July.

As you prepare for your personal festivities, here are some helpful hints to guide you through the week.

  1. Prepare a nutritious dish to bring to your parties
  2. Make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day
  3. Use a small plate at social events for portion control
  4. Snack on fruit like watermelon with high water content
  5. Prepare plenty of veggie dishes like grilled kabobs
  6. Taste test or share dessert, no need for a full piece
  7. Limit your alcohol consumption, it is high in calories

Specifically speaking to alcohol, it can be very easy to consume a lot of calories in a little time if you choose to drink. For example light beer, although light, can have up to 100 or more calories. Regular beer can range from approximately 140-200 calories per beer. A single shot of liquor can contain around 115-200 calories. Wine runs around 62-160 calories per glass. For the frozen or creamy premixed drinks, they can be as high as 800 calories per drink. So, if you do choose to add cheers to your glass, do so mindfully. And remember to stay hydrated, meaning, consuming enough water, and water-based foods, to keep you body running and feeling good.

Hopefully, these tips can come into play as you enjoy your planned events for the holiday. Also, keep in mind that social gatherings and festive fun events are a fantastic way upkeep your mental health and positive spirit. Enjoy the week and Happy 4th of July.

One of my weight loss clients, John, saves dessert for just such special occasions and plans to have a piece of cake on the Fourth of July.  This way he can join in the family fun and festivities and stay on track with his weight loss plan.

For more ideas about eating right during holidays, you’ll want to begin by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.


Perfect Foods for Weight Loss

kiwi and strawberries

Kiwi and Strawberries

Perfect Foods to Savor this Summer

The battle of weight loss can feel like a tug of war. With the concept of decreasing calories and increasing activity, it can leave you feeling tired and empty. Fortunately, there are certain foods that will deliver the right nutrients without the unnecessary calories. Some nutrition expects call these foods ‘perfect’. In truth there are no perfect foods, nor is there the perfect diet. What we consume is very individualized and although weight loss is a common goal that does not mean that personal preference has to be disregarded.  Perfect foods for weight loss are those you enjoy, that are filling, nutrient-packed, and low in calories.

Try something new when looking for an alternative to the usual fare such as:

  • Beans and brown rice with your favorite spices
  • Chopped kiwi and strawberries
  • Salmon with a side of edamame
  • Broccoli or beet greens and homemade balsamic dressing
  • Yogurt with chia seeds or fresh blackberries

Finding what kind of healthy meals work for you is a trial and error process. We all like and dislike different foods. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers some heart healthy tips of foods and ways to improve their health profiles that can help you on your way to meeting your weight loss goals. Get creative as you pursue your own perfect preferences.

For more ideas about perfectly healthy foods you’ll want to begin by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.

Balance for Preventing Falls



Balance and How to Improve Yours

Maintaining balance is one of the continuing challenges that we face throughout our lifetime. Since the world around us is forever changing, we are constantly adapting to keep our balance. This same idea can be applied internally to our wellness. As our bodies change throughout different stages of the life cycle, it also is important to maintain your physical balance.

According to the Center of Disease Control, “Among older adults (those 65 or older), falls are the leading cause of injury death. They are also the most common cause of nonfatal injuries and hospital admissions for trauma.” Older adults are at high risk for being seriously injured from a fall.  Just like with many other debilitating health issues, prevention is key.

There are many ways we can strengthen our balance. Check out tips from CDC about how to prevent falls that include doing T’ai Chi for improved balance. Preventing falls also goes hand in hand with maintaining bone health. You can keep your bones healthy by consuming more Vitamin D and calcium. Regular physical activity also can help prevent a serious fall. Anything from daily walks to resistance training can help keep your bones and balance in check. Along with this, organizations like PrimeWellness strive to deliver personalized exercise instruction for balance and falls prevention. PrimeWellness believes in teaching balance-based exercises, in order to maintain one’s physical wellness foundation.  For some quick wellness lessons, check out their handy videos to test and improve your balance.

Remember, as always, the rewards of taking care of yourself. Regardless of where you are today, it never hurts to plan for a healthy and happy future. As you continue on your journey to a healthy weight, keep in mind the value of overall health, and the contributions of balance and falls prevention.

For more ideas about how to have the vitality and health to realize your dreams, you’ll want to begin by choosing the right weight loss program so you can continue living a healthy lifestyle.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post


Men’s Health and Father’s Day

Slim Down and Win

Men’s Health Tips for Father’s Day

Men’s Health Tips

With Father’s Day upon us, we celebrate men’s health and honor individuals who have been present in our lives and whom have changed us for the better. In the spirit of life, one’s well-being plays a profound role in how we invest our time. For men, generally speaking, they spend the first half of their life not really worrying about getting the right nutrition or exercising the right amount of time. Men are active by nature helping to drive their metabolism. So as we age, it can be a difficult to make the transition from a carefree lifestyle to a health conscious lifestyle. For all the fathers out there who make this world a better place, here are some healthy tips to keep your quality of life at its very best.

  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables as a potassium source to balance your salt (sodium) intake and help keep your blood pressure regulated
  • Avoid foods that are high in cholesterol, saturated fats, and salt to keep your big heart healthy
  • Choose foods high in calcium and Vitamin D to avoid diseases such as osteoporosis and upkeep your bone health later in life
  • Consume foods high in fiber that will help your digestive system stay regular and delay those hunger cravings helping you avoid unnecessary calories
  • Schedule some exercise into your daily routine. You will be amazed what a little cardio and strength training can do for your overall well being

Most importantly, for all the dads, grandfathers, husbands, male friends, and mentors out there, your health is not only important for your own quality of life, but it is equally important for all the people whose lives have benefited from your existence. Happy Father’s Day!

Several of my male clients are doing especially well with weight loss by being choosy about what they eat.  John saves his periodic special occasion treat for family gatherings, and eats selectively and without guilt as he celebrates good times like Father’s Day. He’s discovered how to match his calories to his weight loss goal through our coaching partnership.

For more ideas for eating right for your age and achieving success, you’ll want to begin by choosing the right weight loss program so you can have a vital, healthy lifestyle.

Yours in Joy and Health,


Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post


Healthy Aging Aspirations and Healthy Eating

Grandmother and child getting ready for a healthy meal

Grandmother and child getting ready for a healthy meal

Healthy Aging Eating Plans

Our daily routines can sometimes get in the way of our healthy aging goals and life aspirations. Engrained habits often challenge good intentions for changing our lifestyles. Change refers to the world around us and the changes we all experience over time.  Making healthy food choices is a great place to achieve healthy aging goals and realize your dreams in the second half of life.

As part of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Department of Health and Human Services offer two healthy eating plans, the USDA Food Pattern Plan and the DASH Diet. USDA and HHS suggest eating a variety of foods from each food group to help you get needed nutrients. These plans show how many servings to eat at a variety of calorie levels, making them easy to use for weight loss.  These are both great resources to keep in your back pocket to help your diet stay on the right path and ultimately help you sustain a healthy lifestyle and reach your weight loss goals in the second half of life.

Here are some healthy hints on portion sizes in these two eating plans:

  • Deck of cards = 3 ounces of meat or poultry
  • ½ Baseball = ½ cup of fruit, rice, pasta, or ice cream
  • Baseball = 1 cup of salad greens
  • 4 Dice = 1-1/2 ounces of cheese
  • Tip of your first finger = 1 teaspoon of butter or margarine
  • Ping pong ball = 2 tablespoons of peanut butter
  • Fist = 1 cup of flaked cereal or a baked potato
  • CD or DVD = 1 pancake or tortilla

For more ideas for eating right for your age and to help achieve success, you’ll want to begin by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post


Healthy Summer Activity

Fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market

Fruits and vegetables at the Farmers Market

Summer Activity Delights that Help You Slim Down

Summer has unofficially set sail and is the best time to delight in favorite activities and slim down. There are ample ways to enjoy this beautiful time of year and contribute to your delicious life and healthy habits. For those of us who stay inside all winter and spring because of snow and rain, summer brings the opportunity to hit the outdoors.

Get active this summer by challenging yourself with outdoors activities. This can be anything from hosting a BBQ at the park with your friends and family, going for a swim at an outdoor pool, volunteering at the food bank, or stopping by the local farmers market for a stroll and locally grown produce. Getting out into the fresh air alone has its benefits. Making time to clear your mind, spending time with others, and participating in physical activity, can do wonders for your spirit. On top of this, with a little bit of courage and creativity, it is not difficult to make your outdoor occasions healthy and fun.

So, this summer, try incorporating some new activity into your life. Take a deep breath of fresh air, step out the front door into the sunshine, and allow some new activity into your life.

For some healthy summer tips that will go along great with your new activities and goal to achieve a healthy weight, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offer some quick advice.

For more ways to enhance your summer activity and weight loss success, you’ll want to look into this further by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.



Healthy Mind Enhanced by Eating and Activity

Foods for a Healthy Mind

Foods for a Healthy Mind

Healthy Mind Foods and Activity Reduce Depression

When it comes to weight loss, the power of a healthy mind is incredible. The spirit of late spring tends to be a bit more uplifting than the months of winter. With the brightness of the sunshine, our moods tend to brighten as well. On occasion though, life still has the ability to rain on our parade. Keeping the mind healthy plays a large role in overall wellness.  After all, the mind is the powerhouse. It is the control center for our moods, our actions, and our success.

According to the National Center of Health, Physical Activity, and Disability, “How we feel can be a result of what we eat, but what we eat can also be due to how we are feeling. Food and the chemicals in our brains interact to keep us going throughout the day.” To help combat the trials of daily life, it’s key to consume the proper ingredients. The amount and timing of certain foods can affect our moods and our energy levels. If we make an effort to eat the right fuel, we will help pave the way to a happier, brighter, healthier life.

Although the connection between food and mood is still being studied, what we eat underpins many biological processes from brain, cell, and nerve development to preventing disease from foods that are high in anti-oxidants (many come from fruits and vegetables).   “You are what you eat,” is true, biologically speaking.

Some studies suggest beneficial effects of certain foods in terms of mental health and functioning.  For example, thiamin (whole grains, some meats) may contribute to mental functioning. Carbohydrates may help replenish serotonin, a mood regulator that that helps relieve stress. Dietary lipids including omega-3 fatty acids (flax seed, hemp, canola, and walnut oils, and seafood) also may play a role in vulnerability to depression.  For example, epidemiological evidence associates fish and seafood consumption with lower rates of depression.

Getting enough physical activity also can have a major impact on mental health.  For adults and older adults, there is strong scientific evidence that reduced depression is associated with physical activity. The key is to gradually increase your aerobic activity to at least 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate level aerobic activity and muscle-strengthening activities that involve major muscle groups 2 or more days a week. Need help getting started?  The U.S. Department of Health and Human services offers Be Active Your Way tips for fitting physical activity into your life.

In working with clients, I often see a marked improvement in their energy levels, outlook, and sense of accomplishment as they make lifestyle changes. They are often pleased that not only are they losing weight but they’re also eating and feeling healthier.

Are you interested in ways to start fueling yourself with the right foods?  If so, you’ll want to look into this further by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided some of the content for this blog post.


Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, Roberta Larson Duyff, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 2012.

Eat Healthy with Smart Shopping

Shopping cart with healthy foods

Eat Healthy, Shop Healthy

Eat Healthy by Being Choosy

Today, we live in a rapid paced society that leaves little time to take care of ourselves and eat healthy. This type of environment creates many problems including increased stress, decreased mental health, lack of exercise, and of course, poor diet choices.  We’re faced with many challenges in finding good health and a healthy weight in a not so healthy world. When it comes to our diets and weight loss, sometimes eating healthy may seem impossible.

There are so many factors cause the ‘healthy choice’ to not be the easy choice. Let’s take eating out. Whether this be a sit down restaurant or the convenience of a fast food joint, it is much easier to buy food that is made for you. It is true that today’s fast-food restaurants are trying to make efforts to have healthier options, but research shows that the nutritional quality of fast food has only slightly increased in the past decade. The challenge we are then faced with is to either settle for not so nutritious food or take the extra steps to make homemade healthy food.

Another factor is the portion-controlled packaged food in grocery stores. These foods are usually found in 100-calorie packs. There also are a multitude of prepackaged diets. Although these options have the benefit of convenience, they’re not very cost effective and so aren’t sustainable in the long term. Contrary to popular belief there are many ways to eat healthy on a budget.

The best way to go about this is to be a smart shopper and move towards buying and cooking your own food. These two skills start with managing your time appropriately. When it comes to buying fresh produce, shop at markets that sell produce at the best price such as at a discount or Asian market.  Buy the fruits and veggies that are on sale.  Know what’s in season right now. Prepare and portion the foods that you can ahead of time. This could include foods like brown rice and chicken, or almond butter and banana sandwiches. Get creative. Challenge yourself to be the chef of your own weight loss success.

Kevin, one of my current clients, is just as happy about eating healthier as he is about losing weight.  He’s succeeding by making different food choices at work, when eating out, and when shopping.  He’s putting many more fruits and vegetables, legumes, and whole grains in his shopping cart these days to help him achieve a healthy weight.

Are you interested in more ways to shop smart while eating healthy?  If so, you’ll want to look into this further by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.




Mother’s Day Ideas

Mother's Day Gift

Mother’s Day Gift

Mother’s Day Ideas to Celebrate Mom and a Healthy Lifestyle

Let’s talk about Mother’s Day ideas for celebrating this very special holiday while staying on track with weight loss goals.  Mother’s Day is dedicated to the women in your life, the friends, the family, and the mothers that make your life special.  Social get-togethers like Mother’s Day can be filled with celebratory events and plenty of food.   Planning ahead can help you stay on track with achieving a healthy weight, and give you an added sense of accomplishment.

