Category Archives: weight gain

Suspicions Confirmed: PCOS


Firstly, thank you for your warmth and support with my recent health scare. Unfortunately, the PCOS diagnosis was confirmed by my OB yesterday. Fortunately, I have a definitive answer and a plan. I was prescribed 500 milligrams of Metformin twice daily (click to read more but in essence, it is diabetic drug) to help control my blood sugars which are doing some really irregular things.

My OB gave the most concise and clear explanation of PCOS which described it as a spectrum. Some women experience more metabolic syndrome (like myself), others endocrine problems (i.e. hertuism or excessive body hair), and others “PCOS” (in regards to abnormal menses, infertility, and cystic ovaries). And while most women dabble in all of these arenas, some have more problems in one arena than the others. Many women don’t discover the severity of their PCOS-like symptoms until they are trying to conceive. This is why PCOS is often times undetected until women run into problems conceiving.

My symptoms are much more related to weight gain, trouble losing weight, and insulin resistance than anything else, and my OB seems optimistic that we will be able to conceive (with some added effort) when and if our time comes. Have I lost you yet?

This is some seriously confusing, scary stuff. Infertility…type 2 diabetes…there’s so much to know. I am going to start a tab on my blog devoted to PCOS – as someone with PCOS and working in diabetes/insulin resistance, I hope I have something to offer to others. If you have any questions regarding PCOS or a carbohydrate-controlled diet, please send them to me at I may not have an answer now, but I am devoted to combating this disease head-on and learning as much as I can about PCOS.

I will continue following a carbohydrate-controlled diet. And because my needs are different from others, my recipes may be on the moderate-carb side of things. One reader emailed me with the comment that I’ve been eating more meat, and that is absolutely true. Proteins and fats will be playing an integral role in my diet, and increasing lean animal proteins is one way I can prepare satisfying, carbohydrate-controlled meals.

Thank you again for all of your support! The blogosphere has proved to be a very warm crowd, and I am so grateful for that 😀 Hugs!

I promise to be catching up with everyone just as soon as I can! Life is busy Monday through Thursday (especially with evening hockey games!) and I’ve been taking some added time to just process this news and try and find all the positives in this situation. 🙂

Homemade enchiladas and sugar-free Baja Bob’s (virgin) margaritas for this chick tonight! But probably a Negro Modelo, too 😉

Thank you again.. 🙂

Happy Cinco de Mayo,



Filed under blood glucose, carbohydrates, diabetes, diet, holiday, low-carb, meat consumption, Metabolic Syndrome, PCOS, protein, Uncategorized, weight gain

the last of diabetes & a garden update

I know, I’m kind of on blog diabetes over-load lately. I got a great reader question, however, and I thought I’d answer it here, as well. Diabetes is a complex disease and with the Western diet we consume, I believe we are ALL at increased risk of developing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

If you’re sick of diabetes, you can skip on down to my garden update. Things were a’growin’ while I was in San Jose! 😀

Heather of Get Healthy with Heather: Could you write about the different types of diabetes and ways to treat them with food and exercise? At my work diabetes is a big problem and we want to start taking steps to reduce it and help improve employee’s health. Thanks!

Prevention RD: Great question, Heather! Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and is characterized by insulin resistance. Insulin in the hormone in the body which acts as the carrier for glucose (energy) into the cell for proper metabolic processes. When insulin resistance appears, insulin is no longer working effectively due to the cell’s decreased sensitivity to insulin or a glucose (energy) load, particularly from carbohydrates, that exceeds the capacity of the body’s needs. Muscle cells are more receptive to insulin and for this reason, insulin resistance is more common in overweight and obese individuals.

Type 2 diabetes is attributable to both genetics and lifestyle factors such as overweight and obesity, inactivity, high blood pressure, and poor diet high in total carbohydrates and/or simple carbohydrates (sugars and starches). Screening for diabetes is being performed much earlier in the US because symptoms often times take years to develop. Common symptoms of diabetes (all types) include: excessive thirst, excessive urination, fatigue, weight loss, and fruity-smelling urine.

