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I help people who are frustrated with dieting change their relationship with food in order to lose weight once and for all. I teach my clients how to rediscover the joy of eating through guided nutrition coaching, mindful eating exercises, personalized meal planning, and weekly support. My goal is for you to develop long-term, sustainable lifestyle habits, no deprivation required.
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In our first session, we’ll spend an hour together talking about your health and nutrition history, your needs and your goals. Together we will develop an action plan to help you reach both your short term and long term goals.
Behavior change doesn’t happen overnight. We will meet on a regular basis to work on your action plan and goals, step by step. I’ll be there for ongoing support and accountability as you make sustainable nutrition and health changes.
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“Best thing, I don’t feel like depriving myself, having to eat in a way that I can only do for a limited period of time, or having to count calories, nutrients. Frankly, I feel my focus shifted to eating more: e.g., what healthy fats or proteins I can add to meals to make sure that I don’t have to feel hungry.”
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“As someone who likes to eat out and is frequently on the go, I knew I needed help figuring out how to navigate my eating around my busy lifestyle. Alissa was perfect for this! With her guidance, I was able to develop a customized eating plan that was specifically designed to meet my needs. She is the perfect coach and balances encouragement with accountability.”
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From The Blog
The sweet potato toast trend started a few months ago. If your first thought is “Gross, toast made out of a sweet potato?” – just stick with me here.
I know the idea of sweet potato topped with peanut butter sounds kind of gross but toasted sweet potato makes a great base for a variety of toppings. While I’m a fan of whole grain bread, swapping out your usual morning toast for a slice of sweet potato once in awhile is a great way to add a serving of veggies at breakfast. Not to mention, sweet potatoes are packed with Vitamin A. Half of a medium sweet potato provides over 100% of your daily vitamin A needs. Recipe: Sweet… Click To Tweet. Substituting half of a medium sweet potato for two slices of bread will also cut your carbohydrate intake in half.
While sweet potatoes can take a long time to cook in the oven, making sweet potato toast is really quick. Sliced raw sweet potato goes directly into the toaster, and within about five minutes (or two toaster cycles) it’s cooked! You can top your sweet potato toast with sweet or savory toppings.
I went home to visit my mom last weekend, and she agreed to test out this sweet potato toast recipe with me. The verdict? Delicious! We went for mostly sweet toppings (since I can’t get through the day without my peanut butter!) but savory foods like avocado and poached egg work well too.
Sweet Potato Toast – Three Ways
Makes 2 servings
1 medium sweet potato
Peanut butter berry:
1 tablespoon crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
1 tablespoon smooth peanut butter
1/2 a banana, sliced
2 tablespoons walnuts
Dash of cinnamon
Almond butter date:
1 tablespoon Almond butter
1/4 cup pitted and chopped Medjool dates
Agave, for drizzling
- Wash and dry sweet potato. Slice sweet potato into 1/4 to 1/2 inch rounds.
- Put sweet potato rounds into the toaster, and toast for two to three cycles (thinner and smaller rounds will cook up well with two cycles).
- Peanut butter berry sweet potato toast: spread crunchy peanut butter on sweet potato toast. Top with sliced strawberries, blueberries, and a tablespoon of sunflower seeds.
- Banana-walnut sweet potato toast: spread smooth peanut butter on sweet potato toast. Top with sliced banana, walnuts and a dash of cinnamon.
- Almond butter date sweet potato toast: spread almond butter on sweet potato toast. Top with chopped dates and drizzle with agave.
What are your favorite sweet potato toast toppings?
For decades, we’ve been inundated with the message “fat will make you fat”. With this fat-free movement came a plethora of reduced-fat and fat-free foods. The reality is, not all fats are bad. Concentrating too much on removing fat from our diets has led us to replace even healthy fats with added sugars and other refined carbohydrate-based foods, which may be even worse for our health. Now more recent research shows that fat can be beneficial for your body, and your waistline, provided it’s the right kind.
Why Fat is Important
Not only is fat good for you, you actually can’t live without it. Fat is an essential part of a healthy diet. Dietary fat provides essential fatty acids that keep skin soft and healthy and is the only nutrient that can deliver fat-soluble vitamins to your cells. Plus fat plays a crucial role in weight loss and maintenance: it helps to slow down digestion, which keeps you full and satiated long after you eat.
Good Fats vs. Bad Fats
With headlines stating “butter is back” it’s easy to get confused about what you should (and shouldn’t) eat when it comes to fat. Universally accepted: stay away from trans-fat. Eating even small amounts of this type, found in partially hydrogenated oils, is shown to raise heart disease risk, increase cholesterol, and elevate inflammation in the body. Slight less clear cut: saturated fat. While saturated fat may not be as bad as previously thought (especially the type found in coconut oil), it does not appear to be beneficial. When you replace saturated fats in your diet with refined carbohydrates, there is no difference in health outcomes. But when you replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat, you see a reduction in heart disease. Unsaturated fats, including the polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, clearly show a health benefit.
- Peanut butter. Reduced-fat peanut butter may have fewer calories, but it does so by replacing fat with added sugar. Full-fat peanut butter is your best bet (no one needs more sugar in their diet). Choose a natural peanut butter with no added hydrogenated oils and you’ll get a big dose of heart-healthy mono and polyunsaturated fat. Just don’t pour off that oil on top or you’ll lose the heart-healthy fats. Store the jar upside down for a day or two, and then open and stir the oil back into the peanut butter.