As you honor the women in your life, or celebrate being a mother, here are some quick tips of how to stay on track with your weight loss goals, while enjoying the good times.

  • Use smaller plates
  • Eat healthy snack before going to a social gathering
  • Do not be afraid to taste the high calorie dishes, but do not over indulge
  • Watch out for high-calorie beverages
  • Be aware of portion sizes
  • Move away from the food after adding food to your plate
  • Drink plenty of water to keep you fuller longer

Are you looking for healthy recipes for Mother’s Day Brunch?

The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has offers some scrumptious ideas:

Aguas Frescas de Fruta

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

Farmhouse Apple, Bacon and Egg Casserole

Nutty Fruit Crumble

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Corn

Roasted Red Bell Pepper and Spinach Strata

You can find the recipes for these dishes at the Web site. 

Many of my clients like Sue do much better when they think ahead about how to handle social occasions.  With a plan in place they are much more successful at enjoying gatherings with many fewer slip-ups.

Are you interested in more ways to boost your overall health?  If so, you’ll want to look into this further by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided the content for this blog post.

Eating Natural

Eating Natural

Eating natural foods and weight loss

There has been a huge boom in eating natural foods lately. But what exactly does ‘natural’ mean? Just what are the benefits of eating natural?

In fact, the USDA and the FDA have no formal definition of the word ‘natural.’ The FDA follows a policy that food labeled with the term ‘natural’, must not contain added color, artificial flavors, or synthetic substance. The USDA states that the term ‘natural’ can be used on meat and poultry products that have no artificial ingredients, no added color, and that are minimally processed. That being said, a food labeled as natural, is not equivalent to organic. This also does not mean that the food is low in salt, added sugar, or that it has increased nutritional value.

As consumers, it is very important to be aware of the somewhat misleading food labels. When it comes to reaching your weight loss goals, it is crucial that you know how to read the Nutritional Facts panel on the back of food labels. To create a healthy lifestyle you’ll want to go beyond simply eating natural. Being a smart consumer is just one other attribute that will help lead to successful weight loss. The FDA offers a great overview of how to read the Nutrition Facts panel found on food:

As you continue your journey to a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle, some here are some healthy reminders:

  • Make half your grains whole
  • For beverages, exchange whole milk and 2% for 1% or skim and drink plenty of water
  • Consume a variety of colorful veggies and fruits
  • Limit your sodium and added sugar
  • Reduce artery clogging saturated fats and dietary cholesterol (from meats, eggs, butter, and cheese) and eliminate trans fats

Laura lost 20 pounds working with me as a weight loss client.  Much of her success in achieving a healthy weight can be attributed to eating natural foods–especially fruits and vegetables and whole grains.  Best of all she continues to tell me how much more energy she has to do all the things on her bucket or wish list like travel.

Are you interested in more ways to boost your overall health? If so, you will want to look into this further by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who the content for this blog post.


Vitamin D and Your Health


Vitamin D for Health and Weight Loss

With sun exposure more prevalent in the spring and summer, it’s a great time to discuss vitamin D.  It’s a fabulous time of year, where the days are getting longer, temperatures are getting warmer, and the sun is shining brighter. When you think of vitamin D, what comes to mind?

Vitamin D is the only vitamin that your body can convert from sunlight.  According to the National Institute of Health, our skin likely synthesizes some vitamin D even when it is protected by sunscreen since it isn’t typically applied to all areas of the skin exposed to the sun.  Some vitamin D researchers have suggested that approximately 5–30 minutes of sun between the hours of 10 am and 3 pm, two times a week to the face, arms, legs, or back without sunscreen usually leads to sufficient vitamin D synthesis.

Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in your body, helping to maintain your bone health.  Prevention is key when it comes to your health, and with the help of ‘D’ you can prevent the onset of diseases such as osteoporosis.  This vitamin is not found in that many foods other than salmon and tuna; so many of our foods are vitamin D fortified. Commonly fortified sources of vitamin D are diary products, breads, and cereals.

When it comes to weight loss, there have been studies that suggest vitamin D deficiency is correlated with obesity.  According to a study preformed by Shalamar Sibley, MD, MPH, at the University of Minnesota, “Our results suggest the possibility that the addition of vitamin D to a reduced-calorie diet will lead to better weight loss.”  So in addition to the lifestyle changes that you are making to achieve successful weight loss and a healthy weight, the addition of Vitamin D is definitely something to keep in mind.  So for today, take a deep breath and let in the sunshine.

Are you interested in more ways to boost your overall health?  If so, you will want to look into this further by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided most of the content for this blog post.



Stress Management


Stress Management for Health and Weight Loss

In today’s world, efficiency, productivity, and stress are at an all time high as is the need for stress management.  At the pace we move as a society, there is little time to stop and take a breath.  Though hard work is necessary, it is equally as important to be able to relax.  Stress is one of the most common and influential determinants of our lives.  We build our routine, we have deadlines, we have obligations, and with all the weight we carry, stress flows through our bodies and minds like a toxin.  Persistent, chronic stress can be very detrimental to our overall health.  According to the Mayo Clinic, “Stress that’s left unchecked can contribute to health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and diabetes.”  So as you continue to work for a healthier you, take stress management into consideration.

We cannot control the stressors of the world but there are ways that we can decrease the effect that stress has our health.   Become aware of the stressors in your life as a first step to stop stress in its tracks.  When you catch yourself getting anxious and irritable, stop, think, and take note of what is causing this physical reaction.  If you know where your stress is coming from you can then take action to manage it better.  Second, you’ll want to take control of the things you have control over.  This is where adequate sleep, physical exercise, and nutritious food come into play.

  • When you sleep well, you start your day off on a solid foundation, giving you a better chance of combating the obstacles of the day.
  • Physical exercise is a great outlet to clear your mind of daunting and stressful thoughts.  Not only are you burning calories, but you are also burning stress.
  • When you eat well, you feel good.  With the proper nutrients, you have the energy to handle strenuous circumstances.

One of my weight loss clients, John, recently told me how he handles stress without overeating.  When he comes home after work and is ready for dinner, first he turns off the television.  He then reminds himself of things for which he feels grateful and takes pleasure in eating without the usual distractions.   Managing stress is one of the success techniques he’s discovered as a result of our coaching sessions together.   He’s already 10 pounds lighter, is losing more than a pound a week, and is well on his way to a healthy weight.

Are you interested in more ways to manage your stress? If so, you will want to look into this further by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided most of the content for this blog post.





Healthy Snacks for Spring


Healthy Snacks Help You Look Good and Feel Good

Healthy snacks are perfect for Spring now that the weather is warmer and we’re wearing fewer layers of clothes.   It will be beneficial to include your snacking habits as you continue making lifestyle changes to reach your weight loss goals.   Snacking can sometimes get a bad reputation, but there are plenty of ways that snacks can help you with your weight loss, if done right.

Ideally, we want healthy snacks to boost our energy with plentiful nutrients and keep us full until our next meal.  Many of the pre-packaged, advertised snacks do not meet these qualifications.  Instead of paying more for those 100-calorie snacks, or sugary energy bars, there are more cost and health effective ways to be a smart spring snacker.

According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, you should pre-portion your own healthy snacks.  They say, “Never bring a big bag of chips, crackers or other snack food on the road—it’s too easy to snack by the handful”.  Along with this, there are plenty of ways you can incorporate nutrient dense foods into your snack time. For example, fresh baby veggies make for an easy on-the-go snack. Have you ever tried freezing your grapes? This are a great substitute for that persistent sweet tooth. Also, mixtures like berries and yogurt make for a delicious and filling go-to food.

On top of the nutrient content of a snack, calorie content is equally as important for successful weight loss. The New York Daily News offers some great advice on ways to make smart snack “swaps” to consume less calories:

  • Exchange chips and dip for veggies and guacamole.
  • Try toasting and quarter of a whole wheat pita pocket until crisp for homemade pita chips or find other ways to make your own crackers.
  • Instead of light ice cream, try freezing a container of Greek yogurt.
  • Trade in your cookies and whole milk for a high fiber cereal and skim milk.

One of my clients Faye found a healthy snack that gives her the crunch she likes so much.  She cuts up crispy red, yellow, and green peppers for a low calorie and healthy snack that supports her weight loss goals.

Are you interested in discovering more spring healthy snack ideas? If so, you will want to look into this further by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious


Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided most of the content for this blog post.




Gardening for Growth and Weight Loss

Senior Woman with home grown produce

Enjoying Home Grown Produce

Gardening Can Help with Weight Loss

As the frost melts and the flowers start growing, it’s the perfect time of year to begin gardening.  Gardening is a fantastic activity that is much more than just a hobby.   Gardening can truly enrich your mind, body, and spirit.  When you cultivate a garden, you literally have your own produce in your back yard.  If produce is at your doorstep, you’ll eat it.  The sheer convenience of growing your own food is undeniable.  Along with this, you know exactly what went into your mini food production and from exactly where it came.  It is truly the most local and organic you can get.

Gardening also is a fantastic form of physical activity that can help with weight loss.  Although you’re not sweating profusely on a treadmill, you’re still outside moving your body. This simple and aerobic activity can do wonders for your fitness.   According to Jeff Restuccio, author of Fitness the Dynamic Gardening Way, gardening can burn around100 to 200 calories per hour.  When digging and raking we activate our arm and core muscles, which we usually don’t use as often as we should.

Lastly, but most certainly not least, the act of working the soil, outside, in the sunshine and the fresh air, can do miracles for your spirit.  Gardening is a great form of therapy and stress relief.  In your garden, all that exists is you and your crops. Here you can find peace from all the sources of stress in your life. According to the American Horticulture Therapy Association (AHTA), “Horticulture Therapy helps improve memory, cognitive abilities, task initiation, language skills, and socialization.”

Trying new things can help you stay motivated throughout your weight loss journey.  Keep gardening as a viable option when thinking of ways to further evolve the health of your mind, your body, and your spirit.  If you’ve never gardened before and want to start, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics offers advice about where to begin.

I can tell you first hand that there are no better carrots and tomatoes than those that are home grown.  The fresh sweet and fresh taste make it all the more easy to make fruits and vegetables half your plate.

Are you interested in other interactive ways you can lose weight? If so, you will want to look into this further by choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided most of the content for this blog post.


Mindful Eating Decisions

Mindful Eating, Healthy Eating

Mindful Eating for a Healthy Weight

Mindful Eating and Weight Loss

What does mindful eating mean?   Mindful eating describes a way of eating attentively, with awareness and care instead of eating impulsively or while multi-tasking. In the world of weight loss, mindful eating is very important and helpful in the process of reaching your goals. It is particularly important in the decision making process. We make countless decisions throughout the day. Many situations can force us to act on impulse, and in turn, hinder our weight loss progress. The importance of being aware of you internal hunger cues, and then being able to act on those, as opposed to external cue, is crucial to your weight loss success.

Jean Kristeller, PhD, believes that people must learn how to taste their food, recognize their levels of hunger and fullness, and be more accepting of their food preferences. Her theory suggests that there is a separate internal awareness of hunger. When it comes to making healthy decisions, it is very important to be able to tell the difference between being hungry (the need for food) and having an appetite (the desire for food). Developing self-awareness is just one more factor in making your weight loss journey a successful one.

Here are Slim Down and Win, one of our fundamental pillars in weight loss is to reestablish your relationship with food. Through our expertise, we will help you to find pleasure in your food by creating mindful, healthy eating habits.

Are you ready to mindful food choices to help you reach your weight loss goals?  You’ll want to look for this component when choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided most of the content for this blog post.


Jill Suttie, Psy.D. The Greater Good‘s; Better Eating through Mindfulness. The University of California, Berkley. June 2012.

Motivation and Welcoming Spring

definition of motivation

Motivation defined

Increasing Weight Loss Motivation

Spring is a splendid season for revving up weight loss motivation.  What a beautiful time of the year.  As we get settled into 2013, the snow begins to melt, the grass begins to grow, and the sun begins to shine.  It is the time of year for new life.  So take this time to do some reflecting on your life.  For many of us, the excitement of New Year’s resolutions starts to dwindle come springtime.  The changes we wanted to see did not come as fast or as easy as we anticipated.  It is not uncommon to lose hope and motivation, but we are here to keep your spirits high, as we welcome spring with open arms.

Here at Slim Down and Win, we believe that wellness encompasses healthy food and fitness, as well as, having faith in your self.  A healthy spirit is equally as important as a healthy body.  So as you embark and continue your journey on the path to wellness, it is very important to keep a high spirit to help you reach your weight loss goals.

According to Dr. Judith S. Beck, an expert in Cognitive Behavior Theory, there are certain skills that will help to increase motivation when it starts to fade.  Here are her techniques to stay motivated:

  • Develop a reasonable goal and a plan.
  • Create a list of reasons why it’s important to you to reach your goal, and read this list (even when you don’t feel like it) every morning and whenever when you’re tempted to deviate from your plan.
  • Give yourself credit whenever you engage in behaviors designed to help you reach your goal or avoid behaviors that would steer you away from your goal.
  • Set up a plan to be accountable (to yourself or to another person or group).
  • Respond to sabotaging thinking. For example, when you compare yourself to someone else’s weight loss success, it can lessen your happiness. Know that everyone’s path to weight loss is different.
  • Identify obstacles and problem solve in advance.
  • Prepare for feelings of discouragement, disappointment and deprivation.
  • Decide on how you will reward yourself when you reach sub-goals
  • Focus on the experiences you deem “worth it.”