Type 2 diabetics are twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease. Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to other complications such as retinopathy leading to blindness, neuropathy (loss of feeling and sensation in the extremities and digits) which can lead to amputations, nephropathy leading to kidney failure and dialysis, and erectile dysfunction. Depression is also common in many diabetics.

Type 1 diabetes is an auto-immune disease which requires insulin therapy due to the pancreas’ inability to produce insulin. Type 1 diabetes is typically diagnosed in the younger years with most type 1’s being diagnosed before their 20th birthday. A strict insulin and diet regimen are required for proper health.

Gestational diabetes is commonly coined a “carbohydrate intolerance” and is first diagnosed during pregnancy. Risk factors for gestational diabetes include: obesity, family history of diabetes, non-Caucasian descent, and older maternal age. Most women resolve their carbohydrate intolerance after giving birth, but they are at increased risk for developing type 2 diabetes in the future. The baby of a gestational diabetic is more likely to become overweight or obese and have impaired glucose tolerance and/or diabetes later in life.

While there are several types of diabetes, they are all treated the same. I am an advocate of eating like a diabetic to avoid diabetes. A diabetic meal regimen focuses on regular meal times and macronutrient balance. Diabetics should be counseled on basic carbohydrate counting techniques and aim to consume a carbohydrate-controlled diet of approximately 45 grams per meal, and a 15-30 gram carbohydrate snack (plus protein) before bed. Ideally, 2-3 ounces of protein (or more) is included at each meal.

General rules of thumb for diabetics and carbohydrates:

  • Emphasize complex carbohydrates over simple carbohydrates (complex carbs include fiber)
  • Increase fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in the diet
  • If lower carbohydrate intake is good, less is not better. The brain needs glucose!
  • An evening snack should be consumed no more than 60 minutes before bed. Include protein!
  • Check labels! Look for portion size, servings per container, grams of total carbohydrate, and fiber content
  • Do not check sugar on a label! Sugar on a label cannot differentiate between lactose and sucrose, so it is not an accurate means of determining the effect on blood glucose
  • Fiber and protein help blunt the curve of the post-meal glucose spike – they are important to include at every meal.
  • If you include snacks throughout the day, aim for high-protein and healthy fat snacks (2% cheese, nuts, seeds, etc.)
  • Increase exercise! Activity helps to lower blood glucose and increase muscle mass which is more sensitive to insulin than adipose (fat)

What are some examples of balanced 45 gram meals?

  • A meat and/or 2% cheese sandwich on 2 slices of whole grain bread, a side salad with light dressing, and a piece of fruit
  • 3-4 ounces of meat with 2/3 cup rice or noodles, 1 cup of mixed vegetables, and 1 dinner roll
  • 2 chicken or beef tacos with 1/3 cup rice or ½ cup beans

45 grams gone and you’re still hungry?

Some meals are a “rip off” in terms of carbohydrate grams for portion size (ex: rice and pasta). These foods can still be consumed, but they will require smaller portions. If these portions are not enough to feel satisfied, consider increasing the amount of protein and non-starchy vegetables on your plate. There are lots of ways to add bulk to your meal without adding additional carbohydrates.

What fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates?

Technically, all of them. All fruits are carbohydrates and need to be counted. Starchy vegetables that contain significant proportions of carbohydrates include: potatoes, peas, corn, and squash. All other vegetables are very low in carbohydrates and don’t need to be counted until the portion has exceeded 3 cups (that’s a lot!). So, more or less, they’re freebees…eat more!

Heather, I recommend…

If I were you, I would create a free, anonymous survey on Survey Monkey and send it to your co-workers. Find out how much of a problem diabetes is for your co-workers and their families. Ask questions that relate to diabetes (i.e. How many fruits and vegetables do you eat each day? How many times a week do you regularly exercise? Do you have a mother, father, brother, or sister with diabetes?) to find out what needs the most attention.