- Eggs. Go ahead – eat the yolk! While the thinking used to be that foods high in cholesterol were bad for our health, more recent evidence has debunked this. A whole egg is a lot more nutritious than just eating the white. Not only do you get more protein, but the yolk houses choline, a healthy brain compound, plus all of the fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, and K). Check out this post about what all the different egg carton labels mean.
- Baked goods. Instead of stocking up on reduced-fat pre-packaged cookies or muffins, reach for a small portion of the real thing. Choose freshly prepared items that are made from full-fat oils and fats (or better yet – make your own!). Reduced fat baked goods are almost always going to have more sugar, salt, or other not-so-healthy ingredients. Plus if you have a craving, you are more likely to satisfy it with a little bit of the real thing.
- Salad dressing. Stay away from non-fat salad dressings: fat is needed to help your body absorb the nutrient-rich compounds and vitamins found in the vegetables in your salad. Full fat is typically better than low fat since, again, low fat usually means added sugar and salt. Go for an oil-based dressing, and stick to 2 tablespoons for your serving size.
- Dairy products. Non-fat versions of milk, cheese, and yogurt have more sugar than their full-fat or part-skim counterparts and don’t do much to curb your appetite. Small amounts of full-fat yogurt, cheese, and milk or cream will help you feel full after a meal and will also provide protein, calcium, and other essential nutrients.
- Avocado. This fruit (yes really!) is unlike others in that it is mostly fat, not carbohydrates. Avocados are an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, fiber, and potassium. Despite their high calorie and fat level, studies have shown that people who eat avocados tend to weigh less and have less belly fat compared to those who don’t. Stick to ¼ of an avocado per serving, and try it on sandwiches, in soups or salads, with eggs, and in smoothies.
Just watch the portion size
Fat has more calories per gram than protein and carbohydrates, so proper portion sizes are necessary to avoid over consuming. The good news is, due to its satiating effect, a small amount of fat goes a long way. For nut butter and salad dressing stick to 1 or 2 tablespoons and 2-3 eggs a few times per week. Keep that glass of milk around 8 ounces per serving, yogurt ½ to 1 cup (4-8 ounces), and cheese the size of 2 dice. Adding avocado to your sandwich or salad? Use about ¼-⅓ of a medium avocado. Regarding baked goods like cookies or muffins, aim for a handful of times per week max.
While this doesn’t give you a free pass at fried chicken or butter-laden meals, fat is a necessary part of a healthy diet. For the best health benefits choose unsaturated fats, such as olive oil, avocados, nuts and seeds, and reduce the amount of refined (i.e. white) carbohydrates in your diet.
You know the feeling: weekends roll around, you get into relaxation mode and next thing you know your healthy eating habits have flown out the window. With Friday happy hours, dinners out, Sunday brunch…even the most well-intentioned people find it hard to stay on track. Minimize the damage – and avoid starting the coming week in an elastic waistband – by following these six steps.
Step 1: Practice Forgiveness
It is not a crime to indulge, trust me we’ve (ahem, I’ve) all been there. Stop beating yourself up and dwelling on the binge, this just leads you down more of a negative path making it harder to move forward. Overindulging once in awhile won’t do much long-lasting damage. So accept what happened, and move on. You’ve still got this.
Step 2: Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
I know it sounds counterintuitive to fill your belly with fluid when you’re already bloated and puffy, but water helps speed up digestion and counteracts the effect of salt and carb-induced bloating. Plus being well-hydrated will ensure that you don’t mistake thirst for hunger. Choose plain water, tea or seltzer and aim for 8-10 glasses throughout the day.
Step 3: Get Moving
Resist the urge to curl up in the fetal position and lace up your gym shoes instead. Light exercise like walking, jogging or yoga helps to carry oxygen to your digestive tract, meaning food move through you faster. Plus it will give you a boost of energy and make you feel less “blah”.
Step 4: Don’t Starve Yourself
While your next meal may be the last thing on your mind, don’t deprive yourself just because you overate the day before. Start the day with a balanced breakfast with a mix of protein, fiber and healthy fat to aid digestion and help balance out your blood sugar. Try two eggs scrambled with veggies and a slice of whole grain toast. Pay attention to your hunger throughout the day, and don’t skip a meal thinking you’ll save calories. This is guaranteed to backfire, setting you up for more binging later on. Stick to 3 balanced meals plus snacks.
Step 5: Fill up on Fiber & Protein
When’s the last time you’ve overeaten carrots or broccoli? Exactly. Foods high in protein and fiber offer the most bang-for-your-buck, filling you up without that dreaded “stuffed” feeling. At lunch and dinner make half your plate veggies then add lean protein, like chicken or fish, and a small serving of whole grains.
Step 6: Avoid Alcohol, Salt and Sugar
Extra salt, sugar and alcohol can dehydrate your body, slowing down digestion and making you feel worse. Plus salt and refined carbs (think: bagels and pasta) may sound tempting when you’re feeling gross, but these water-attracting nutrients will just make your bloating worse.
At the end of the day, we’re all human and we are all going to have moments of overindulging. The weight gain and bloating you experience is temporary and with a few simple strategies you can lessen the damage and feel like yourself again