As you can see from this list, motivation is an active rather than passive process.  As Zig Zigler once said, “Motivation is like showering.  The effects are not long-term.  But that’s why it’s recommended that you do it daily.”

My client Steve was able to align his weight loss goal with supportive actions once he kept in mind his most important reasons for losing weight.   He was motivated to walk more each day and reduce food portions when he thought of how happy he’d be by staying healthy enough to play with his grandchildren and see them grow up and thrive.

How will you find the motivation to slim down and keep it off?  You’ll want to look for this component when choosing the right weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, Intern, who provided most of the content for this blog post.


Going Green for Saint Patty’s Day


Going Green for a Healthy Weight

Going green and the color green have many implications. The are commonly associated with the environment, nature, spring, growth, and let’s not forget Saint Patrick’s Day. For those of us in the nutrition world, the color green has a very special spot in our hearts. As emphasized on our Facebook page this week, eating more green leafy vegetables is important if you want to be player who is on the path to weight loss.  According to Jill Nussinow, MS, RD, and the author of The Veggie Queen, “Greens are the No. 1 food you can eat regularly to help improve your health”.

Green leafy vegetables consist of plants like spinach, kale, collards, turnip greens, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard, and broccoli.  For many of us, leafy greens may not be our preferred food choice for a meal or snack.  But in a world where we prefer getting more bang for our buck, these foods are a prefect solution. In regard to the nutrient value of these plants, you will be receiving a plethora of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, along with very minimal calories.

One of the tricky things about losing weight is being able to maintain good health and energy at the same time.  With decreasing caloric intake, it is easy to inadvertently decrease the intake of essential nutrients.  But so what?  Well, the list of benefits that coincide with consuming nutrient dense foods is practically endless. With your diet full of nutrient dense foods like green leafy veggies, your body will then be full of the right fuel it needs to function properly. This could range anywhere from having more energy throughout your day, smooth digestion, increased heart health, and decreased risk of developing disease.

In terms of weight loss, adding more greens to your diet will increase your fiber intake. Fiber helps you stay fuller for longer periods of time. There are many ways you can add greens to your diet without compromising the pleasure of taste. Here are some fun ideas to make this an especially ‘green’ week.

  • Try cooking up a green veggie quiche
  • Make homemade kale chips
  • Add some spinach to your smoothie
  • Blanch your broccoli then top it off with balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese
  • Make a green St. Patty’s Day soup
  • Although it’s not ‘leafy’, the avocado makes for a great green go-to snack
  • Stir fry leafy greens like spinach with garlic and olive oil.

When most people come to me for a consultation, they have lost weight before on a variety of diets. They are generally successful at losing weight but are unable to sustain weight loss. So, finding a food plan and new behaviors that will help you sustain is the real challenge.

Click here for my 10 best secrets to choosing a weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious


Thank you to Caylee Chacon, intern, for creating the content for this blog post.


American Institute for Cancer Research. (2007). Foods that fight cancer: dark green leafy vegetables.

Cummings, T. and Davis, D. Green Leafy Vegetables. (2012). University of Florida IFAS Extension.





Ideal Protein Diet for Weight Loss

Leek Soup, Ideal Protein product

Leek Soup, Ideal Protein product

How Ideal Protein Diet works and does it work?

The idea behind the Ideal Protein diet is to restrict carbohydrates to the point of depletion, so the body will then use fat stores as a source of fuel.   Clients sign up with an Ideal Protein Diet center, where they buy their packaged meals, which are very low carb/no carb foods that are high in protein.

According to Canadian Nutritionist, Jorg Mardain, RHN, “Much of the weight loss of a low carb diet is because it depletes healthy glycogen (the storage form of glucose) stores in your muscles and liver.   This leads to dehydration, causing a significant weight loss in the first week or two of the diet”.

The Ideal Protein diet is ketogenic, meaning that the body produces ketone bodies from fatty acids to supply energy.   This theory of weight loss is similar to popular diets such as the Adkins diet.   Because of the release of ketones, dehydration can occur during the elimination of ketones from the body.   Kidneys are stressed from eliminating ketones from the body along with an increased risk of kidney stones and gout.

With diets of this sort, there is a large restriction or elimination of a certain type of macronutrient, in this case carbohydrates.  In a major study called, Comparison of Weight-Loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates, researchers experimented different compositions of macronutrients while dieting.  In this landmark clinical trial published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2009, researchers concluded that, “Reduced-calorie diets result in clinically meaningful weight loss regardless of which macronutrients they emphasize.”

The question is, can the Ideal Protein rapid weight loss technique be maintained? To achieve meaningful weight loss, we need to first lose it and then more importantly keep it off.   It is a common trend for diets to be effective in the short-term, but then lack sustainability.   The challenge with this diet is the transition from the packaged products to a regular diet.   It would be a difficult task without the guidance of a dietitian.

From a health care professional standpoint, physical activity, a diet rich with nutrient dense foods, behavioral change and weight maintenance strategies are essential for long-term weight loss.   Although this diet has potential for rapid results, permanent change needs to be accompanied by lifestyle change.

When most people come to me for a consultation, they have lost weight before on a variety of diets.  They are generally successful at losing weight but are unable to sustain weight loss.  So, finding a food plan and new behaviors that that will help you achieve a healthy weight and that you can sustain  is the real challenge.

Click here for my 10 best secrets to choosing a weight loss program.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, intern, for contributing content for this blog post.


Mardiam, J. RHN, CPT, MT, CSK. Health in Motion. 2010.

Landmark Clinical Trial: Comparison of Weight-Loss Diets with Different Compositions of Fat, Protein, and Carbohydrates.

Brain Food and Healthy Aging

Walnut, a Brain Food

Walnut, a Brain Food

Brain Food For Your Health

Why is brain food important for healthy aging and weight loss?  We have all had those days where it feels like you simply left your brain at home.  Forgetfulness and absentmindedness can make you feel as though you are truly losing your mind.  As humans age the three general changes that we experience are reduced processing speed, greater tendency to be distracted, and reduced capacity to process and remember new information at the same time.

As our bodies age, unfortunately so do our minds.  Yet there are measures we can take to protect our brain.  Many studies have shown that saturated fat has a negative impact on brain function.  Coincidently, the brain is made up of almost 60% fat.  This means that the role of unsaturated fats is critical for healthy brain activity.  It is the omega-3 fatty acids that are the most beneficial type of fat for our minds.  Good sources of these fats include walnuts, salmon, almonds, pecans, and other fatty fish.

Antioxidants also play a large role in the ‘cleanup’ of our body.  Berries, such as blueberries, will help lower inflammation and in turn increase brain function.  Other important foods are green leafy veggies, such as kale, spinach, and broccoli.  Many of these same foods are the foundation for successful weight loss.

A prospective study called the Nurses’ Health Study was done on women in their 60’s.  These women completed extensive analysis of what they ate, and then were reexamined at age 70 on factors such as memory.  The women who ate lots of cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, and leafy vegetables like spinach and romaine lettuce scored better on memory tests.  Just as it is very beneficial to incorporate these foods into your weight loss plan, it is equally important to eat them for healthy aging.

One of the ways that my client Jan was able to finally lose weight and keep it off was to begin each meal with filling foods like a salad that included green leafy vegetables.  Not only has she been successful at weight loss and avoiding excess hunger, she may also be helping to foster healthy brain activity.

Interested in getting other weight loss tips to make your weight loss easier and lasting?  Sign up to receive my monthly newsletter and receive 2 other gifts.

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

Thank you to Caylee Chacon, intern, who created the content for this blog post.


“Spinach and Broccoli May Help Keep Your Brain Young”. Ph.D., Fisher. Center for       Alzheimer’s Research Foundation at The Rockefeller University. July 2004 

D. Cassel. “Feed your Brain, Go Fish”. December 2012

B. Nazario, M.D. “Brain Foods That Help You Concentrate”. August 2011

A Healthy Breakfast and Weight Loss

Berries and Cereal

Healthy Breakfast Cereal

Weight Loss Starts with a Healthy Breakfast

One of the hardest factors with weight loss is maintaining the weight you want.  The National Weight Control Registry is an ongoing investigation of people who have achieved and maintained long-term weight loss. For successful losers, they analyze the characteristics and strategies these people take and then draw conclusions of what works. According to the NWCR 78% of people who have achieved and maintained successful weight loss eat breakfast every day. Breakfast is a critical component of your day that kick starts your metabolism. When you skip breakfast you go without eating for 18 hours from dinner to lunchtime the following day. If you are one of these people, you are not alone. The morning can be a tough time to set aside time for a quality breakfast, but the benefits of doing so will undoubtedly contribute to your health and weight loss goals.

Eating breakfast regularly contributes to a healthy daily diet and long term eating habits.  Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast regularly have lower BMI’s than people who do not.  Also, those who eat breakfast have a better chance of getting more nutrients into their diets. Along with this, eating breakfast usually leads to less consumption of fat and cholesterol throughout the day.  A healthy breakfast also helps rev up your morning with improved concentration and helps avoid annoying late morning hunger pangs.

Examples of healthy breakfasts:

  • A bowl of high-fiber, multigrain cereal, half a banana (sliced), and low or fat-free milk
  • A bowl of oatmeal with crushed nuts, an apple, and a glass of milk.
  • A cup of nonfat Greek yogurt mixed with a handful of berries and a slice of whole wheat toast
  • A scrambled egg wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla, an apple, and a cup of low-fat milk.

Fred used to eat a Spartan breakfast.  Once we talked about the importance of managing hunger for successful weight loss, he agreed to have a more substantial breakfast.  His weight loss has really taken off from eating a healthier breakfast and by his commitment to mindful eating each meal without the distraction of television or reading.

Interested in getting other weight loss tips to make your weight loss easier and lasting?  Sign up to receive my monthly newsletter and receive 2 other gifts.

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

Then Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to intern Caylee Chacon for providing the content for this week’s blog post.


HR Wyatt, GK Grunwald, CL Mosca, ML Klem, RR Wing. “Long-term weight loss and breakfast in  subjects in the National Weight Control Registry”. Obesity; A Research Journal. 2003

Healthy Breakfast Presentation. 11/26/1012

Super Food for Easier Weight Loss

Broccoli a super food

Super Food

Super Food, Super Healthy Weight Loss

Lately the term super food has been used often in the media. This term provokes some common questions.   What exactly is a super food? Do they possess extraordinary qualities? Which foods qualify? And most importantly will super food help me reach my health goals?

Although there is no true medical definition for a super food, professionals in the nutrition world refer to unprocessed foods that are high antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals as super foods. A diet that is rich in these components can help to prevent the risk of chronic disease.  They also can help to lower cholesterol, and have anti-inflammatory properties.

Incorporating these types of foods into your diet not only increases your health status, but also promotes fullness. Many of the foods that are considered to be “super” help you to stay fuller longer.  So not only are you going to be eating less calories, but you will also be eating nutrient dense calories.

So what foods are in fact considered a super food? Here is a list of most frequently eaten super foods that you can start adding to your diet.

  • Broccoli
  • Blueberries
  • Oranges
  • Spinach
  • Turkey
  • Soy
  • Yogurt
  • Pumpkin
  • Kale
  • Walnuts
  • Wild Salmon
  • Beans
  • Tomato

Incorporating these foods can do wonders for your vitality and overall health. Not to mention that simply taking in more nutrients while at the same consuming fewer calories, will help you to reach your weight loss goals more effectively.

Nadine, one of may clients, often felt hungry between meals and found herself heading for the vending machine at work.  Once she added filling super foods to meals and snacks she no longer felt hungry most of the time.  Her weight loss became so much easier and she no longer felt like “I have to starve to lose weight.”

Discover 10 Success Secrets for choosing the right weight loss program for 2013.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Thank you to Caylee Chacon for contributing the content of this blog post.


Lunn, J. (2006), Superfoods. Nutrition Bulletin, 31: 171–172. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-3010.2006.00578; Graci, S. (1999), The Power of Superfoods. Prentice Hall; 2nd edition; Craichy, K.C. (2011), The Super Health Diet; The Last You Will Ever Need .

Smart Goals for Weight Loss

Set smart goals for weight loss

Setting Smart Goals

Smart Goals, Smart Move

With spring around the corner, this makes for a great time to analyze your progress with weight loss goals you made at the beginning of the year. For many people, when results aren’t immediate, motivation falls by the way side, or we simply lose focus. Here is a useful way to help reevaluate your weight loss action plan for the year with Smart goals that can help you be more successful.

Smart goals are used in the professional world to measure performance progress and in the personal world to measure personal development. They are a great way to organize and initiate the changes you’d like to make. The Smart goals come from a clever mnemonic device using SMART that stands for:

SPECIFIC: The more specific you make your goal the better. Ask Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How.

MEASURABLE: You’ll need to be able to measure your progress in obtaining your goal.

ATTAINABLE: You’ll want to formulate a strategy for a specific result that is reasonable.  Are you determined enough to make commit to this?

REALISTIC/RELEVANT: To be realistic assures that you are not setting yourself up for failure. To be relevant reinforces that the timing is right to make this change.

TIMELY: You’ll want to hold yourself accountable to a specific deadline that if met will give you a sense of accomplishment.

For each Smart goal that you set for yourself, apply the 5 constructs of this tool to be more successful.

EXAMPLE: One of my clients, Gloria wants to lose weight and tone up by Spring of 2013.  Gloria has set these Smart goals for weight loss.