Most people don’t know much about diabetes and how to prevent diabetes. More individuals than we can estimate are walking around with advancing insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Early intervention is extremely important! The longer diabetes goes undetected, the grimmer the future is for diabetics as far as complications and pre-mature death. Diabetes is a progressive disease and gets worse over time, requiring more to control its effects. Education is so important!

I wish you lots of luck in your endeavors to inform and help your co-workers live long, healthy, and happy lives!

Diabetes is preventable if we do something about it before it’s too late!



The squash (bottom) hadn’t even sprouted when I left on Sunday!

Critters are eating my potatoes…need to address! Any advice???

Kale! Looks like Christmas holly to me 🙂

“I was just thinking how much I missed my mommy and how I hadn’t been photographed in several days…”

And for the Lily lovers out there: Lily is feeling much better it seems! Another week to go til we find out about surgery. Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes for our baby girl! 😀

Question: Do you limit your carbohydrate intake at all? If so, why? What do YOU consider to be a low-carbohydrate diet? Do you think low-carbohydrate diets are advisable? Why or why not?

I think everyone has a different take on this, so I’m curious to hear what you guys think!

Random Question: Over dinner with Andrea the other night, we talked about how important it is to keep posts concise. I am not good at this always (see above!), but I try to be. Do you find that you enjoy blogs that are less time-consuming to keep up with? Or does length not really deter you from reading a blogger’s posts?

Have a great day!


Filed under blog, blog topic request, blood glucose, BMI, carbohydrates, chronic disease, diabetes, diet, dietitians, exercise, fiber, fruits and vegetables, garden, genetics, heart health, hormones, low-carb, meat consumption, obesity epidemic, pets, physical activity, pregnancy, protein, travel, weight gain, weight loss

friends & food

Day #2 of the conference went so well! I felt like we were all long-time friends and everyone was just so great to get to know. The Johnson & Johnson website will hopefully keep us all connected, though! I even got a diploma for completing the training, check it out:

Includes a picture of me and all my new friends outside the Johnson & Johnson Diabetes Institute 🙂 They played the graduation song and gave us all hugs as we went up to get our diplomas! 😉

I wanted to answer a few questions people asked regarding my experience at Johnson & Johnson this week.

Q: Jessie from The Happiness in Health asked: Do you know if insulin pumps are covered my insurance?

A: For type 1 diabetics, sometimes. For type 2 diabetics, not usually. My patients pay out of pocket for all pumps, unfortunately. It really all depends on insurance, however. Great question!

Q: Estela from Weekly Bite asked: Are you going to take the CDE exam?

A: YES! I have just over 40% of my hours and anticipate gathering the next 600 hours over the next 18 months or less. I will sit for the exam ASAP!

Sarah sent me an email asking: What does the pump entrance piece look like? As in, what is actually inserted into the body?

A: Here you go! I promise, I felt not a thing!

And my dear friend Andrea sent me a link to a very scary clip about “diabulimia” – a form of Eating Disorder common in many women suffering from type 1 diabetes. This is a SERIOUS problem for diabetics, and is worth watching the clip to learn more.

We actually discussed insulin omission to produce weight loss today at JJDI. It is true that initiating insulin can cause weight gain in diabetics. When a patient has uncontrolled blood sugars, they have an excess amount of energy (calories in the form of carbohydrates, glucose) circulating in their bodies. Insulin is the hormone which acts as the carrier of glucose (sugar and energy) into the cell where it can be metabolized properly. When energy is not entering the cell, weight loss occurs. By not taking insulin, insulin-dependent diabetics can starve their cells of energy and produce rapid and dangerous weight loss.

It was such a wonderful 2 days! I learned so much and am feeling so empowered about my career path and helping patients manage such an exhausting and complex disease.

And my trip ended up a blogger meet-up with the lovely Andrea of Andrea’s Wellness Notes. 🙂

Here are some highlights of our evening together on Santana Row:

Thank you for the wonderful evening, Andrea! I look forward to seeing you again in October when I’m back in town! 😀

Question: After reading a great post by Caitlin on her Food Revolution, I was in awe as to the variety of responses she received from her readers on what their food revolutions stemmed from. So I ask you, what inspired you, or inspires you, to become a healthier you each day?