S- I’ll lose one pound a week by doing 45 minute cardio workouts, 4 times a week. I’ll also reduce my calorie intake by 250 calories by eliminating soda from my diet and replacing it with water.

M- I’ll measure my progress by weighing myself at the same time of day on Monday mornings.  Gloria uses the same scale, wears the same clothes, and weighs at the same time of day in the morning, before breakfast to be more accurate.

A- I’ll make this commitment to myself and for myself, knowing I can dedicate 45 minutes a day to cardio on Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. I also know, if I have my water bottle on hand I will not readily buy a soda.

R- This goal is appropriate for my physical activity level, time availability, and commitment level.  This goal also coincides with my larger goal to live a healthier lifestyle.

T- April 4th, I’ll have lost 8 pounds and then I will be ready to set a new Smart goal.

Ready to start weight loss so you’ll feel comfortable in your spring clothes?    Discover the 10 Success Secrets for choosing the right weight loss program this year.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

P.S. Caylee Chacon, our new intern contributed the content for this blog post.  Thanks Caylee!

Physical Activity and How to Get Started

aerobic activity class

Aerobic physical activity

Ready to add Physical Activity to Your Life?

If you’ve been thinking about getting started with physical activity, this blog post is for you.  If physical activity isn’t something you normally do, you’re not alone.  Almost 30 percent of U.S. adults aren’t physically active in their leisure time.  Read on for ways to get started with physical activity to help you meet your weight loss goals and achieve a healthy weight.

Starting your own physical activity routine can be done safely and you can gradually increase over time to help you reach your weight goal.

5 Easy Ways to Get Started

  • Pick activities you enjoy and that fit your lifestyle to get you going.
  • Start small, ten minutes at a time if you feel you don’t have time to exercise.
  • Team up with a buddy to make physical activity a social occasion.
  • Build up gradually, first by adding more time and then get active more often to get in condition.
  • Make it convenient by choosing times to get active that work best for you.

There are so many reasons to add physical activity to your life besides weight loss.  Did you know that physically activity can makes depression less likely, helps put you in a better mood, and produces better sleep at night?

Check out the Getting Started video from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for more ways to start getting physically active.

Or look at the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans Be Active Your Way brochure for more ideas.

One of my clients, Jane, started her own physical activity routine 2 months ago.  She has increased her aerobic activity from just a few minutes at a time to 25 minutes on an exercise bike several times a week.  She’s steadily losing weight at her own pace.  She also feels much better and has more energy too.

Discover 10 Success Secrets for choosing the right weight loss program for 2013.

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Slashing Calories to Slim Down

Eat fruit for a snack to cut calories

Eating fruit for a snack to trim down

7 Simple Ways to Slim Down this Week

Ready to slash calories and slim down?  Try out some new choices using an eat this, not that strategy to cut calories and slim down now by a pound or more in a week.

1.  Choosing Your Morning Brew (save 200 calories):

Drink this: Order a Cappuccino Grande, with non-fat milk at Starbucks or your favorite coffee shop.

Not that: Cafe Mocha with whole milk (Grande, no whipped cream).

2.  Making Lunch Count (save 800 calories)

 Eat this:  Ask for a Caesar salad with grilled chicken, small fries, and iced tea (without sugar) at McDonalds or other restaurant.

Not that:  Big Mac, large fries, and medium soda.

3. Eating Dinner at Home (save 625 calories):

Eat this: Make grilled salmon (3 oz cooked), a cup of pasta with sun dried tomatoes, and field greens with fat-free Balsamic Vinaigrette.

Not that: Salmon dinner at Romano’s Macaroni Grill.

4.  Switching Beverages (save 250 calories):

Drink this:  Sip a cup of unsweetened hot or iced tea or fruit infusion, coffee, or water.

Not that:  A 20-ounce regular soda (or two glasses of wine).

5. Stepping Up activity (burn 700 more calories):

Do this:  Add an hour and 15 minutes of vigorous physical activity like working out on the elliptical machine to your week.   Consult the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans for more ideas.

Not that:  Be a couch potato.

6. Downsizing Breads (save 250 calories):

Eat this:  Eat a small 2-ounce bagel.

Not that:  4-ounce bagel with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese.

7. Snacking smarter (Save 585 calories):

Eat this: Snack on 1 cup fresh pineapple.

Not that:  Large 6 ounce cinnamon roll.

If these examples don’t fit your lifestyle, make up your own eat this, not that list for the week to help you slim down.

Marcia, one of my clients lost 20 pounds in 16 weeks by creating her own eat this, not that strategy for cutting calories and getting more active.  She’s also cultivated the resilience, motivation, and mindset needed to keep it off.

Cutting calories and increasing physical activity are two important changes to slim down.  Still, lasting success is about more than just a diet.

How will you find the resilience, motivation, and mindset to slim down and keep it off?  You’ll want to look for these three key components when choosing the right weight loss program for 2013.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Well being Weight Loss and Health

woman with sense of well being

What does well being have to do with weight loss and health?

Everything, it turns out, because weight loss and wellness are about more than just a diet.  Weight loss takes making permanent lifestyle changes that can enhance your life and your health.  If you want weight loss to be more than a flash in the pan, cultivate a sense of well being that helps build the resilience to achieve and sustain weight loss and enjoy better health.

Well being is much more than an appealing stock phrase.  Well being is made up of 5 key elements according to Martin Seligman, founder of positive psychology and author of Flourish, a recent book about how to live a profoundly fulfilling life.  Well being is about positive emotion (life satisfaction), engagement in absorbing activity, having a sense of meaning, good relationships, and a sense of accomplishment.

Seligman expressed what embodies well being as, “The content itself—happiness, flow, meaning, love, gratitude, accomplishment, growth, better relationships—constitutes human flourishing.”

How can you enhance your well being and increase your chances of weight loss and better health?  Increasing optimism may be a good place to begin as a practice that helps cultivate positive emotions and good health.

Consider replacing pessimistic views like: “I’m no good at managing my weight.”  Replace them with more optimistic thoughts such as, “I’m good at sticking with my goals including weight loss.”

What are the benefits of enhanced optimism?

  • Increasing your sense of optimism helps with bouncing back more quickly from life’s challenges including weight loss slip-ups.
  • Enhancing your health comes with greater optimism.  Seligman concluded that optimism plays an important role in health based on a review of numerous health studies, experiments, and a meta-analysis.  For example, positive mood offers protection from colds and flu, better cardiovascular health, and less risk of death.

One of my clients, Janice, knew she needed to develop a more positive emotional response to stress, lose weight, and protect her health.  She discovered that eating had become an all-purpose solution to life’s problems.  She decided to quit feeling helpless and take action.  Every time she felt stressed and had the urge to eat, she called a friend or left the house and took a walk.  She achieved a new sense of optimism and a feeling of accomplishment from having met her weight loss goal of losing 15 pounds in 6 weeks.

Discover your 10 Success Secrets for choosing the right weight loss program for 2013.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Tracking Behaviors for Weight Loss

Tracking progress increases chance of weight loss

Tracking your food, drink, and physical activity are proven strategies for weight loss and achieving a healthy weight.  Persons who track what they eat and drink are simply more likely to meet their weight loss goals.  Tracking, whether using an app or by hand with pen and paper, is one of the most important things you can do to monitor your progress and achieve a healthy weight.

Tracking your food, drink, physical activity, and weight, will tell you what adjustments are needed to reach your goals and attain a healthy weight at the weight loss pace you choose.

What tools are available to help with tracking progress and accelerating your weight loss?  Food diaries and calorie books are still available but many adults prefer online or mobile apps as an easier way of tracking what they do.  In two previous blog posts, we’ve featured a number of apps for tracking progress—There’s an App for That and Supertracker.  With more apps coming to market all the time, we’ll continue to alert you to new mobile and online tools for tracking progress and enhancing your chances of weight loss and reaching a healthy weight.

The latest app to receive widespread attention is myfitness pal, a free calorie counter with many other features including participation in a community.  The main app featured in the Consumer Reports February article, Lose Weight Your Way, received high marks by 9,000 readers surveyed about diet plans and tools for achieving a healthy weight.

The smart phone app and Web site can be used for tracking what you eat and drink, physical activity, and your weight.  The app also has interesting features like being able to save and retrieve favorite foods and dishes, a bar code scanner and links to devices such as:

11 Physical activity apps including Fitbit Tracker; and

The Withings Wi-fi Scale

My client, Madeline uses an app for tracking her progress.  She records her weight daily and enters her food, drink, and physical activity.  This action gives her immediate feedback for tracking her weight loss progress and her goal to reach a healthy weight.

Get ready to “Make 2013 the Year” you achieve your weight loss goals and a healthy weight by taking the Weight Loss Personality Quiz.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Weight Goal Expectations Outstrip Weight Loss

Woman on weight loss diet to reach her weight goal

Achieving Your Weight Goal and a Healthy Weight

Have you ever fallen short of reaching your goal weight even though you achieved significant weight loss?  It turns out you’re not alone.  When Consumer Reports asked readers to rate diet plans and tools, almost 80 percent reported significant weight loss (median of 18 pounds for men and 15 pounds for women), yet few reached their goal weight.

Not surprising, survey respondents who reached their weight goal were more satisfied than those who failed to reach their goal.  As you aim for a healthy weight, setting a realistic weight goal, even if it’s short term, may help you feel more satisfied with your weight loss.  After all, if you feel successful, won’t you be more inspired to reach for your ultimate weight goal and a healthy weight?

Three ways you can enhance your chances of success in reaching your final weight goal and a healthy weight are:

See weight loss as a journey.  Lose weight in stages by setting a realistic interim weight goal.  Once achieved, rinse and repeat by creating another goal weight and use success strategies until you achieve a healthy weight.

Reward yourself.   Choose a weight goal that yields its own reward.  For example, losing 5 – 10 % of your body weight if overweight or obese can help reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

Make smart moves.  Lose an amount of weight you can maintain.  Remember that a modest amount of weight loss like 15 pounds is better than losing 30 pounds and then gaining 35 (a net weight gain of 5 pounds).

Consumer Reports published the results of this survey in its February 2013 issue.

Jennifer’s weight loss journey to lose 50 pounds took 18 months.  She’s kept the weight off for almost 2 years now, thanks to all she learned during her gradual weight loss process and our partnership.

Get ready to “Make 2013 the Year” you achieve your weight goal and a healthy weight by taking the Weight Loss Personality Quiz.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD,

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious


Mind Set and Weight Loss

Mind set weight loss

Do you have the right mind set for weight loss?

Mind set, or hidden beliefs and attitudes about weight loss, can easily make or break attempts to achieve a healthy weight.  You’ll want to clear away obstacles you have and adopt the right mind set for succeeding at weight loss and achieving a healthy weight.

The wrong mind set about losing weight can even stop you from taking the first steps toward achieving a healthy weight.   Are negative attitudes and beliefs about weight loss keeping you from taking the next steps to achieve a healthy weight?  For example, do you have any of these beliefs about losing weight?

“It’s too hard–I don’t want to sacrifice and starve myself.”

“I’ll have to exercise.  I don’t like physical activity

“I won’t get the support I need—I’ll just regain the weight I lose.”

If any of these examples sound like you, consider adopting more optimistic beliefs like, “I can do anything when I put my mind to it.”

Do you believe, for example, that you can learn new eating behaviors and make lifestyle changes that will lead to successful weight management?  Which sounds more like you?  Consider whether you believe that intelligence can be acquired or is something static with which you were born.  It turns out that how people view their intelligence predicts how willing they are to learn new things and overcome challenges.

In her book, Carol Dweck, author of  Mindset , The New Psychology of Success  shows readers how to view learning as a welcome challenge rather than a possible failure to avoid.

What does your mind set have to do with weight management?  Everything, as it turns out according to Dweck.  People who have fixed beliefs think they must be strong and use willpower to lose weight, something that you either have or you don’t.  On the other hand, people who know they can learn, more readily apply new strategies to reach a healthy weight.

With a fixed attitude, people tend to make a superficial effort and then hope for the best.  They beat themselves up when they fail.  You can learn new skills and employ effective strategies to make change happen.

Mind set can make the difference in whether or not you lose weight weight and keep it off.

Susan, said that she hadn’t made any plans to lose weight because she hated to exercise.  Then she remembered how much she liked to swim.  She lost 45 pounds once she swam regularly and made needed changes in her diet.

Interested in getting tips to make weight management easier?  Sign up  here  to receive my monthly newsletter and receive 2 other gifts.

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

Then Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious





Butternut Squash Quick Healthy Recipe

butternut squash

Healthy recipe for butternut squash

Heavy side dishes can stick to your ribs, add unwanted calories, and prevent you from achieving a healthy weight.  Why not make a healthy recipe for butternut squash this winter that is low in calories and can help you on your way to a healthy weight?

Butternut squash is versatile and can be used in so many ways, from ravioli and soups to serving it as a side dish.  Our family loves all of these varieties, and especially a simple and healthy recipe that brings out its honey like flavor.

I’ve also selected butternut squash for today’s healthy recipe because it is a good source of fiber, potassium, and magnesium, and is an excellent source of vitamins A and C.  This winter squash also is sodium, cholesterol, and fat free.  Because this squash is relatively low in calories it can also help with achieving a healthy weight.

Quick and Tasty Butternut Squash Recipe

This healthy recipe makes 4 servings


1 Medium butternut squash, washed


Cut squash lengthwise and remove seeds.

Then slice squash into 3 ½” long chunks.

Place 2 chunks in the microwave at a time, stacking similar size and shaped pieces together with skin on the outside.

Cook for 3 minutes on high and test.  Then microwave 2 minutes at a time until tender.

Remove skin and serve.

1 Serving = 1 cup = 82 calories (22 grams carbohydrates)

My client Connie is making great strides at losing weight. What’s her secret?  Besides stepping up her physical activity, she makes sure to have enough filling foods at dinner.  She eats several servings of vegetables including a starchy vegetable like a healthy recipe for winter squash in place of rice or potatoes.  Connie is on her way to a healthy weight.

Are you sabotaging your weight loss by a choosing diet that doesn’t fit your personality?  Get ready to “Make 2013 the Year” you achieve your weight loss goals and a healthy weight by taking the Weight Loss Personality Quiz.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Chili Recipe for Cold Winter Days

Chili RecipeLooking for a hot chili recipe to keep you and your family warm on a cold winter’s day?  Try this chicken chili recipe that is a simple, filling, and healthy recipe. The recipe is low in calories and can help with achieving a healthy weight (normal weight for height).  This chili recipe can easily be served for lunch, dinner, or at game time without anyone having to know that it is one of those healthy recipes that can help with achieving a healthy weight.

This healthy recipe for chili is hearty, tasty and and high in fiber.  The recipe is free of saturated fats, low in cholesterol and sodium, and high in fiber, making this chili recipe heart healthy.

This chili recipe was provided courtesy of registered dietitian Brenda J. Ponichtera who specializes in offering quick and healthy recipes.  Brenda says that, “Chili lovers will enjoy this thick chili.  It is so simple and tasty.”

Chicken Chili

5 Servings (236 calories)

½ pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts

¾ cup chopped onion

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

2 cans (15 ounces each) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, not drained*

1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies

1 cup water

1 tablespoon dried cilantro

2 teaspoons chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

Cut chicken into bite-sized pieces.  Brown chicken in a saucepan that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.  Add remaining ingredients.  Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until chicken is tender.

Source:  Quick and Healthy Volume II, 2nd Edition, Brenda J. Ponichtera

A tasty variation of Brenda’s chili recipe (see photo) featured black beans and turkey breast.

Janette was one of my clients who often felt hungry while she was aiming for a healthy weight.  Once Janette embraced the idea of eating more filling foods, she stopped hunger in its tracks and achieved healthy weight loss.

Check out other healthy recipes from Brenda J. Ponichtera Quick and Healthy Recipes Fall/Winter newsletter.

Looking ahead for a fresh start at getting to a healthy weight in 2013?  Get my 10 Success Secrets for choosing the right program to achieve a healthy weight.

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Stop Holiday Weight Gain In its Tracks

celebrating the holidays without weight gain

7 ways to avoid holiday weight gain

Does it seem impossible to celebrate the holidays without weight gain?  Think again.  With all the hype about weight gain during the holidays, it’s still possible to enjoy holiday parties and keep your weight in check.

Holiday parties can make for a sweet time to gather with friends and family especially if you don’t have to face weight gain in the New Year.  With holiday parties right around the corner, here are my 7 ways to revel during the holidays without weight gain:

  1. Plan ahead.  Create your own mental video of what you’ll do at each party to prevent weight gain and review it a few minutes before you leave.
  1. Bring foods and drinks to holiday parties that support your weight loss efforts.  Sparkling water flavored with a spritz of cranberry juice anyone?
  1. Decline offers to take food home from holiday parties.  Avoid this pitfall that can sabotage your plans for celebrating the holidays without weight gain.
  1. Move as far away from the food table as possible. Laugh, dance, or sing the night away where weight gain will be the farthest thing from your mind.
  1. Eat filling, low calorie food and drinks first to help you pace yourself.
  1. Take one plate of food and choose one piece of a favorite dessert at holiday parties.  Make it a private contest to see which lovely dessert you’ll choose.
  1. Eat one of your favorite foods that will make the holidays feel magical.

Consider giving yourself a small nonfood gift for holiday parties where you used these tips to celebrate the holidays and freedom from weight gain:

In fact most Americans are gaining weight gradually at a rate of 1 – 2 pounds a year.  Obesity can be prevented according to James O Hill, professor of pediatrics and medicine at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center by eating 100 fewer calories and walking a mile a day.

Most of all, beyond holiday parties, my wish for you for the holidays is for a time of renewal and connection—of celebrating friendships, family ties, and relishing time to relax and open your heart to the possibilities of 2013.

All the best to you for rekindling your well-being during the holidays to help free you from weight gain and get ready to “Make 2013 the Year” you achieve your weight loss goals.

One of my clients, Naomi, had 9 holiday parties scheduled last year, including 3 at work, 4 with friends, and 2 with family.  She made a plan to avoid weight gain.  She brought a gorgeously arranged fruit platter or salad with plenty of greens and a light dressing to each party and ate selectively.  No weight gain during the holidays last year for Naomi!

Interested in getting weight loss tips to make your weight loss easier?  Sign up here to receive my monthly newsletter and receive 2 other gifts.

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

Then Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Metabolism Tune Up

Being sedentary is a drag on metabolism

Could your metabolism use a boost?

Think small ways to move more.  Most of us who are sedentary because we sit too much, know that we should move more with aerobic physical activity and strength training.  We may need an hour a day of this activity to improve our metabolism and lose weight.  What about the rest of our waking hours where we are often  sedentary, a drag on our metabolism?  There is a strong association between being sedentary and the risk of dying even among persons who are physically active according to the Canadian Fitness Survey results.  Finding ways to move more and be less sedentary can boost metabolism and help with weight loss.

Now there’s a way to become less sedentary, move more, and enhance your metabolism.  How can you find new ways to move more and break up those long-periods of sedentary behavior that can take up much of the day?  The key is to track what you currently do during your waking hours with a tool called a Metabolic Profile.  Then you can look for ways to move more and increase your metabolism.  With a Metabolic Profile action plan you’ll have a tool in hand to help you move more throughout your day and increase your metabolism by making small changes to an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.

Carrie, a sedentary couch potato was at a weight plateau.  She found new ways to be less sedentary and move more at work by walking down the hall instead of sending emails to co-workers.  She also began walking around the office for a few minutes every hour.  She became less sedentary throughout the day and made it a routine to move more.  She made a smart decision to move more and gave her metabolism a boost to restart her weight loss.

Kay can partner with you to increase your metabolism and discover the top three ways to make 2013 the year you’ll lose weight and keep it off.  Apply now for a complimentary consultation with Kay Loughrey, Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian.

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Source:  Move More, Sit Less and Get Healthier. Len Kravitz, PhD, Weight Management Matters Newsletter, Weight Management Dietetic Practice Group, Academic of Nutrition and Dietetics, Fall 2012.

The Sleep and Obesity Connection

Could lack of sleep cause obesity? 

Interestingly, both the prevalence of obesity and the number of Americans getting less than 6 hours of sleep a night have increased in recent decades.  Let’s explore the possibility that lack of sleep could be one of the causes of weight gain that contribute to obesity.

sleep and obesity

Getting enough sleep to avoid obesity

Some studies have observed just such a connection, with obesity increasing while hours of sleep per night decreased.  Findings of other studies also suggest that persons with partial sleep deprivation may have more difficulty with losing weight.  Lack of sleep as one of the causes of weight gain needs more research to be proven.  Still, mechanisms for this connection have been suggested.

Of greatest concern is that dieters with partial sleep deprivation commonly complain about increased hunger and appetite, causes of weight gain that can lead to obesity.  Decreased sleep may disrupt appetite hormone regulation by increasing ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates the appetite and by decreasing leptin, the hormone that signals satiety.  The disruption of these 2 hormones may lead to overeating.  Dieters may also tend to eat more during extended hours of wakefulness, further contributing to obesity.

Even more troubling for persons who lack sleep and are fighting obesity, weight loss may come more from fat-free soft tissue than from fat tissue.

National data show that 30 percent of workers now get 6 or fewer hours of sleep a night.  Why?  According to Julie Shlisky, and colleagues, authors of a review article on the connection between lack of sleep, energy balance, and obesity in the November journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the contributing non-medical factors include, “demands of a modern lifestyle, excessive time in front of brightly lit computer and television screens, shift work, and jet lag, among other factors.”  

The bottom line is that if you’re one of the 55 percent of Americans trying to lose weight and avoid obesity, having the right amount of regular sleep (7 hours or more) may contribute to your success.

One of my clients Dan, was struggling with obesity.  He said that he woke up tired each morning because he went to bed too late.  During a coaching session, he realized that going to sleep with the television on was interfering with getting enough rest.  Once he turned off the television before going to sleep, he was able to wake up rested and start the day with the physical activity he needed to help him lose weight.

Are you struggling with mindless eating that is causing you to gain weight and that can lead to obesity?  If so, grab my 3 gifts to you including a tool to overcome Mindless Eating.  The Mindless Eating Tool will help you stop mindless eating in its tracks!

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Best and Worst Picks for Lunch on the Run

Want to know what to eat for lunch when you’re on the run during the day?  Check out this week’s Washingtonian blog post for tips based on an interview with me about the Healthiest and Worst Sandwiches at Marvelous Market in the DC area.

Yours in joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

How to Slim Down and Avoid Diet Failure

race to slim Down and avoid diet failure

Aesop’s Fables illustrated by Arthur Rackham, 1912

Wondering how to slim down without diet failure?

If you are one of the 55 percent of Americans who are trying to lose weight, you’re likely looking for ways to lose weight that don’t result in diet failure.  You may be considering ways to lose weight and how to slim down at your own pace without the usual weight regain and diet failure that most dieters experience.

With so many ideas in the marketplace about ways to lose weight, what do you know about how to slim down?  Let’s look at ways to lose weight at your own pace and for your personality that will help you avoid diet failure.

Want to discover how to slim down at a pace of weight loss that’s right for you?  Figuring how to slim down at your own pace to prevent diet failure is easy.


Pace Your Weight Loss Quiz

Taking this quiz will reveal your weight loss personality type and offer insights about ways to lose weight and avoid diet failure.

1.  What is your desired pace of weight loss?

a.  Fast

b. Medium

c.  Gradual

d.  Don’t know


2.  What happened with your weight in the last 30 days?

a.  Lost weight

b.  No change

c.  Gained

d.  Don’t know


3.  How much change are you willing to make in your diet?

a.  Big changes

b.  Moderate changes

c.  A few changes

d.  No changes


4.  What level of aerobic physical activity is most like what you did in the last 30 days?

a.  Seven or more hours a week

b.  Two to six hours a week

c.  One hour a week

d.  None


5.  How much are you willing to change your physical activity?

a.  Big changes

b.  Moderate changes

c.  A few changes

d.  No changes


Answer Key:

1.  Fast Tracker:  You answered a. to all questions.

2.  On a Roll: You answered a. to question 1 and a mix of a. or b. to other questions.

3.  Smooth Sailing:  You answered b. to question 1 and a. or b. to other questions.

4.  Easy Does It:  You answered c. to question 1

5.  Not ready to tackle weight: You answered d. to 2 or more questions


What do these personality types mean?

Fast Trackers have the goal and drive to lose 2 1/2 pounds a week or as much as 30 pounds in 90 days.

On a Roll individuals may have the determination to lose 2 pounds a week or 25 pounds in 90 days.

Smooth Sailing types have a goal and the desire to lose as much as 1 pound a week or 12 pounds in 90 days.

Easy Does It persons have a goal for gradual weight loss and are ready to make changes to match their goal and may to lose up to 6 pounds in 90 days.

Does it matter how quickly you lose weight? Speed doesn’t always yield greater success in the long run.  Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare?  The tortoise won at a slower pace because the fast paced rabbit stopped for a nap mid-race.  With many ways to lose weight, keeping it off makes the difference between success and diet failure.

The National Institutes of Health recommends a weight loss of 1 – 2 pounds a week as a way to maintain weight loss and avoid diet failure.

One of my clients, Isabelle lost 45 pounds in a year.  She took the “Smooth Sailing” approach and avoided diet failure by sustaining weight loss.

Is it time to clarify your goals and discover the top 3 ways you can jump start your weight loss now?  If so, apply for a complimentary consult with Kay Loughrey, Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Source:  NIH, The Practical Guide, Identification, Evaluation and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults.


SuperTracker Helps Build a Healthy Diet and Meet Weight Management Goals


Supertracker for a healthy diet

USDA’s Supertracker

SuperTracker tool for winning at weight management

SuperTracker may be for you if you want an easy way to plan, analyze, and track progress toward a healthy diet or weight management goals.  The beauty of USDA’s new online application is that you can leave behind paper food diaries and get instant feedback as you build a healthy diet.  Now you also can create and monitor your personal calorie goal for weight management SuperTracker all in one place.

 With SuperTracker, you can track and find ways to increase your physical activity for weight management and good health.  You’ll also be able to look up the nutritional content of more than 8,000 individual foods. You can compare your foods choices to healthy diet recommendations and your nutrient needs.  As you track daily food choices, you’ll see how these choices stack up with food group, nutrient, and calorie recommendations that make up a healthy diet.  SuperTracker also gives you access to recommendations about what and how much to eat for a healthy diet.

 SuperTracker is a Web-based application that offers these advantages:

  • Access and use the application for free;
  • Create a personalized profile, that will generate calorie and food group estimates for you.
  • Establish your own goals including weight and calorie goals;
  • Find nutrition information for individual foods.
  • Get reports that will help you increase accountability.
  • Do recipe analysis for nutrition content
  • Save favorite foods and ingredient combinations
  • Identify 34 nutrients, vitamins, and minerals in a day’s menu
  • Receive tips and feedback about progress toward your personal goals
  • Share successes on Facebook and Twitter.