I was certainly impacted by my obesity from a young age and attending Weight Watchers meetings. Significant literature such as Food, Inc. and The Omnivore’s Dilemma also played a role in shaping my health path.

P.S. How are you doing on your DO What You DON’T Challenge? I did my strength training Monday evening and last night was yoga! We’re nearly to the end of the month, continue with more DO and less DON’T!!!

Catch you back in the dirty south,


Filed under blog, blog topic request, blood glucose, book, carbohydrates, challenge, chronic disease, dessert, diabetes, diet, dietitians, dining out, dinner, exercise, friends, hormones, news, physical activity, restaurant, weight gain, weight loss, wine, yoga

::sniffle sniffle::

I was having heart palpitations on my way to working yesterday thinking, “I can’t believe I posted that…I can’t believe I posted that.” Between patient appointments I would check my Blackberry and my heart just smiled at each one of you…

You are all so incredible and  your comments truly mean so much to me.

I love that my honesty brought people out of the wood works that I otherwise would’ve never known about 😉 Thank you. I am not one to shine a spot light in this direction as you well know from reading, but it just felt right and your comments justified my ability to use this blog as my outlet for me…and for you. I would go thank each and one of you who posted with a, “You are too sweet, thank you!” but that’s just silly…so YOU ARE ALL TOO SWEET, THANK YOU!

…and I am very much so looking forward to meeting several of you at BlogHer Food in October!! 🙂 20 pounds over my “happy weight” or not, I’ll be there and I’ll have a blast (and eat my fair share, too!)!!

I’m going to vacation another day from the NNM topics, but I DO intend to post a Q&A before the week is over. I’ve got several great questions to be answered and any others can be sent me way! !

Garden Update:

Good bloggie vibes and sunny Tulsa weather have seemed to revive the garden. I hope I am not speaking too soon ::knock on wood:: !!

And the first appearance of pork on my blog! I love pork, why don’t I cook it more often!? Mr. Prevention (grumble, grumble!). And yes, before you call me out on it…Cooking Light and I have had some serious “moments” this month. I hope you can benefit!

Pork Tenderloin, Pear, and Cranberry Salad adapted from Cooking Light

1 Tbsp (apple) cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3/4 tsp brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic, divided
1 1/4 tsp dried thyme, divided
1 pound pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1/4th-inch-thick slices
3/4 1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, divided
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1/4 cup shallots, sliced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup 100% cranberry juice
6 cups baby spinach leaves
1 ripe red Anjou pear, thinly sliced


Combine vinegar, mustard, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon garlic, and 1/4 teaspoon thyme. Set aside.

Combine pork and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic, remaining 1 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; toss well to coat. Sprinkle pork mixture with flour; toss well. Let stand 5 minutes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; cook for 3 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add cranberries and juice; cook until liquid is reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 2 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low. Add vinegar mixture; cook 1 minute. Gradually add 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, stirring well with a whisk. Cover and keep warm.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork to skillet; cook 3 minutes or until browned, turning once. Remove pork. Repeat procedure with remaining pork. Toss pork with 1 tablespoon warm cranberry mixture (I skipped this step – the pork smelled too good!)

Combine spinach and pear in a large bowl. Drizzle with reamining cranberry mixture; toss well to coat. Arrange about 2 cups spinach mixture on each of 4 plates; top evenly with pork. Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Information (per serving): 360 calories; 17.7 g. fat (3.3 g. saturated fat, 11.6 monounsaturated fat, 1.9 g. polyunsaturated fat); 25.8 g. protein; 25.6 g. carbohydrate; 4.4 g. fiber; 74 mg. cholesterol; 3.3 mg. iron; 485 mg. sodium; 71 mg. calcium

Result: Deeeelicious! The pork was so incredibly flavorful! I thought the thyme would be a lot (as in, too much) when I was making the dish, but it turned out beautifully. Mr. Prevention doesn’t like pork, and he requested this dish again. 😀

I went out for lunch yesterday at work…first time in MONTHS (4 months, probably). As I paid my $12 for my crappy Mexican food and iced tea I got to thinking how I would and could never make a habit out of dining out every day for lunch. Cafeterias are one thing, but I personally couldn’t do a restaurant everyday. I’m looking forward to my leftover Chicken Shawarma today 🙂

Question: Where do you normally eat lunch through the work/school week? Do you eat the same thing every day, or do you change it up? What’s for lunch today?

Haaaaaaapy Hump Day! Don’t forget to send those Q&A questions!!

P.S. Go here to enter Marla’s GroOrganic Olive Oil Giveaway!


Filed under Cooking Light, diet, dietitians, dining out, garden, Giveaway, healthy cooking, lunch, National Nutrition Month, recipe, salad, weight gain, weight loss


There have been so many inspiring posts lately that have left me in awe of the honesty and resilience of so many bloggers. Mary of A Merry Life talking about her running a mile, and “Joseph’s” guest post on Burp and Slurp talking about his eating disorder, and Jenny of PB and Jenny talking about her ED struggles,  and Christie on comparing your blog to others. And then yesterday I was reading and looking at Katie’s Fit Bloggin’ review post and got to thinking about what draws me to a blog. I came up with “imperfections.”

I want to know that there are imperfect people out there among and behind the elite athletes, beautiful people, seemingly professional photographers, and eloquent writers. Because I…am certainly imperfect. I find these blogs and these people the most relate-able, fun, and inspiring.

Many bloggers attended Fit Bloggin’ out east this weekend and I’ve read lots of recaps and seen lots of pictures. This left me thinking about BlogHer Food coming up this October, for which I’m all registered. [And I am excited!] However, part of me internalizes, “I’m not as fit or nutrition-savvy or thin as so many food bloggers. What will they think of ME, the Registered Dietitian?” [Because RD’s don’t struggle with their weight, right? Wrong.] When I was going through college to become and RD I always thought, “Being in the nutrition field will be like daily motivation to be such a healthy eater living such a healthy lifestyle!” Wrong. I sit in the car 45 minutes in the morning. Sit 10 ½ hours at work. Sit 45 minutes going home. Sleep 8 hours a night. Sedentary. Dozens of miles of running and hockey games each week can’t compensate for my otherwise sedentary lifestyle” and the balanced diet that I do eat (with the occasional splurge, of course). And I find myself less than a year into my career with an unwanted 20 pounds. If you know my “happy weight”, you can do the math. Scary. You know how much I weigh. And that it’s too much.

Breathe, Nicole.

I fear showing up to BlogHer Food and not being the person I’m “supposed” to be behind Prevention RD. I am “supposed” to epitomize health and here I find myself struggling, despite the dozens of people I help IN reaching their goals each and every week. It’s emotionally taxing.

While I have no doubt that the weight will come off, it certainly doesn’t melt off those who do so many things right. I have been so inspired by so many wonderful bloggers out there who struggle, that I feel uplifted simply getting this off my chest. I “battle the bulge” like so many people and I hope that makes me credible and real rather than deceitful and shameful behind my title.

Truth is, I am nutritioned-OUT by the time I get in the door at night. And readers have asked me questions along those very lines, “Do you ever get burnt-out on nutrition?” And the answer is yes, yes, yes! While I’m not giving up blogging 😉 I am saying that this could be a huge reason behind my climb on the scale over the past year (and why I haven’t posted a NNM topic in nearly a week – sorry!)

It’s all out there now! Whew…

It is taking a lot for me to hit “publish” so I hope that anyone reading is sensitive to my struggles and has the decency to keep any rude remarks to themselves. …Not saying that would happen, just saying that it would hurt me if it were to happen.


On a comppppppppppppletely unrelated note, check out this delicious original dish I created, inspired by Cooking Light.