After looking at her food diary, one of my clients, Linda, and I realized that she was eating 500 calories a day as snacks of chips, candy, cookies, and soda.  Food journaling and coaching were the keys to her decision to reduce snacks to 300 calories a day.  This decision plus our coaching sessions enabled Linda to lose10 pounds, reach her weight management goal, and maintain her weight loss.

How does SuperTracker compare with other nutrition and fitness applications, including mobile apps?  Please tell us your experience with SuperTracker and how it compares with other applications.  We’d like to learn what apps work best for you in meeting your weight management goals.

Let Kay show you why losing weight is about more than just a diet.  Watch her short video now.

Yours in Joy and Health,


Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

How Many Calories are in Your Favorite Drinks

Woman Drinking Glass of Red Wine

Woman Drinking Glass of Red Wine

Drink More Calories than You Think?

You may have decided that it’s time to find out how many calories are in the glass of red wine or soda that you just drank.  Taking a look at the calories in beverages is a smart decision.  It’s all too easy to underestimate or forget about the calories in drinks while trying to lose weight.

Many of us are more aware of what we eat than what we drink.  Yet monitoring total calories is a proven technique for losing weight.  The need to keep track of the total calories you consume makes it all the more important to find out how many calories are in beverages.

You may be aware of the calories in the foods you eat.  But, do you know how many calories are in what you drink each day?

The hidden calories in drinks, especially alcoholic beverages are a good example of how calories can add up by more than you think.

When Rachel first came to see me, she drank 3 glasses of wine every evening.  She was unaware of the calories in drinks.  At 6 ounces a glass, Rachel drank almost 450 calories a day as wine, one quarter of her total daily caloric needs to maintain weight.

Rachel decided to drink 1 glass of wine daily instead.  She supplemented the wine with a refreshing glass of water flavored with cucumber.  Armed with the knowledge of the calories in drinks, Rachel lost 35 pounds in a year and sustained the weight loss from what she learned during our coaching sessions.  She also saved more than $2,600 a year in wine purchases (at $10 a bottle).

What beverages add extra calories?  Let’s look at the calories in beverages both non-alcoholic and alcoholic to learn more.

Calories in Beverages that are non-alcoholic:

100 Orange Juice (8 oz)

160 Homemade Green Juice (2 cups)

217 Smoothie (12 oz), Robeks, Zen Berry

220 Caffe Latte (Whole Milk, 16 oz. no whipped cream), Starbucks

250 Soda (20 oz)

300 Muscle Milk (2.5 oz powder)

710 Strawberry Malt (Medium), DQ


Calories in beverages that are Alcoholic:

100 Wine, All Varieties (4 oz)

140 Beer, Regular (12 oz)

140 Gin Martini (2 oz gin)

215 Cosmopolitan

325 Pina Colada

The alternative?

To consume fewer calories as beverages, try having more water and supplement with:

90 – 100 Low-Fat or Fat-Free Milk (8 oz)

70 Soy milk Fortified with Calcium (Unsweetened 8 oz), Whole Foods

70 Whole Fruit (1 orange)

0 Teas, Tea Infusions, Coffee (no sugar or milk) (8 oz)

You’ll want to discover the calories in drinks you have daily as part of your strategy for lasting weight loss and living a delicious life.  There’s no need to give up your favorite drinks, just be choosy and selective. Discovering the hidden calories in beverages can help you drop extra pounds for good.

Is it time to clarify your goals and discover the top 3 ways you can jump start your weight loss now?  If so, apply for complimentary consultation with Kay Loughrey, Nutritionist and Registered Dietitian.

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious



The Calorie King Calorie Fat and Carbohydrate Counter, 2012.

Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2012.

Choosing Fast Food When Eating Out


Choosing Fast Food

Sometimes eating at a fast food restaurant is a practical choice even with the many high calorie menu options offered.  What is a person to do whose goal is to manage her weight when fast food is on tonight’s menu?  Let’s take a look at the menu options for eating out when the choice is fast food.

Luckily nutrition information is readily available at restaurant chains that have 20 or more locations doing business under the same name.

You can usually find nutrition information either online or in print at the restaurant to help making a smart calorie choice among menu options at a fast food restaurant.  Let’s look at how to avoid calorie sticker shock when eating out.

Compare the items in the two lists below and you’ll notice the wide variety of calories on fast food chain restaurant menu options.  The first 5 items are calorie budget busters while the 5 other items can easily fit into a calorie-reduced food plan.


5 High Calorie Fast Food Menu Options:

All numbers below refer to calorie content of menu item.

2,130 Chili’s Jalepeno Smokehouse Burger with Fries           

2,120 Baja Fresh Nachos with Charbroiled Steak

1,645 Arby’s Pecan Grilled Chicken Salad Sandwich

1,640 Dairy Queen, 6 Chicken Strips with Country Gravy

1,230 Burger King Triple Whopper with Cheese


5 Lower-Calorie Fast Food Menu Options:

330 Taco Bell Fresco Style Bean Burrito

300 Arby’s Ham and Cheese Melt

300 Wendy’s Jr. Cheeseburger Deluxe

280 Subway, Turkey Breast 6” Sub

240 Chick-fil-A Southwest Chargrilled Chicken Salad

Want to get the facts before eating out at a chain restaurant?  Consider viewing a restaurant’s Web site for a run down of their calories. Check for specific food items at large chain restaurant Web sites or at the Calorie King Web site.

One of my clients, Lisa, told me that she used to order the Boneless Buffalo Chicken Salad when eating out at Chili’s.  Then she discovered that this salad cost her a whopping 990 calories out of her 1200-calorie a day food plan.   Now Lisa usually asks for the Grilled Chicken Salad at 420 calories when her family goes to Chili’s for dinner.  Looking up calories when eating out at chain restaurants has made a big difference in helping Lisa meet her goal of losing 30 pounds.

Are your struggling with mindless eating that is causing you to gain weight?  If so, grab my tool to overcome Mindless Eating and receive 2 other gifts at:

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Trying to Decide What to Eat to Lose Weight?

If you’re among the 70 percent of Americans who need to lose weight, you’re probably wondering what to eat to lose weight.   Getting to a healthy weight may not be as difficult as you think once you learn about what causes weight gain and what to eat to lose weight.

It’s no secret that portion sizes have increased dramatically over the years.  Take a look at the bagel of today verses 20 years ago for a graphic example of this change.

What to Eat to Lose Weight

Source: NHLBI Portion Distortion

Our food supply has changed too.  We now have 600 more calories per person a day than we did 40 years ago.  For a person now maintaining her weight, adding 600 extra calories a day will mean gaining 60 pounds in a year.  No wonder we’ve gotten heavier!

Larger portion sizes and excess calories from food and drink are a big part of what causes weight gain.  Let’s look at where people get most of their calories to start discovering why Americans have gained weight.  None of my clients have been able to guess which foods top the list. 

Less surprising than the foods themselves is the fact that four of the five top sources of calories come from carbohydrates and fats.  The top 5 sources of calories in the U.S. for persons aged 2 and older are:

  1. Desserts, grain-based
  2. Yeast breads
  3. Chicken and chicken mixed dishes
  4. Soda, energy and sports drinks
  5. Pizza

Is it astonishing to learn that we eat more calories from desserts like cookies, cakes, and pastries than from any other foods?  Americans have heard and acted on the message that, “Life is short, eat dessert first.” 

Why should we care?  Managing total calorie intake is one of the chief ways to achieve a healthy weight, and for the 70 percent of Americans who need to lose weight, this means taking in fewer calories.  Check out the BMI calculator to discover what the normal or healthy weight range is for your height.

While it may seem obvious that we need to eat less of these 5 foods, the question becomes what to eat for weight loss and to achieve a healthy weight. Most of us know we should be eating fewer foods with sodium, saturated fat, trans fatty acids, solid fats and added sugars.

Keeping track of total calories is an important first step and often means reducing portion sizes.  Still, what foods should we eat more of that will also help us lose weight?   Within your calorie needs, consider eating more of these foods:

  • Vegetables and fruit
  • Whole grains–Make half your grains whole grains
  • Fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
  • A variety of protein foods
  • Seafood
  • Oils instead of solid fats (like butter)
  • Foods with more potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D

These recommendations are based on the latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.  For more information about how you can use guidelines for weight loss check out the USDA Super Tracker and booklet.

One of my clients, Karen, had trouble with snacking after work and overeating in the evening.  From our work together, she decided to have a small container of fruit topped with fat-free Greek yogurt after work to stave off hunger.  Then she started dinner with low calorie filling foods like a vegetable soup and salad and ate fewer calories before she was full.  With these new eating choices and other changes, she was able to take off 18 pounds, achieve a healthy weight, and keep it off. 

Of course physical inactivity also plays a role in what causes weight gain.  Did you know that getting more physical activity offers 25 health benefits including help with managing weight?

Tired of struggling with your weight and ready to get off the weight loss roller coaster ride for good, and reach a healthy weight?  If so, check out my Slim Down and Win 3 Step Blue Print for Lasting Weight Loss.


Yours in joy and health,
Kay Loughrey, RD
The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious

Is Master Cleanse a Detox Diet That Works

Ever thought about doing Master Cleanse as a detox diet?  Master Cleanse claims to “Flush” your body and lose excess weight, cleanse your system, and rid your body of toxins.  But does Master Cleanse really work and is it the best way to lose weight?

The Master Cleanse was originally designed in the 40’s by Stanley Burroughs and made famous by several Hollywood women including Beyonce, Angelina Jolie, and Gwyneth Paltrow. Singer-actress Beyonce revealed on the Oprah show that the Master Cleanse was her weight loss tool for the movie Dreamgirls, losing 20 pounds in only 2 weeks. Immediately the idea took off for those looking for a quick way to lose a significant amount of weight.

The cleanse is a fast lasting anywhere between 10 and 40 days according to Judith C. Rodriquez PhD, RD, FADA, and author of the Diet Selector. It involves a mixture of freshly squeezed lemon juice, maple syrup, cayenne pepper, and water. This drink is consumed 6-12 times a day, or whenever the feeling of hunger comes on. In addition, a laxative is taken every morning and evening.

Claims of the Master Cleanse recipe (as suggested by Burroughs):

  1. Lemon Juice: Aids the liver in producing more bile which traps fat molecules and allows them to be more easily secreted from the body. Also thought to decrease appetite.
  2. Maple Syrup: Rich in many vitamins and minerals and provides a minimal amount of calories.
  3. Cayenne Pepper: Increases metabolism and assists the digestive system. It also provides several vitamins and minerals.

Many professionals are calling the Master Cleanse a “starvation diet.” Lona Sandon, dietitian and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics says that “long-term fasts lead to muscle breakdown and a shortage of many needed nutrients.” Due to the lack of vitamin and mineral intake while doing this cleanse, the immune system is dramatically compromised, lowering the body’s ability to fight infections. To learn more about the dangers of this cleanse, check out this article by Susan Moores.

If a detox diet is something you are interested in trying, it should be based on a whole food approach that  emphasizes fruits, vegetables, fluids, and high-fiber antioxidant rich foods  containing other important compounds for eliminating free radicals.

As Rodriquez has reported, the Master Cleanse approach does not offer a long term plan or solution. There is almost no flexibility in food  choices and minimal science behind the detox.“The  current scientific data does not support that fasting, extremely low calorie intake, or lemons cleanse or rid the body of toxins, and  although the diet may not be harmful for just a few days, with long-term  use it can slow down metabolism, cause muscle wasting, and be harmful  to some body organs.” In addition, those  with diagnosed diabetes, renal disease, cancer, irritable bowel  syndrome, and several other illnesses should avoid this diet.  All this means that there’s no evidence of the effectiveness of Master Cleanse and in some cases this detox diet may be harmful so we can conclude that Master Cleanse is not the best way to lose weight.

The Slim down and Win approach cultivates a delicious life where you can selectively eat the food you love and not feel guilty. My programs differ from the Master Cleanse by

  • Addressing the whole person
  • Using sound science, psychology, and behavior therapy
  • Providing the resilience, motivation, and mindset to lose weight and keep it off while offering the practical “how-to” steps to follow through
  • Giving flexibility to adopt a customized diet plan at your own pace
  • Includes strategies to sustain weight loss


Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The RD Who Makes Life Delicious


This blog was written by Kaitlyn Moberly, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.



How Do You Get Calcium and Why is it Important for Aging Women

What's the Best Way to Get Calcium

Often my clients tell me they avoid milk because they heard that “it’s bad for you.” They are left wondering how do they get the calcium they need. It has been argued both ways whether milk is the best way to meet your daily recommended value for Calcium, but there is no arguing the importance of calcium in a woman’s diet, especially as she ages. With almost 90% of bone mass being formed by age 18, it becomes increasingly important over time to build up bone strength.

Calcium is an essential nutrient for optimal bone health. The USDA suggests that it plays a role in “nerve transmission, constriction and dilation of blood vessels, and muscle contraction.”

The National Academy of Sciences says American adults need between 1,000 and 1,200 mg of calcium a day, but because many dairy products are high in fat, the Dietary Guidelines 2010 recommends increasing your intake of “fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, such as milk, yogurt, cheese.” Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) says that while milk may be one of the most convenient ways to get calcium in a diet, it is also known to be a good source of Vitamins A and D and protein. Drinking moderate amounts could offer many additional health benefits, such as a lower risk of hypertension and colon cancer. Dietary Guidelines also states that drinking milk has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. The International Journal of Obesity found that low milk consumption even had a correlation with a higher weight and body mass index, so including milk in a balanced diet may help to manage weight.