Mango-Lime Kebabs by Prevention RD

2 limes
1 small red onion, chopped into large pieces
1 large mango, chopped into large pieces
1 red bell pepper, chopped into large pieces
1 orange bell pepper, chopped into large pieces
1 pound large peeled and deveined shrimp
3 cups cooked brown rice
3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp honey
2 tsp low-sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp ginger (fresh or ground)
1/2 tsp garlic salt


Chop vegetables. Organize peppers, onion, mango, and shrimp onto skewers. Drizzle with freshly squeezed lime juice from 1 of the limes.

Cook skewers on the grill over low-medium flame until shrimp are cooked through and vegetables start to charcoal around the edges, flipping onces or twice.

Combine olive oil, honey, lime juice from remaining lime, soy sauce, ginger, and garlic salt. Blend well.

Cook brown rice according to directions. Serve kebab over brown rice and drizzle with sauce.

Yield: 4 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving): 501 calories; 13.5 g. fat; 173 mg. cholesterol; 375 mg. sodium; 69 g. carbohydrate; 7 g. fiber; 28 g. protein

Delicious! We loved this! It was a perfect dish for great weather! 😀

Question: What insecurities or short-comings do you have? Are they nutrition/health/weight-related? When you read blogs, what do you find it hardest not to compare to? Do you make assumptions about people based on what you see on their blog?


Filed under blog, Cooking Light, diet, dietitians, dinner, exercise, fruits and vegetables, grilling, health at every size, healthy cooking, hockey, physical activity, recipe, running, stress, Uncategorized, weight gain, weight loss, work

Vodka Sauce & Pregnancy

…not together, obviously!

Penne alla Vodka adapted from Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes

2 tsp butter 50/50 Smart Balance Butter Blend
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, minced
3 4 oz prosciutto, trimmed and chopped
1/8 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
14 oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup vodka
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup half and half
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
12 oz uncooked (6 cups cooked) whole wheat penne

In a large sauté pan heat butter on a low flame. Add garlic and shallots and sauté until soft, about 2 minutes. Add prosciutto and red pepper flakes and cook another minute. Add tomatoes, vodka, salt and pepper and cook on low, covered about 20 minutes. Add basil and half and half, mix well and cook another 5 minutes. Serve this over pasta and top with grated cheese. Yield: 6 servings.

Nutrition Information (per serving — approx. 1 cup): 405 calories; 7 g. fat; 19 mg. cholesterol; 450 mg. sodium; 61 g. carbohydrate; 11.2 g. fiber; 15 g. protein

Today’s NNM Topic: Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an important time to focus on nutrition — both macronutrients and micronutrients. Pregnant women require adequate folic acid to prevent neural tube defects. Check out last week’s Q&A for more specifics on AMOUNTS of folic acid required.

During pregnancy, the amount of weight gain is dependent upon the mother’s pre-pregnancy weight. The more overweight a woman is at the time she conceives, the less weight she should gain (with a minimum weight gain of 15 pounds for overweight/obese women). Women with a BMI of 19.5-24.9 should look to gain 25-37 pounds during pregnancy. During the first trimester, no additional energy (calories) is needed. During the second and third trimesters an additional 300 calories are needed each day to support fetal growth. While 300 calories may sound significant this is less than a 10% increase for most women or the equivalent of a large snack each day, or 2 glasses of milk with a piece of fruit. Woman who breast feed, however, have their energy needs drastically increase to 700 additional calories each day — a good-sized meal for most individuals.

Poor diet and/or excessive intake during pregnancy not only results in excessive weight gain, but also puts the woman at increased risk for gestational diabetes, back pain, leg pain, high blood pressure, extreme fatigue, varicose veins, and cesarean delivery.