An important thing to note about Calcium is that it is vital to consume it in conjunction with Vitamin D for optimal absorption. Many foods are fortified with Vitamin D, but if deciding to use a Calcium supplement, try for one that includes both.

For those who are still skeptical, chose not to consume dairy, or cannot consume dairy, there are many options for getting calcium in your diet. Try adding in more of these:

  • Collards
  • Salmon
  • Tofu
  • Fortified Soy Milk
  • Spinach (cooked)
  • Sardines
  • Fortified Cereals

For a more extensive list of calcium sources and how much calcium they contain, you can try the USDA’s Nutrient Database Reference.

Calcium, of course, is only one component to getting stronger, healthier bones. It needs to be incorporated into a balanced diet and weight bearing exercise. Here is a great article by Lifescript which gives an insight to building strong bones and offers 6 easy exercise options.

If you’re looking for help with getting motivated for weight loss, click HERE to sign up for my Discover Your Prime Motivator, A Tool for Permanent Weight Management. Find out more about my programs today.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The RD Who Makes Life Delicious

This blog was written by Kaitlyn Moberly, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.




Feskanich, D., Willett, W. C., & Colditz, G. A. (2003). Calcium, vitamin    d, milk consumption, and hip fractures: a prospective study among postmenopausal women. American Journal          of Clinical Nutrition,   77(2), 504-511.

Kass-Wolff, J. H. (2004), Calcium in Women: Healthy Bones and Much More. Journal of             Obstetric, Gynecologic, & Neonatal Nursing, 33: 21–33.

Marques-Vidal, P., Gonçalves, A., & Dias, C. M. (2005). Milk intake is inversely related to obesity in men and in young women: data from the portuguese health interview survey 1998–1999. International Journal of Obesity, (30), 88-93


Raspberry Ketones are the Bogus Claim of the Week

Raspberry Ketones Bogus Claim

Raspberry Ketones have kicked up quite a bit of hype after it was mentioned on the Dr. Oz Show as a fat loss miracle. Natural health food stores are struggling just to keep it on the shelves.
Unfortunately, this small compound, which gives raspberries their sweet smell, does not have much scientific research behind it.

It is claimed that raspberry ketones are able to regulate the body’s adiponectin levels, which is a protein used in metabolism regulation. Essentially this means the fat being stored within your cells is more easily broken up and used. In theory, this would help the body to “burn” fat more quickly and result in weight loss.

The benefit of taking it as a capsule versus eating the fruit itself is that one 100 miligram capsule would be equivalent to about 90 pounds of raspberries! This also means that to get this large amount of raspberry ketones into one capsule, they most typically are being synthesized in a lab.

But as of today, only three scientific studies have been conducted on Raspberry Ketones, none of which involved humans. The theory of ketones and their connection to adiponectin was demonstrated in Asia with two lab studies on mice. John Hopkins Medical reported that about 85% of human and mouse genomes are the same but without human based studies, it cannot be guaranteed that the product will not have adverse side effects or long term harm. It is hard to say that ketones would even have the same effect on human metabolism.

To read more on Raspberry Ketones, here is a detailed article by registered dietitian Janet Helm. Her article also touches on African Mango and Saffron Extract which were popularized by Dr. Oz as natural weight loss supplements.

Often times we feel ourselves looking for a “quick-fix.” This may make the journey longer and more tedious as there are no quick fixes in weight loss. Slim Down and Win offers three customizable programs designed to help you get through not only the physical battle of weight loss but the emotional one. This includes a self-study program for those ready to tackle weight loss on their own or a private coaching package for partnered help every step of the way.

With the right tools you can motivate yourself, get back to the real you, and fall in love with your vital self.

Visit our Programs page to start your journey:

Yours in Joy and Health,
Kay Loughrey, RD
The RD Who Makes Life Delicious

This blog was written by Kaitlyn Moberly, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.


Finn Bjøsrn Gjertsen, Einar Solheim, and Ronald R. Scheline. Metabolism of aromatic plant ketones in rats: Acetovanillone and paeonol. 1988, Vol. 18, No. 2 : Pages 225-234.

Image from:

The Role of Vitamin D and Bone Health for Women Over 40

Vitamin D…

Vitamin D and Bone Health

…also known as the “Sunshine Vitamin,” has become a popular topic of discussion within the past few years. Vitamin D and bone health seems to be a rising concern, especially for women over 40.

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 stated that Vitamin D was a nutrient low enough to be a “public health concern,” showing that only 28% of Americans are meeting the recommended amount.

But what is Vitamin D’s role in bone health? And are women over 40 really getting enough?

Vitamin D is a hormone that our bodies are able to make when exposed to sunlight. Due to geographical location, many women are finding that their Vitamin D levels are low. Take a look at this interactive map to see if where you live may be affecting your levels.

Because Vitamin D is necessary for proper calcium absorption, a deficiency may lead to thin, brittle bones, and bone health deterioration.  As women get older, their chances of osteoporosis and fractures increase, making both Calcium and Vitamin D essential for bone health in women over 40. This is certainly something to keep in mind while working toward your weight loss goals. Strengthening your bones through exercise and diet are necessary for optimal health. The Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health is a great resource for reading up on bone health.

The Institute of Medicine believes women should be taking in about 600 I.U. of Vitamin D daily, increasing to 800 I.U. for 71 and older. So how else can we make sure we are meeting the daily requirement?

  • Prescription
    • Get your Vitamin D levels checked. If your doctor believes you are deficient or low, he or she will recommend a dosage for you.
  • Supplements
    • It is still best to check with your doctor before taking any supplements, but many different dosages can be found. This is an easy way to make sure you meet the requirement without spending too much time in direct sunlight.
  • Food
    • Many grains and even milk are fortified with Vitamin D. Get in the habit of checking nutritional facts when shopping. Egg yolks, liver, and some fish also provide Vitamin D.
  • Direct Sunshine
    • The AMA (American Medical Association) found that wearing an SPF of 15 can block up to about 99 percent of Vitamin D production! So getting adequate amounts in your diet is very important.
    • The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends sun exposure for a few minutes at midday to increase Vitamin D synthesis with minimal UV damage.

So step into your sweet spot. Stay balanced and stay happy. Visit Our Programs to see the programs we offer filled with weight loss secrets for women over 40 and designed to help you fall in love with your vital self, lose weight for good, and get to your healthiest. Feel free to contact me for any additional nutrition questions.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The RD Who Makes Life Delicious


This blog was written by Kaitlyn Moberly, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.



5 Steps to Curb Horrid Stress Eating and Lose Weight

So many clients tell me that they are horrid stress eaters.  That’s why one of my weight loss secrets for women over 40 targets stress-induced eating.  Check out this surprisingly simple technique.

Stress eating begins with the belief that there’s something better just around the corner.  Then we’re left both disappointed and feeling that the present just isn’t good enough.

This kind of shutting down and withdrawing saps our motivation.  Stress eating is one among many ways we shield, protect, and comfort ourselves as we close down to ourselves.

What is the alternative?   Here’s my 5-step process to curb horrid stress eating:

  • Allow yourself to be open minded, have an open heart, and generous with yourself.  Be curious and without blame.
  • Today, observe what happens when you engage in stress eating.  Notice the feelings and thoughts that triggered you to eat.  Then you’ll be able to complete this sentence:  I engaged in stress eating when I was feeling _____ and thinking about _____.
  • Consider the choices:  What are your options instead of eating when triggers to stress eating strike?  Then, you have the opportunity to say, I can _____ instead of eating/drinking _____.
  • Try out a new behavior instead of stress eating.  Notice how it feels when you do something different.  Have a chuckle if you lapse into mindless eating instead of indulging in self-blame.
  • You can use the experience to open yourself to a perspective that is more fresh, awake, and trusts your intelligence.

I discovered these steps to curb horrid stress eating as I delved into the process of awakening the heart described in the book, Start Where You Are, A Guide to Compassionate Living by Pema Chodron.  The book based on the Tibetan teachings of Chogyan Trungpa Rinpoche.

One of my clients, Madeline, told me she was a horrid stress eater.  After overcoming initial resistance, she gave herself a few minutes each day to reflect on the issue of stress eating.  She soon realized that she’d made food an all-purpose solution to life’s problems.  Once she knew she had a choice, she could walk away from stress eating and do something else instead.  She lost 15 pounds in six weeks and has been able to keep it off.

Slim Down and Win, my 3 Step Blue Print of weight loss secrets for women over 40, offers winning strategies to banish burnout and stress while you fall in love with your vital self and lose extra pounds for good.

Check out our programs at:

Yours in joy and health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The Nutritionist Who Makes Life Delicious



Lancet Report: Exercise Pandemic ‘Killing as many as smoking’

A series of recent reports released in The Lancet reveal a sobering reality for North Americans.  A team of experts from the World Health Organization and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine calculated the distribution of human body mass across different regions of the earth.  Their results: A third of the total human biomass is located in North America, even though we only account for 6% of the world’s population.

Unsurprisingly, the high obesity rates are correlated with  low exercise rates.  5.3 million deaths are year are caused by a lack of physical activity.  Researchers stated the inactivity and obesity problem has gotten to the point where it has become a pandemic.

“Specifically, using data from W.H.O. and other large population studies worldwide, the researchers determined that inactivity is linked to about 6 percent of all instances of heart disease on Earth; 7 percent of Type 2 diabetes cases; and 10 percent of all breast and colon cancers, including among people who don’t smoke and are of normal weight.” –The New York Times

Here are the facts: Sitting for most of the day has become as deadly as smoking.  This is the shocking truth that applies to adults worldwide.

I am sharing this study because reports like this really tend to spur people into action.  Exercise is an indispensible aspect of a healthy lifestyle and successful weight management.  If you need some guidance balancing the different factors in your weight management journey, I have 3 new customizable programs that can be found under the “Our Programs” tab of my Web site.  I hope that these frightening statistics motivate you to fit some exercise in and rejuvenate your energy!

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The RD Who Makes Weight Loss Delicious

This blog post was written by Jacelyn Lee, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.

Breaking News: The Benefits of Ongoing Nutrition Education by Registered Dietitians

The bottom line:  Women who are counseled by registered dietitians are up to 3 times more likely to lose weight.

The background: According to Samantha Heller (Center for Cancer Care),

“A big factor in unsuccessful weight loss attempts is people not knowing how or where to begin.  Nutrition counseling takes the guesswork out of creating a healthy lifestyle and helps motivate and empower people to stay on track.”

These results are a result of a 15-year Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study that involved more than 17,000 postmenopausal American women.  A discussion of the main results of this study are featured in a July 18th blog post entitled “Weight Loss Eases Menopause Symptoms: Breaking News This Week.”

The benefits: Registered Dietitians have the ability to translate the latest scientific findings (for example, the WHI study) into information that is applicable to your individual situation. Through both academic and professional qualifications, an RD can serve as a source of credible and objection nutrition education.

The takeaway: The “guesswork” that Heller mentioned is an understandable obstacle to achieving sustained weight loss and gaining the benefits mentioned in the above study. In fact, 80% of dieters fail to lose weight and keep it off!  This is why I, as a registered dietitian have developed 3 new products for you to choose from, according to your individual needs.  My programs are just right for people who are ready to tackle their weight loss using the combinations of: an online guide that they can do at home and at their own pace AND private VIP coaching sessions.  Visit the “Our Programs” page of my Slim Down and Win Web site to find out more.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The RD Who Makes Weight Loss Delicious


This blog post was written by Jacelyn Lee, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.

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Spotlight On: The National Institute on Aging & The Go4Life Exercise Guide

The National Institutes of Health and the National Institute on Aging have launched a joint campaign entitled “Go4Life” that aims to encourage exercise habits among Baby Boomers and the over-50 population.  Studies show that the Americans’ physical activity levels tend to decrease as we age; often during the time when our bodies may most benefit from being active!  According to NIH research, only about 30% of adults aged 45-64 regularly engages in physical activity. Experts believe that two of the main culprits are a concern for personal safety, and a lack of direction.  People simply don’t know where to get started!

This is the concern that the NIA addresses in their Go4Life Campaign.  Go4Life is an “exercise and physical activity campaign…designed to help you fit exercise and physical activity into your daily life.  Motivating older adults to become physically active for the first time, return to exercise after a break in their routines, or build more exercise and physical activity into weekly routines are the essential elements of Go4Life.”  The campaign has launched an interactive Web site that features tips sheets, exercise plan tracking tools, relevant articles, and an evidence-based guide to exercise.

The tip sheets in the Go4Life Campaign contain guidance on “exercising year-round, low-cost exercise plans, finding the time for caregivers to exercise, family activities, finding a fitness trainer, exercising with physical limitations, and even motivating others to get active.”  The exercise guide focuses on activities that are appropriate for the various concerns of Baby Boomers: endurance, balance, strength, and flexibility.  These are the factors that make the Go4Life Campaign unparalleled; the campaign is tailored to the unique concerns of individuals over 50.

Exercise can improve your body image, increase your energy, and help you maintain your ideal weight.  Exercise is an essential component of lasting weight loss.  In order to help you out in your weight loss journey, I have developed three new ways for boomers and others to participate in lasting weight loss.  Check these out on the Programs Page of my Slim Down and Win web site!

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The RD Who Makes Weight Loss Delicious


This blog post was written by Jacelyn Lee, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.