National Nutrition Month Theme: Nutrition From the Ground Up

The ADA is requesting bloggers to define the NNM theme in their own words, so I wanted to take a stab. The theme this year, Nutrition from the Ground Up, is consistent with the latest trends in nutrition. As of late, there has been a large movement to consume locally grown and organic produce, as well as a stronger emphasis on fruits, vegetables, and whole grains as staples in the diet. And of course, these items come from the ground and are packed with nutrition — fiber, vitamins, minerals, and low caloric density.


Question: Were you breastfed? Do you believe in the benefits of breastfeeding? If you are mother or some-day-hope-to-be-a-mother, did you or do you plan to breastfeed your baby?

Interesting fact: When I interned at WIC during my dietetic internship, I learned from the lactation consultant that the benefits from breastfeeding are maximized during the first 6 months of breastfeeding. She explained that there are no additional benefits (nutritionally-speaking) to breastfeeding after 6 months of age.

And Faith of An Edible Mosaic…you win! I burned 844 calories hauling that dirt to my garden! You were only 11 calories off! Send me your address, girlie! I’ve got a Chobani coupon for you!

And a picture of one sleeeeepy puppy to brighten your day… 🙂

Have a great day-before-Friday! 😀


Filed under alcohol, Gina's WW Recipes, National Nutrition Month, pregnancy, recipe, weight gain

Saturated fat…bad? Or better?

Last month, a study from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute negated an association between saturated fat intake and heart disease. Further, the study suggested that the limiting of fat intake is attributing to the rising obesity and diabetes rates in America. This report evaluated dietary data from a total of 347,747 subjects from 8 countries in 21 studies, over 25 years.

As the study points out, when fat is strictly limited in the diet, carbohydrate intake increases which can cause detriment to weight and blood glucose levels. Food is made up of 3 macronutrients – fat, protein, and carbohydrates. While (complex) carbohydrates should comprise the majority of the diet (50-60% of daily caloric intake in an average healthy adult), limiting fat (which is often found in high-protein foods), typically causes an increase in carbohydrate intake. This imbalance in macronutrients can cause an increase in weight and triglycerides, as well as an increased risk for developing diabetes. Additionally, excess carbohydrates are much more readily stored as fat when compared to fat and protein. The notion of “fat equals fat” couldn’t be further from the truth. A higher fat, moderate protein diet can increase satiety and better stabilize blood glucose levels when compared to a typical high-carbohydrate American diet.

For this very reason, I am a huge advocate of carbohydrate counting for weight loss. Not only is carbohydrate counting mathematically simpler than calorie counting, but it forces a balance in the diet. If I put a patient on a 1,600 calorie diet, for instance – they will put more emphasis on the totals rather than the components whereas carbohydrate counting creates flexible opportunity for the patient to balance their meals with protein, carbohydrates, and fat without meticulous calculations. Further, carbohydrate counting emphasizes portion control and regular meal times.

Whether I agree or disagree with this study, I think it surfaces some valid take-home messages regarding the make-up of our diets. Personally, I am a supporter of “diabetic” meal planning for patients looking to lose weight and use this approach on many of my patients.


Today at work was TASTE TEST DAY! The recipe I chose to make this week was turkey goulash. I am a huge fan of this recipe — quick, easy, delicious, and a crowd pleaser. It’s also a traditional dish in Oklahoma.

And everyone loved it! The emails flowed in as the afternoon hours passed on…

Hey Nicole,

THIS WAS AWESOME AS ALWAYS…….THANKS SO MUCH!!!  The things you cook/bake are so good, is hard to believe these are healthy, you do a great job!

Have a good afternoon!


Thank you, Nicole, for such an awesome job you do on the taste test. They are always so good! 🙂


Question: What do you feel the role of saturated fat in the diet should be? Less is more? Some is okay? Doesn’t really matter? Do you know anyone who is “fat phobic” despite the common knowledge of healthy fats (mono and poly’s) in the diet?


Filed under blood glucose, carbohydrates, diabetes, diet, dietitians, food journal, healthy cooking, heart health, hunger, low-carb, MUFAs and PUFAs, obesity epidemic, protein, recipe, reduced-calorie, research study, saturated fat, weight gain, weight loss, work