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Are High-Protein, Low-Carbohydrate Diets Most Effective for Weight Loss?

Are all calories created Equal?

According to Dr. Jules Hirsch, emeritus professor and emeritus physician in chief at Rockefeller University…they are.  Dr. Hirsch was interviewed for a July 9th Washington Post article entitled “In Dieting, Magic Isn’t a Substitute for Science.”  This article was written in response to a recent study  published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, which suggests, “People on a high-fat, high-protein diet burn more calories than those eating more carbohydrates.”  Dr. Hirsch argues that this study is inherently flawed and goes against the basic laws of science.  Read on for his insights.

Study Participants: Weight Maintenance After Initial Weight Loss

It is important to note that the participants in this study did not receive the experimental diets until after they had achieved an initial weight loss of 10-20% of their weight.  This study was not targeted towards – and is therefore not entirely applicable to – individuals who are trying to achieve initial weight loss.  Furthermore, this study was conducted with only 21 people; this is such a small number of subjects that there is no way to run statistical tests that are meaningful.

The Atkins Diet & The Illusion of Success

The JAMA study reported that people on the Atkins diet (high in fat and protein, low in carbohydrates) were burning off more calories than people on a high carbohydrate, low fat diet.  Dr. Hirsch states that the weight loss displayed by participants on the Atkins diet was due to water loss.  “Only water, no fat, has been lost.”  Changing the combination of nutrients in your diet will in no way affect your energy output, which is a crucial factor in weight loss and weight maintenance.

There is No Magic Fix to Losing Weight

The basic Law of Conservation of Physics states that energy cannot be created or destroyed.  When applied to diet and weight loss, this means that in order to lose weight, the energy expelled from the body through exercise & other bodily processes must be greater than the energy consumed in the form of calories.  Different foods and drinks have different calorie counts, but each calorie still contains the same amount of energy.  When energy is taken in faster than it is used, fat content will increase and the individual will gain weight.

When this information is taken into account, it is evident that a losing weight is dependent upon much more than just trying new combinations of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in your diet.  Even a carefully monitored, lower-calorie diet may not be enough.  Effective weight management requires you to develop the internal strength to sustain a new lifestyle to avoid the a cycle of chronic dieting.  Need some guidance?  I have an upcoming COMPLIMENTARY July 26th Webinar that features my 3-Step Blueprint to Lasting Weight Loss, which is grounded in science, positive psychology, and behavior therapy.  I combine these techniques into a multi-faceted approach to help you stop your stressed out lifestyle and begin your sweet life.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The RD Who Makes Weight Loss Delicious


This blog post was written by Jacelyn Lee, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.

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Weight Loss Eases Menopause Symptoms: Breaking News This Week

Some good news for Baby Boomer women who are currently embarking on their weight loss journeys: A Women’s Health Initiative study involving more than 17,000 American women indicates that Menopausal women who lose weight eating a low-fat diet rich in fruits and vegetables could reduce or eliminate their hot flashes and night sweats.  This study, published on July 11th in the online edition of Menopause, was a collaborative effort of more than 15 medical groups, including the North American Menopause Society, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.  “We wanted to see if this could be an alternative to hormone therapy,” said lead researcher Candyce Kroenke, referring to long-standing research that indicates a correlation between hormone-replacement therapy and increased risk for heart disease and breast cancer.  If you are affected by menopause symptoms, read on for some highlights from this compelling study.

The lifestyle changes:

  • Effective diet changes included: decreasing fat & increasing whole grains, fruits, and vegetables
  • The women in the study were not taking hormone therapy
  • The participants on the diet lost an average of 4.5 pounds yearly 

The effect of a healthier diet:

  • Reduced hot flashes and night sweats were seen in both overweight and normal-weight women who lost weight
  • Women who lost 10 pounds in a year or 10% of their body weight were 89% more likely (than the control group) to see night sweats and hot flashes reduced or disappear

Why it works:

  • Fat tends to retain heat
  • Losing weight helps the body to dissipate heat more easily
  • Losing excess weight, a good diet, and exercise “contribute to general health.” – Dr. Jennifer Wu, Lennox Hill Hospital

This study is just one more reason to make the commitment to yourself that you will transform your life and weight once and for all.  My Slim Down and Win program combines nutrition with positive psychology and behavior therapy to offer a solution that will lead to sustainable weight management.  I invite you to sign up for my complimentary Webinar on July 26th to reap the benefits indicated in this study – and many more!

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The RD Who Makes Weight Loss Delicious


This blog post was written by Jacelyn Lee, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.


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Baby Boomers…A Force to Be Reckoned With!

For many Baby Boomer women in today’s society, life shows no sign of slowing down.

Not only are boomer women the largest generation demographic in the United States (nearly 80 million strong!), they are also living longer, making the majority of household decisions, and becoming more established in their careers and industries.

Gone are the days of the unwarranted “out of touch” stereotype for the over-50 generation.  Baby boomers boast a formidable presence in all aspects of modern life: business, social change, and even social media…a tool that in the past, has largely been considered the domain of teenagers.  According to this blog post by the social media news blog Mashable, nearly 47% of Baby Boomers report actively maintaining a social media profile on the web.

Furthermore, according to this Washington Post article, the boomer population boasts the highest rate of entrepreneurship in America.  I was surprised to learn that “the lowest rate of entrepreneurship actually belongs to the 20-to-34 demographic.”  The more I look at the facts though, the more this makes sense.  College graduates are entering the “real world” with the burden of a sub-par economy, limited disposable income, and mountains of student loan debt.  On the other hand, Baby Boomers posses the income, the stability, the wisdom, and the drive to be a dominant force for change – both in their public and private spheres.

If you are a woman over 50, you are at the most powerful and potentially joyful point in your life.  This is not the time to settle into old habits, especially regarding your wellness and weight-loss goals.  You have the potential to kick-start a dynamic shift toward the life you’ve always dreamed of.  This is one of the main ideas on which I have built my Slim Down and Win program – the idea that you have in yourself the power to achieve sustained weight management.  To guide you in harnessing this internal strength, my program uses the latest science and research in positive psychology to help you beat stress, renew your energy, and fuel your resilience.  These are the tools that will infuse your life with more love, joy, and meaning…and ultimately, enable you to achieve your weight-loss dreams.

In fact, you can get started now on your journey to lasting weight loss by signing up for my complimentary July 26th Webinar here.  Over 80% of dieters fail to lose weight and keep it off.  You have the power to change this statistic...for your generation, your society, and yourself!  Take a moment to make a commitment to yourself – harness your many talents and resources available to you to make a positive change.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The RD Who Makes Weight Loss Delicious


This blog post was written by Jacelyn Lee, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.


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When You Look In the Mirror, Do You Like What You See? – Body Image & Baby Boomer Women

The conversation about women and body image is one that unfortunately does not occur in one age group where it is desperately needed: among women over 50 and the Baby Boomer crowd.  Young girls aren’t the only ones affected by the issue of body image and the societal pressures that accompany it.  That being said, even less focus is put on the evolution of body image for women over 50, or how women’s perceptions of themselves must evolve and adapt to keep pace with the natural aging process.  Body image is defined as the mental representation that a person has of his or her own body, including perceptions, attitudes, thoughts, and emotions.  Your body image is also shaped and influenced by the media, cultural expectations, and the people around you.

As I mentioned in this previous post, modern consumers are continually being bombarded by promotional material and new findings from the health care industry.  But, what exactly is the underlying message behind many of these advertisements?  Health marketers want you to believe that you are not “good enough.”  Products are offered to erase wrinkles, tone up your skin’s “trouble spots,” help you smell better, make your hair shinier…the list goes on!  When faced with the combined issues of trying to lose weight and dealing with the aging process, it is no wonder that the over-50 crowd is feeling more pressure than ever…and facing ever increasing negative body image.

The beginning of an individual’s body image is defined at a very young age.  Actresses and models that appear in magazines and popular television shows are impossibly thin, flawlessly made-up, and professionally styled.  Young girls who grow up with these kinds of role models are encouraged to develop increasingly unrealistic expectations of their bodies.  When we live in a society that encourages us to define ourselves in terms of our appearances, this sets us up to experience high levels of dissatisfaction with our bodies.  Furthermore, Boomer women are largely ignored by the media altogether.  This lack of presence in American culture leads to many feeling like they are invisible, no matter how long they spend on putting together the perfect outfit and hairstyle

How do I overcome negative feelings of self-esteem and body image?  It is important to remember that body image comes from within.  You may not have control over the images put out by the media, but you have control over how you perceive yourself and how your present yourself to the world.  The idea of “beauty” is highly subjective and in the eyes of the beholder.  The first step to achieving your goals (weight management goals, or otherwise) is to approach them with a sense of confidence and grace.  To learn more about how to achieve lasting weight loss and how to have a delicious life, please watch my video on the Slim Down and Win web site here ).  Lastly, remember: your own strength is ultimately your greatest weapon.

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD

The RD Who Makes Weight Loss Delicious


This blog post was written by Jacelyn Lee, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.


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Americans Walk Least Out of Any Industrialized Nation in the World. Why Is This?

An English dictionary search of the term “pedestrian” already sets our society back a little. This word can be defined as either a noun or an adjective: as a person who goes or travels on foot (a walker) or as describing the act of walking itself. However, when you go down to the next definition, you land on a decidedly more negative connotation: “lacking in vitality, imagination, distinction, etc.; commonplace; prosaic or dull.” Unfortunately, recent research shows that this definition may mirror Americans’ attitudes towards walking.

According to “The Two Way,” a blog affiliated with the public broadcasting company NPR, Americans now walk the least out of any industrialized nation in the world. In a recent interview, writer Tom Vanderbilt divulged the simple, yet disheartening truth: “The main thing is, we’re just not doing enough of it.”

The United States has become a country where transportation and “getting anywhere” almost always involves a set of wheels, and as we become increasingly focused on speed and efficiency, those set of wheels tend to be connected to our cars and automobiles.

This is a complex issue that requires an even more complex solution: cities and roads are not always built in a way that easily accommodates pedestrians, cars are just faster and more convenient than public transportation, and technological advances like airport moving walkways even eliminate the need to walk down an airport corridor.

Is the environment that we live in a factor that discourages us from walking? Or is it simply a reflection of our already negative attitudes towards walking? Either way, the message of this article is clear: “Americans have cut down on walking, [and] they’ve been putting on some pounds.” More than 78 million American adults (not to mention the 12 million American children) are obese and we can no longer afford to use technology and modern conveniences as excuses to cut down on exercise.

Vanderbilt said it best: “Walking is really as natural as breathing…We’re all born pedestrians.” Let’s make a commitment to changing this disappointing statistic. Go out and take a walk!

Yours in Joy and Health,

Kay Loughrey, RD
The RD Who Makes Weight Loss Delicious

This blog post was written by Jacelyn Lee, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.

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Back to the Basics


At any given time, you can open up a magazine or newspaper and you are sure to see an article about new health findings. Just a few days ago, the New York Times featured an article on the K-E Diet. K-E Diet is short for Ketogenic Enteral Nutrition and involves a growing trend among brides who use a feeding tube to lose weight before their weddings. This diet was created by Dr. Oliver R. Di Pietro and promises up to 20 pounds of weight loss in just 10 days. The issue is that these scientists and doctors are promising virtually overnight results and attempting to use drastic methods instead of addressing the root of the problem and the underlying determinants of weight gain.

This is just one example of how health promotion and the health industry in general can be very fickle: jumping from one trend or claim to the next. With the advent of the Internet, individuals are exposed to a wealth of information that may not be reliable or understandable. Frankly, for the consumers of this information, it can be very confusing and many are becoming skeptical. Who should we choose to believe? How do we know that the information about what habits are right or wrong won’t change tomorrow?

Long story short: we don’t. This is why the Slim Down and Win program focuses on lifestyle changes: positive psychology, nutrition, developing a growth mindset, and managing emotions. Offering real solutions to a problem that affects 2/3 of Americans is why I’ve thoroughly researched the scientific evidence in terms of what works in terms of weight management and have received advanced training and a certificate in adult weight management from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.  This is such a serious problem in our society with such high economic and social costs that it is crucial that we use effective methods to solve the problem instead of compounding it with quick fix diets that lead to temporary weight loss, weight regain (the revolving door of weight loss), and ultimately disappointment and frustration.

In contrast, health marketers have the tendency to want to medicalize health behavior. Furthermore, the scientific community tends to quickly publish tentative findings into print without always considering how it they will be received. The mass media only accelerates this process and promotes many new findings as if they are steadfast facts. Even worse, many sources that tend to be considered reputable are making claims that aren’t even scientifically based. Reader’s Digest, for example, made the outrageous claim “Drop up to 21 pounds in 21 days.” Not only is this unrealistic and outlandish; it is also unhealthy. Losing 21 pounds in such a short amount of time would be a major shock to your metabolism and is simply not a sustainable type of lifestyle.

It is far better to focus on the personal choices that you make, and the way that you approach food, exercise, and everyday living. There is nothing wrong with staying educated and up-to-date on current events; we just have to be cautious audiences of health promotion. Remember: you are in control of your emotions, your nutrition, your health choices, and ultimately, your overall well-being. You do not have to give up this control to the next source that claims to have a “cure.” Health is not a single destination or quick fix. Instead, it is something much better: a journey and a lifestyle of self-awareness and wellness.

Yours in Joy and Health,
Kay Loughrey, RD
The RD Who Makes Weight Loss Delicious

This blog post was written by Jacelyn Lee, Intern for Whole Mind Wellness, LLC.